The Best Lies Money Can Buy…


From STEVE BENEN
Maddow Blog

The New York Times seems quite impressed with the latest attack ad from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which is poised to blanket the airwaves in swing states. The Times calls it “deeply researched,” “delicately worded,” and “low key.”

The paper neglected to mention another phrase: misleading to an offensive degree.

Jamelle Bouie had a good take on this:

As befitting a Karl Rove outfit, the claims in the ad are either misleading, or outright falsehoods. Citing a Reuters story from 2009 on conservative efforts to sink the bill, Crossroads GPS insinuates that the stimulus was a failure, despite wide consensus that the bill kept United States out of a depression, and significantly improved prospects for recovery.

The ad continues in this vein, blaming high insurance premiums on the Affordable Care Act — when the cited article says otherwise — and blaming Obama for the increase in debt, despite the fact that under his administration, government spending has risen at a slower pace than any time in the last 60 years.

Indeed, the great irony of the ad is that it’s Karl Rove attacking Obama for the fiscal policies the president inherited from Rove’s old boss.

The Times write-up focuses on the ad’s efficacy, and I suppose it’s possible uninformed voters who are easily swayed by nonsense, policy gibberish, and outright falsehoods will find it compelling.

But perhaps now would be a good time to note that efficacy and honesty aren’t the same thing, and the latter matters more than the former.

The Crossroads attack ad is as cynical as politics can get, working from the assumption that voters are fools.

Romney The Liar Lies About Public Sector Jobs Again…


From ROMNEY THE LIAR

Willard continues to distort the economic record at every turn. Now he says that President Obama deliberately “bailed out” the public sector in his stimulus, and that the public sector needs to shrink. In point of fact, it already has. The facts are these:

Paul Krugman posted this chart last week:

Krugman explained, “That spike early on is Census hiring; once that was past, the Obama years shaped up as an era of huge cuts in public employment compared with previous experience. If public employment had grown the way it did under Bush, we’d have 1.3 million more government workers, and probably an unemployment rate of 7 percent or less.”

If you take all the job losses that have happened under President Obama, and all the job gains over the same period, the economy is still in the hole — but nearly 100% of the losses are from the loss of government jobs.

This may seem counterintuitive, and the right simply chooses not to even consider the facts on the merits, but the principal difference between our fragile recovery and a more robust recovery is the domestic austerity measures that have been in place — and served as a counter-stimulus for three years.

The Rise of the New Economy Movement…


From GAR ALPEROVITZ
AlterNet

Activists, theorists, organizations and ordinary citizens are rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up… The movement includes young and old, “Occupy” people, student activists, and what one older participant describes as thousands of “people in their 60s from the ’60s” rolling up their sleeves to apply some of the lessons of an earlier movement.

Just beneath the surface of traditional media attention, something vital has been gathering force and is about to explode into public consciousness. The “New Economy Movement” is a far-ranging coming together of organizations, projects, activists, theorists and ordinary citizens committed to rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up.

The broad goal is democratized ownership of the economy for the “99 percent” in an ecologically sustainable and participatory community-building fashion. The name of the game is practical work in the here and now—and a hands-on process that is also informed by big picture theory and in-depth knowledge.

Thousands of real world projects — from solar-powered businesses to worker-owned cooperatives and state-owned banks — are underway across the country. Many are self-consciously understood as attempts to develop working prototypes in state and local “laboratories of democracy” that may be applied at regional and national scale when the right political moment occurs.

The movement includes young and old, “Occupy” people, student activists, and what one older participant describes as thousands of “people in their 60s

How reading fiction can make you a better cook…


From DARYA PINO
Summer Tomato
For J

It’s a little known fact that before I became interested in neuroscience (which was well before I became interested in food) I spent three years as a literature major at Berkeley. The power of language to whisk us away to other worlds, times and even into other people’s minds never ceases to astound me.

Fiction can often give me a better glimpse into a culture than even visiting, since the amount of time and exploration required to really get a sense for the mindset and lifestyle of the people who live there is substantial.

Excellent works of fiction transform me as a person as I internalize the vibe of a book, and what I read has the power to influence what music I listen to, how I dress, and even how I eat. When a book really pulls me in its hold can last for weeks or even months at a time.

For instance, it’s impossible for me to read Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, which I’ve done several times, without craving Spanish tapas and red wine for the better part of a month (this is also why Spanish food is one of my absolute favorite cuisines). The Last Chinese Chef had me exploring obscure alleyways in Chinatown in search of the best dumplings and peking duck, and before reading it I would have said Chinese food wasn’t really my jam.

Midnight’s Children, the meta-award winning book by Salman Rushdie, forever changed the way I think and feel about Indian food. Spices and heat permeate the characters and events in Midnight’s Children, which is one of the literary tools Rushdie uses to portray his native culture. My obsession with Indian food lasted for months as I read this and other works by Rushdie, since I couldn’t stop reading him after finishing the first.

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.
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