Which Dangerous Toxins Are In Pot?


From JOSH HARKINSON
Mother Jones

In 2004, California organic farm inspector Chris Van Hook submitted an unusual request to the US Department of Agriculture: He wanted permission to certify a medical marijuana farm as organic. He’d already inspected three pot farms, he says, before word came back that weed couldn’t be organic because it wasn’t a federally recognized crop.

So Van Hook founded Clean Green, a certification program for medical marijuana farmers that’s nearly identical to the USDA’s organics program—except that it can’t legally use the term “organic.” Since launching in 2004, Clean Green has certified 80 medical marijuana growers who last year produced 8,000 pounds of cannabis valued at as much as $33 million. It’s the only inspection service aimed at pot smokers who want their ganja to be farmed as safely and ethically as their organic salad greens.

Rebooting the American Dream — Chapter Twelve: Conclusion: Tag, You’re It!


From THOM HARTMANN
Truthout

This final chapter offers time-tested strategies for rebuilding a true middle class and restoring American prosperity – without peremptorily squelching the dream for future generations. It asks the question, “Will our republic survive as a democracy?” The answer comes in the form of what Hartmann calls history’s most important lesson: “Presidents can lead on behalf of the people, but only when the people demand that they do so.”

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there’s a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. – William O. Douglas

Thank you Supervisor Hamburg and Sheriff Allman (Updated)


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal:

Thank you, Dan Hamburg and Sheriff Allman, for expressing your views and defending your jobs strongly and passionately. In tough times we need more leaders who care and you are showing our community just how much you do care.

As for the Ukiah Daily Journal’s coverage calling it “yelling”, and in your one-sided editorial opinion (1/30/11) accusing Mr. Hamburg of “shouting” and “losing it”, give me a break. Now you’re sounding like right-winger David Anderson exaggerating to make a point. Checking the exchange on Ukiah Valley TV clearly shows strongly stated views, but yelling and shouting? No. Losing it? No.

Please, allow our county leaders to show both passion and compassion as we all work through these tough times, and stop “losing it” with your own coverage.

Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism


From BILL MAHER

New Rule: With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That’s right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams… just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin has a population of 100,000. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets – who next year need to just shut the hell up and play.

Now, me personally, I haven’t watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson’s nipple popped out during half time, and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned my eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it – who doesn’t love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires

10 amazing truths you already suspected


From MARK MORFORD
SF Gate

Did you already know? I bet you already knew. Or at the very least, had a sneaking suspicion…

1) The end is near-ish! Government overspending will be the death of us all! Massive, crushing debt will blot out the sun and ruin your lawn! Buy gold and hoard it in your small intestine for the End Times that are coming soon! The GOP and Glenn Beck hath spoken!

Yes, it’s the everyday puling of the Republican right, a common refrain about how the liberal gummint is dead-set on bankrupting the nation as fast as possible. And the Tea Party eats it up like the giant sourball of falsehood it very much is.

Ironic, then, how it’s actually the Tea Party-riffic

If you’re eating at Taco Bell there’s something wrong with your head



From NATURAL NEWS

The word spread like wildfire across the internet: An Alabama law firm had filed a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell in California, saying its meat fails to meet the definition of beef set forth by the U.S. government (and even that’s a pretty low hurdle, if you ask me). The lawsuit claims Taco Bell’s meat cannot be honestly advertised as “beef” because it claims tests showed the meat was only 35% beef, not the 70% beef required by federal standards.

“It’s mainly soy and oats, and there’s lots of other stuff in there that I don’t even know how to pronounce,” said attorney Dee Miles.

Taco Bell responded quickly, saying their meat was “88% beef” and that they buy the same brand of beef sold in supermarkets — Tyson Foods.

Oh well, that clears it all up, then. Tyson Foods.

Organic Taco Salad Recipe


From Around The Web*

Taco salads might be the best kind of salad out there. It’s a meal that can be served in a dish that will be eaten; deliciously easy cleanup. A crispy tortilla shell filled with beans, meat, cheese and veggies can satisfy even the pickiest salad eater.

During a recent trip to my local Bed Bath & Beyond, I found taco shell pans. These pans help create a perfect taco shell in 10 minutes. Better yet, these pans defy tradition by allowing you to make the shells without frying them. Can you think of anything better than a healthier alternative to traditional taco salads? [Uh, actually yes I can... -DS]

Try this delicious recipe that can be modified to your specific tastes and can help create a meal in 30 minutes or less! I’d suggest browsing the refrigerator for leftovers before making any of the fillers from scratch.

Organic Taco Salad Recipe

Take Action! The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?


From ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION

Take Action Here

“The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.”   –  Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011

Whole Food’s Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called “Natural” Processed Foods and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies

Hamburg Vs. Allman — Time to Take the Gloves Off


From UKIAH VALLEY TV

At the Mendocino Board of Supervisors meeting held on January 25, the gloves came off between newly-elected 5th District Supervisor Dan Hamburg and Sheriff Tom Allman. The issue was the continuing budget struggle that the county is facing. Allman updated the board on how his department is working to reduce the budget overage that is projected while Hamburg felt that Allman was trying to make it “his way or the highway”. Watch the drama unfold.

Video here
~

From the MCN listserv
Thanks to Anna Taylor

“If you watch and listen to the tape, you get a different impression than what the UDJ article says. On tape, Allman comes across as a loose cannon and Hamburg doesn’t yell.” -Mary Weaver on UDJ comments.

[Looks to me like Sheriff Allman, a local hero, is passionately defending his department, while Supervisor Hamburg, just as passionately, is doing the job he was elected to do. You decide...-DS]
~~

Roping a deer in the wilds of Yorkville


From AN EDUCATED RANCHER
Yorkville
theava.com

Editor,

I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not four feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up — three of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me.

Survey Finds “Buy Local” Message Benefitting Independent Businesses



From NEW RULES PROJECT

For the fourth year in a row, a national survey of independent businesses has found that those in communities with an active “buy local” campaign have experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those located in areas without such a campaign.

The survey, which was conducted over an 8-day period in January, gathered data from 2,768 independent businesses, including retailers, service providers, restaurants and others. It found that those in places with a “buy local” initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average in 2010, compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere.

Among independent retailers, which accounted for nearly half the respondents, there was a similar gap in holiday sales performance, with those in “buy local” communities seeing a 5.2% increase in holiday sales, while those elsewhere

New Study Ranks Metro Areas on the Vitality of Their Independent Retail


From NEW RULES PROJECT

A groundbreaking new study, the Indie City Index, ranks all 363 metropolitan areas in the U. S. according to the vitality of their independent retail sectors.

Produced by Civic Economics, the index analyzes the share of retail sales captured by independent retailers and assigns a score to each metro. In regions that score above 100, independent retailers capture a larger than average share of spending, while chains are more dominant in those metros that score less than 100.

Topping the list are Ocean City, NJ; Bellingham, WA; Medford, OR; Carson City, NV; San Jose, CA; Barnstable, MA; Austin, TX; Dalton, GA; Harrisonburg, VA; Gainesville, GA and Glens Falls, NY.

The Indie City Index also ranks cities within their region and within their population class, identifying those that outperform their peers.

Overall, the study found that independent retailers are strongest in the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific,

Readers Write About Their Love Of Tree Groves


From GENE LOGSDON

[Over at The Contrary Farmer blogsite, readers respond to Gene Logsdon's post: An Affinity For Tree Groves... -DS]

Gene: What an outpouring of response! (See Below) I love you all. W.A., you guessed it correctly, I am starting a book about woodland, which is what prompted me to ask readers what their thoughts were on the subject. As to your question about planting seeds or transplants, my experience is that in four years or so, you can’t tell the difference as far as growth goes. But the transplant is more apt to die in the first year or two. On the other hand, the seed is liable to get eaten by some wildling. But planting seed is much easier than transplants.Brad Brookins: I prefer living on the edge of woodland too, not in deep forest. The years we lived in a log cabin in the heart of a tree grove, we sometimes felt the days were a bit on the gloomy side or that we needed bigger windows. If it had been my property, i would have cut down more of the trees in the yard to lighten up the scene. Granny Miller: I am burning some cherry now too,

Mendo Island Transition: Gross National Happiness



From YES! MAGAZINE

Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley on Gross National Happiness, his country’s traditions, and the importance of democracy.

Bhutan has pioneered the use of Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a measure of progress, instead of the more commonly used GNP. GNH measures not only economic activity, but also cultural, ecological, and spiritual well-being.

YES! Magazine Contributing Editor Madhu Suri Prakash attended a meeting of educators from around the world, convened by the government of Bhutan in December 2009, to encourage them to make the happiness of all people the central organizing principle of their philosophy of education. In September 2010, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley visited the United States to promote GNH education and economic theory.

The Farmer and the Horse


The film’s website here

This video available for rent at Mulligan Books
~

Mendo’s Own Live Power Community Farm (CSA) in Covelo

Live Power Community Farm is a 40-acre, biodynamic/organic Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) farm that provides fresh, high-quality food for 160 households in the San Francisco Bay Area and Mendocino County. We also host on-farm school visits, apprentice training, and farm-related workshops. Our innovative approach to farmland ownership, economics, and food distribution revitalizes the culture of land stewardship by creating a conscious, mutually supportive relationship between farmers, consumers, and nature.
~~

Draft Proposal for a Mendocino Community Based Farming Network

Introduction

As the energy crisis and climate pollution deepens and the need becomes more acute

