The Pacific Ocean is Dying…


From NATION OF CHANGE

Just prior to the Supermoon of March 18th, 2011, the world witnessed a natural and manmade disaster of epic proportions. What transpired off the coast of Honshu Island, Japan on March 11 has forever altered the planet and irremediably affected the global environment. Whereas the earthquake and tsunami proved to be truly apocalyptic events for the people of Japan, the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima is proving to be cataclysmic for the entire world.

Most of the world community is still unaware of the extremely profound and far-reaching effects that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has had. If the nations of the world really understood the implications of the actual ‘fallout’ – past, current and future – the current nuclear energy paradigm would be systematically shut down. For those of us who are in the know, it is incumbent upon each of us to disseminate the relevant information/data necessary to forever close down the nuclear power industry around the globe.

There is now general agreement that the state of the art of nuclear power generation is such that it was deeply flawed and fundamentally dangerous from the very beginning. This fact was completely understood to be the case by the industry insiders and original financiers of every nuclear power plant ever built. Nuclear engineers had a very good understanding of just how vulnerable the design, engineering and architecture was at the startup of this industry. Nevertheless, they proceeded with this ill-fated enterprise at the behest of who?

Therefore, this begs the question, “Why would such an inherently unsafe technology and unstable design be implemented worldwide in the first place?”

More importantly, “Who ought to be responsible for mitigating this ongoing planetary nuclear disaster?” And, is there any practical way this predicament can be fixed? Is there technology

Mendocino County Today: May 21, 2012…


From BRUCE ANDERSON
TheAVA

[Bruce's bracing view of the world, available daily, not to be missed. -DS]

TRAVIS T. HIP from the KSAN days has died in his sleep. Services will be held next Saturday (26th of May in Silver City Nevada.

A READER sends along this accompanying note: From his perch in the high desert of western Nevada, remote control and cup in hand, Chan Laughlin, aka Travis T. Hipp, (“the poor hippie’s Paul Harvey”) pontificated to the world every morning about politics, truth, justice, and modern life. One of the few remaining practitioners of free-form, seat-of-your-pants radio commentary, he worked with few notes and distilled the days events into greater truths that sometimes surprise even himself. Before he died, Chan said he is “still alive and only slightly wounded” in his latest battle with the authorities. They raided his house last year and charged him with felony marijuana trafficking. But all the charges were dropped after the cops failed to produce evidence of any crime.
” “KPIG is expanding slowly and I get a ten bucks a day raise for every new station,” he bragged, “so I am finally making as much as I did at KNEW in 1968, not counting inflation. At this rate my career will take off at 75 years of age, and my fame as the voice of the geriatric revolution will go down in history! Play Politics but keep your powder dry!”

FROM HANK SIMS’ crucial HumCo blog, LostCoastOutpost.com: “The Very Last Chapter of the Reggae War: Dimmick Ranch Under Foreclosure. A legal notice in this morning’s Times-Standard mentions that the Dimmick Ranch — one-time home to ‘Reggae Rising,’ the rogue offshoot in the Late Great SoHum Reggae Wars — is under foreclosure. Redwood Capital Bank is scheduled to auction off the property on the courthouse steps on June 7, after owner Tom Dimmick, who once had hoped to transform his family property into a world-class entertainment venue, defaulted on a $1 million loan. The Reggae Wars broke out in 2006, when Dimmick and concert promoter Carol Bruno attempted to wrest control

Transition: New Film Showing Tonight in Ukiah 5/21/12 at 6:30pm


TRANSITION UKIAH VALLEY
PRESENTS

In Transition 2.0
Trailer here

Join us and become inspired!

The Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse
107 S. Oak Street

Monday, May 21st
6:30 PM

$5-10 Donation requested

This film is an inspirational immersion into the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  You’ll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food, localizing their economies and setting up community power stations.  Here is a story of hope, responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism.  Join us and learn how you can help prepare our own community for a more resilient future.

Transition Ukiah Valley is part of an international localization movement to build community resilience in the face of peak oil, climate change and economic instability.

