Don Sanderson: Notes on two recent Diet articles posted here on Ukiah Blog…


From DON SANDERSON
Hopland

[Don’s article is well worth the time invested in reading it… -DS]

Re: Is Modern Medicine the biggest swindle of them all? and Red meat, mortality, and the usual bad science….

A problem I have with most articles appearing on the internet is they give little evidence of serious investigation, even when I agree with their premises. Of course, the issues are so complex and we mostly have so little time and background that we must defer. So, it isn’t surprising that telling counter arguments can be presented in response. In fact, I agree with the conclusions of both of these specific articles, but have reached them by what surely most would regard as heroic investigations by a layman. I’m a bulldog when an issue is important to me and won’t let loose until I understand at least how difficult the topic really is. Ok, I have a doctorate in mathematics and physics, so I’m unafraid of science. I’ve also had a longstanding interest in the biological sciences, much deeper it turns out than in my majors, which I chose for the job prospects.

I have Addison’s Disease

The original 1% wealthy white guys who stole our Democracy…


From PRISCILLA STUCKEY
New. Clear. Vision.
Thanks to Don Sanderson

Rolling Back Democracy by Keeping the Rabble in Check

We learned in grade school about the Constitutional Convention, right? That summer of 1787 when the founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia to write the US Constitution? Many of us would be shocked to learn that what the framers of the Constitution did was roll back democratic gains of the American Revolution. They were frightened of too much democracy.

Why does this matter? Because the pressures against democracy today — the interests of the 1 percent of the wealthiest, most powerful Americans who make corporate decisions that threaten the health and well-being of people and Earth — are the same pressures that led to limiting democracy at the start of this country.

The delegates who wrote the Constitution were the 1 percent of their time — white men of means who were merchants and landowners and slaveholders, the majority of them lawyers and a few of them, like Washington, extremely wealthy. They had been living in a democratic experiment for eleven years under the Articles of Confederation, and most of them didn’t like it. They’d seen social upheaval — poor farmers revolting because they were losing their land on account of taxes levied against them to pay for the revolution. Slaves growing more numerous

Todd Walton: The Manure Chronicles, Part Two


From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks.com
Mendocino
Part 1

“Pleasure is spread through the earth in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.”— William Wordsworth

Long ago in the Santa Cruz of 1972, I was a member of a large commune occupying a grand old abode on the edge of the sea. A former stagecoach stop, hotel, brothel, and motel, the three-story main house shared a two-acre plot with four one-room cottages and a large barn that had once been a carriage house and served us as woodshop and garage. I am convinced that my vow to plant and maintain a big vegetable and flower garden was what decided the communards to vote me in, but it may also have been that they liked me.

In any case, I did plant a big vegetable and flower garden, roughly a fifth of an acre, and I not only grew enough vegetables to feed our twelve members and myriad guests throughout the year, but I frequently traded surplus vegetables for eggs and fruit produced by other communes in the area, and I made a bit of extra money for the communal pot from passersby attracted to my Pick-Your-Own-Bouquet sign affixed to the trunk of a fallen but still-living cypress at the mouth of our driveway. Our soil was sandy loam

Occupy UC Davis Shuts Down A Bank… Permanently



The Occupy movement is building towards a big bang in May

From ADBUSTERS

For the last two months, Occupy UC Davis has been blockading a campus branch of U.S. Bank. Now, in a victory for Occupy that potentially gives birth to a new movement tactic, U.S. Bank has capitulated and permanently closed the branch.

U.S. Bank has been a visible symbol on campus of the corporatization and monied corruption of education in part because, as The Aggie campus newspaper explains, “in 2010, all students were required to get new ID cards with the U.S. Bank logo on the back.”

The tactic of the occupiers was simple, nonviolent and highly effective. The Aggie describes the scene: “the blockade became a daily ritual. Protesters — typically numbering around 15 — would arrive around noon, followed by an officer from the campus police department. Thirty minutes later, bank employees would leave and the entire process would be repeated the next day.”

A celebratory statement posted on Occupy UC Davis’s website said, “the blockade of the U.S. Bank was a real battle against the privatization agenda, and its closure is a victory… This is not enough, this is not the end.”

The victory at Davis opens a new tactical horizon for Occupy. Can the bank blockade tactic be replicated across the nation? Could shutting down big banks every day for a month be the tactical breakthrough we need for May?
~~

Will Parrish: ‘We Are Stealing Because We Feel Like It’


From WILL PARRISH
Ukiah
TheAVA

An expedition of Lake County-based Anglo-Irish settlers landed ashore Rattlesnake Island, just offshore the Elem Pomo Indian Colony in Clearlake, this past Saturday — St. Patrick’s Day – and christened it New Ireland. Despite the satirical act’s pointedly white supremacist rationale, it was performed in solidarity with the Elem, for whom the 56-acre island has been the political and religious center for more than 6,000 years.

