Will Parrish: A Day Of Infamy In Lakeport [Local]


From WILL PARRISH
Laytonville
The Anderson Valley Advertiser

If you’re a First Nations tribe in Lake County, California, United States of America, you can provide 100 painstaking pages proving under the federal government’s own property laws that you own a piece of land, and the Board of Supervisors still vote against you on grounds of “protecting private property.”

It happened on September 6, 2011 in Lakeport — a date that will live in infamy in the oft-bloody annals of regional aboriginal-settler relations.

The land at issue is an island known traditionally as Elem Modun, now commonly referred to as Rattlesnake Island: the cultural and spiritual center of the Elem Pomo, who have lived in and around southeastern Clear Lake for at least 10,000 years.  For 6,000 years of those years, if not far longer, Rattlesnake Island has been a burial grounds, site of several villages, and ceremonial area for the Elem.  Archeologists have dated artifacts

The banks are beyond salvation…


From ILARGI
The Automatic Earth

It’s time to make one thing clear once and for all: the financial institutions at the heart of our economic system are finished, broke, bankrupt. Since 2008, they have been kept alive only by gigantic infusions of our, the public’s, money. We have been, and still are, told this is only temporary, and that the money will help restore them to health and then be repaid, but temporary has been 3 years and change now and there’s no restored health anywhere in sight.

The opposite is true: Obama launches another -even more desperate- half-trillion dollar jobs plan, and Europe is devising another multi-trillion dollar plan aimed solely at keeping banks from going belly-up, because these banks have lost anywhere between 50% and 90% of their market capitalization in the past few years, despite the multi-trillion capital infusions(!), and are still

Libraries Aren’t Dying, They’re Evolving


From SHAREABLE

[Vote Yes On Local Libraries - Measure A -DS]

“People who talk about libraries dying out are the ones who remember the libraries of their childhood,” says American Library Association (ALA) President, Molly Raphael, from her home in Portland, Ore. “But the library of today is not the library of our childhood, and the library that children see today is not the library we’ll see in 20 years.”

Raphael is giving me an insider’s perspective of the current state of libraries, which are actually thriving. They are evolving and innovating despite significant economic challenges and budget cuts, and people are utilizing libraries at steady or increasing rates. The State of America’s Libraries Report for 2011 notes that library visitation per capita and circulation per capita have both increased in the past 10 years.

Raphael explains

Food From The Sky [Transition]


From FOODFROMTHESKY.org.uk

A brilliant urban food growing initiative on the roof of the Budgens supermarket at Crouch End in London... a Permaculture community garden growing food to sell in the supermarket below while providing a learning and educational space for the different part of the communities. We are growing vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and herbs grown to organic standard with children and other members of our diverse community – sold through the store 8 metres below.


~~

Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga


From JOE BAGEANT  1946-2011
12/7/10
Repost

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

One explanation might be the effect of 40 years of deep fried industrial chicken pulp, and 44 ounce Big Gulp soft drinks. Another might be pop culture, which is not culture at all of course, but marketing. Or we could blame it on digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

But a more reasonable explanation is that, (A) we don’t even know we are doing it, and (B) we cling to institutions dedicated to making sure we never find out.

The problem is not the thing that is big, but bigness itself


From PAUL KINGSNORTH
The Guardian
Thanks to Ran Prieur

This economic collapse is a crisis of bigness. Leopold Kohr warned 50 years ago that the gigantist global system would grow until it imploded. We should have listened…

Kohr’s claim was that society’s problems were not caused by particular forms of social or economic organisation, but by their size. Socialism, anarchism, capitalism, democracy, monarchy – all could work well on what he called “the human scale”:

Organic Farming Superior to Industrial Agriculture


From RODALE INSTITUTE

Organic farming is superior to conventional agriculture according to 30-year comparative study

Rodale Institute today announces the latest results of the Farming Systems Trial, America’s longest running side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming practices. Originally created to study the transition from conventional to organic production, this 30-year study also examined productivity, soil quality, energy and economics.

