In Around Mendo Island on January 31, 2011 at 8:09 am
From JOSH HARKINSON
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. More Mother Jones…
In !ACTION CENTER!, Thom Hartmann Rebooting Series on January 31, 2011 at 8:08 am
From THOM HARTMANN
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 More Thom Hartmann…
In Around Mendo Island, Dave Smith on January 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm
From DAVE SMITH
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. More Thank You…
In Around the web on January 30, 2011 at 8:20 am
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 More Maher…
In Around the web on January 29, 2011 at 10:52 am
From MARK MORFORD
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 More Morford…
In Around the web on January 29, 2011 at 8:38 am
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. More Ding Dong…
In Around the web on January 29, 2011 at 8:06 am
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 More Yum Yum…
In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web, Aw, ya selfish greedy bastards ya on January 28, 2011 at 9:35 am
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 More Monsanto Crimes Against Nature…
In Around Mendo Island on January 28, 2011 at 9:34 am
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.
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]
In Around Mendo Island on January 28, 2011 at 7:50 am
From AN EDUCATED RANCHER
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. More Mendo Legend…
In Around the web, Small Business Skills on January 27, 2011 at 11:41 am
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 More Buy Local…
In Around the web on January 27, 2011 at 11:22 am
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, New Rules…
In Around the web on January 27, 2011 at 10:54 am
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, More Tree Love…
In Around the web, Mendo Island Transition on January 26, 2011 at 8:46 am
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. More Gross National Happiness…
In !ACTION CENTER!, Mendo Island Transition on January 26, 2011 at 7:56 am
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
As the energy crisis and climate pollution deepens and the need becomes more acute More Mendo Farming Network…
In Around the web on January 26, 2011 at 7:55 am
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
In Around the web on January 26, 2011 at 7:12 am
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 …
In Around the web, Ron Epstein on January 25, 2011 at 8:14 am
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, More False Promise…
In Thom Hartmann Rebooting Series on January 25, 2011 at 8:01 am
From THOM HARTMANN
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, More Thom Hartmann…
In Around the web on January 25, 2011 at 7:27 am
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 More Web of Debt…
In Around the web, Mendo Island Transition on January 24, 2011 at 7:43 am
From RICHARD B. ANDERSON
For The Future (2001)
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 More Unbearable Grief for Gaia…
In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on January 24, 2011 at 7:42 am
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:
In Around Mendo Island, Herb Ruhs on January 24, 2011 at 7:40 am
From HERB RUHS
I don’t know why I end up defending Derrick Jensen (Beyond Hope). He is pretty good at that himself.
What I observe is that folks who read Jensen enthusiastically uniformly fail to understand him and that those who react badly to him are understanding him at a level they are compelled to deny in their conscious thoughts. The things that we don’t like about ourselves annoy us most in others. I think of Jensen as like a real life Ender from Card’s novel Ender’s Game. Like Ender he is unavoidably flooded with reality while all around him are sleep walkers. Being awake while participating in “civilized life” can be excruciating and causes sufferers to flee to monasteries and hermitages, but some brave souls like Jensen choose to stay involved and end up calling themselves activist. No greater gift than from those who confront insanity directly. More Herb Ruhs…
In Around Mendo Island, Dave Smith on January 22, 2011 at 9:12 am
From DAVE SMITH
It’s just a matter of time now: Costco will move into Ukiah’s Big Box Heaven; the main Post Office will be closed and moved to the Annex off 101; the Courthouse complex will be built just far enough east toward 101 to make it more convenient to walk east rather than west, and visitors from 101 will park before they ever make it into town. Along with the killing of Economic Development funds, and the library finally jerked off life-support, that will just about do it. And maybe DDR will finally be able to buy the swing vote they need to build the Monster Mall they’ve so long coveted despite overwhelming democratic opposition. Very sad.
The only hopes for an enlivened downtown that I hear about is the Co-op expanding into downtown; the city government organizing a volunteer task force (rather than hire yet more expensive outside consultants) More Downtown Death Throes…
In Around the web on January 22, 2011 at 8:20 am
Thanks to Mondra Rose
Full Size Version Here
In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Michael Laybourn on January 22, 2011 at 8:19 am
From MICHAEL LAYBOURN
Smartmeters do not save electricity. They are a grab for stimulus dollars and a reason to cut jobs. To think they are some kind of gentle green good is nonsense.
