Janie Sheppard: Murals in the Mission


From JANIE SHEPPARD
Mendocino County

Inspired by the Ukiah controversy over murals, Laura Fogg and I decided to do some community mural viewing.  Laura wanted to investigate the murals in San Francisco’s Mission District and I was game to go along.

We started early, 7 a.m., stopping at the Flying Goat Coffee House in Healdsburg for scones and coffee, and arriving in the Mission around 10 a.m.  We parked easily near 17th and South Van Ness, very close to our first stop:  Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP), near the intersection of Mission and 17th Streets.  Facebook says about CAMP:  that it chose social inclusiveness and aesthetic variety as its themes.  The result is more than 100 murals on and around Clarion Alley by Latino, Caucasian, African-American, Native American, Asian, Indian, Queer and disabled artists of all ages and all levels of experience.  Here are a couple of the murals.

Balmy Alley, between Treat Avenue and Harrison Street, offered more treats, including a scary robot taking over the Mission District.  A resident explained that when the Dot.com economy offered high incomes to many energetic young people, they chose to move to the Mission, threatening its local culture.  The resulting robot mural depicts the crushing power of dot.com monster.

Gardening for the Next Generation


From DEBRA ESCHMEYER
Civil Eats

Gardening is hot, and I don’t mean just sweaty work in July while you hoe the purslane and harvest beans, squash, and zucchini.  Working the land is a trendy topic from web-rooted FarmVille to the White House to the written word.

Part of the reason for the new interest in the simple but yet so intensely complex act of growing food is that we have a clear problem and myriad solutions. The problem: obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year. As recently reported in “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010,” obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges our country has faced. With 1 in 3 US children age 2-19 overweight or obese, we need to end this trend and fortunately, many organizations, initiatives, and resources aim to solve child obesity in a generation.

Part of the solution starts with students and a seed. The benefits of gardening are far beyond the average 270 calories burned while digging in the dirt. The Royal Horticulture Society reported in new research that “as well as helping children lead happier, healthier lives today, gardening helped them acquire the essential skills they need to fulfill their potential in a rapidly-changing world and make a positive contribution to society as a whole.”

Our society craves a connection to a sense of place, to where our food comes from, to the community that used to surround a meal. We are so far removed from agriculture that over 20 million people daily use a mouse instead of a hoe to harvest on FarmVille. While living in DC during snowpocalypse 2010, I achieved level 30 in FarmVille in a few short weeks—albeit extremely frustrated at the ridiculousness of never actually ‘harvesting’ the farm animals and collecting chocolate milk from a brown cow.

Rep. Alan Grayson: The Republicans are trying to revive an America of desperate straits and cheap labor


From digby
Hullabaloo

[Unemployment Insurance] “The Republicans are thinking, why don’t they just sell some of their stock? If they’re in really dire straits maybe they can take some of their art collection and send it to the auctioneer. And if they’re in deep deep trouble maybe the unemployed can sell one of their yachts. That’s what the Republicans are thinking right now. But that’s not the life of ordinary people…”

“I will say to the Republicans who have blocked this bill for months, to those who have kept food out of the mouths of children, I will say to them now, may God have mercy on your souls”
~~

Dan Hamburg: Pandora’s Box in the Gulf — Does Hope Remain?


From LEWIS SEILER & DAN HAMBURG
CommonDreams.org

[…]

1.  Why was BP allowed to drill in this location?  Both the MMS and BP geologists cautioned against drilling in the location of the Deepwater Horizon due to evidence of a highly volatile methane bubble beneath the seabed.  They warned that if this bubble was disturbed and exploded, it could cause a 200 foot tsunami that would virtually wipe out six Gulf states!  In spite of all this, MMS waived environmental impact studies for the rig and well.

2. Why aren’t all oil companies exploiting the land and seas of the United States, required to drill relief wells and to have equipment at the ready to deal with accidents?