Contact:  707-462-9405

A Fiscally Sponsored Program of the Cloud Forest Institute.
TUV Film/Speaker Series Sponsored & Supported by S.A.C.
~~

How the Conservative Worldview Quashes Critical Thinking — and What That Means For Our Kids’ Future…


From SARA ROBINSON
Alternet

The education of our children is a core cultural and political choice that reflects the deepest differences between liberals and conservatives.

The Conservative War On Education continues apace, with charters blooming everywhere, high-stakes testing cementing its grip on classrooms, and legislators and pundits wondering what we need those stupid liberal arts colleges for anyway. (Isn’t college about job prep? Who needs to know anything about art history, anthropology or ancient Greek?)

Amid the din, there’s a worrisome trend: liberals keep affirming right-wing talking points, usually without realizing that they’re even right wing. Or saying things like, “The education of our children is a non-partisan issue that should exist outside of any ideological debate.”

The hell it is. People who say stuff like this have no idea what they’re talking about. The education of our children is a core cultural and political choice that reflects the deepest differences between liberals and conservatives — because every educational conversation must start with the fundamental philosophical question: What is an education for?

Our answers to that question could not be more diametrically opposed.

A Question of Human Nature

Our beliefs about the purpose of education are rooted in even deeper beliefs about the basic nature of humanity.

All conservative politics springs from one central premise: they believe that human beings are essentially fallen and deeply flawed.

Herb Ruhs: My response to ‘Marx For Bobos?’…


From HERB RUHS
Boonville

[Herb responds to yesterday's article... -DS]

Less is more?

The rule of conquest, the basic operating system of this world for the last five thousand years or so, states that more is the result of taking from others. It is the rule of radical individualism promoted by sociopathic thinking, which, in turn, is promoted by actual sociopaths, who’s brains are wired without a conscience, who prosper and take control of the machinery of competition the better to prey on the weak who actually have our brains wired to allow for a conscience. For those for whom this is a new idea, please read The Sociopath Next Door.

No sustainable culture can successfully tolerate the elevation of these mental defectives to positions of power. The remarkable thing of our time is that the destruction and collapse routinely caused by the assumption of power by this segment of the population is now affecting the entire world rather than isolated cultures. Rome reduced much of the world under its control to a state of collapse, socially and environmentally. But this is true of all expansionist cultures which are all ruled by sociopathic individuals who transfer their diseased attitudes to the general culture and precipitate collapse. Only bottom up, complex and evolving systems of governance, sans ruthless competition, have any track record of sustainability. Marx and the early anarchists understood this fact of nature but remained under the spell of a fundamentally sociopathic world view.

Todd Walton: Everything Connected



Todd reads from Buddha in a Teacup

From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks
Mendocino

“When we express our true nature, we are human beings. When we do not, we do not know what we are.” Shunryu Suzuki

Planting sugar snap pea seeds yesterday, I was thrilled to find the raised bed rife with earthworms, young and old. We garden in soil known hereabouts as pygmy, which left to it’s own devices will not grow vegetables or much of anything except bonsai pines and huckleberries and the nefarious Scotch Broom. Thus we have eight raised beds in boxes and four beds in the ground, all requiring manure and compost in addition to the local soil to give us a decent harvest.

This past fall I scored a truckload of rabbit manure and I surmise it is this precious poop that has proven such an elixir to the worms. When I moved here six and a half years ago and set up my above-ground composting bin (and before the bears demolished that flimsy plastic thing) I was dismayed to find nary a worm coming up out of the ground and through the slots in the floor of the bin to gobble the tasty leftovers and give birth to myriad wormlets. In Berkeley where I gardened a small plot for eleven years, my composting bin (a gift from the city to encourage us to do the rot thing), produced gazillions of worms in collaboration with the local ground. But in pure pygmy soil, earthworms are as scarce as pumas, and it took a good three years of feeding massive amounts of worm food to the soil before any sort of worm population took hold.

My Town in Transition: How to change the story of the place where you are…


From ROB HOPKINS
Transition Culture

[Click: Transition 2.0 Film Showing Next Monday Evening 5/21/12 in Ukiah -DS]

The video of this is here.

