Call To Action: Please read…


From THE AUTOMATIC EARTH

Firstly, I would say that the energy prices that currently seem stubbornly high should fall substantially as the speculative premium evaporates and demand falls on a resumption of the credit crunch. The sucker rally that has spawned all the talk of green shoots is essentially over in my opinion.

The result should be a reversal of a number of trends that depend on the ebb and flow of liquidity – we should see stock markets and commodity prices fall, a significant resurgence in the US dollar and a large contraction of credit. The scale of the reversal should be substantial, as should its effects on energy demand. Demand is not what one wants, but what one is ready, willing and able to pay for, and in a severe credit crunch the capacity to pay for supplies of most things will be severely reduced.

As demand falls, and with it prices, investment in the energy sector is likely to dry up. Many projects will be uneconomic at much lower prices, meaning that the projects which might have cushioned the downslope of Hubbert’s curve (and the much steeper net energy curve), are unlikely to be developed. In this way a demand collapse sets the stage for a supply collapse that could place a hard ceiling on any prospect of economic recovery. That is a recipe for extremely high energy prices in the future…

The scale of the problem has been temporarily concealed by a market rally and the shovelling of tens of trillions of dollars of taxpayer’s money into a giant black hole of credit destruction. This has done nothing to reignite lending, but the temporary (and entirely irrational) resurgence of confidence has restored a measure of liquidity. As that confidence evaporates with the end of the rally, that liquidity will also disappear.

Deflation is ultimately psychological. Without trust we will see hoarding of the cash which will be very scarce in the absence of the credit that currently comprises the vast majority of the effective money supply. The combination of scarce cash and a very low velocity of money will be toxic.

Money is the lubricant in the economic engine and without enough of it that engine will seize up as it did in the 1930s, when farmers dumped milk they couldn’t sell into ditches while others were starving for want of the money to buy food. There was plenty of everything except money, and without money, one cannot connect buyers and sellers…

In my opinion, we stand on the brink of truly tragic circumstances.

See original article here

Local Money Supply Solutions: Mendo Time BankMendo Moola
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Mendo Time Bank News


From CODY CHRISTOPULOS
Ukiah

Thanks to everybody who responded to our requests for help!  Jenny Crawford and Courtney Senna will be doing orientations every two weeks at the MEC so please send your friends. Orientations for new members will be held the first and third Wednesdays of each month starting on Nov 4th. 6 – 6:30pm. Kip Webb and Daniel Frey will be posting flyers to help spread the word.

There is still more to do!  We need your help to organize social events, write a paragraph for the newsletter, update the website and organize group projects.

If you’re not quite ready to make a commitment, the best thing you can do to support the Time Bank is to use it. Be part of the change you want to see, help build our community. There’s no better way to save money, support your neighbors and friends and encourage positive movement toward a more sustainable future.  It won’t work without you.

Time Bank Radio Show

Jenny and Courtney are also starting up a radio program which will air for the first time on Wednesday November 4th at 6:30 pm. Tune in to KMEC. You will hear about what’s being offered and requested, answers to frequently asked questions,  and other useful and entertaining information. A reminder and more info from the hosts to follow.

Progress Report

Congratulations Time Bankers!  Together we have traded over 930 hours so far this year!  Our exchanges include yard work, house sitting, farm fresh eggs, healthy garden produce, tickets to the Ukiah Players Theatre, haircuts, massages and so much more.

Success Stories from our Time Bank

My Time Dollar Retirement by Rose Dakin

Every financial analyst will tell you that the key to successful investing is diversifying your assets. Your savings should be carefully invested in a mix of bonds, stocks, cash, gold and real estate. I have decided to use my account at the Mendo Time Bank to supplement my retirement plan, because time is an overlooked investment, and my retirement will require a lot of other people’s time. Not only that, but the value of time has increased with less volatility and more predictability than any other asset in the traditional asset mix. I feel well diversified, now, thanks to the Mendo Time Bank.