3.  Why aren’t the perpetrators of this disaster being charged for negligence, manslaughter, or worse?  Whistleblowers pointed out before the explosion that the last several hundred feet of the well borehole lacked protective cement casing, a dangerous situation that increased the chances for an explosive event to occur.  Just five hours before the rig went up in flames, an expert who’d worked with the US Army extinguishing oil fires in Iraq was flown to the rig for consultation.  He informed BP that if they continued to pump saltwater into the hole it would blow.  He then demanded immediate evacuation for himself and his men.  The Transocean Corporation, whose blowout preventer failed to operate on April 20, advised BP to stop drilling after receiving negative pressure test results.  Despite these warnings BP did nothing, allowing eleven men to die, and inflicting incalculable damage on the lives of Gulf coast residents, the environment and economy that will take decades, if not centuries to recover.

Michael Laybourn: Our Real Teachers — At Grace Hudson Now


From MICHAEL LAYBOURN
Hopland

Hot Tip:
Go down to the Grace Hudson Museum and see Seaweed, Salmon and Manzanita Cider, a California Indian Feast exhibition. This exhibit is a gem. Not only to see and taste what the the California Natives ate in past times and still do to some extent, but to sense the needed equilibrium necessary to live on this planet.

I saw the opening exhibit Sunday and rediscovered some the fundamental truths about the balances of life we all need to keep in mind. The show is called a feast and it is — a feast for the mind as well as the mouth. Here are some quotes from the (cook)book that is sold with the show. The book is put together by Margaret Dubin and Sara-Larus Tolley. Buy it — It is well worth it. Learn something.

From the Foreword by Kathleen Rose Smith (Bodega Miwok and Dry Creek Pomo):

Before Euro-American domination, more than 1000 nations (including bands and tribes) thrived in the place called California… Such long-term rootedness was possible due to the knowledge, respect, and restraint with which Native Californians approached plants and animals that sustained them. Strict rules governed their interactions with the environment: they gathered plants only at certain times; they burned, pruned, and dug in prescribed ways and at carefully calculated times, and they gave something back for whatever they took. The “untrammeled wilderness” the Europeans thought they discovered was in fact a carefully managed ecosystem…

My mother told me this when I was young. I didn’t understand what she meant then, but I do now. She said we had many relatives and we all had to live together; so we’d better learn how to get along with each other. She said it wasn’t too hard to do. It was just like taking care of your younger brother or sister. You got to know them, find out what they like and what made them cry, so you’d know what to do. If you took good care of them you didn’t have to work as hard. Sounds like it’s not true, but it is. When that baby gets to be a man or woman they’re going to help you out.

Book Reviews: Going ‘off the grid’ — what it means and what it takes and why


From LA TIMES

Eight books about moving away from the city and living without power, running water, cars and in some cases, companionship.

It’s all Thoreau’s fault. In the whirring, churning American imagination, that vast and lovely virtual world — fed by books and stories — with territory one can still “light out” for, Thoreau is the guy who showed it was possible to get off the merry-go-round, the constant forward movement, and still walk into town from time to time. Plant yourself within spitting distance of civilization, refuse to participate in the orgy of commercialism, refuse to pay taxes if you don’t agree with how they’re spent. You don’t need everything they tell you that you need. You can do more for yourself than they tell you that you can. The message was political, spiritual, practical and environmental. It contained a fine amount of humor, a pinch of self-doubt and a smidgeon of hypocrisy. Today we would call Thoreau’s move to the banks of Walden Pond going off the grid.

Although books about carving out your own piece of the pie have been written ever since the Transcendentalists took issue with the direction that American democracy was taking, never before have I seen the current deluge of books on how to escape the American Dream. I grew up in New York City in an apartment full of them — my mother spent her short life trying to get out of Dodge and into the hills, though the schools she attended surely did not teach survival skills. I’ve chosen seven new tomes that represent various approaches, or should I say escape routes, but there are at least a dozen more. Why? Why now?

