Growth is over. Time to move on…


From RICHARD HEINBERG
Thanks to Bob Banner
~

…but we’re exceptional…
~

From PAUL KINGSNORTH
Orion Magazine

Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist

…We are not environmentalists now because we have an emotional reaction to the wild world. Most of us wouldn’t even know where to find it. We are environmentalists now in order to promote something called “sustainability.” What does this curious, plastic word mean? It does not mean defending the nonhuman world from the ever-expanding empire of Homo sapiens sapiens, though some of its adherents like to pretend it does, even to themselves. It means sustaining human civilization at the comfort level that the world’s rich people—us—feel is their right, without destroying the “natural capital” or the “resource base” that is needed to do so.

It is, in other words, an entirely human-centered piece of politicking, disguised as concern for “the planet.” In a very short time—just over a decade—this worldview has become all-pervasive. It is voiced by the president of the USA and the president of Anglo-Dutch Shell and many people in between. The success of environmentalism has been total—at the price of its soul…

Original article here
~~

Occupy California: Single Update: Payer Health Care Urgent Action Needed Today Tuesday January 31…


 

[Update: Money again defeated democracy. These democrats get money from the medical/insurance corporations and they abstained again. Pitiful! -DS]

From Nurses for Social Responsibility
Santa Barbara Independent

There is a vote in the California State Senate on Senate Bill 810, Health Care for All today, and just two more votes are needed for passage. Four Democrats abstained from voting. We could turn them around if you decide to OccupySacramento and get insurance corporations out of health care!

Call these four California senators now, and urge them to vote for Healthcare for All. And call/email your friends, too.

Ca. Sen. Juan Vargas, Juan.Vargas@sen.ca.gov, 916 651-4040

Ca. Sen. Alex Padilla, senator.padilla@sen.ca.gov, 916 651-4020

Ca. Sen. Rodrick Wright , senator.wright@sen.ca.gov, 916 651-4025

Ca. Sen. Michael Rubio, michael.rubio@sen.ca.gov, 916 651-4016

The bill, Senate Bill 810, ensures primary care and preventative care to head off disease before it is too late to get well.\ It is comprehensive, because it not only includes short term care, like clinics, ERs, labs, etc., but it also covers holistic medicine, chiropractic, dental, and vision, and it does so without deductibles, co-pays, or added out-of-pocket costs.

If you are employed and have healthcare through your employer, your employer no longer has to go through an insurance company. This cuts your portion you pay because your employer will pay a lot less for health care. And the bill insures that those out of work

Occupy a Garden This Year: How to sow vegetable seeds directly into the soil…



Onion Seeds

From VERONICA HAWKINS
HowToDoThings.com

[See also Monsanto’s new seeds a dead end below… -DS]

If you have a patch of land that you are not making use of, why not consider planting vegetables?

Nowadays, people should be more practical in sourcing basic necessities such as food. Plant some vegetables in your garden and enjoy the freshness of your food while also saving money to purchase your other needs.

To know more about how you can sow vegetable seeds directly into your garden, read on.

  • Pick a spot. Make sure that the land in which you plan to plant is not covered with sand or rock beds. The soil should be conducive for the vegetables to grow on.
  • Purchase the materials you need. Go to the nearest gardening store to purchase all of the supplies you need for this project.
  • Pick the vegetables you want to plant. Be cautious about the type of vegetables that you want to plant. This will be very much dependent on the weather conditions of your area. Try to research online on what types of vegetables are suitable in your area and the type of soil and land area that you have.
  • Read the seed packaging instructions. Each seed will require a different way of planting. Read the instructions in the packaging to know how much depth you need to dig to plant and how much sunlight and water the seed needs in order to grow.
  • Set up your soil. Make sure that the area where you will plant is composed of suitable soil

Global supply lines are breaking down…


From NATURAL NEWS
Thanks to Dave Pollard

[Here’s a followup to my recent Peak Walmart letter to the editors where the claim was made that Walmart, Costco, and other big box stores would contract and die themselves after destroying our local “supermarkets, our co-op, our family farmers and farmers markets, our downtown family-owned shops and our local community networks of economic exchange”… -DS]

This is one of the most important trends you’ll see in 2012 and beyond: Global supply lines are breaking down. The just-in-time system of deliveries on tap is deteriorating. Have you noticed how often the products or parts you need are backordered or delayed? That’s what I’m talking about.