Gene Logsdon: An Affinity For Tree Groves


From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer
Upper Sandusky, Ohio

I have been cuddling up lately to the woodstove and giving thanks for my good fortune in being able to do so. When we could finally afford to buy our own land, my wife and I were determined to get a tract that had a woodlot on it and fortunately we were able to do that. My thinking, even in the early seventies was that I wanted my own source of fuel and in my mind, that meant some established woodland so I could commence staying warm immediately. But thinking about that while sitting by the fire, I was overcome by what I believe everyone refers to today as an epiphany. I realized that practical considerations about staying warm were probably not the real reason I wanted to live in the woods. It was suddenly apparent to me that I had spent almost all my life in or next to groves of trees. Even when I went to work in Philadelphia, we found, in the suburbs, a house that had a wild tree grove at the back end of it…

Complete article at The Contrary Farmer
~~

The SOTU In Three Words


From ANDREW SULLIVAN

NPR asked listeners what they heard last night:

Right after President Barack Obama finished his State of the Union address, we asked our listeners to describe his speech in three words. We received responses from more than 4,000 of you. We’ve run them through a word cloud generator …
~~

Technology’s False Promise


From COLLIDE
Thanks to Ron Epstein

Kevin Kelly’s new book, What Technology Wants, is a dense but fascinating exploration of technology’s past, present, and future. And while I’ve highlighted a bevy of sections in my copy of the book, there’s one thought in particular I want to share with you today.

Kelly begins Chapter 10, titled “The Unabomber Was Right” (um … yeah), with a series of references to inventors and technological commentators from the 1890s to the 1970s who genuinely believed that technology was on the cusp of producing world peace. For instance, Hiram Maxim — the inventor of the machine gun — insisted his invention would “make war impossible.” And Kelly’s list goes on:

  • Orville Wright believed the aeroplane would “have a tendency to make war impossible.”
  • Jules Verne believed the submarine and other improved “war material” would make war “impossible.”
  • Alfred Nobel (founder of the Nobel Prize) believed his invention, dynamite,

Rebooting the American Dream — Chapter Eleven: In the Shadow of the Dragon


From THOM HARTMANN
Truthout

The motivating force of the theory of a democratic way of life is still a belief that as individuals we live cooperatively, and, to the best of our ability, serve the community in which we live, and that our own success, to be real, must contribute. – Eleanor Roosevelt

There was a dragon here hundreds of years ago, here in the Basque country in northern Spain, a place steeped in tradition, a hilly expanse between the mountains and the sea. Local lore has it that the Basque language, the only European one with no known root language, is a remnant from the time of Atlantis, which may have vanished into the Atlantic Ocean not far from here eons ago.

Standing on a hillside overlooking an early autumn valley, Louise and I were amazed by the simple beauty of the mountain of the dragon, its gray and balding peak towering above the town like an ancient ziggurat. This is Mondragon,

Washington State Joins Movement For Public Banking


From ELLEN BROWN
Web of Debt Blog

Bills were introduced on January 18 in both the House and Senate of the Washington State Legislature that add Washington to the growing number of states now actively moving to create public banking facilities.

The bills, House Bill 1320 and Senate Bill 5238, propose creation of a Washington Investment Trust (WIT) to “promote agriculture, education, community development, economic development, housing, and industry” by using “the resources of the people of Washington State within the state.”

Currently, all the state’s funds are deposited with Bank of America. HB 1320 proposes that in the future, “all state funds be deposited in the Washington Investment Trust and be guaranteed by the state and used to promote the common good and public benefit of all the people and their businesses within [the] state.”

The legislation is similar to that now being studied or proposed in states including Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, California and others.

The effort in Washington State draws heavily on the success

The World Is Dying — And So Are You


From RICHARD B. ANDERSON
For The Future (2001)
[Repost]

At the heart of the modern age is a core of grief.

At some level, we’re aware that something terrible is happening, that we humans are laying waste to our natural inheritance. A great sorrow arises as we witness the changes in the atmosphere, the waste of resources and the consequent pollution, the ongoing deforestation and destruction of fisheries, the rapidly spreading deserts, and the mass extinction of species.

All these changes signal a turning point in human history, and the outlook is not particularly bright. The anger, irritability, frustration and intolerance that increasingly pervades our common life are symptoms associated with grief. The pervasive sense of helplessness and numbness that surrounds us, and the frantic search for meaning

The Healthy Money Summit — Free Live Seminars Happening On-Line Right Now 1/25/11



The Healthy Money Summit

With so much fear and confusion about the economy now and high unemployment across the U.S., we truly need to create a new relationship with money and new stories of hope for our communities.

Join us for the Healthy Money Summit, where you’ll learn to shift to a healthier, happier, more productive relationship with money. From the personal to the collective, you’ll learn all about:

  • New currencies that favor connection and community over hoarding and lack
  • New economies that favor Main Street over Wall Street, and prioritize community well-being as the new bottom line
  • New ways of earning and spending that liberate your time and passion for your real life’s work
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