Nick Rosen sees going off the grid as a political choice. In “Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America,” he writes that corporate greed, massive layoffs, healthcare wars, ecological disasters have caused many true believers to question the American Dream. “Most of the people I met on my tour of America,” writes the British Rosen, “are losing faith in the grid, both in its literal and metaphorical sense. They don’t feel a sufficient advantage to being inside the fabric of society.” The grid was created…  more here
~
See also Why Thoreau Is Still Relevant
~~

The Dirty F@#*ing Hippies Were Right!


From DAILY KOS
Thanks to Bruce McCloskey

Click On Post Title For Viewing

[This gives me both deep sorrow, and a great, sustainable joy! Living here among the last outposts in Ecotopia, we should always celebrate our fun-loving creativity, foresight, and wisdom, and never, never, never let down the good fight. -DS]

It’s hard to believe but there is still a lot of hippie hating going on. It can even be found here at daily kos from time to time. How ignorant or brainwashed does one have to be to rail against those who tried to save us from the fate that bedevils us now? If we’d heeded their cries for sanity and change we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. Not saying it would be utopia but it wouldn’t be the hell on earth the establishment conservatives have created for us.

Imagine no possesions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people Sharing all the world.

John Lennon – Imagine

The hippies were powerful proponents of universal brotherhood, peace, love, tolerance, understanding and ecological stewardship. They tried to change our culture and point out that it was superficial, mean, hateful, wasteful, rapacious, violent, greedy, selfish and unsustainable.

And that, I think, was the handle – that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Hunter S. Thompson

If the hippies and their message had prevailed we wouldn’t be pouring trillions of dollars into stupid and immoral wars of choice. We’d have (arguably) switched to alternative forms of energy, adjusted our lifestyles, reined in the greedheads,

A Conservative Groks Obama


From Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post

In the political marketplace, there’s now a run on Obama shares. The left is disappointed with the president. Independents are abandoning him in droves. And the right is already dancing on his political grave, salivating about November when, his own press secretary admitted Sunday, Democrats might lose the House.

I have a warning for Republicans: Don’t underestimate Barack Obama.

Consider what he has already achieved. Obamacare alone makes his presidency historic. It has irrevocably changed one-sixth of the economy, put the country inexorably on the road to national health care and, as acknowledged by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus but few others, begun one of the most massive wealth redistributions in U.S. history.

Second, there is major financial reform, which passed Congress on Thursday. Economists argue whether it will prevent meltdowns and bailouts as promised. But there is no argument that it will give the government unprecedented power in the financial marketplace. Its 2,300 pages will create at least 243 new regulations that will affect not only, as many assume, the big banks but just about everyone, including, as noted in one summary (the Wall Street Journal), “storefront check cashiers, city governments, small manufacturers, home buyers and credit bureaus.”

Third is the near $1 trillion stimulus, the largest spending bill in U.S. history. And that’s not even counting nationalizing the student loan program, regulating carbon emissions by Environmental Protection Agency fiat, and still-fitful attempts to pass cap-and-trade through Congress.

But Obama’s most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed.

Conservatism is an Ideology of Death


From GEORGE LAKOFF
Common Dreams

The issue is death – death gushing at ten thousand pounds per square inch from a mile below the sea, tens of thousands of barrels of death a day. Not just death to eleven human beings. Death to sea birds, sea turtles, dolphins, fish, oyster beds, shrimp, beaches; death to the fishing industry, tourism, jobs; and death to a way of life based on the beauty and bounty of the Gulf.

Many, perhaps a majority, of the Gulf residents affected are conservatives, strong right-wing Republicans, following extremist Governors Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour. What those conservatives are not saying, and may be incapable of seeing, is that conservatism itself is largely responsible for what happened, and that conservatism is a continuing disaster for conservatives who live along the Gulf.

