Will Parrish: The Disenrollment Of Clayton Duncan


Clayton Duncan, center.

From WILL PARRISH
Ukiah
TheAVA

For as far back as Clayton Duncan can trace, the maternal side of his family has belonged to the land in and around Robinson Rancheria: a federal Indian reservation off Highway 20 near Nice, grudgingly allotted 107 acres as part of the 1978 federal court case United States Government vs. Mabel Duncan (Clayton’s grandmother). For thousands of years, the family was part of a thriving complex of cultures that white anthropologists dubbed “Eastern Pomo.” In the past 160 years, they have been key figures in keeping alive what remains of those cultures.

Duncan’s great grandfather, Solomon Moore, grew up in the Eastern Pomo village of Shigom, on the east side of Clear Lake. His grandmother, Lucy Moore, hailed from the village of Danoha, situated along an eastern affluent of lower Scott Creek, near where Highway 29 curls around Clear Lake

Todd Walton: Cheating



From TODD WALTON
Under The Table
Mendocino

“I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.” Woody Allen

So… Melky Cabrera, the star outfielder of our San Francisco Giants, has been suspended for fifty games for using performance-enhancing drugs, which means all his game-winning hits and spectacular catches are now suspect and this year’s success of my favorite team is suspect, too.

“Everyone cheats,” said Carlo, when I called him to commiserate about Melky’s suspension. “You think he’s the only one cheating? Guys on every team cheat every day because if they don’t cheat they’re out of work. That’s why they risk getting caught, because at least when they’re on the juice they’ve got a chance as opposed to no chance. And it’s not just baseball and football and the Olympics. This whole fucking society is built on cheating. Look at the toxic derivatives the Wall Street cons use to bankrupt the world.

Art, Independence and Spirit – Van Gogh, Brenda Ueland


From BRENDA UELAND
Excerpted from If You Want To Write (1939)
Still in print
[Repost]

If you read the letters of the painter Van Gogh you will see what his creative impulse was. It was just this: he loved something—the sky, say. He loved human beings. He wanted to show human beings how beautiful the sky was. So he painted it for them. And that was all there was to it.

When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. He sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lampost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: “It is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it.

When I read this letter of Van Gogh’s it comforted me very much

The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy…



From DAVID STREITFELD
NYT

Todd Rutherford was 7 years old when he first understood the nature of supply and demand. He was with a bunch of other boys, one of whom showed off a copy of Playboy to giggles and intense interest. Todd bought the magazine for $5, tore out the racy pictures and resold them to his chums for a buck apiece. He made $20 before his father shut him down a few hours later.

A few years ago, Mr. Rutherford, then in his mid-30s, had another flash of illumination about how scarcity opens the door to opportunity.

He was part of the marketing department of a company that provided services to self-published writers — services that included persuading traditional media and blogs to review the books. It was uphill work. He could churn out press releases all day long, trying to be noticed, but there is only so much space for the umpteenth vampire novel or yet another self-improvement

Biochar Bob goes to Hawaii…


Join Biochar Bob as he travels to Hawaii and talks to a variety of biochar producers and users…

Biochar Bob… has a strong passion for soil science, biochar and life in general. Bob’s mission is to tell the biochar story, through the people, the places, the reasons, and the results related to biochar’s development and use around the world.

Bob is the spokesperson of CAFT: the Char Alliance for the First Tier. The First Tier represents organizations around the world that have working demonstrations and adoptable business models in the developing world. As you must know by now, biochar in the soil, clean cooking charcoal, and cleaner stoves in the home, can all have a dramatic impact on the health and prosperity of developing world citizens. CAFT’s project partners get this and have taken on the extremely hard work of demonstrating such grassroots developments  three very different regions, climates, and nations, and now it’s time for the world, through the eyes of Bob…
~~

GOP: Deceptions wrapped up in falsehoods…


From ADELE M. STAN
AlterNet

6 Big Lies By Republican National Convention Speakers, Day One…

The entire program of the convention’s opening night was based on a deception wrapped up in falsehoods.

On the opening day of its national convention, the Republican Party refrained from putting its full crazy on display in favor of unleashing a mere torrent of mendacity.

Not that there wasn’t a heavy quotient of weirdness.

A white man sang a full complement of R&B songs to a nearly all-white audience of delegates. (Thank you, G.E. Smith Band.) Old people danced comically to the strains of 3 Doors Down.