Jeff Ott of Glenhaven, spokesperson for the New Ireland group, provided this legal rationale for “stealing” of Rattlesnake Island from current paper titleholder John Nady, an exorbitantly wealthy East Bay inventor and entrepreneur: “we Irish are White/European people, and in the United States private property is based on the age-old legal principal ‘White makes might makes right.’ We are stealing [Rattlesnake Island] because we feel like it.”

In just the last few months, Nady has run roughshod over regulations governing developments in archaeologically sensitive areas, even receiving a special exemption from normal grading regulations to begin developing his vacation home and related structures. In a press release, Ott pledged that his group would evict “the criminal Dutch settlement”

Is Walmart really going Organic and Local? Well, define Local…


From TOM PHILPOTT
Mother Jones

I live on an organic farm in North Carolina, so I don’t spend much time roaming my local Walmart looking for produce. But on a recent trip to Austin, Texas, I decided to stop by a busy supercenter to see how the company was going about its well-publicized push to sell more local and organic food.

The produce section sat between the in-store McDonald’s and some giant coolers packed with Hormel bologna. There were crates piled high with perfect orbs of cabbage and tomatoes, onions and melons. Elephant-ear-size collard greens sat in tight bunches; stacks of fist-size lemons beamed yellow. Plenty of fresh food, to be sure, though a few “Grown in USA” signs were the nearest thing I could find to an indication of local. Organic? A few bags of house-brand lettuce claimed that standard.

But you can’t judge Walmart on a single store. The company sells 18 percent of all the groceries bought in the United States—more than anyone else by a wide margin. And it’s not just Froot Loops and rock-hard tomatoes. Over the last decade, Walmart has emerged as a massive player in the organic-food market. By 2006, the year it made a splashy announcement about doubling its sales of organic food, it was already the nation’s No. 1 seller

Michael Pollan’s Food Rules Animated…


From OPEN CULTURE

If you’ve listened to the past decade’s conversations about food, you’ll have noticed that eating, always a pursuit, has suddenly become a subject as well. One flank of this movement of enthusiasts has taken up Michael Pollan, a professor at UC Berkeley’s journalism school, as its leading light. Whether they agree or disagree with his principles, intellectually engaged eaters who don’t have at least a basic familiarity with Pollan’s books such asThe Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food can hardly consider themselves conversant in the food questions and controversies of the day.

Both Pollan’s potential boosters and detractors alike can get themselves up to speed with his latest volume, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, which boils down his culinary weltanschauung into a series of simple sentences, including “Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature,” “Pay more, eat less,” and, “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.” Pollan also takes positions on entirely gnarlier issues, such as the efficiency (or lack thereof) of agribusiness, and that’s when animators like Marija Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle provide their enlivening services. In the two-minute video above, Jacimovic and Detalle use pieces of actual food to illustrate Pollan’s critique of large-scale food production.
~~

… and you thought Monsanto was evil?…


From ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS SERVICE
Thanks to Granville

Scotts Miracle-Gro pleads guilty to selling poisoned bird seed

[Shelf life and profits trump bird life…]

Ohio lawn and garden care company Scotts Miracle-Gro has pleaded guilty to breaching federal pesticide laws by using an unapproved insecticide on bird seed sold nationwide for two years.

In Columbus, U.S. District Court Judge James Graham accepted the company’s guilty plea on Tuesday.

Scotts is proposing to pay a $4 million fine and give $500,000 to help support wildlife conservation and study. Judge Graham said he will issue his decision on the plea agreement at sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The government alleges that beginning in 2005, Scotts produced a line of wild bird food products under names including “Morning Song” and “Country Pride” that contained insecticides.

Red meat, mortality, and the usual bad science…


From ZOË HARCOMBE

[Complete article here with the science and the data. See also Science, Pseudoscience, Nutritional Epidemiology, and Meat]

The media lit up on the evening of Monday March 12th as a press release was issued about an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine published that day.

The BBC were among the first to pick up the story and the story was featured extensively on BBC Breakfast TV and Radio 4 on Tuesday 13th March. Interestingly, John Humphries asked the pertinent question of science reporter Tom Feilden “We’re all going to die – let’s accept that. So what does this lower risk mean?” Tom couldn’t answer the question. He replied “It’s very difficult to unpick these statistics – these numbers are used as bald headlines.” Quite so!