Key findings show:

• Organic yields match or surpass conventional yields.
• Organic yields outperform

Mendo Island Transition: Project Kleinrock — Setting up a local internet completely free of Internet Service Providers and untouchable by the government


From PROJECT KLEINROCK

[Needs a nerd... -DS]

Following are the details of a project to create a completely autonomous “second layer” of the Internet, completely free of the influence of or need for Internet Service Providers, and untouchable by the government. This plan is named after Leonard Kleinrock, inventor of the Internet Packet. It has been enacted after news of a bill entering the United States Senate which would allow a President to disable all Internet connectivity within the United States. (We later heard that this bill

I am the population problem


From LISA HYMAS
GRIST

Take a look in the mirror.Population growth tends to get blamed on other people: Africans and Asians who have “more kids than they can feed,” immigrants in our own country with their “large families,” even single mothers in the “inner city.”

But actually the population problem is all about me: white, middle-class, American me. Steer the blame right over here.

Well-meaning people have told me that I’m “just the sort of person who should have kids.” Au contraire. I’m just the sort of person who should not have kids.

Population isn’t just about counting heads. The impact of humanity on the environment is not determined solely by how many of us are around, but by

Sorting out possible scenarios for the future



From SHARON ASTYK
Causaubon’s Book

There are a lot of possible ways to imagine the future. Unfortunately, most of the time we imagine only a few of them. Most Americans are caught up in the Klingons/Cylons distinction in ways that are destructive – the default assumption is a techno-utopianism that doesn’t take physical limits into account, and if they consider any other viewpoint, they assume that the alternative is an apocalyptic nightmare, a Mad-Max-style cartoon.

Neither of these is a likely outcome – we know that we are likely to experience unchecked climate change, energy depletion and economic instability

Facebook is scaring me


From DAVE WINER

Yesterday I wrote that Twitter should be scared of Facebook. Today it’s worse. I, as a mere user of Facebook, am seriously scared of them.  #

Every time they make a change, people get angry. I’ve never myself been angry because I have always assumed everything I post to Facebook is public. That the act of putting something there, a link, picture, mini-essay, is itself a public act. #

This time, however, they’re doing something that I think is really scary, and virus-like. The kind of behavior deserves a bad name, like phishing, or spam, or cyber-stalking. #

What clued me in was an article on ReadWriteWeb that says that just reading an article on their site

Brazil’s Local Money [Local]


From WSJ

Towns Issue Their Own Money, Which Brings Local Discounts

[...] The capivari circulates only in this dusty, agricultural town 60 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. The money is an effort by the town, one of the poorest in southeastern Brazil, to encourage its 23,000 residents to spend locally.

The capivari is one of 63 local moneys now circulating in needy towns and neighborhoods throughout Brazil.

Ten months after introduction of the capivari—named after the capybara, a pig-sized rodent common in a local river—the currency is

Todd Walton: Sexual Comportment [Local]


Shall We Dance painting by Todd

From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks
Mendocino

“There’s only one person in the whole world like you, and that’s you yourself.” Fred Rogers

You may have heard about Cynthia Daily, a social worker using an interweb directory to keep track of all the children fathered by the same sperm donor who fathered her child. According to Cynthia’s data, this same sperm donor

Making Books and Bookmarks [Books]


Making Books video series here

I’ve been making books in schools, libraries, and with my family for twenty years. My primary goal is always to make it easy and fun. It is my pleasure and delight to share what I have learned and bring the joy of making books to you.

Includes:

· Bookmark Book
· Gingerbread House Accordian Book
· Handmade Books for a Healthy Planet
· Books Around The World
· Step Book
· Word-A-Day Journal
· Accordion Book
· Stick and Elastic Book
· Hot Dog Booklet
~~

Don Sanderson: Wellness Insurance? [Local]


From DON SANDERSON
Hopland

Doc Story brought me into the world in the midst of the depression, In coming years, he took out my tonsils, set a broken elbow and a collar bone, and dealt with one and other minor complaints. He was one of two doctors in my farm community; the other concentrated on older people and was wealthier.