“Hello.  I want to tell you a story which pulls together a lot of what we’ve heard already and looks at what that might look like in the context of one place. And it’s a story which I think can change the world. It’s a story which already is changing the world. It’s the story of my town, Totnes, in Devon.  A town of about 8,500 people, midway between Exeter and Plymouth.   But before I can tell you the story what I really want to tell you about Totnes, I have to get another one out of the way first.

Totnes was once referred to as the “Capital of New Age Chic”, that’s ‘chic’ not ‘sheep’. The idea of a “Capital of New Age Sheep” is too horrible to imagine. The Western Morning News, the local paper, in an article which I’ll be coming back to later, once referred to the average resident of Totnes as a “sandal wearing, crystal gazing soap carver subsisting entirely on brown rice and organic parsnips”. And Matt Harvey, our local poet, says that when you’ve lived there too long your body starts to secrete a hormone called ‘Totnesterone’, where your masculine and feminine come into perfect balance with each other.

Can a Sense of Purpose Slow Alzheimer’s?


From LANE WALLACE
The Atlantic

New evidence suggests a sense of meaning in life can mitigate symptoms of the degenerative disease, even when the illness’s harmful plaque has already accumulated in the brain.  

[...] From a neurobiological perspective, two of the biggest markers of Alzheimer’s disease are an accumulation of plaque and what neurologists call “tangles” in the pathways of the brain. The researchers did not find any physical difference in the level of plaque or tangles in the brains of people who rated highly on the purpose of life scale, versus those who did not. (A strong sense of purpose in life does not, in other words, prevent the accumulation of potentially harmful material in the brain.)

But when the Rush researchers looked at participants whose brains, upon autopsy, had identical levels of plaque and tangles, and then correlated that with how those people had rated in terms of both cognitive functioning and a strong purpose of life — controlling for other factors ranging from overall physical health, exercise, education, and IQ to personality traits and inclinations for depression and other psychological issues — the people who rated highly on the purpose of life scale had a 30 percent lower rate of cognitive decline, over the whole study period, than those with low scores on the purpose of life scale.

What that means, according to the researchers, is that a strong sense of purpose in life evidently strengthens or provides a higher level of what’s known as “neural reserve” in the brain.

The Art of Fermentation…


[Just arrived at Mulligan Books & Seeds... -DS]

From SHARON ASTYK

Fermentation: To Infinity and Beyond!

I get a lot of books for review, and for the most part, they are wonderful surprises. Because I receive and read so many books, I rarely sit around saying “Hey, where’s my review copy of…X?” Generally I’ve got a giant pile of books that I need to get to anyway, so I’m much more likely to say “Oh, I didn’t realize X was out.” So let us first note that I was so anxious for my review copy of Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation that I actually sent emails to beg for a copy – only to find that UPS had stuffed this book and another in a really weird place and it had been waiting for me for weeks.

Katz’s Wild Fermentation has had pride of place on my (ridiculously extensive, remember i wrote a book about food preservation) shelves of books on food preservation and storage. Not only does it sit there, but I pull it out ALL the TIME (which honestly cannot be said about most of my cookbooks) and after years of looking at it, still find new ideas. So to say I was excited to receive The Art of Fermentation, three times the size, hardcover and unbelievably comprehensive was an understatement.

Marx for ‘Bobos’?…


From JOHN MICHAEL GREER

The twilight of protest

Bobos are terribly eager to see themselves as the saviors of the world—that’s the bohemian side—and will do absolutely anything to fulfill this role, so long as it doesn’t require them to give up any of the benefits of their privileged status—that’s the bourgeois side.

Over the last four months or so, as this blog has sketched out the trajectory of empires in general, and then traced the intricate history of America’s empire in particular, I’ve been avoiding a specific issue. That avoidance hasn’t come from any lack of awareness on my part, and if it had been, comments and emails from readers asking when I was going to get around to discussing the issue would have taken care of that in short order. No, it’s simply a natural reluctance to bring up a subject that has to be discussed sooner or later, but is guaranteed to generate far more heat than light.

The subject? The role of protest movements in the decline and fall of the American empire.