From the Wall St Journal: Meters are expensive, often costing $250 to $500 each when all the bells and whistles are included, such as the expense of installing new utility billing systems. And utilities typically pass these costs directly on to consumers. <http://online.wsj.com/public/quotes/main.html?type=djn&symbol=CNP> CenterPoint Energy Inc. in Houston, for instance, recently began charging its customers an extra $3.24 a month for smart meters, sparking howls of protest since the charges will continue for a decade and eventually approach $1 billion.
More PG&E Dumb Idea…
In Around the web on January 21, 2011 at 6:41 am
From FRED BRANFMAN
Wikileaks has shown that our government and military form a ‘vast lying machine’ that perpetrates mass murder in our name.
“Try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.” — Julian Assange, 2007 blog entry
Do you believe that it is in Americans’ interest to allow a small group of U.S. leaders to unilaterally murder, maim, imprison and/or torture anyone they choose anywhere in the world, without the knowledge let alone oversight of their citizens or the international community? And, despite their proven record of failure to protect America — from Indochina to Iran to Iraq — do you believe they should be permitted to clandestinely expand their war-making without informed public debate? More Government Lies…
In Around the web, Mendo Island Transition on January 21, 2011 at 6:40 am
From MATTHEW LYNCH
Wars, peak oil, climate change, continuing global economic crises. We live in such uncertain times.
It could be so easy to throw up our hands in frustration and disgust, to go down that dark road of disillusionment, of morbidly chalking it all up to human nature. It could be so easy to buy into the thinking that we’ve destroyed ourselves, and it is just a matter of time before the bomb we’ve set explodes in our faces.
Or, we could play for the best in humanity:
Peak oil is as inevitable as death and taxes. But for every convert that peak oil’s doom-and-gloom extremism sweeps up, it alienates plenty of people who might otherwise climb down from their SUVs. -Toby Hemenway in “Apocalypse, Not”
When hope is more realistic than despair More Beyond Doom…
In Around the web on January 21, 2011 at 6:23 am
From KEN O’KEEFE
And if you did not fight, would you see yourself as noble? Or cowardly?
I say to every red-blooded American, every European, every human: If someone comes into your home, threatens your family, imprisons and even kills your family what do you do? I do not care if every Westerner of any station is afraid to say it, it is part of my purpose in life to say it: I would fight. In fact I would kill before I would allow my family to be harmed. I would fight to the death.
I say to my American brothers and sisters in particular: Can you not see that the Iraqis, the Afghanis and the Palestinians are people? They are mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters and sons and daughters. They love their family every bit as much as you. Imagine that you were in their shoes. Would you be passive? Would you sit by and watch your wife and child being violated? Or would you fight? More Do Nothing or Resist…
In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on January 20, 2011 at 8:57 am
Sign the National petition here
Mt. Shasta, a small northern California town of 3,500 residents nestled in the foothills of magnificent Mount Shasta, is taking on corporate power through an unusual process—democracy.
The citizens of Mt. Shasta have developed an extraordinary ordinance, set to be voted on in the next special or general election, that would prohibit corporations such as Nestle and Coca-Cola from extracting water from the local aquifer. But this is only the beginning. The ordinance would also ban energy-giant PG&E, and any other corporation, from regional cloud seeding, a process that disrupts weather patterns through the use of toxic chemicals such as silver iodide. More generally, it would refuse to recognize corporate personhood, explicitly place the rights of community and local government above the economic interests of multinational corporations, and recognize the rights of nature to exist, flourish, and evolve.
Mt. Shasta is not alone. Rather, it is part of a (so far) quiet municipal movement making its way across the United States in which communities are directly defying corporate rule More MoveToAmend…
In Around Mendo Island, BS Buzzer, James Houle on January 20, 2011 at 8:23 am
From JAMES HOULE
Member of the County Council of the Green Party
To the Editor:
The following was presented to the City Council of Ukiah on January 19th:
You, the City Council of Ukiah, are scheduled today (Jan. 19th) to approve, in secret session, an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Costco. Most of your fellow citizens are at a loss to understand why you would sell 15 acres of land bought with Redevelopment Funds to a retail emporium when it is well established that our real need is affordable housing, not more stores. We hold you answerable to us for your actions and ask for your response to the following questions:
Why is it OK in your view to place a Big Box Retail Outlet in Ukiah after we the voters resoundingly defeated such a Big Box Complex at the Masonite site More Jim Houle…
In Around the web on January 20, 2011 at 8:20 am
From DERRICK JENSEN
Thanks to Sean Re
The most common words I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re fucked. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have—or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective—to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.
Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”
But no matter what environmentalists do, More Derrick Jensen…
In Around the web on January 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm
From GENE LOGSDON
Last week I said that everywhere I turn these days I seem to run into manure It keeps on happening. The latest example comes from www.minyanville.com, which is a serious financial and business website, no gaming around here with male bovine excretory droppings. A story by Justin Rohrlick on Dec. 29 reports that Kim Young-soo at Seoul’s Sogang University in South Korea has been interviewing recent defectors from North Korea. One of the questions he asks them is about the hottest new consumer products in their country. Among several commodities at the top of the North Korean want list is human excrement, available at “human manure shops.” Now this is not April 1, even in Korea, and that is just too far out to be made up. Human manure shops (I can imagine what I call them) are in fact quite logical. Fertilizer is in short supply in North Korea where people are starving in alarming numbers, and survival means More Gene Logsdon…
In Dave Smith on January 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm
From DAVE SMITH
“The Liberal Agenda” has been falsified and bastardized by the Conservative and Fundamentalist radio hosts of this country, and the Right has been hacking away at our safety nets since Reagan became President.
The Progressive Liberal agenda has always been about caring for and empowering the least among us (Matthew 25), and setting a secure floor under our citizenry. Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal: a living wage, a basic safety net; Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal: Social Security; Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society: the elimination of poverty and racial injustice, and Medicare/Medicaid. It’s been about building America from the ground up using government only for what is absolutely necessary and providing a basic standing point: free public education, free medical care, and care for the needy and elderly as in all other developed countries in the world. And, yes, tax the wealthy and very wealthy more than the middle class folks More Progressive Agenda…
In Around the web, Books on January 19, 2011 at 8:53 am
From THE GUARDIAN UK
A hard-hitting study of the social effects of inequality has profound implications
Epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level, don’t soft-soap their message. It is brave to write a book arguing that economies should stop growing when millions of jobs are being lost, though they may be pushing at an open door in public consciousness. We know there is something wrong, and this book goes a long way towards explaining what and why.
The authors point out that the life-diminishing results of valuing growth above equality in rich societies can be seen all around us. Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier and unhappier lives; it increases the rate of teenage pregnancy, violence, obesity, imprisonment and addiction; it destroys relationships between individuals born in the same society but into different classes; and its function as a driver of consumption More Inequality…
In Thom Hartmann Rebooting Series on January 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm
From THOM HARTMANN
Article with footnotes here
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. —John Stuart Mill
In 2003, after my book Unequal Protection was first published, I gave a talk at one of the larger law schools in Vermont. Around 300 people showed up, mostly students, with a few dozen faculty and some local lawyers. More Thom Hartmann…
In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on January 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm
From SUSAN JANSSEN
Our wonderful Renaissance Market on Clay Street was vandalized twice during the holidays. Windows were smashed and the owners, Scott and Holly Cratty are out hundreds of dollars in insurance deductibles plus the cost they will incur to install security cameras.
Scott and Holly haven’t asked for our help but we are a community and we care deeply about our local businesses and want them to thrive. If you would like to help, there are two things you can do for Renaissance Market: Donate some money towards recovery from their losses and/or shop there often.
If you would like to join other members of your community in giving money to help them out, please bring a donation by February 1 during business hours to Shoefly and Sox at 120 West Standley, Ukiah.
And please pass this on to your friends who might also like to help. Thanks!
In Around the web on January 16, 2011 at 11:06 am
Thanks to Sean Re: The speech they seem to forget, exactly one year before his death (audio)…
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:
I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.
More Martin Luther King, Jr….
In Around Mendo Island, Guest Posts on January 14, 2011 at 9:15 am
From TODD WALTON
“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Allan K. Chalmers
Sunday. The second of January 2011. My wife Marcia and I are sitting on a bench overlooking the Pacific Ocean a few miles south of the village of Mendocino, the pale blue sky decorated with flat clouds, grays and whites, the celestial artist in no mood for billowy today. The sea is relatively calm and several pods of whales are passing by close enough for us to see them clearly without binoculars, their impressive water spouts presaging glimpses of their even more impressive enormity, our excitement at seeing them giving way to ongoing joy that the leviathans (my favorite synonym for whales) are right there, sharing the world with us, and saying hello so delightfully.
We have come to this promontory above the deep to give back to the ocean some forty pounds of stones and shells we’ve collected over the last five years for the decoration of windowsills and table tops; and as we throw the pretty gifts into the depths, we send with them our hopes and intentions for the year ahead.