Conservatism is an ideology of death. It was conservative laissez-faire free market ideology – that maximizing profit comes first – that led to:

* the corrupt relationship between the oil companies and the Interior Department staff that was supposedly regulating them
* minimizing cost by not drilling relief wells
* the principle that oil companies could be responsible their own risk assessments on drilling
* maximizing profit by outsourcing risk assessment that told them what they wanted to hear: zero risk!
* maximizing profit by minimizing cost of materials
* maximizing profit by failing to pay cleanup crews and businesses for their losses
* focusing only on profit by failing to test the cleanup methods to be used if something went wrong
* minimizing cost by sacrificing the health of cleanup crews, refusing to allow them to use respirator masks to protect against toxic fumes.

It is conservative profit-above-all market fundamentalism that has led other oil companies to mount a massive PR campaign to isolate BP as an anomalous “bad actor” and to argue

Todd Walton: The Double


From TODD WALTON
Under The Table
Anderson Valley

I still find it hard to fathom that there are men walking the earth who resemble me so exactly that even their close friends can’t tell us apart. But ever since I was a teenager, and until quite recently (I’m approaching sixty), I have had several remarkable experiences of being taken for someone I am not. These were not incidents of mistaken identity at a distance. No, these were encounters with people—complete strangers—who saw me up close, studied me, spoke to me, and swore that I was the person they thought I was—a person they knew intimately. And when I told them I was Todd, and not Mike or Paul or Huey or Jason, they thought I was either joking or lying. Furthermore, they told me I possessed this other person’s voice and physical mannerisms to such an uncanny degree, that if I was not the person they believed me to be, I must be his identical twin—or his ghost.

I was a junior in high school—1966—when I was first mistaken so completely for someone else. I was coming out of Discount Records in Menlo Park, California, when an immaculate two-door 1956 Chevrolet, black top, gray bottom, pulled up beside me, and the driver rolled down his window to say, “Hey, Mike. Listen to this. Something doesn’t sound right.” Then he gunned his engine. “See what I mean? Carburetor?”

“I don’t know who you are,” I said, shrugging politely. “And I don’t know anything about cars.”

“Mike?” he said, incredulously. “You’re not Mike?”

“I’m sorry. No.”

“Wow. You look just like him. Clothes and everything. And you sound like him, too.”

My outfit—blue jeans and T-shirt and high-top tennis shoes—was not particularly original in that era,

Scott Cratty: Ukiah Farmers Market This Saturday 7/17/10



Ithaca, New York

From SCOTT CRATTY
Ukiah

Friends of the Farmers’ Market,

Greetings.  This Saturday we should set yet a new high water mark for the number of local small farms and ranches at the Ukiah Saturday Farmers’ Market.

We have had several new farms at the market over the last couple of weeks (e.g., Black Dog and Amber Phamily).  Joining them and our usual array of great vendors this weekend for the first time will be Ellery Clark bringing a range of Ukiah-grown produce and Triple Creek from Laytonville, a second blueberry vendor.  Jack and Mimi Booth of Cinnamon Bear Farm will be returning for the first time this season and they expect to have our first Mendocino grown tomatoes … but you will have to be at the market early to get them.

Don’t forget that we have so much going on, most of our ranches and our fresh seafood have moved into a new section in the parking lot at School and Clay.

Speaking of meat, Lovers Lane Farm wanted me to let you all know that they will be having a “pork blowout” for the next 2 weeks at all the farmer’s markets. “In order to make room for a new batch of 100% Berkshire (Kurobuta) hogs, we will offer $5 off all roasts. This includes smoked ham roasts, bone-in picnic roasts, & boneless Boston butt roasts. Also smoked hocks will be buy one get one free. We still have a good supply of smoked jowls, sliced and whole. These make an excellent substitute for bacon, in fact you may not be able to tell the difference.” More about another Lovers’ Lane offer below.

Joanne Horn of Afterglow Naturals will be at the market for the 1st (and possibly only) time this month.