The Ron Paul people accused the G.O.P. of

Dave Pollard: What Makes Us Trust Someone…


From DAVE POLLARD
How To Save The World

Trust is an essential requirement for an effective, functional community. Our modern, anonymous neighbourhoods provide none of the prerequisites for trust, and hence can never be true communities. In our search for community, many of us reach out instead to those outside our neighbourhoods, looking for support, or reassurance, or knowledge, or partners, or just company. But what is it that makes us trust, or distrust, someone? Is trust something that must be earned, or is it implicit, and can only be destroyed and lost?

Much has been written lately on this subject. Many would argue that trust is something that grows with mutual knowledge, openness, and sharing. I think that’s true to some extent but I believe trust is much more primal than that. It surely predated language. It is evident in non-humans who do not use language as we do, and whose social networks are not established the way ours are. Watch two dogs meeting for the first time and you’ll see what underlies the establishment and building or destruction of trust. We are, after all, much more than our minds, and our minds, I would argue, play a relatively minor role in the establishment of trust. Here’s how I think it works, based on my own observation of creatures human and non:

  1. As Keith Johnstone explains in Impro, when we first meet someone, before a word is spoken, our whole bodies are sending and receiving signals, largely unconsciously, to and from the other person. Our processing of those signals is also largely unconscious, as our conscious minds generally tend to rationalize and/or second-guess, rather than create

Gene Logsdon: The Weather May Not Be the Problem


From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer

There are so many stark contrasts in the world today. These are times out of which great epics of literature ought to be written but aren’t. Society is too engrossed in drivel like whether badminton players in the Olympics were cheating or not. This summer, the driest in 50 years in parts of the Midwest, the Army Corps of Engineers is dredging deeper channels for the barges on the Mississippi River, which is at an all time low level. Just last year, rainfall in the eastern corn belt was at an all-time high and the Corps was desperately trying to control flooding on the Mississippi.

Weather-related contrasts are occurring here in my own Ohio backyard where it barely rained at all from May to August. Close to our farm stand two cornfields just across a narrow road from each other. One has nearly normal corn and the other (in one of the photos) has drought-stricken corn. I know personally both farmers who planted these two fields and both are very competent. The soil in both fields is the same. Fertilizer applied was about the same. Rainfall was the same. This contrast appears all over the county, all over the state, all over the Corn Belt. What is going on here?

Farmers and farm reporters and this blog have talked the question half to death. Our own local chapter of contrary farmers lists these possibilities for the difference in the two fields: time of planting, depth of planting, corn variety, seed bed preparation, plant population, and prayer. Since the two farmers involved both attend church regularly, I think we can rule out that last factor.

Why Is God Punishing The GOP With Storms? Three Wrath-Provoking Possibilities…



From RICHARD ESKOW
OurFuture

“He who trusts in his riches will fall …
He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind”

– Proverbs 11

When Hurricane Gunter tormented Republicans during their 2008 convention, one of the ecancellations caused by the storm was a speech from outgoing President George W. Bush. He’s the one who famously said he didn’t need to ask his ex-President Dad for advice because “there is a higher Father I appeal to.”Apparently that Father didn’t find President Bush all that appealing. In fact, the storm’s path shifted away from the convention immediately after his speech was cancelled. Hello, down there, is anybody listening? This year’s Republican Convention is also being forced to shorten and change its schedule as a fearsome wind and rain bears down from the ocean. ” … A destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet.”The theological world is ablaze with speculation about what might have motivated God to send a hurricane against the Republican Party’s National Convention for the second time in a row.

Okay, maybe it’s not ablaze with speculation. But it should be. After all, it was Republican preacher Pat Robertson who expressed the idea that hurricanes and storms are God’s way of registering disapproval

We all came to the Occupation damaged…



From RAMI SHAMIR
Adbusters

During the time of physical Occupation, when incorporated reporters would daily swarm through Zuccotti Park, a common question that the unleashed bees would ask in their search for honey was “Why?” Why would you leave your life to come here and live outside in a park with a bunch of people you don’t know?