That’s an issue sufficiently burdened with tangled emotions and unstated agendas that even finding a good starting place for the discussion is a challenge. Fortunately I have some assistance, courtesy of Owen Lloyd, who is involved with an organization called Deep Green Resistance and recently wrote a review of my book The Blood of the Earth. It’s by no means a bad review. Quite the contrary, Lloyd made a serious effort to grapple with the issues that book tried to raise, and by and large succeeded; where he failed, the misunderstandings

5 Whole Food Meals that are Cheaper and Faster than Fast Food…


Sausage and avocado

From CARA
Health, Home, and Happiness

When we used to eat fast food, it was no problem for the two of us to spend $20 on a meal, only to have indigestion immediately after and then be hungry again an hour after that.  Whole foods can be just as fast, without the side effects.

There really shouldn’t be side effects to what you consume as food.

These are 5 easy meals that can serve 2 + 2 little eaters for less than $20 and take less time than driving through the local fast food chain. Have you seen the lines at the drive through around meal time?! I’m giving us 30 minutes to get all this done, with minimal dishes, $20 for ingredients, and making the meals somewhat balanced- not perfect, but good enough that we’ll have plenty of energy and not be hungry right away.

1. Kefir Cocoa Almond Butter Smoothie

Why Such A Lack of Common Sense About Dogs?


From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer

I can’t believe what I am seeing in dog food advertisements. Good old Rover is shown licking people on the face, once even licking a child on the lips. This is so disgustingly unhygienic to me that I have to wonder if there is something going on here I don’t know about. Doesn’t the present generation of pet owners understand where else that dog might have been licking moments earlier? Do I have to spell it out?

We all used to know that dogs carry parasites that can be transmitted to humans. By parasites I mean worms. Yes I know that the well-cared for pet dog is routinely wormed and medicated just like children are, but you don’t want any dog licking your child on the lips. The risk is too great. If you don’t believe me, read any straightforward discussion of animal hygiene and note how widespread is the problem of humans getting worms from pets, especially dogs.

I am constantly amazed at people who get so distraught over the idea of using composted dog manure for garden fertilizer but who think it is just so cute when cuddly little Bow-Wow drools all over them. I think the problem traces directly to the lack of experience in husbandry that our present culture suffers from. You can deify or humanize pets if you wish and provide them with luxuries even lots of humans can’t afford, (and then complain about paying taxes to help people on welfare) but in the end, an animal is an animal and it does not think like a human. Dogs have been known to pick up a baby and shake it to death in innocent play.

Christina Aanestad: Love & Thievery in San Francisco…


From CHRISTINA AANESTAD
The Mendocino Country Independent
Anderson Valley

[From one of our county's heroes... DS]

After a sweet night of lovin with a man of interest, the city I love became cold.

It was a fun night — he treated me well — I’ll spare you the delicious details, besides, all good things must come to an end. By the next day, tho, he was cool, aloof, and then sick… waves of reality put out my passion; so we spent the night laughing instead.  Bitter sweet, as I slept alone, with no touch and woke up twice thinking, ‘I should just leave.’ Spirit was talking but I wasn’t listening.

Unbeknownst to my conscious mind, hoodrats were ramshackling my car outside. They took a small black velvet purse, my favorite these days, and popped the trunk of my car, where they found the gold. I left my black bag tucked away, safely in my trunk, I thought, with my laptop, the only back up to my laptop, all my radio equipment, my digital video camera and photo camera.

Those hood rats landed about $3,000 worth of equipment that night; at least someone scored.

When I stepped out into the sunny streets of San Francisco the next day, I immediately noticed my trunk slightly ajar — thieves.

Just like that–within hours, minutes perhaps, my life’s work was gone. The last 4 years of reporting, the audio, photo and video footage of Ecuador — the stories I reported about

How lyin’ smilin’ Romney destroyed thousands of jobs and lives and stole his millions from common people…


From ROMNEY ECONOMICS

“I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation. … The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.” –Marc B. Walpow, former managing partner at Bain Capital

With Dade Behring, Mitt Romney and his investors took over a healthy company and loaded it with debt. Rather than sell the company, they then had Dade take out even more loans to buy out their shares, driving the company into bankruptcy. Nearly 3,000 workers lost their jobs, while Romney and his partners made more than $250 million in profit.