The news of late has been full of predictions by economists and financial prognosticators about what may befall the national and global economies in the coming year, More Todd Walton…
In Around the web on January 14, 2011 at 6:39 am
From MELISSA McEWAN
“…it’s time for conservatives to pull up their goddamn bootstraps and get to work doing the hard business of self-reflection.”
Both sides are, in fact, not “just as bad,” when it comes to institutionally sanctioned violent and eliminationist rhetoric.
An anonymous commenter at Daily Kos and the last Republican vice presidential nominee are not equivalent, no matter how many ridiculously irresponsible members of the media would have us believe otherwise.
There is, demonstrably, no leftist equivalent to Sarah Palin, former veep candidate and presumed future presidential candidate, who uses gun imagery (rifle sights) and language (“Don’t Retreat, RELOAD”) to exhort her followers to action.
There is no leftist equivalent to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group which was created from the mailing list of the old white supremacist White Citizens Councils and has been noted as becoming increasingly “radical and racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which classifies the CCC as a hate group—and is nonetheless considered an acceptable association by prominent members of the Republican Party, including More False Equivalencies…
In Around Mendo Island, Monster Mall Ukiah on January 14, 2011 at 6:10 am
By TIFFANY REVELLE
The county’s plans for the old Masonite land north of Ukiah include a mixed-use land designation similar to a designation sought by an Ohio firm that tried unsuccessfully to get voters to approve plans to build a mall there.
The designation appears in the Ukiah Valley Area Plan, a 20-year land use planning document recently released for public review. The document includes a map that shows the preferred designation for the 79-acre, abandoned industrial site is “Mixed Use Masonite.”
The proposed use is a change from the site’s current industrial designation, which allows heavy industrial.
The mixed-use designation would allow “mixed development types,” according to a brief description in the UVAP, and is further described in the document’s appendix as allowing retail, light industrial and multi-family residential development, along with recreational areas and open space.
“At least half of it could be retail, and at least half of it could be light industrial, offices and multi-family residential,”…
Complete story here
In Around the web on January 13, 2011 at 8:41 am
From JAY WALLJASPER
Via Energy Bulletin
For all those who dismissed bike sharing as a woolly-headed European idea that would never work on the mean streets of U.S. cities, the success of the first season of MinneapolisNice Ride bike program will come as a surprise.
700 public bikes hit the streets in June at 65 stations, and they were taken for more than 100,000 rides until put away for the winter in mid-November. 1300 people signed up for an annual membership and 30,000 signed up for a $5 daily pass with the swipe of a credit card.
But the numbers that may be more significant for the future of bike sharing are three, two and none. That’s the number of bikes vandalized, the number of bikes stolen and the numbers of injuries reported. This conclusively answers numerous skeptics who thought that sharing bikes would never work here in the individualistic, auto-crazed USA.
Nice Ride, the non-profit organization running the Minneapolis bike share program, had budgeted for the loss of 10 percent of its bikes due to theft or vandalism, which is one reason why it wound up in the black in its first year, even while selling fewer annual memberships than anticipated.
In Around Mendo Island on January 13, 2011 at 8:29 am
From RICHARD SHOEMAKER
Recently, the Press Democrat seems to be covering public employment topics with more fervor that anything it has covered since the Obama campaign. That coverage has included some serious individual pay and benefits abuses in the public sector. Most readers agree these need to end. Not covered by those stories are the vast majority of dedicated and hardworking public employees and retirees who aren’t abusing the system.
With the editorial “Issues of Pay” back in November, the editorial board of the Press Democrat has made a decision to promote the ongoing war and latest battle between working Americans. This is a class war propagated by the influence peddlers who control a huge percentage of America’s wealth. The trumped up, public vs. private battles that pit neighbor vs. neighbor keep the attention of too many Americans distracted from the financial draining of America’s public and private wealth.
The PD has not made the effort to compare public and private job descriptions and wages in any meaningful way. Generally, the statistics and numbers thrown out are presented without context making them deceitful. Their readers and public employees are dishonored by this. More Shoemaker…
In Around the web on January 13, 2011 at 7:47 am
From SIMPLY BIKE (photos)
via Neil Davis
Mendo 2 Mile Challenge
When it comes to winter cycling, I’m no trailblazer in my family. My grandfather, who’s 84 years old, cycles year-round come rain or snow. He lives in Romania (where I was born and lived when I was younger) and he has owned the same bike for as far back as I can remember.