I’m still somewhat at a loss as to how not one of these journalists decided to join up with the Occupation, entrench themselves beneath the golden leaves and report directly from the front lines of this new fissure in the American unexperience. Had these new Edward R. Murrows and Walter Cronkites bothered to make Zuccotti Park more than just an occasional Sunday outing in the shadow of the Freedom Tower, they’d have quickly learned that everyone who came to the physical Occupation had no life whatsoever to leave. The Occupiers at Zuccotti were refugees from the American nowhere: street veterans of urban vagrancy, homeless queer youth, a whole generation born too late but educated too wise even to attempt to scrape the crumbs off the ground of the long-ago devoured American pie; those of us who attempted despite ourselves quickly found that even the crumbs were gone. Yes – there were people who left previous lives to live outside in a park, but these lives were nothing but a prelude, a purgatory, windowless waiting rooms to being alive: housewives suffocating within the glade of their upper middle class Panhandle, fiancées wedded to repeat variations on the themes of their parents’ marriages, office workers whose skin color prevented

A British Town Relearns How to Live Off the Land…


From PAM WARHURST
Incredible Edible
Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK

What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.
~

Incredible Edibles: How guerrilla gardeners have transformed a town’s public spaces

Can you imagine planting potatoes, beans, peas and carrots in front of a police station?

I spent a delightful few hours this week in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, a town recently ravaged by floods.

It’s gorgeous, olde worlde without being twee, surrounded by beautiful scenery.

There’s a river, a canal and a magnificent railway viaduct.

In short, it’s a very pleasant place to be, and only 16 miles from the centre of Manchester.

I can already hear some readers grumbling: “But what’s this to do with practical gardening tips?”

Well, if you are interested in community, interested in plants and if you’re interested in growing fruit and veg and herbs, visit this town and be inspired about what has happened and is happening elsewhere when people band together armed with their spades, forks and rakes.

The Rot Runs Deep: The Federal Reserve Is a Parasitic Wealth Transfer Machine…


From CHARLES HUGH SMITH
of two minds

The Federal Reserve is a wealth transfer machine, skimming wealth from the productive many and transferring it to the parasitic few.

Today I launch a series entitled “The Rot Runs Deep” that examines the moral and financial rot at the core of American finance, politics and culture. We have reached a unique junction of American history: the confluence of Big Lie propaganda, neofeudalism and the worship of false financial gods.

The Big Lie propaganda machine of corporate media and the Central State has perfected Orwell’s nightmare vision of centralized media and a fascist centralized State which turn lies into self-serving “truth.”

Since the Federal Reserve is once again expected to “save” a crumbling, exploitative Status Quo, let’s use the Fed as an example. The propaganda machine would have us believe that the Federal Reserve, the privately owned central bank of the U.S., has “saved” the Status Quo from financial ruin on numerous occasions by “smoothing out” the business cycle (credit expands and contracts) and by “stimulating aggregate demand” by lowering interest rates and pumping money into the economy (quantitative easing).

We are constantly prompted to worship the Federal Reserve’s supposedly god-like powers to rescue

William Edelen: Hebrew Mysticism


From WILLIAM EDELEN
The Contrary Minister
Towards the Mystery

Dr. Stanley Dean, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Miami, and editor of the book Psychiatry and Mysticism writes: “The study of mysticism should be a part of the curriculum of medical schools.” He defines mysticism as “knowledge or awareness that reaches a persons consciousness through channels other than those known to us at present.”

One of the major movements in Judaism today is a return to Hebrew Mysticism. I have chosen the following examples to indicate the strength and direction of this movement. Rabbi David Teutsch, Executive Director of the Federation of Congregations, writes: “We are moving toward a new Judaism. It will have as classical a shape when viewed a thousand years from now as biblical Judaism has now. A new, revitalized Jewish spirituality will emerge.” Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb describes the movement as experiencing “a freedom to take religion and Judaism out of its conventional forms and bring it back to the heart and soul of the earth.” It is a desire to create a new spirituality and physical unity with this planet.

Traditional Jewish services have been turned around and pointed in a new direction. Instead of sitting in orderly pews, facing East toward Jerusalem and reading from standard prayer books, the participants sit in a circle. The rationale is that, since God is within each one of us, it is better to look at your friend when you pray than to imagine an ancient Holy Temple. Liturgy and ritual have been invented and revitalized.

What Happens While You Sleep and How It Affects Your Every Waking Moment…


From MARIA POPOVA
BrainPickings

“We are living in an age when sleep is more comfortable than ever and yet more elusive.”