Kansas City’s GST Steel was a successful company that had been making steel rods for 105 years when Mitt Romney and his partners took control in 1993. They cut corners and extracted profit from the business at every turn, placing it deeply in debt. When the company eventually declared bankruptcy, workers were denied their full pensions and health insurance, and the federal government was forced to step in and bail out the pension fund.

In the late 1980s, Mitt Romney and his partners bought up hundreds of successful small clothing stores and combined them to form Stage Stores. Romney and his team loaded up the company with debt, and then, when the company was at its height, sold nearly all their shares at an enormous profit. In less than three years, the stock had collapsed and Stage was forced to declare bankruptcy.
~~

Don Sanderson: A Madness…



Don and Becky

From DON SANDERSON
Hopland

“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”  – Robert F. Kennedy, 1966

Like a Viking berserker, we swing our clubs wildly, determinedly destroying our natural Earth, wracking extinctions beyond the worst recognized to this point, killing the ocean, disrupting the climate, exhausting vital resources, and spreading human poverty and cruelty into every corner without, it appears, a dollop of guilt. This strikes me as symptomatic of madness. So, I went digging for verification beginning with a definition of “mad”, which I summarize from Miriam-Webster:

1 disordered in mind : Crazy, Insane

2 a : completely unrestrained by reason and judgment : utterly foolish : Senseless b : incapable of being explained, interpreted, or accounted for : Illogical

3 carried away by intense anger : Enraged, Furious  b : keenly displeased : Angry, Irked

4 carried away by enthusiasm, infatuation, or desire

5 intensely excited, distraught, or frantic

6 marked by intense and often chaotic activity : Wild, Furious

To which, I compared that for “Sane”:

1 : mentally sound : possessing a rational mind : having the mental faculties in such condition as to anticipate and judge of the effect of one’s actions

2 : proceeding from a sound mind : being without delusions or prejudice

60 Million Cancers From Nuclear Weapons Radiation…


From

‘We are living through the worst public health scandal in history’ — 60 million developed cancer from nuclear weapons tests and government data backs it up.

In the videos here, acclaimed nuclear industry scientist Dr. Chris Busby says we are living in the worst public health scandal in history proclaiming that 60 million people have developed cancer from radioactive fallout due to nuclear weapons tests.

Busby will surely be attacked for his statements by nuclear apologists but the truth be told the US government’s own data goes a long way toward substantiating Busby’s claims.

To be precise, Busby claims 60 million cancers due to the radiation fallout from nuclear weapons test while US government data shows a slightly lower number of cancers – about 40 million cancers – due to background radiation in the United States. At the same time that same government data shows  132.76 million will get cancer in the United States and nearly 70 million of those people will die.

What is in dispute here is the margin of error between the governments 40 million cancers due to radiation versus Busby’s research showing 60 million and I am inclined to accept Busby’s research over the government’s which is clearly influences by the nuclear industry along with lobbyists from other special interests groups.

But what the government won’t admit is that the so-called “background radiation” is largely the result of nuclear weapons tests and those levels

Making the Internet Safe for Anarchy…


From DMITRY ORLOV
cluborlov

As the electric grid goes down people will cease to be docile and become seriously angry.

Suppose you wanted to achieve some significant political effect; say, prevent or stop an unjust war. You could organize gigantic demonstrations, with hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets, shouting slogans and waving anti-war banners. You could write angry editorials in newspapers and on blogs denouncing the falseness of the casus belli. You could write and phone and email your elected and unelected representatives, asking them to put a stop to it, and they would respond that they will of course try, and by the way could you please make a campaign contribution? You could also seethe and steam and lose sleep and appetite over the disgusting thing your country is about to do or is already doing. Would that stop the war? Alas, no. How many people protested the war in Iraq? And what did that achieve? Precisely nothing.