The community consisted of maybe 4,000 residents scattered over an area twenty miles square. Doc’s house was large and old, but not otherwise exceptional except that he had constructed an emergency treatment room in the basement – the tiny local hospital didn’t have an emergency room.

Occupying Wall Street


null

Third Communiqué: A Message From Occupied Wall Street

We’re still here. We intend to stay until we see movements toward real change in our country and the world. This is the third communiqué from the 99 percent.

Today, we occupied Wall Street from the heart of the Financial District. Starting at 8:00 AM, we began a march through the Wall Street area, rolling through the blocks around the New York Stock Exchange. At 9:30 AM, we rang our own “morning bell” to start a “people’s exchange,” which we brought back to Liberty Plaza. Two more marches occurred during the day around the Wall Street district, each drawing more supporters to us.

Hundreds of us have been occupying One Liberty Plaza, a park in the heart of the Wall Street district, since Saturday afternoon. We have marched on the Financial District, held a candlelight vigil to honor the fallen victims of Wall Street, and filled the plaza with song, dance, and spontaneous acts of liberation.

Food has been donated to the plaza from supporters all over the world. Online donations for pizza, falafels, and other food are coming in from supporters in Omaha, Madrid, Montreal, and other cities, and have exceeded $8,660. (Link to donate: www.wepay.com/donate/99275)

Republicans are the ones waging class warfare


From DEMOCRACY NOW

David Graeberm, one of the organizers of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest, said Monday on Democracy Now that it was Republicans, not President Barack Obama, who were engaged in class warfare.

“Well, generally speaking, when you hear a Republican talk about class warfare, you know they’re waging it,” he said. “I think that the easiest way to put what’s going on in perspective is to think the situation in the ’50s under Eisenhower, who was of course a Republican president, when tax rates on the wealthiest were actually 90 percent. I don’t remember the economy freezing up and falling apart in the 1950s. In fact, it was booming.”

“I think that for the last 30 years we’ve seen a political battle being waged by the super-rich against everyone else,” Graeberm added.

On Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) accused Obama of practicing “class warfare” with a proposal to tax millionaires at a higher rate.
~

From PAUL KRUGMAN

some notes on the actual class war that has taken place over the past 30 years — namely class warfare for the rich against the middle class.

The yuck in your milk


From KRISTIN WARTMAN
Grist

See also [the real answer for milk needs: local, raw milk]: Michael Foley: The Great Raw Milk Brouhaha — Four Easy Pieces ~DS]

Milk is truly one of the oldest, simplest whole foods – and we certainly drink a lot of it. According to the USDA, Americans consumed an average of 1.8 cups of dairy per person, per day in 2005.

But is the milk Americans are drinking today the same milk our ancestors drank thousands of years ago? Is it even the same milk our great-grandparents were drinking a hundred years ago? By and large, the answer is no.

Like many other modern foods, most of the milk sold today has been altered, stripped, and reconstituted. Once minimally processed, milk now undergoes a complicated and energy-intensive process before it ends up bottled and shipped to grocery store shelves. There are so many additives and processes involved that buying a gallon of milk or a cup of yogurt at your grocery store essentially guarantees that you’ll get a mixture of substances from all over the country — and possibly the world.  But that’s not where it ends; milk by-products also now appear in a wide variety of other processed foods.

Lloyd Metzger, director of the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center and Alfred Chair of the Dairy Department at South Dakota State, outlined the process: Milk is received at the processing facilities and is tested for off-flavors

My Car-Free Life


From DENNIS LUECK
Culture Change

I grew up riding a bicycle and continued to depend on my bike for most of my transportation needs right on through graduate school. But when I got a salaried job and suddenly had far more money than I was accustomed to, a strange thing happened: I considered getting a car.

Fortunately, because I was living in Portland, Ore., and could easily bike or bus to work and everywhere else during the week, I eventually realized it would be cheaper and more sensible just to rent a car when I really needed one.