This is dedicated to the DDR Carpet Baggers for their plane ride home to Ohio and Texas


buh-bye…
~~

Maybe Farming Isn’t Supposed To Make Money


From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer

Talk about heresy. What if food production should not be part of either a capitalistic or a socialistic economy. The first commandment of agriculture states that you must put back into the soil the fertility you take out of it. That being so, the only real profit from food production is how good the food  tastes and how well it sustains health and well-being. Any actual money profit beyond that might simply be a sign that the farming is flawed. Failed civilization on top of failed civilization suggests that idea, but every new civilization that flourishes for awhile believes it can beat the system.

Farming has to be subsidized in modern economies because nature  can’t compete with money interest. An ear of corn, even the record-shattering 15-inch ear I found in my field yesterday,  has never heard of six percent interest. An ear of corn grows at its own sweet pace, come recession or inflation, which is the modern version of hell or high water. Every attempt to make it grow at a pace that matches the way we can manipulate paper money growth, results in some downside. (Eventually it happens with money too.) GMO scientists crow about their new seeds but there is little significant increase in yield from them, in fact in some cases, documented decreases. When an increase does occur it usually comes from lack of weed competition not an actual genetic increase in yield. Most above average increases in crop yields  come from  good weather. Monsanto and Dupont are trying to take the credit for the big corn crop this year when their very same seeds that produce a good crop on one farm result in only half a crop  two miles down the road where timely rains did not fall.

More at The Contrary Farmer
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Doin’ the Dead Dino Stomp – No On A Letters (Updated)


[FLASH!! DDR will spend over a million dollars to kill our downtown! They have spent $800,000 so far according to the Press Democrat. That's 10 to 1 spending against our local citizens and local democracy. Vote NO on A. -DS]

Letters to the UDJ

From BARRY VOGEL
Ukiah

Running up the score

If you haven’t voted “No” on Measure A yet, Here’s why you should, now:

1. If Measure A passes, no environmental local regulation or control will be necessary for anything that is built on the old Masonite property by the current or any future owner.

2. If Measure A passes, the old Masonite property will be sold. “Everything is for sale,” Jeff Adams, the project director for DDR said at the October 8, 2009 debate on the merits of Measure A. Scott Wolstein, DDR’s top boss may be seen on http://www.reit.com stating that due to its economic condition, “DDR will not build any new projects.” DDR stock had a value of $74 per share in 2006 which dropped to $1.50 in March 2009 and was then declared ”junk” by respected organizations that value stock.

3. If Measure A passes, the so called “mixed-use” zoning would give the owner unlimited and uncontrolled choice and discretion on what is built or done there. DDR rendered its so called “specific plan” meaningless when it repeats, over 80 times, that the “plan is conceptual only and subject to change according to regional and market conditions.” Further no owner, present or future will have any responsibility to pay any consequences of what is built there.

4. If Measure A passes, all surrounding road work and public safety costs would be paid with county money leaving no funds for our already neglected roads and public safety needs everywhere else in Mendocino County.

5. DDR and Mendocino County Tomorrow, the local group it supports report they spend $514,871.89 as of September 19, 2009, on their campaign. All the money came from DDR; no local money.

6. There are no “yes” yard signs. No one wants one. All DDR can do is send glossy mailers and make meaningless promises on radio and TV.

7. DDR doesn’t give a rodent’s posterior about Mendocino County or we who live here.

Bailouts For Dummies


From DAVE POLLARD
How To Save The World Blog

Lately I’ve been reading more about economics, in self-defence against all the corporatist-government thievery and lies going on out there.

I’m aware that most people find what is happening in our economy and financial systems unfathomable, so I thought I’d try to simplify the complex. I confess up front this is a substantial over-simplification, and I’m not a professional economist. Recent events really boil down to governments doing what they’re told to do because their self-serving advisors have made them so terrified of the consequences of not doing so, that they feel they have no alternative. It’s not so much “too big to fail” as “failure is not an option”.