Try to order 3TB hard drives for data storage. You’ll discover they’re all back-ordered. When you order items from Amazon.com that are shipped by third party companies, they’re often delayed due to sourcing problems. Even our own NaturalNews Store has suffered from sourcing challenges, where customer demand is much higher than the available supply, and the suppliers sometimes can’t get us products in a timely manner.

This issue is especially notable across the firearms industry, where record firearm sales

Dying Honeybees: It’s been insecticides from seed companies all along…


From JEANNE ROBERTS
Reader Supported News
Thanks to Peggy Bruton and Janie Sheppard

With news that the U.S. honeybee population has been so devastated that some beekeepers will qualify for disaster relief dollars, comes a report from Purdue University that one of the causes of honeybee deaths is – as long suspected - neonicotinoids.

I say one of the causes, because the article does. In fact, the levels of neonicotinoid contamination of the powder used to spread seeds – up to 700,000 times the lethal dose – suggest that this insecticide may be the major, or precipitating, cause, with Varroa mites and other problems simply the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

And this, a myriad of causes, none of them dominant, is what agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture would have us believe, either because (as some suggest) they are understaffed to adequately investigate Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or because some of their former (or present) members are in bed with major chemical

Collecting a wild honeybee swarm…


From COOKING UP A STORY

When the population of worker bees exceeds the resource capacity of a hive, a portion of the colony will leave to find a new home. A swarm is the natural way for a hive to divide itself (usually) in half, and transport the new colony (with the old queen) to a temporary spot (cluster) from which select bee members (scouts) search for a new home.

There are a number of incredibly complex interactions that the honeybees make in order to decide when its time to form a new colony, when to actually start swarming (leave the hive); for the scouts to locate potential new homes; communicate their findings to other bees; select among a choice of different offerings; and then finally, direct the majority of the colony (that have never seen the new home) to its precise location. Chemical signals called pheromones play an integral role in their ability to communicate, but honeybees also rely upon acoustic signally methods. For example, the buzz-run dance signals the bees it’s time to leave the hive.

In this video, beekeeper Matt Reed demonstrates how to collect a wild honeybee swarm; this one is about 2 pounds in size, or 7000 bees. A swarm may range in size anywhere between roughly 1000 to 30,000 bees, and relies upon a small contingent of scouts to find a suitable home, and relay that information back

The Welfare Entitlement Queens of Crony Capitalism


From BILL MOYERS

Moyers & Company explores the tight connection between Wall Street and the White House with David Stockman – yes, that David Stockman — former budget director for President Reagan.

Now a businessman who says he was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about the administration’s tax policies, Stockman speaks candidly with Bill Moyers about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. “As a result,” Stockman says, “we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.”

Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who’s really in charge.

“We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do… whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward,” Stockman tells Moyers.
~~

The intercession of a thousand small sanities…


From DAVE POLLARD
How To Save The World

In last week’s New Yorker, Adam Gopnik laments the epidemic of imprisonment in America, especially of the young and visible minorities, and explores what leads a society to give up on, incarcerate and hence enslave so many in brutal, soul-destroying institutions. In the article he describes the atrocity of privatization of prisons:

No more chilling document exists in recent American life than the 2005 annual report of the biggest of these firms, the Corrections Corporation of America. Here the company (which spends millions lobbying legislators) is obliged to caution its investors about the risk that somehow, somewhere, someone might turn off the spigot of convicted men:

“Our growth is generally dependent upon our ability to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new correctional and detention facilities. . . . The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes

Get Rhythm…


For K. Dornhuber coming west…
~~

What to do? Take Action! Build the new economy by generating alternatives…


From The Economics of Happiness

Across the world millions of people are actively resisting the process of corporate globalization while simultaneously creating viable local alternatives in the here and now. This powerful emerging movement represents a radical departure from ‘business as usual’. In place of the imposition of a single, global world economy, the new paradigm seeks ‘a world that embraces many worlds’ – an adapting biocultural mosaic rather than a global monoculture. Proponents of this approach call for ‘small scale on a large scale’ rather than one-size-fits-all, ‘too big to fail’ blueprints. In turn, the kind of solutions that are being generated flow from diversity, are attentive to the ecological particularities of place, are more responsive to social needs, and are often far more equitable, participatory and democratic.