You see, the slogan “speak truth to power” has certain limitations. The trouble with this slogan is that it ignores the fact that power will not listen and the fact that the people already know the truth and even make jokes about it. Those in power may appear to be persuaded or dissuaded, but only if it is to their advantage to do so. They will also sometimes choose to co-opt, and then quietly subvert, popular movements, in order to legitimize themselves in the eyes of those who would otherwise oppose them. But, in general, they cannot be shifted from pursuing a course they see as advantageous by mere rhetoric from those outside their ranks. Some weaker regimes may be sensitive to embarrassment, provided the criticisms are voiced by high-profile individuals in internationally recognized positions of authority, but these same criticisms backfire

Women are better than men…


From ROGER EBERT

Women are nicer than men. There are exceptions. Most people of both sexes are probably fairly nice, given the nature of their upbringing and opportunities. But in terms of their lifelong natures, women are kinder, more empathetic, more generous. And the sooner more of them take positions of power, the better our chances as a species.

This occurred to me while watching a forthcoming movie named “Where Do We Go Now?” It could have occurred during dozens or hundreds of movies. It’s set in a tiny village in Lebanon, where Christians and Muslims have lived peacefully side-by-side for generations. Now the local men have become worked up by strife they see on TV, and have decided that even in their village, without any provocation, they need to start hating and fighting each other.

The women are tired of burying their sons and husbands. They conspire to distract the men from their foolish chest-beating. They stage fake miracles. They sneak hashish into their diets. In a bold masterstroke, they import a troupe of exotic Ukrainian dancers who are touring Lebanon.

Enough about the movie, except for this simple mind experiment: Can you imagine a movie in which Muslim and Christian women start fighting with religion as their excuse, and the men band together to import go-go boys? Not easily. The gender roles in the film seem to go without saying.

I’ve been noticing news items lately about how women are gaining in many ways. They now represent a majority of U.S. college students, and 60% of all graduate students. Their income levels are rising, although they still don’t have parity with men. They are far less involved in violent crimes, and crime of all sorts. They are safer drivers. A child in a single-parent home is likely to be better off if the parent is a women. In the U.S. the odds are that 80% of the single parents will be women; having given birth, they stick around to raise children, while men are more likely to be missing.

Are the Elite in Control or Are We in a Driverless Car?


From JOHN MICHAEL GREER

The Descent into Stasis

Last weeks’ post attempted, with the help of the ancient Greek philosopher Polybius, to trace out the trajectory that democracies—and in particular the United States—tend to follow across time. The pattern that Polybius outlined, and that American politics has cycled through three times so far in the course of its history, begins with most of the nation’s political power concentrated in a single person, and follows the diffusion of power to the point that the entire political system settles into a gridlock only a massive crisis can break. Just now, according to that model, we are in the stage of gridlock, and thus of maximum diffusion of power.

Now of course this interpretation flies in the face of the standard narrative that surrounds power in America today. Both sides of the political spectrum these days like to insist that too much power is in the hands of the other side, at least when the other side is in the White House or has a majority in Congress. The further from the mainstream you go, the more strident the voices you’ll hear insisting that some small group or other has seized absolute power over the US political system and is running things for their own advantage. The identity of the small group in question varies wildly—it’s hard to think of anyone who hasn’t been accused, at some point in the last half century or so, of being the secret elite that runs everything—but the theory that some small group or other has all the power that everybody else seems to lack is accepted nearly everywhere. Whether it’s Occupy Wall Street talking about the nefarious 1%, or the Tea Party talking about the equally nefarious liberal elite, the conviction that power has been concentrated in the wrong hands is ubiquitous in today’s America.

It’s an appealing notion, especially if you want to find somebody to blame for the current state of affairs in this country, and of course hunting for scapegoats is a popular sport whenever times are hard. Still, I’d like to suggest

Gina Covina: Laughing Frog Farm News…


From GINA COVINA
Laughing Frog Farm
Laytonville

Days in the 80s, nights above 40. we may after all be heading into that rare season with an early start. If so, we’re ready for those mythical July tomatoes. Just about all our summer crops are planted out, most in the ground a month earlier than ever. I’m still ready to cover everything in a freeze, but I’m beginning to think that may not be necessary.