Our modern economic system is founded on a false premise — that unregulated ‘free’ markets are the most efficient (free of waste) and effective (they will produce better ‘collective’ outcomes than markets that government manages or intervenes in). This has been repeatedly shown to be false, but it still governs mainstream economic, and conservative, thought. In most countries (other than the US and struggling nations) experience with the failures of the ‘free’ enterprise market system — laissez faire capitalism — has led governments to play a significant, if not dominant, role in economic regulation and decision-making. These are what are called “balanced economies”, where governments intervene to limit the excesses of self-serving private interests and to provide goods and services (like health care and education) that the majority believe should be available to all, regardless of wealth or income.

Where there is no balance, as in struggling nations where the government is weak or hopelessly corrupt, the result is a hegemony (total dominance) by a wealthy elite that effectively owns and dictates policy to politicians, regulators and judges. This near-monopoly of consolidated power is variously called corpocracy, corporatism, or fascism. Many right-wing ideologues like Mussolini believed such a hegemony was the much-sought “benign dictatorship” that would act in the collective interest more knowledgeably and efficiently than any democracy. There is a second school of right-wing libertarian ideologues, especially in the US, who believe that the ‘market’ is able to act in this fashion, and that any government intervention will necessarily worsen every situation.more

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Flogging (and Blogging) a Dead Dino


More Letters to the Editor UDJ

No Property Rights
Clear Democratic Opposition

From DAVID SMITH-FERRI
Ukiah

For months now, proponents of Measure A, most especially Jeff Adams of DDR, have been complaining about how poorly they’ve been treated by the County Board of Supervisors and by the planning process as a whole, which they suggest has been hostile, dilatory, and incompetent. Because of this, they say, they were forced to fall back on the only democratic process left to them: the initiative process.

I’ve heard this sad story told in the Ukiah City Council Chambers and in County BOS meetings. I’ve read it in this newspaper when proponents of Measure A have been quoted. I’ve heard it so often I’m afraid that voters may view it as true instead of seeing it as a political strategy intended to cast DDR as the good guy just trying to exercise its private property rights and move its progressive project along. In this fairy tale, local government staff and officials, of course, are the bad guys getting in the way of progress.

I want to remind everyone who cares about this ballot initiative of a few simple facts that seem to have been forgotten. First, when DDR purchased the land, it was zoned industrial (as it is now). Presumably, they knew this. They have never had a private property right to build a retail mall on the land nor does County government have to bow to their desire to change the zoning.

Second, as we all know, the current BOS is opposed to rezoning the former Masonite property precisely because John McCowen and Carre Brown replaced two supervisors who favored it. Let’s not forget that Mr. McCowen and Ms. Brown campaigned strongly against the rezoning. Their large electoral victories were not only democratic but a clear statement of opposition to the DDR project. It was not a hostile local government nor an incompetent planning process that forced DDR to bring in a guerrilla team of signature gatherers to put Measure A on the ballot. It was desperation. And all the whining to the contrary can’t change it.
~

Monster Mall Unnecessary

From JANNA OSTOYA
Ukiah

What are the Differences between Bio-Intensive Agricultural and Biodynamic Agricultural Practices?



From CHARLES MARTIN
Willits

Background

The above question has been asked of Charles because he has gardened and farmed both Bio-Intensively and Biodynamicly for over 20 years. In the above case, the author’s farm was certified biodynamic by the Demeter Association of the United States, a division of the International Demeter Certification Organization and Organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers Association (CCOF). Prior to this, the author gardened organically for over 20 years, employing the original organic method developed by Sir Howard of England and adopted by John Rodale in the United States. These organic practices have since been corrupted and diluted by both State & Federal CDFA & USDA governmental regulatory agencies.

From 1985 until 2000, Bio-Intensive practices were employed in his market gardens of the Certified Organic biodynamic farm in Compche, California. During that period, the author also served on the board of Directors of Ecology Action until 2004.

Discussion

The criteria normally used to judge farming practices is to ask if the practice is sustainable & do the farming practices employ any method or material that would be detrimental to ones health by eating the food grown by these methods? Both the Bio-Intensive and Biodynamic and the older form of Organic practices (pre-USDA), complied with both of the above two criteria.