Help create the new economy from the ground up!

Support local independent businesses, cooperatives & social enterprises…


Buy local first

Keeping money circulating locally will help reinvigorate the local economy and generate desperately needed jobs. If you are a business owner, source locally for your supplies and services whenever possible and engage in fair and sustainable (‘translocal’) trade for those goods that can’t be sourced locally.

The 3/50 Project

Local Multiplier Effect

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

Start or support a “Local First” campaign in your town or city

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies – Local First

The New Economic Foundation’s Local Multiplier 3

Civic Economics

Crossroads Resource Center

Join, start or support a local worker cooperative

Help create more equitable and democratic local economies…

Don Sanderson: Scylla


From DON SANDERSON
Hopland

We cannot resolve the problems of our existence at the same level of thinking that created them. – Albert Einstein

As blind Homer told us so long ago, after a series of torturous adventures in which most of his men are lost, Odysseus is swept up into the whirlpool Charybdis guarded by the six-headed monster Scylla. He only just survives to undergo still more challenges before finally years later returning to his home to slay his last adversaries and end his Odyssey.

The oil-guzzling Scylla we confront is a bizarre creature of many clashing colors and shapes. Its most prominent three heads, on coiled necks entangled nearly in strangleholds, are continually quarreling, each attempting to use the others for its own purposes. Those protuberances are that grossly bloated wealth symbolized by Wall Street, a Zionism that fantasizes rebuilding Solomonic empires on Islamic bones, the original of which archeologists can find no trace, and an apocalyptic Christianity determined to see a new Jerusalem constructed on the smoking remains of the present damned world. Scylla’s spoor is seen everywhere in smoking remains of villages, of starving urban homeless, of thousands of dying species, of degradation of arable land, rainforests, fresh water, and the oceans, all the excesses of climate change, and the increasingly likely demise of the human species. The U.S. military is the blaze with which it is attempting to use to enflame the world into submission. Units are buzzing everywhere, notably in equipping and training others, both foreign militaries and American police, to attempt to control popular movements that embarrass Scylla, reminding it that it is actually powerless to succeed without the hearts of those it seeks to overbear.

Leonard Cohen takes Austin (1988)…


1) First We Take Manhattan
2) Tower of Song
3) Everybody Knows
4) Ain’t No Cure For Love
5) The Partisan
6) Joan of Arc
7) Jazz Police
8) If It Be Your Will
9) Take This Waltz
~~

Will Parrish: ‘America’s Last Newspaper’


Bruce Anderson, Editor/Publisher, Anderson Valley Advertiser
From WILL PARRISH
Ukiah
TheAVA

I decided to enroll in the journalism program at my alma mater, the University of California Santa Cruz, during the run-up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, circa late 2002 and early 2003. UCSC was home to a trenchant anti-war movement, far more than in most of the country. For example, a 2,000-person demonstration against the impending US invasion of Afghanistan took place there on October 11, 2001. It was the first event I covered as a student journalist.

The experience of these actions — which reached their pinnacle on February 15, 2003, when more than 15 million people protested throughout the world — gave me my first sense of belonging to a force capable of transforming history. We jumped on the earth, as Abbie Hoffman once put it, and the earth jumped back. With each demonstration, the repressive and heavily militaristic post-9/11 political climate thawed a bit more. Several US-allied countries responded by backing out of the invasion. Though the movement tragically failed to stop the war, many thousands of people — me included — were compelled to continue on with political resistance of various kinds.

Most journalism programs at US universities are feedlots of mediocrity. Their underlying purpose in most cases is to prepare the students for careers propagandizing on behalf of corporate and state power. By contrast, the lure of UCSC’s journalism program was that it encouraged advocacy journalism and dissident thinking. The course instructors were accomplished investigative reporters, authors, and academically-inclined people from various backgrounds. Yet, their lessons and assignments tended to be based on an unapologetic left-wing slant on news reporting and the functions of mass media.