Once in the ground the plants face new dangers, chief among them – so far this year – gophers. What about our newest hoop house, the one with a hardware-cloth liner for its raised bed, with seams carefully wired together and edges turned to climb the sides? Oh yeah, the “gopher-proof” one. Last week I found a potato plant pulled most of the way underground in that armored bed, only its wilted top showing. A line of dino kale along one side has lost half its number, unnoticed at first because the plants disappear so completely, leaving no trace but a small hole. So much for my vision of the dino kale as a row of miniature palm trees in the hoop house landscape. Not to mention so much for gopher-proofing. (My theory: the young apprentice rodent-hunter cats, playing with a gopher caught outside the hoop house, casually toss it up over the hay bale side, as it squeaks “No, anywhere but there, don’t throw me into that gopherless realm of the most delectable roots.”)

The bonus in all this planting is the simultaneous harvest of winter crops to make room. The glorious nettle plants made the newest 10’ x 10’ compost pile more than a foot taller (nettles make for a fine-textured mineral-rich compost). Kale, spinach, and chard supply us with daily green smoothies, greens for friends and neighbors, and popular chicken feed. Yellow dock and dandelion roots (not purposefully grown as winter crops but encouraged around the edges of the gardens

My drop-out homesteading story…


From RAN PRIEUR
reddit

Ran’s been posting a lot about dropping out recently, so I thought I’d share my own story. I’ve actually been wanting to write something about this for a while, but I have been having trouble organizing my thoughts around what exactly I want to say. As such, this may be a bit long winded and disorganized, but hopefully it’s useful to some on the dropout path.

I won’t go into details about how I got interested in breaking free from the dominant system. I guess I was fortunate enough to read the right things and think critically about my life. In the course of a few years, my whole outlook on life was radically transformed, and there was no going back. Since then, I’ve been working to break free from the oppression of the dominant system.

About a year and a half ago, My wife and I moved to Bellingham, Washington, to a rental house a few miles outside of the city to start our homesteading journey. Our lot was a couple acres, with fruit trees and a grass area around 4000 square feet that we could turn into a garden. When I do something, I tend to go all out, so I decided to have a huge garden that used nearly the whole 4000 square foot area. I was working from home, so I was able to take lots of breaks during the day to work in the garden.

At first, the work was fun. Being outside and using simple tools. Planting and watching things grow. Harvesting and eating the freshest most delicious vegetables I have ever had. And then, it just got old and tiring. Harvesting pounds and pounds of veggies every day. Washing, sorting, freezing, drying, fermenting, cooking. It just became so much work, and I stopped enjoying it for the most part. Not to mention the isolation. We had moved without having jobs in town. Jobs are the main social network for people out of school, so this turned out to make things very difficult. We made a big effort to go to events and meet people

Todd Walton: Laughing


From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks
Mendocino

“Humor is just another defense against the universe.” Mel Brooks

Once upon a time, so many years ago it might have been another lifetime, I got two kittens, a boy and girl, and after much thought and research named them Boy and Girl. Boy was an orange tabby, Girl was a gray tabby, and in the hallowed tradition of kittens, they played and slept and mewed and ate and clawed things and were wonderfully cute.

When they were about four months old, Boy and Girl played a particular game that made me laugh until I cried. No matter how many times I watched them play this game, I laughed until I cried. Sometimes other people would watch with me as the kittens played this particular game, and some of these people laughed, too, and a few of them even laughed until they cried; but there were other people who watched the game and did not laugh at all, which was amazing to me, and troubling. Here is the game the kittens played.

A heavy brown ceramic vase about fourteen-inches high, round at the bottom and narrowing somewhat at the top, stood on a brick terrace. Girl would chase Boy onto the terrace and Boy would jump into the vase. Girl would sit next to the vase, listening to Boy inside, and when Boy would pop his head up out of the vase, Girl would leap up and try to catch him, and Boy would drop back down into the vase. Then Girl would stand on her hind legs and reach into the vase with her forepaws and Boy would shoot his paws up to fight Girl’s paws, or Boy might leap out of the vase and the chase would resume. Or Girl would be inside the vase with Boy outside and the vase would tip over in the midst of their roughhousing and out would spill Girl.

Why were their antics so hilarious to me?

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