The oldest of the above practices is the Biodynamic method. It was synthesized by Rudolf Steiner in 1924 from ancient folk & peasant practices employed in the Orient and Persia over 6,000 years ago and more recently by Russian & European farms over the last 1,500 years. The Oriental farming practices have been proven to be sustainable for over 6,000 years. Bio-Intensive evolved from Alan Chadwick’s interpretations of R. Steiner’s biodynamic concepts.

Now to the differences between BI & BD practices

Simple lifestyle tweaks key in climate change fight


From GRIST

WASHINGTON—The United States could cut greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of France’s total annual emissions by getting Americans to make simple lifestyle changes, like regularly maintaining their cars or insulating their attics, a study showed Monday.

If U.S. households took 17 easy-to-implement actions—like switching to a fuel-efficient vehicle, drying laundry on a clothesline instead of in a dryer, or turning down the thermostat—carbon emissions could be cut by 123 metric tons a year by the 10th year, the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found [PDF].

“This amounts to … 7.4 percent of total national emissions—an amount slightly larger than the total national emissions of France,” showed the study led by Thomas Dietz of Michigan State University’s department of sociology and environmental science and policy.

“It is greater than reducing to zero all emissions in the United States from the petroleum-refining, iron and steel, and aluminum industries, each of which is among the largest emitters in the industrial sector,”  the study said.

But the lifestyle changes come with a much smaller price tag and no great change to the way Americans live.

At present, U.S. direct household energy use accounts for 38 percent of the country’s carbon emissions, or 626 million metric tons of carbon—a whopping eight percent of global emissions “and larger than the emissions of any entire country except China.”

To quickly bring down those numbers, the researchers suggested greater focus on consumer behavioral changes and less on efforts to develop new technologies and put in place so-called cap and trade regimes.

The researchers grouped 17 actions Americans could take to reduce carbon emissions into five groups: weatherization, switching to more efficient equipment, maintaining equipment, adjusting appliance setting—such as the temperature on water heaters—and modifying daily personal use.

more
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DDR Thrashes – Last Gasps – Death Throes – Celebratory Cheesecake Anyone?


More campaign disputes on Measure A as election nears

The Daily Journal, October 25, 2009

More battling about campaign advertising is afoot this week over statements by an economics professor, statements by DDR’s CEO and statements by a former Greenpeace activist.

Mendocino County Tomorrow (the proponents of Measure A to rezone the old Masonite property and build a shopping mall) Thursday accused the No on A campaign known as SOLE (Save Our Local Economy) of misleading voters on a mailer which includes a quote from Robert Eyler, chairman of the economics department at Sonoma State University.

The quote comes from a story in the Ukiah Daily Journal about a November, 2008 meeting sponsored by MCT which paid Eyler to give a talk about the future of the economy of this area. The quote – excerpted accurately from the Daily Journal story – reads: “You could make the same mistakes Sonoma County made. That creates congestion and that drives good businesses away.” MCT executive director Robin Collier issued a press release Thursday outraged that SOLE would “misquote and misrepresent” Eyler’s comments. “No on A clearly misrepresents Professor Eyler’s position on Measure A,” Collier wrote. “His name and the quote attributed to him are displayed on the mail piece in a clear attempt to fool and confuse Mendocino County voters. The quote used by No on A is nearly a year old and does not concern Measure A at all, nor the Mendocino Crossings project. Professor Eyler’s quote instead was addressing ‘untempered growth.’ Further, Professor Eyler does not believe Measure A or the Mendocino Crossings project are examples of ‘untempered growth,’ and believes No on A representatives have misrepresented his position on Measure A.” [Yeah, right. You'll be even more outraged with the No On A Landslide - 60 - 40 No On A. -DS]

In fact, Eyler has no position on Measure A. In an interview Friday, Eyler said he knows nothing about Measure A or Mendocino Crossings and has made no evaluation of either one pro or con. He said he was surprised when MCT contacted him to let him know he was being used in some way and was disturbed by it, although he hadn’t seen it and MCT hadn’t told him what the nature of the context of his quote was.