We will again have BEANS, an NCO-sponsored educational project.  This weekend the BEANS crew will be providing a range of activity for kids, including coloring, hula hooping, tin can stilts, nutrition information, recipes and more.  Plus, they will be sharing corn and bean fiesta salad. As usual, the market will feature a story time reading for kids at 10:30am in the park.  Then there is the jump house.

For you adults, we will have UC Master Gardeners to answer all of your questions.  This week they will feature information on weed & pest control. The good folks of the Ukiah Valley Medical Center will provide diabetes testing and information.

Hey, Catfood Commission: 86% of Americans Would Not Reduce Social Security



From FIRE DOG LAKE

In a poll just released today, Time provides results that show Americans staunchly opposed to cuts in Social Security, Medicare or healthcare, but in favor of cutting spending on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. With Alan Simpson and the Catfood Commission so determined to cut Social Security and Medicare, we can now state that they are going directly against over 80% of citizens in this effort.

The question posed was “If Congress and the President had to reduce spending, which of these areas would you reduce spending?”  The areas included were Social Security, Medicare, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, education, unemployment compensation for people out of work and looking for jobs, healthcare, Medicaid (which provides health care for low income families)  and defense spending other than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Here are the results for these questions:

Category Would reduce, % Would not reduce, %
Social Security 12 86
Medicare 16 82
Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq 55 41
Education 17 82
Unemployment compensation for people out of work and looking for jobs 34 63
Healthcare 28 68
Medicaid, which provides health care for low income families 20 77
Defense spending other than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 46 50

The full poll can be read here.

‘The Most Dangerous Man In America’ Coming To Philo 7/18


Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers will be shown at the Anderson Valley Grange in Philo, on Sunday evening, July 18th at 6:30 p.m. This special screening is sponsored by Greenwood Vineyards, the Grange, and Solstice Productions. Refreshments available. Tickets are $5.00.

The Most Dangerous Man in America, a 2010 Academy Award nominee, has won best documentary awards throughout the U.S. and has screened in Australia, Berlin, and Warsaw. One of the creators, Judith Ehrlich, will be present at the July 18th Grange event.

Book Review: Last Words


From THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

The first instance of capital punishment on record in America was the shooting in colonial Virginia of George Kendall, accused of plotting to betray the British to the Spanish. If he had any parting quips, they were not written down. We have to wait for the execution of two Quakers, Marmaduke Stevenson and William Robinson, fifty years later, on October 27, 1659, for an account of the last words of the condemned. As one would expect, the two men, who were convicted and hung for disobeying banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, reaffirmed their faith in God and reminded the spectators to mind the light that shone within them. Since then, as Last Words of the Executed, an enthralling book by Robert K. Elder, amply documents, there have been over sixteen thousand executions in this country and a vast record of final pronouncements taken from prison records, eyewitness statements, newspaper accounts, period diaries and written statements. Some of these are credibly attributable to the executed while others are of questionable origin or indisputably redacted.

Why this enormous interest in the final thoughts of men and women who were often guilty of committing horrific crimes?… more here

Robert K. Elder’s Last Words of the Executed, with a foreword by the late Studs Terkel, has just been published by the University of Chicago Press.
~~

Thom Hartmann: The Food Bubble – How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It


From CROOKS & LIARS

Thom Hartmann talked to author Frederick Kaufman about his cover story in this month’s edition of Harper’s Magazine The food bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.

It’s subscription only but you can read more about Kaufman and his work at his blog AmericanStomach.com.

Thom shared a little of the article during his interview with Kaufman.

Hartmann: “The history of food took an ominous turn in 1991, at a time when no one was paying much attention. That was the year Goldman Sachs decided our daily bread might make an excellent investment.”

And then towards the end of the story, just a couple of sentences here. “Bankers had taken control of the world’s food, money chased money and a billion people went hungry.” Remember the food riots of a couple of years ago around the world?