So let us try to unpick the data and see what this article is all about:

At the outset we must highlight the error that this, and every similar study, makes. All that a study like this can even hope to achieve is to suggest a relationship between two things. To then leap from an observed association to causation or risk is ignorant and erroneous. This article makes this mistake – as has every other study I have reviewed demonising red or processed meat over the past year such as this or this

Is Modern Medicine the biggest swindle of them all?


From JIM KUNSTLER
Author of The Long Emergency

[Followup to this article is here]

[…] Last week, after a four year misadventure on an ultra low-fat vegan diet (no meat, no cheese, no eggs), I turned around 180 degrees and resumed eating all those verboten things again. I had been feeling shitty for a long time, in particular with muscle pain, muscle weakness, penetrating fatigue, and some weird neurological symptoms and I decided to take drastic measures.

This personal misadventure started about four and half years ago when my doctor read me the riot act on my cholesterol numbers. The total was around 290. I forget exactly what the LDL (“bad” cholesterol) was, but it wasn’t good, and ditto the HDL (“good” cholesterol) and the triglycerides (oy vay). The upshot was that my doctor put me on a whopping dose of the most powerful statin drug, Crestor 40mg (made by AstraZenica). I left his office feeling like my identity was transformed from a healthy normal person to a prisoner on death row.

I thought I had been leading a healthy life. Being self-employed, and master of my own schedule, I was able to work in a lot of exercise. For twenty-five years I was a runner. A hip replacement put an end to that. During that same period, I also swam a mile a day in the local YMCA lap pool. After hip surgery, I walked daily instead of running, kept swimming, and also did at least four weekly sessions in the weight room (including the cardio machines such as the elliptical trainer

Transition: Preparing for the Unimaginable…


From DAVE POLLARD
How To Save The World

[For those of us organizing for Transition, this may be the key insight… -DS]

One of the lessons of Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan is that the events that have caused the greatest changes (and collectively most of the substantive change) to our civilization and our way of life were completely unexpected, unpredictable “black swan” events. His new book argues that rather than trying to plan and prepare for a future we can’t predict, we should do things that improve our resilience, and create systems that are “anti-fragile”. Unlike most fragile, complicated human-made systems, “anti-fragile” systems (such as evolution and other complex natural systems) actively adapt to, learn from and benefit from upheaval and dramatic change.

I have often said that that I believe the key to resilience in the coming decades will be our ability, in the moment, to imagine ways around the crises we cannot prevent, predict or plan for, and then navigate them.

So now I am sitting down with a small group of colleagues here on Bowen Island, starting to think about creating what the Transition Movement calls an “energy descent” plan for our island, and wondering how we can hope to plan for the unpredictable, unforeseeable, and unimaginable future we face.

I’ve been part of several

Why do they hate us?…


From CHRIS HEDGES
TruthDig

Murder Is Not an Anomaly in War

The war in Afghanistan—where the enemy is elusive and rarely seen, where the cultural and linguistic disconnect makes every trip outside the wire a visit to hostile territory, where it is clear that you are losing despite the vast industrial killing machine at your disposal—feeds the culture of atrocity. The fear and stress, the anger and hatred, reduce all Afghans to the enemy, and this includes women, children and the elderly. Civilians and combatants merge into one detested nameless, faceless mass. The psychological leap to murder is short. And murder happens every day in Afghanistan. It happens in drone strikes, artillery bombardments, airstrikes, missile attacks and the withering suppressing fire unleashed in villages from belt-fed machine guns.

Military attacks like these in civilian areas make discussions of human rights an absurdity. Robert Bales, a U.S. Army staff sergeant who allegedly killed 16 civilians in two Afghan villages, including nine children, is not an anomaly. To decry the butchery of this case and to defend the wars of occupation we wage is to know nothing about combat. We kill children nearly every day in Afghanistan. We do not usually kill them outside the structure of a military unit. If an American soldier had killed or wounded

How Greece threatens you and how going local offers the only refuge…


From RALPH NADER
Transition Voice

Banksters are now plundering Greece. How can turmoil in this tiny overseas economy affect your personal finances? 

For months now our stocks have gone up and down due to various concerns, but none more recurrent than concerns about the financial crisis in Greece. Morning after morning, New York City based casino capitalists trade with Greece and the latest rumors from Western Europe on their minds.

What will affluent Germany do to bail out the collapsing, debt-ridden country of Greece? Will France go along with those plans? Will the massive injection of liquidity by the European Central Bank help the banks to behave in ways that help Greece, among other countries? Day after trading day, the U.S.