Resilience Thinking – Transition Culture

 


 

From ROB HOPKINS
Transition Culture

The latest edition of Resurgence is timed to coincide with the Copenhagen talks, and looks at resilience as a key aspect of the climate change debates.  Here is the article I wrote for it.

Resilience Thinking. Why ‘resilience thinking’ is a crucial missing piece of the climate-change jigsaw and why resilience is a more useful concept than sustainability: by Rob Hopkins.

Resilience; “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks”

In July 2009, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband unveiled the government’s UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, a bold and powerful statement of intent for a low-carbon economy in the UK. It stated that by 2020 there would be a five-fold increase in wind generation, feed-in tariffs for domestic energy generation, and an unprecedented scheme to retrofit every house in the country for energy efficiency. In view of the extraordinary scale of the challenge presented by climate change, I hesitate to criticise steps in the right direction taken by government. There is, though, a key flaw in the document, which also appears in much of the wider societal thinking about climate change. This flaw is the attempt to address the issue of climate change without also addressing a second, equally important issue: that of resilience.

The term ‘resilience’ is appearing more frequently in discussions about environmental concerns, and it has a strong claim to actually being a more useful concept than that of sustainability. Sustainability and its oxymoronic offspring sustainable development are commonly held to be a sufficient response to the scale of the climate challenge we face: to reduce the inputs at one end of the globalised economic growth model (energy, resources, and so on) while reducing the outputs at the other end (pollution, carbon emissions, etc.). However, responses to climate change that do not also address the imminent, or quite possibly already passed, peak in world oil production do not adequately address the nature of the challenge we face. more
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Dead Dino Rest In Perpetuity – No on A Letters To The UDJ Editor


From SUSAN SHER
Ukiah

It has become apparent that locally-owned businesses remain the life blood of our community. CEOs and boards of directors of the large chain stores with which DDR promises to populate its mega-mall simply do not have the interest or commitment to sustain our community.

Recently, as a member of a board of directors for a local non-profit organization with an upcoming benefit event, I had the task of requesting raffle prizes from local businesses. Virtually all of the local merchants who were approached generously donated to the cause despite the fact that many were facing challenging financial times themselves. In response to the same request made to some of the chain stores which have all ready infiltrated Ukiah, I was told that the management of the local store did not have the discretion to make a donation; I should submit a written request to out-of-town corporate headquarters. No doubt, staff in these corporate headquarters would not have heard of this Ukiah non-profit agency, the corporate executives would not be attending the event and having no familiarity with the community in which one of its many chain stores was located, would have no concern for the wellbeing of local folks relying on the services provided by this local non-profit.

Throughout this campaign, Ohio-based corporate giant, DDR has argued that changing the zoning of the Masonite site from industrial to commercial/retail use and the resulting construction of its mega-mall would be an economic boon for our community, a way to put substantial amounts of cash into our dwindling local coffers.

While DDR has made many illusory promises of future benefits, it has thus far, provided one concrete example of the hypocrisy of its purported concern for the economic vitality of our community. Last month, the UDJ compared the campaign spending of both DDR, the only contributor to the Yes on Measure A campaign with that of Save Our Local Economy (”SOLE”), the grass-roots community group opposed to Measure A.

As of September 19, 2009, DDR had contributed over $500,000 to its own campaign. During this past filing period, large amounts of campaign funds were not spent locally; rather, DDR patronized a Marin County law firm, political and marketing consultants from San Francisco and Santa Rosa, and out-of-town printers and graphic designers.

McKibben Versus Hedges’ Clash of Worldviews: How Do We Solve the Environmental Crisis?


From CHRIS HEDGES and BILL McKIBBEN
Yes! Magazine and TruthDig, via Alternet and OCA

Bill McKibben believes we must reduce our carbon emissions immediately, or else face disaster. Chris Hedges says that until we defeat corporate power, we can’t address anything.