The program’s main architect was a member of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most fascinating Irish political family, Conn Hallinan. His grandfather, Patrick, was a member of the revolutionary Irish National Invincibles who fled to the US to avoid persecution, then became a leading San Francisco labor agitator. His father, Vincent, was a famous Communist attorney best remembered for successfully defending union leader Harry Bridges against perjury charges

Todd Walton: Going Postal



Saroyan Envelope by Jenifer Angel

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

“I claim there ain’t


Another Saint


As great as Valentine.” Ogden Nash

The notices currently taped to both sides of the glass doors of the Mendocino Post Office proclaim that starting February 14, 2012, our post office will henceforth be closed on Saturdays, and postal business shall only be conducted Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. That our government, otherwise known as the Council of Evil Morons, would choose Valentine’s Day to kick off this latest contraction of our terrific postal system strikes me as ironic and cruel, as well as evil and moronic.

I and most Americans over fifty first learned how the postal system worked when we were in First and Second Grade and our teachers helped us create and operate our very own in-classroom post offices for the purpose of sending and receiving Valentines to and from our classmates. At Las Lomitas Elementary School we had actual post offices (built by handy parents) that took up big chunks of classroom real estate. These one-room offices featured windows behind which stood postal workers from whom we could buy stamp facsimiles (fresh from the mimeograph machine) to affix with edible white paste to our properly addressed envelopes. These envelopes contained store bought or handmade Valentines, and we would drop these childish love missives into cardboard mailboxes located across the rooms from the post offices. Then every hour or so postal workers would open these mailboxes, empty the contents into transport bags, and carry the mail to the post offices wherein the letters would be sorted into cubbyholes bearing the names of the recipients. And we, the children, got to be the postal workers and do all these fun jobs. How cool is that? For a six-year-old, way cool.

These Valentines postal operations stimulated many other sectors of our classroom ecology. Making art took on new and urgent meaning, as did writing. Anyone could send a regular valentine, but only artists and poets could make valentines covered with glitter (affixed to that same edible paste) bearing heartfelt original (or accidentally plagiarized) rhymes. Roses are red, violets are blue, please be my Valentine, shoo bop doo wah.

Valentines were the gateway drugs

Unions = Democracy = Middle Class = Shared Prosperity…


From DAVE JOHNSON
Campaign for America’s Future

Democracy v. Plutocracy, Unions v. Servitude

Servitude: “a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one’s course of action or way of life”

Democracy: “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections”

Plutocracy: government by the wealthy

Labor union: a [democratic] organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions

You may have seen the recent flurry of stories about how hi-tech products are made in China. The stories focus on Apple, but it isn’t just Apple. These stories of exploited Chinese workers are also the story of how and why we — 99% of us, anyway — are all feeling such a squeeze here, because we are suffering the disappearance of our middle class. Our choice is democracy or servitude.

Working In China

A collection of excerpts from the Charles Duhigg and David Barboza story, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad and the Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher story, How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work both from the NY Times:

Rousted from dorms at midnight, told to work:

Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“Work hard on the job today or work hard to find a job tomorrow.”

Banners on the walls warned the 120,000 employees: “Work hard on the job today or work hard to find a job tomorrow.”

(How close is that to the very definition of servitude?)

Rosalind Peterson: Good News! Groups sue over Navy sonar use off Northwest coast…


SEATTLE (AP) — Conservationists and Native American tribes are suing over the Navy’s expanded use of sonar in training exercises off the Washington, Oregon and California coasts, saying the noise can harass and kill whales and other marine life.

In a lawsuit being filed Thursday by the environmental law firmEarthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups against the National Marine Fisheries Service claims the service was wrong to approve the Navy’s plan for the expanded training.

They said the regulators should have considered the effects repeated sonar use can have on those species over many years and also required certain restrictions on where the Navy could conduct sonar and other loud activities to protect orcas, humpbacks and other whales, as well as seals, sea lions and dolphins.

Instead, the Navy is required to look around and see if sea mammals are present before they conduct the training.

Kristen Boyles, a Seattle-based attorney with Earthjustice, said it’s the job of the fisheries service to balance the needs of the Navy with measures to protect marine life.