The Ancient Greeks believed that one fell asleep when the brain filled with blood and awakened once it drained back out. Nineteenth-century philosophers contended that sleep happened when the brain was emptied of ambitions and stimulating thoughts. “If sleep doesn’t serve an absolutely vital function, it is the greatest mistake evolution ever made,” biologist Allan Rechtschaffen once remarked. Even today, sleep remains one of the most poorly understood human biological functions, despite some recent strides in understanding the “social jetlag” of our internal clocks and the relationship between dreaming and depression. In Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, journalist David K. Randall — who stumbled upon the idea after crashing violently into a wall while sleepwalking — explores “the largest overlooked part of your life and how it affects you even if you don’t have a sleep problem.” From gender differences to how come some people snore and others don’t to why we dream, he dives deep into this mysterious third of human existence to illuminate what happens when night falls and how it impacts every aspect of our days.

Most of us will spend a full third of our lives asleep, and yet we don’t have the faintest idea of what it does for our bodies and our brains. Research labs offer surprisingly few answers. Sleep is one of the dirty little secrets of science. My neurologist wasn’t kidding when he said there was a lot that we don’t know about sleep, starting with the most obvious question of all — why we, and every other animal, need to sleep in the first place.

But before we get too anthropocentrically arrogant in our assumptions, it turns out the quantitative requirement of sleep isn’t correlated with how high up the evolutionary chain an organism is:

Lions and gerbils sleep about thirteen hours a day. Tigers and squirrels nod off for about fifteen hours. At the other end of the spectrum, elephants typically sleep three and a half hours at a time, which seems lavish compared to the hour and a half of shut-eye that the average giraffe gets each night. […]

Humans need roughly one hour of sleep for every two hours they are awake, and the body innately knows when this ratio becomes out of whack. Each hour of missed sleep one night will result in deeper sleep the next, until the body’s sleep debt is wiped clean.

What, then, happens as we doze off, exactly? Like all science, our understanding of sleep seems to be a constant “revision in progress”:

Complete article here
~~

Herb Ruhs: Comments on Stress posting…


From HERB RUHS
Boonville

[Herb comments on the recent post Stress: Portrait of a Killer. Upcoming film from Transition Ukiah Valley Film Series this Fall, Urban Roots, addresses Herb’s solutions…-DS]

The sick irony (as in sick joke) is that prolonged stress, like alcohol, disables one’s judgement leaving one even more susceptible to stress producing environments and behaviors. In the extreme, the individual, even the group or family or society itself, becomes addicted to stress because intermittent stress relief via drugs or other delusions is highly reinforcing. Another sick irony is that this stress driven culture has evolved a scientific establishment that can show us, in detail, how we are killing ourselves, our families, our societies and eventually, our entire species. I am muchly entertained. If you can’t appreciate cosmic humor and intense irony (two faces of the same phenomenon) all your suffering is going to waste. This is how this became the most interesting of times. Anthropology is especially useful in stroking the strings of irony. Over the last few millennia the stress addicted cultures have largely exterminated all gentle cultures they have come across, but isolated bits and pieces — like magically preserved items salvaged from a house fire — do exist, even here in the US. The ones I have come across are universally poor areas where people living largely at a subsistence level help each other. These places also uniformly lack resources that can be turned into global commodities.

Our thinking is perversely confined to individualistic considerations, which is driving all this. It is as if we have become socially blind and are stumbling around in the dark getting hurt and hurting others. Even worse is the suppression of that small part of the society that actually does have a social perspective. The Wobblies’ well known motto of a hundred years ago, An Injury To One Is An Injury To All, was driven into incomprehension by the public mind as scientific propaganda replaced actual reality with a toxic mimic of ever more carefully constructed webs of lies. This is what Winston’s friend in 1984 meant when he described the deliberate wounding of the public mind so as to make independent thought, critical judgement, and the direct apprehension of reality impossible for the vast majority and suppressible in Room 101 with scientific emotional torture. If divide and conquer is the basic strategy of oppression, then the logical extreme is that is each individual is divided from each other, thereby erasing the reality of society itself as Margret Thatcher asserted while claiming that there is no such thing as society. But more importantly, each individual is divided in herself, at perpetual war with her own intrinsic drives to connect. The slave master seeks a helpless slave. The message becomes, “Poison yourself. It’s good for you.”

Of course following these trains of thought and observation can be harmful to one’s mental health

A “Tea Party Wanker” whipping up fear gets his…



~~

The End of the Industrial Revolution… What a Privilege…


From PAUL GILDING
Cockatoo Chronicles
Ted Talks Version

What a privilege it is to be alive in these times, in such a significant period in human history. It’s not always easy to see moments of great historical importance when you’re in the middle of them. Sometimes they’re dramatic, like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the landing on the moon. But more often the really big ones appear, from within them, to be unfolding in slow motion. Their actual drama and speed then only becomes clear in hindsight.