Editor’s Note: The following two articles below by Bill McKibben and Chris Hedges illustrate a key point of debate in thinking about how to solve our environmental crisis. Environmental activist and writer McKibben, in YES! Magazine on October 15, writes that we can’t let the atmosphere contain more than 350 million parts per million of carbon dioxide, or else face total environmental catastrophe, problem being that we’ve already passed this number. He’s helped organize a day of action on October 24 to push and make it happen. Chris Hedges’ response in TruthDig channels the radical thinking of Derek Jensen and argues that there is no possible way to address the release of carbon dioxide without addressing the way industrial society without addressing corporate power: “The reason the ecosystem is dying is not because we still have a dryer in our basement. It is because corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is because consumption is the engine of corporate profits.” A very important debate, arguably on potentially the most important issue of our lives –

350: The Most Important Number in the World

by Bill McKibben, YES! Magazine

From Mt. Everest to the Maldives, people worldwide are turning an arcane number into a movement for a stable climate. Bill McKibben asks: Will you join them?

Let’s say you occasionally despair for the future of the planet. In that case, the place you need to be this week is the website for 350.org.

Every few minutes, something new arrives at our headquarters, where young people hunched over laptops do their best to keep up with the pace. News that activists in Afghanistan-Afghanistan-have organized a rally for our big day of action on October 24. They’ll assemble on a hillside 20 kilometers from Kabul to write a huge message in the sand: “Let Us Live: 350.” more→

Greetings from the Farm


From DON SANDERSON
Mendocino County

Well, in truth, far from being a farm. Maybe a third to half acre depending upon what we’re counting. Our home is under a grove of maybe two hundred year old valley oaks between a stream, which is dry two thirds of the year, and a red oaked ridge to the west that finally stretches wildly up a couple of thousand feet. It’s very quiet, except for the bird “clamor,” and nights are starry. Our water originates from a spring that is shared by others; in spite of the drought, it so far continues to flow – with wonderful water.

Wow, it rained, thanks apparently to El Niño and a warming ocean. The plants look so thrilled. The winter garden is being planted: beets and carrots, peas, lettuce and broccoli, cabbage, spinach, chard, and kale, Asian greens, and onions, garlic, and leeks. We’ve planted a thousand onion and garlic bulbs, or so it seemed. We learned from Peaceful Valley’s fall catalog that we can also plant potatoes. Wow, and no watering. Of  course we can’t grow tomatoes, corn, beans, and squash, but winter is otherwise a wonderful time to garden in our climate. But, lest we forget, the cooler summer and rain are vagaries of ever-changeable weather and solar sunspot cycles and not indicative of climate trends – greenhouse gases continue to accumulate.

I was born and raised on a Great Depression/WWII Iowa farm and would likely be there still, if I could have found a way to afford to stay. When I graduated from high school, the industrialization of agriculture was well on the way, beginning with heavy mechanized equipment expenses. I always wanted to return, as Wendell Berry did, but could never find the means. I sometimes tell Marlene of my continued wishes for a real farm, to which she laughs and asks me how I would have the energy to operate it. OK, I’m almost 74 years old and, since I insist in “farming” without power tools, I have about enough to keep me busy. This is especially true since time is wasted reading and writing and walking and just poking around.

Both the problem and the fascination with this place is that it is like no other in which I’ve gardened: Iowa, the Northwest, the old cooler, wetter Bay Area, or Kauai. Wendell Berry’s old farmers insist that one can’t learn farming from books;

350 – in every corner of the globe – (Updated)


UPDATE – Go see the photos: 350 Day of Action



Fresh Batch of Dead Monster Mall Community Outrage – Letters to the Editor


Letters to the Editor
Ukiah Daily Journal

From Stephanie T. Hoppe
Ukiah

What exactly is in the proposed Measure A? For all we can tell, if it passes, it could authorize the slaughterhouse discussed some months ago, and no one in the county would have any say about it.
~

From Ron Lippert
Willits

Thanks for publishing all the various opinions on Measure A. I support No On A. Vote, have an opinion. We must come together and unite to create the future which we all will and do want.
~

From John Arteaga
Ukiah

I hope that a lot of folks planning to cast ballots in the upcoming election had the opportunity to hear the debate between the opposing sides of the Measure A issue, which was simulcast on KZYX, and also to listen to Barry Vogel’s Radio Curious program today on KZYX 91.5 fm, where he detailed a great many of the less savory facts about DDR’s proposed development.