So I did not buy a car. And shortly thereafter, I quit my job after deciding that I really didn’t have to work so much to meet my few material needs.

In contrast, my friends and co-workers who owned new cars continued to work full time, partly to make their car payments, plus pay for gas and insurance. But they also had to keep making money so they could belong to a health club, since by driving everywhere, they no longer got enough physical exercise.

Some of them moved up into the hilly section of town, or farther out into the country and then commuted from there by car to their city jobs. And they drove their kids to schools outside their neighborhoods, each kid to a different school in some cases. In short, because they owned cars, they organized their lives around them.

Meanwhile, I quietly went about organizing my own life around my bicycle. I moved to a bicycle-friendly community, buying a small house near a major north-south bicycle path. I figured out how

Dave Smith: The death of books has been greatly exaggerated [Updated]


From DAVE SMITH
Bookseller
Ukiah

Letter to the Editors:

The death of books and libraries has been greatly exaggerated (Tom Hine, Ukiah Daily Journal, 9/18/11 – See below), just as the death of radio was proclaimed many years ago. “Books and libraries are evolving” would be the correct assesment in my opinion.

What I’m learning from my customers is that some people, mainly younger, are indeed moving completely into personal technology for their book reading; some, mainly older, will have nothing to do with reading books on a computer screen; but most book readers still love having physical books in their hands to read, and to pass around, while they also may use technology sometimes when they travel.

I think that will be the norm for awhile yet, and then, as Peak Oil starts pushing energy prices into the stratosphere, and our energy infrastructure crumbles, as it is already beginning to do, then all bets are off. How affordable will eBooks be then, or even available? Will real books be used as barter currency? Will there be armed guards at the library and Mendocino Book Company to prevent looting? Hmmm. You may want to hang on to those books taking up space in your house for awhile yet, Tom. A local farmer may be quite willing to trade some organic potatoes and kale for your dog-eared copy of War and Peace, when times get really tough and your Kindle is gathering dust in the closet.
~

[Update] Assignment Ukiah: Rise of the Kindle, the end of books
Tom Hine

I bought two Kindles in the past month. This is bad news for everybody in the world of book publishing because if I’m starting to make the transition everybody is.

Kindles are new electronic gizmos that I won’t even try to explain, other than that just about every book in the known world is available on one, the vast majority for free. Half my family members now have Kindles and they love them. That’s more bad news for books.

If I ran Random House Publishing I’d try merging with Proctor & Gamble. If I was Ann Kilkenny at the Mendocino Book Company I’d start stocking the shelves with potato chips and 12-packs of Budweiser. If I ran the county library I’d start making calls to see if there were any openings on a road crew.

Books are in trouble. I’m the canary in the coal mine and I just fell flat on my back. My wife reads two or three books a week; she reads murder mysteries faster than the industry prints them. We have books on every horizontal surface of the house, plus boxes and boxes of books up in the rafters in the garage. We spend more on books in any given year than we do in car payments and cable TV service put together.

Oops. Did I say we “spend” more money …?

Sorry.

That should have been “spent” more money. Our book-buying days are coming to an end, you see. So are yours, but you might not know it yet.

Teri recently went to Europe for a few weeks and instead of toting along 40 used paperbacks, all she took was one thin Kindle loaded with several thousand titles. And yeah, I’ll bet she missed those old books with their familiar tactile sensations, the lovely aroma of ink and musty paper creating the evocative fragrance she’s spent a lifetime experiencing, the pages unfolding as she immersed herself in the magical realm of reading.

I’m sure she missed out on all those charming sensory delights. But I’m also sure she got over it by about page six of the first “book” she read on Kindle. She loves her new electric book replacement unit. So does my son. He’s already adapted to the new reading format and can hardly remember what it was like when he didn’t have one. Sort of the way you feel about yellow sticky notes and sushi.