“The world wide price of food had risen by 80% between 2005 and 2008 and unlike other food catastrophes in the last half century or so,

A Killer Chart


From ILARGI
The Automatic Earth

Over the weekend, I wrote about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and how they form the core of the biggest fraud and crime ever perpetrated upon the American people. And even though that was already the umptieth time I have addressed this particular topic, I want to return to it again.

After all, we’re not talking about Jesse James or Billy the Kid or Charles Ponzi or Kenny-Boy Enron or any of that petty kiddy wannabe criminal stuff, this is the number one way Americans have ever been fleeced right across the entire nation. Maybe that status is best recognized by the fact that people to this day keep on begging for more of the same. Either that or another little fact: the government is at the center of the scheme.

In the July 11 post at TAE, there was an article by Michael David White, a Chicago area real estate broker who a few years ago started calling on his clients to NOT buy a home. I’ve featured many of White’s articles since; I like that kind of attitude. In last week’s piece by White Pending Homes Sales Crash in a Record Fall to a Record Low as Tax Break Expires, though, something was missing. There was a line that said “see the graph below”, but there was no graph. Since I had a hunch which graph he meant. I sent him a mail.

Jobless ‘Recovery’ Requires Us to Rebuild America


From JIM HIGHTOWER
Creators.com

The good news is that America’s economy continues to grow. The bad news is that most people’s personal economies continue to shrivel.

The June report on jobs glows with the happy news that America’s unemployment rate has fallen to 9.5 percent – the best we’ve had in a year! “We are headed in the right direction,” trumpeted President Obama.

Great … if true. However, the ballyhooed jobs statistic is a mirage. It looks good only because 650,000 more Americans became so frustrated with their fruitless search for work last month that they quit looking. In StatWorld, such “discouraged” seekers are – abracadabra! – no longer considered unemployed, even though they are. There are now 1.2 million Americans in this statistical purgatory.

That’s not the only shadow on June’s economic glow. Those lucky enough to have jobs, for example, saw America’s average workweek shrink. It’s now down to only 34 hours – which means less income for “full time” working families.

There also was another drop in the average hourly wage. Fewer hours, lower wages. That’s not what most people would call an economy “headed in the right direction.” more here
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Action: BlueGreenAlliance.org
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Recipe ideas for your overflowing CSA box


From ELISSA ALTMAN
Poor Man’s Feast

Radishes

Set aside the greens if they’re tender and in good condition. Braise the radishes, chop up the greens and add them at the last minute. Serve hot, or cold, with rice, or on crusty whole grain toast.

Pickle them (see below), slice them, and put them on a Banh Mi (vegetarian or not).

If they’re French breakfast radishes, dip them in softened sweet butter, sprinkle with a drop of sea salt, and serve them as an amuse. Or a small snack while you’re reading the paper.

Roast them like new potatoes.

Slice them very thinly on a mandoline and serve them on the blackest black bread you can find, spread with some sweet butter and a pinch of salt.

Cucumbers

Pickle them and eat them like, well, pickles.

Fermented Food Fans: Meet The Folks From Cultured


From SARAH HENRY
Civil Eats

[Available locally at the Co-op. -DS]

Sour foods really appealed to Alex Hozven as she battled brutal pregnancy-induced nausea with her first son.

Nothing unusual there, right? Millions of women crave pickles to combat morning (or all-day) sickness. But Hozven’s obsession with fermented foods didn’t end once her baby was born.

Instead, she set out to master making naturally fermented foods (no vinegar, water, or heat) like sauerkraut, kim chee, and kombucha with a locavore sensibility and seasonal twist –  and built a thriving business that now supports a family of four.