My wife’s reaction to the debate was something like, “sounds like they’re coming to town to swindle the country bumpkins; do they think that we all just fell off the turnip truck yesterday?”

While today’s bleak jobs picture may prompt some to vote for jobs, any kind of jobs, if one takes a longer view, the passage of Measure A will surely be selling out our birthright and that of our children for a mess of pottage today. If we allow its 68 acres to pass from industrial to ‘mixed-use’ (i.e. what ever any developer wants to do with it, forever exempt from the normal planning and zoning constrains everyone else has to abide by) it will close off forever the possibility of good, well paid, productive, industrial jobs locating any kind of sizable plant in Ukiah Valley.

As the American dollar continues to weaken against the currencies of all those countries which produce goods to trade with other countries around the world, eventually this country will have to rebuild its manufacturing base, which was so rashly shut down and sent off to China or some such cheap labor destination, during the Bush-Clinton ‘free-trade’ era.

Think of how unique and irreplaceable the Masonite site is; strategically situated on a rail siding which may, sometime in the future, come back into operation, with copious water sources and easy access to the freeway, with a great many well-educated potential employees willing to work for far less than the wages demanded in the Bay Area or LA.

Competitive Meditation


From TODD WALTON
Anderson Valley

What a silly idea, competitive meditation. Yet in America all things become competitive and hierarchical as reflections of the dominant operating system. Twenty years ago the notion of competitive yoga would have been just as absurd as competitive meditation, yet today yoga competitions are all the rage with big cash prizes for top asana performers ranked nationally. An asana is a particular yoga pose. Could league play be just around the corner?

The history of Buddhism, with meditation as its foundation, is a fascinating study in what happens to a non-hierarchical, non-competitive, crystal clear philosophy when it comes into contact with different societies, each with entrenched systems of social organization and religious dogma. Because Buddhism in its purest form is not a religion, it is easy to discern how in coming to China, Tibet, Japan, and now the United States, the original tenets of Buddhism have been deformed to fit the pre-existing religious or pseudo-religious structures.

Organized religions universally feature a head priest or priests, priest lieutenants, their favored adherents, the less favored, and so on down the steep slope of the pyramid. Trying to fit the fundamental Buddhist notion of the essential emptiness of reality into such a pyramidical structure is akin to building a complicated factory in order to produce nothing. Delusion, greed, arrogance, jealousy, all of which Buddha called enemies of enlightenment, are, ironically, the building blocks of organized Buddhism in America.

One of my favorite stories about Freud, not to change the subject, is that he said to his American cohorts on several occasions before his death, and I paraphrase, “Whatever you do, please don’t make being a medical doctor a prerequisite to being a psychiatrist.” He made this plea because many promising psychotherapists in Europe, among them Erik Erikson, were not medical doctors, and Freud didn’t want to preclude this valuable source of input to the field.

Sadly, the Americans did just what Freud feared they would do, and we suffer the consequences to this day. Why didn’t the Americans heed Freud’s advice? Because greed, arrogance, and most importantly the desire to control who gets into the exclusive club, won the day. more

Dead Monster Mall: DDR CEO “Mothballs” New Development (video)


[Belly up, sucker. It's all over but the shoutin'. -DS]

From DDR
Somewhere in Ohio

Diversified Developers Realty CEO Scott Wolstein “Mothballs” New Development for Better Investments.

“Development is a problem… Access to capital to finance development is very problematic. But even if the capital were available, the yields today are not sufficient to justify investment.

“So we’re finishing up what we are committed to and everything else we’ve mothballed for now. It isn’t worth it to us to devote new capital to build a project that might return 7 or 8 percent…”

Measure A organizers and supporters fooled and betrayed…

Thank you for voting NO ON MEASURE A MONSTER MALL, and for preserving our unique, locally-owned businesses, neighborly small town values, and livable human-scale communities.

Go to video here
~~

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