Why? Greece is a country of just over ten million people with a GDP smaller than that of New Jersey. But because it is closest to the fiscal cliff, financial observers fear a domino effect. If Greece defaults badly, it could pull Portugal, Spain, Ireland and then possibly Italy closer to financial disaster.

Hey Mendo! So Cool! Free Skool Kicks Off Tonight 3/20/12 in Ukiah


From MENDO FREE SKOOL

Mendo Free Skool is a cooperative approach to living and learning. Run entirely by volunteers, Mendo Free Skool gives people an opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with one another. Anyone can be a teacher/learner/facilitator, so classes take on the flavor of whatever people are interested in at a given time. Through this project, we want to challenge dominant institutions and hierarchical relationships.

Some of the classes offered…

Brewing All-Grain Beer
Butchering Chicken Nicely
Creative Writing Workshop
Farm Day Frey Ranch
Field Video and Studio Production
Goat Milk Soap-Making
Intro to Guitar for Young People
Knitting and Radical Discussions
Practical Permaculture
Quilting Basics
Singing Circle
Bicycle Polo
Willow Basketry

Meet and greet each other for the initiation of the first Mendo Free Skool quarter of classes.

Collapse? Really?



Cuba

From SHARON ASTYK
ASPO-USA

[…] What’s interesting about the examples of Cuba is that it is further evidence to suggest that fairly small energy resource shocks can cause fairly serious consequences – one-fifth of all oil shouldn’t have led to serious hunger. Most people would reasonably argue that waste in the system and proper allocation of resources should have been able to absorb this – or will argue that the fault was the Cuban government’s. To some extent that last point is probably true, but we should remember that we have examples from the US that show that small energy supply disruptions can be extremely destructive – the oil shocks of the 1970s and the major recession that followed resulted from a reduction in imports of just over 5 percent.

So yes, I think we’re on a path toward some kind of collapse, without necessarily assuming cannibalism or even roving gangs of white-supremacist kale-stealers. I would like such a collapse to be averted very much, but it seems less and less likely that we will do so. And the evidence is becoming compelling that we are going to be facing economic, energy and climate crises all at the same time – and that I find it hard to imagine us navigating successfully. Is it impossible? Probably not, but certainly improbable.

What are the common features of collapsed societies?

Popup book of another kind…



Andreas Johansson, From where the sun now stands, 2011, paper and glue

From ANDREAS JOHANSSON
Voltashow.com

I have in recent years been engaged in making hand-made collages. I take photos of areas in my neighborhood that I cut apart and join together again in new constellations. By doing this, I create imaginary places that are both recognizable and completely alien. These new sites are constructions and have no history, while the places where the photographs once were taken have a very important past. For me, deserted places have a great symbolic value. They represent society’s backside, but also freedom beyond control and regulations. As a child, it was the funniest playground imaginable.

See video display of book here
~~


James Houle: United Nations — Just Another Imperialist Tool


From JAMES HOULE
Obama-Watch.com
Redwood Valley

One year after the United Nations gave their approval for NATO to intervene in the civil war just then erupting in Benghazi, their Human Rights Commission has issued a “mousey” report accusing both sides of violations of human rights but purposely avoiding any mention of the destruction of civilians neighborhoods of major cities and the wanton obliteration of whole towns by precision bombing raids conducted by Norway, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Italy and the United States. NATO refused to cooperate in the HRA investigations. The article below by Vijay Prashad carefully summarizes the UN report. It does not take much imagination to see how the same tactics can be employed in Syria: NATO airstrikes to eliminate the air defenses, the import of foreign agents and mercenaries, and the smuggling of weapons.

NATO’S Craven Coverup of Its Libyan Bombing 
by Vijay Prashad March 15, 2012
Ten days into the uprising in Benghazi, Libya, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council established the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya. The purpose of the Commission was to “investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya.” The broad agenda was to establish the facts of the violations and crimes and to take such actions

Cabin Porn…


From THE ATLANTIC

What It Means That Urban Hipsters Like Staring at Pictures of Cabins

“In dreaming about an idyllic past, we are also imagining the future.”

A generation of hipsters has contracted cabin fever. The Cabin Porn website has become one of these internet hits, spreading through blogs, Facebook posts, tumblr reposts, Twitter mentions, and so on. Why can’t all these people stop looking at cabins? What is the allure? Put simply, Cabin Porn is visual stimulation of the urge for a simpler life in beautiful surroundings. Commenters are likening it to “channeling your inner Thoreau.” Cabin Porn represents the return of the homesteader, living off the grid, self-sufficient and self-reliant… Story here


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