That’s how it will be with this. But in the end we’ll look back at this moment and say, yes, that’s when it was clear, that’s when the end game began. The end game of the industrial revolution.

Hang on, you’re thinking. The industrial revolution? With its belching smokestacks, dirty industry and steam engines? You thought we left that behind long ago, right? You look at your smart phone, robots on Mars, the rise of Facebook and Google and think ‘we’re well past all that’. Isn’t this the age of knowledge, when we’re all hyper-connected in a 24/7 information rich economy? Think again.

Hiding behind those entertaining devices, information overload and exciting new companies, the real bulk of the economy is still being driven by those dirty belching smokestacks and is still being shaped by those who inherited the economic momentum of 19th century England – the coal, oil and gas industries. Look at any list of the world’s 20 largest companies by turnover and you’ll see around three quarters are either producing fossil fuels, trading them or converting them into transport or energy. So I’m afraid the proverbial belching smokestacks still underpin our economy. But they are now in terminal decline. Yes, after 250 years, their time is coming to an end – and faster than you, or they, think.

For those of us focused on social change, it doesn’t get much more exciting than this. When I was writing my book The Great Disruption during 2010, and even when it was published just a year ago, the ideas in it were still fringe to the mainstream debate – a radical and provocative interpretation of what was happening. Most thought my argument – that a crisis driven economic transformation was inevitable – were, if correct, certainly not imminent and would not impact for decades. Just two years later, we only have to look around to see the disruption underway, as the old economy grinds to a halt, and the incredible opportunity for change that is now all around us.

It’s going to be a wild and exhilarating ride, with winners and losers, crises and breakthroughs. There’ll be a fair amount of chaos and we’ll teeter on the edge for a while, wondering if we’ll get through. But we will, and we’ll then look back to this time and say, yes, I was there.  I was there when the third great wave of human progress began. The first was the domestication of plants and animals

Todd Walton: Helen Gurley Brown



Photo of 1978 Cosmopolitan by Todd

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table
Mendocino

“How could any woman not be a feminist? The girl I’m editing for wants to be known for herself. If that’s not a feminist message, I don’t know what is.” Helen Gurley Brown

Why am I writing about Helen Gurley Brown, famed editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and a champion of sexual freedom or a promoter of sexual enslavement, depending on your particular socio-political orientation? Well, because Helen Gurley Brown just died at the age of ninety, and though many people consider her a traitor to feminism, and many others see her as a pioneering feminist and social revolutionary, Helen was one of the very few magazine editors in America in the 1970’s and 80’s who would publish my short stories about the challenges facing men and women in the chaos of sexual and social change that arrived with the birth control pill and the dawn of the feminist epoch; thus I have no doubt about where I stand regarding Ms. Brown’s place in the history of psycho-sexual discourse.

Ironically, or appropriately, I intended all eight of my stories that were eventually published in Cosmopolitan to be published in other magazines, notably Esquire and The New Yorker, for I did not read Cosmopolitan or have any great desire to be published therein. But I was not famous, nor was I a member of the literary society with access to the editors of those seemingly more sophisticated magazines, and so despite the valiant efforts of my incomparable literary agent Dorothy Pittman, I was never able to publish a story in either Esquire or The New Yorker, though we received many flattering rejection letters from editors at both magazines.

The very first short story I ever sold for actual money (as opposed to the mere glory of seeing my name in print) was to Cosmopolitan in 1975 for the staggering sum of one thousand dollars, with ten per cent of that fortune going to Dorothy. In one fell swoop I was lifted out of poverty, for in those days my monthly nut was seventy-five dollars: thirty dollars rent (I was living in a garage in Eugene, Oregon), thirty dollars for food, fifteen dollars for everything else. One day I was surviving on rice and beans and barely making ends meet with minimum wage work, the next day I was writing full-time and buying the occasional chicken to round out my menu.

Naively, I thought the publication of Willow, a provocative tale of a woman boxer who gets a shot at the male welterweight crown,would quickly be followed by more sales to Cosmopolitan and other magazines, but the gods did not so smile on me again until those nine hundred dollars were long gone and I had moved to Medford, Oregon to work as a landscaper. But oh how I relished that year of unfettered scribbling, a twelvemonth that saw the completion of my novel The Gimp that would be published three years later as Inside Moves, which publication procured for me

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