The rise of Kindle and similar devices coincides with the ongoing collapse of the big box book stores. Borders Books is gone, Barnes & Noble is down with a chilled, sweaty fever. They’ll be revived and in good health around the same time drive-in movies, cassette tapes, and the local pear industry are revived.

Inevitably we come to the question of what all this means for libraries across the country and right here in Mendocino County. At the moment the usual batch of big-hearted progressives around the county want you to Vote Yes on a tax increase that will provide an eighth-cent increase to the library from now until (a) Borders Books returns or (b) forever, whichever comes first.

Why should we guarantee funding for the library from now until the end of time when none of us think the library system will endure? No one would possibly tell you the future of libraries is bright except maybe a librarian, and that’s only because her paycheck depends on it.

Do you think that libraries are going to be more like Borders Books in five years or more like Amazon Books? Well, there’s your answer. There is absolutely no reason to be writing a huge check to local libraries every year when the book publishers themselves are out of business and the only things libraries have on their shelves are potato chips and 12-packs of Budweiser.

Anyone who would be willing to bet libraries will still be up and running 10 years from now is a fool. Anyone betting that their grandchildren are going to be happy to continue to pay massive annual fees so libraries can continue to pretend to be doing something functional and necessary in 2025 shouldn’t be trusted with their grandchildren’s inheritance.

Before we all pledge an endless stream of money to this dinosaur business called The Library, we should take some minimal precautions that the business will still be around when we aren’t. And I’m pretty darn sure libraries won’t.

TWK reminds you that the same familiar mob of locals who have never met a tax increase they didn’t embrace and fall in love with are the ones pushing the new library tax. But remember: They love taxes. They name their children after their favorite taxes. Tom Hine just lives in Ukiah and doesn’t want to get involved.
~~

Yesterday’s Car-Free Times


From OLIVE TWINING
Culture Change
Thanks to Sean Re

[This was read at Olive's memorial. She was 96 when she died this spring. We reside in her old house, and she and her husband were ahead of their time in many ways. I think you'll enjoy this article she wrote. ~SR]

I wonder whether people today can envision the sort of changes needed to reach an auto-free time. After reading Dennis Lueck’s My Car-Free Life, I began reminiscing about the car-free life I led in the 1920s and 1930s in Berkeley, Calif. In some ways life was more hassle-free, not only for those who rode bicycles but also for people like our family who owned no vehicles at all.

We lived in a residential district. Elementary schools were within easy walking distance. Two street-car lines were within Berkeley and Oakland, and ran past high schools, churches and parks. You could transfer to buses that led beyond the reach of the street-car lines. Two competing commuter-trains led to ferries that took you to San Francisco and its vast system of street-car lines and buses.

Small grocery stores were located within walking distance of homes everywhere. Some, like the one near us, made daily deliveries. You phoned in your order for the day and later a young fellow arrived at your back door with your groceries in a box, on his regular daily round. For us that meant no driving, no parking lots, no walking through endless aisles of supermarkets pushing carts, no lugging heavy bags of groceries home.

Dairy supplies were even easier. Very early every morning the milkman left your bottles of milk and cream on the porch.

Blind Minds: How Psychology Ignored (the last) Great Depression


From PEAK SHRINK
Peak Oil Blues

I’ve been discouraged by the lack of careful thinking in my field about our current situation worldwide.

We’ve been in the New Reality for several years, now, but where are my colleagues who write and publish?  I’m not saying nobody is out there, writing, thinking, talking.  Of course they are…but not in the professional journals.  There’s a media black-out.  As a group, we’re MIA.  Looking through one publication, Psychological Bulletin,  I found very little that would lead me to believe that psychologists even notice the heartbreak going on around them.  Surely, during the Great Depression, psychologist heeded the call, and began to research how to help the mass suffering…

Alas, I was mistaken.  Here’s what one colleague wrote about his fellow psychologists:

When the United States entered the first World War, psychologists, as an associated group, volunteered their professional services. Their contribution was considerable, both to the conduct of the War and to psychology.

When the United States entered the big world depression, psychologists did nothing and, as a group, have so far done nothing.

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