Although he owns a car, he uses his bike for everyday errands like grocery shopping, going to the outdoor farmer’s market, paying bills in town, and riding over to visit friends. He drives when needing to go to other cities but prefers to bike when simply going around town. He prefers it to walking because it’s faster and – although he might not admit this – he prefers it to driving because it allows him to hop off and say hi to people every other block. My grandpa is what one would call a ‘social butterfly’ and you can’t walk or ride anywhere with him without stopping every few minutes to greet an acquaintance or talk to a friend.
In his former life, my grandfather was an accountant. Once he retired, he simply couldn’t sit still so he took up beekeeping. He’s been a successful beekeeper for the past twenty-some years and I can only vouch for it: he produces some of the best honey in town. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve being chased by bees and chewing More Biking…
In Around Mendo Island on January 12, 2011 at 11:42 am
From MONDRA ROSE
MCN Listserv Discussion
Having traveled a great deal in Europe (two weeks last March again) I can tell you that Europe smiles in amusement about our ‘more freedom’. They find it a myth we perpetuate to keep our own citizens asleep and compliant. They see homeland sec as the ‘new Nazis’. I tend to agree. We no longer have sovereign control of our own bodies or can protect our children from groping by any stranger in a uniform- how ‘free’ is that?
As one German lady said to me- “Americans talk about all their freedom, but they can’t go into their own yard and sunbathe topless without getting arrested! In Germany, people go into parks on lovely days during their lunch- carefully remove their tops and stretch out to catch a few rays unharassed unless they’re being lewd. They find our puritanism hilarious.
A Norwegian comment was that for all our freedoms, we can’t even build what we want to build on our own lands. They are much less regulated than we are, although they’re swiftly catching up in the cities. Norway has a very limited banking system, depending on plastic. You can’t just walk into a bank anywhere but Oslo- they have no checking accounts. Cards or cash only.
In Norway, the farmer is protected through a few regulations- the main one is that sellers More Ugly American…
In Around Mendo Island, Will Parrish on January 12, 2011 at 9:02 am
From WILL PARRISH
Soon after I became outspoken in my criticism of the regional wine industry, I began having conversations with local people for whom this issue is deeply personal. Across recent decades, the sprawling North Coast booze sector has recklessly reconfigured landbases, sucked waterways dry, killed off scores of wildlife, drenched the land with chemicals, and imposed its particular brand of sterilized country life on previously more vibrant pastoral settlements — all of this on the basis of exploited migrant labor, which comprise the industry’s main contribution to the local job base. Although you would never know it by reading the Santa Rosa Press Democrat or tuning into local TV newscasts, these practices have not actually endeared Big Wine to most people — especially those who have experienced them first-hand. Some North Coast residents refer to the pervasive change from forest and rangeland to vineyards as “grape rape.”
Yet, for all of the deep-seated resentment More Will Parrish…
In Books, Thom Hartmann Rebooting Series on January 12, 2011 at 8:28 am
From THOM HARTMANN
Article with footnotes here
Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice. — Dwight D. Eisenhower
Back in the late 1980s, when I ran an advertising agency in Atlanta, a multinational corporation approached us about producing its internal newsletter, a monthly eight-pager about the company’s goings-on in the United States, Mexico, and Japan. Not surprisingly, they wanted the newsletter produced in English, Spanish, and Japanese.
For our small agency trolling for clients, this corporation was a big fish—it could provide a good shot of cash for what was then a startup business with a half dozen employees—so I put a help-wanted ad in the local daily newspaper, the Atlanta Constitution Journal, for a graphic designer who was also fluent enough in those three languages to know how to set type and where to hyphenate words (the company was providing us with the text in the three languages). It was clearly a search for a needle More Thom Hartmann…
In Herb Ruhs on January 11, 2011 at 6:48 am
From HERB RUHS
I am sure I have offended some with my writings by focusing on the reality and techniques of psychological warfare as if I was an expert. I am not. I have had a chance to look at some classified psychological warfare manuals of the US Army forty years ago. That hardly makes me an expert, but why does that impeach what I have to say? The emotional response of most people is denial when I insist that virtually everything bad we are experiencing in the US comes right out of psychological warfare doctrine and that, from my view, we are an occupied country under stealth military rule where democracy is a sham. I can understand negative responses to that kind of statement. If I hadn’t experienced psychological warfare first hand during my work as a civilian in Viet Nam from ’66 to ’70, I would likely have as much trouble understanding and believing what I have to say about the military’s psychological warfare program against the US population as any one else. But alas, once one has seen the face of this devil, it can not be forgotten or discounted.
Therefore I was delighted this morning to find access to a document from Turkey that outlines their military’s failed psychological warfare plans against the Turkish people. You can view it here. As you read the document More Herb Ruhs…