“Nobody’s saying they shouldn’t train,” she said. “But it can’t be possible that it’s no-holds-barred, that there’s no place where this can’t happen.”

In 2010, the fisheries service approved the Navy’s five-year plan for operations in the Northwest Training Range Complex, an area roughly the size of California, about 126,000 nautical square miles, that stretches from the waters off Mendocino County in California to the Canadian border. The Navy has conducted exercises in the training range for 60 years, but in recent years proposed increased weapons testing and submarine training.

The groups want the permit granted to the Navy to be invalidated. They are asking the court to order the fisheries service to study the long-term effects of sonar on marine mammals, in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and other laws.

Regulators determined that while sonar use by navies has been associated with the deaths of whales around the world, including the beaching of 37 whales on North Carolina’s Outer Banks in 2005, there was little chance of that happening in the Northwest. The short duration of the sonar use, typically 90 minutes

Transition to the future — Making it simple and local…




From THE AUTOMATIC EARTH

[Nicole Foss videos above extremely important! Please watch... -DS]

Ilargi: Ironically and unfortunately, the economic growth faith delusion is too strong to make people, even if they acknowledge that harder times lie ahead, understand that they need to focus some place other than how much their gold is worth today, or their pension. That things other than monetary items will be much more important to their survival and well-being.

That land and community and practical skills will in the future trump all the things they’ve ever seen as valuable. And, to be honest, how can you be expected to change your myopic points of view when everyone around you holds on to them in the exact same way that you do? You look around, and everything seems alright, nothing a spoonful of austerity and hard work can’t cure.

But, just as the only good thing to do for Obama right now is to abolish Fannie and Freddie and Sallie Mae and the FHA and FHFA, to get out, which he won’t, there’s an equivalent for Jill and Jack on Main Street. And that is also to get out. Get out and cut, to the extent possible, all dependence on the government that makes its decisions for all the wrong reasons, and on all other top-down systems that rely on it.

Because those systems are going to crash, and there’s no doubt that they will bring all the Jack and Jills that depend on them, down with them. Obama and Merkel won’t get out of the way, and that increases the urgency for Jack and Jill to do so.

There are people whose role in this unfolding tragedy will be to Occupy Wall Street or Tahrir Square. And there are people whose role it will be

Fibershed: Sourcing Textiles Locally…


From CHRIS MARTINSON

Most of us dress ourselves each morning with garments that were grown, processed, designed and sewn by an anonymous supply chain. A combination of animal, plant, machinery, imagination, and technical skill came together to clothe you, but it is rare to have connection to any of these real life elements.

It is the goal of one central Californian community’s members to put a face on their wardrobes, and to uncover, develop, and build a new way of engaging with the textiles of their lives. A bioregional supply chain known as a Fibershed is being grown out of a region with a 150 mile diameter — the epicenter just north of San Francisco.

The project aims to bring a thriving local alternative to conventional textile manufacturing systems and to support communities in reviving, sustaining, and networking their raw material base with skilled design and artisanal textile talent.

The Rationale for Domestic, Sustainably-Made Textiles

This DIY revival is steeped in an awareness of the global economic, social, and environmental realities brought forth by conventional textile supply chains and is a response to the following situation:

  • After agriculture, the textile industry is the #1 polluter of fresh water resources on the planet.
  • The industry’s carbon footprint has been deemed the ‘elephant in the room’ by many in the trade –- ranking as the 5th largest polluter in the United States, where only a fraction of the industry even remains.
  • The chemical cocktail used to soften, process, and dye our clothing is attributed to a range of human diseases – including chronic illness and cancer.
  • Even the most ‘eco-friendly’ synthetic dyes contain endocrine disrupters, and the most commonly used dyes still contain heavy metals such as cobalt, chrome, copper, and nickel.
  • Labor is sought for cost, first and foremost – not quality — leading to massive exploitation and many unstable jobs.

In 1965, 95% of the clothing in a typical American’s closet was made in America. Today less than 5% of our clothes are made here. Unfortunately, this huge movement of the industry was not prompted by a desire for higher standards of production, economic equity for laborers, or tight environmental regulation. It was done to circumvent

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