Self-taught Hozven and her husband, Kevin Farley, run Cultured Pickle Shop, a small store in West Berkeley dedicated to preserving pickling traditions from around the globe, though the two profess to a particular fondness for Japanese methods…

more here
~~

Gene Logsdon: Pancakes From Perennial Wheatgrass Grain


From GENE LOGSDON

I hope I don’t sound too self-important when I announce an historic moment in our kitchen. Carol just made pancakes with flour from a new and startling source. Wes Jackson, the celebrated plant geneticist, author, farmer (and years ago a fairly good football player), has been experimenting for decades now with the bold idea that perennial grains can be developed to take the place of annual grains, thus revolutionizing agriculture by making it unnecessary for so many millions of acres to be cultivated annually. I raise my forkful of wheatgrass pancake and I salute you, Mr. Jackson.

This flour has the trademarked name, Kernza ™ and comes from selected strains of wild intermediate wheatgrass grain, which Jackson and his staff at the Land Institute near Salina, Kansas are crossing with annual wheat varieties to breed a commercially practical perennial grain. The flour makes a light dough and the pancakes taste just a tad sweeter than ordinary wheat flour. It is Jackson’s hope that within ten years, he and his staff can develop Kernza ™ for use in commercially manufactured foods. It is exceptionally high in some nutrients known to be important to human health and deficient in many modern diets: Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, lutein, and betaine. It is particularly high in folate, important for preventing stroke, cancer, heart disease and infertility… More here.
~~

Wendell Berry





~~

A Modern Populist Movement


From MIKE LUX
OpenLeft.com

The lengths to which pundits, analysts, and establishment political leaders have always gone to avoid using dreaded populism in their political strategies for Democrats has always been remarkable to me. From Republicans since Richard Nixon, appeals to a moralist and angry middle class are all politically brilliant, but Democrats, so it is said, should avoid it as a political tactic because it doesn’t work. When Lee Atwater observes that “the swing vote in every Presidential election is populist in nature,” he is a genius. When Democrats start sounding like populists, we are told it just doesn’t work.

From the DLC to the New Democrats to the folks at Third Way to columnists like David Broder and David Brooks to authors and analysts like Matt Bai, the advice is to be careful about seeming too angry and too anti-business. Some argue that a democratic, progressive populism has never worked in American politics, that it was at its highest point under William Jennings Bryan and he was still a loser. Some will deign to admit that FDR showed a populist streak, but then say that no one else with a similar message has won a Presidential election. The more thoughtful of these analysts, such as Bai, point to demographic and economic changes as the reason. Bai believes that “the only potent grass-roots movement to emerge from this moment of dissatisfaction with America’s economic elite exists not in support of the president or his party, but far to the right instead, in the form of the so-called Tea Party rebellions that are injecting new energy into the Republican cause.” He goes on to argue:

Ukiah Husband, Wife Unaware They Are A Comedy Team


From THE ONION

With their hilarious put-downs of each other and classic back-and-forth bickering in front of neighbors, local married couple David and Sheila Holt are quietly becoming one of Ukiah’s favorite comedy teams, sources reported Monday.

Though David and Sheila remain unaware of their comedy duo status, friends and family members maintain that the couple’s uproarious act, including their famous “It’s all your fault—this whole stupid mess is your goddamn fault” routine, is more than enough reason to check them out.

“They’re like the perfect odd couple,” said neighbor Michael Pecore, a self-described fan, who has watched the Holts perform countless times from his living room window. “Whether they’re arguing over home mortgage payments, or delivering one of their trademark ‘Jesus Christ, what more do you want from me?’ zingers, David and Sheila never disappoint. I can listen to them all night long from across the street and not get tired of it.”

According to neighborhood sources, David and Sheila are best known for their rapid-fire exchanges, impeccable timing, and ability to play off each other’s insecurities for hours on end. Witnesses claim the duo also excels at a wide variety of comedic styles, from observational musings on why the godforsaken lights are always on in the house, to more slapstick fare, such as the time Sheila threw David’s new rotary saw into the pool.

The Con of All Cons


From CHARLES HUGH SMITH
OfTwoMinds.com via The Automatic Earth

The con of the decade (Part I) involves the transfer of private debt to the public (the marks), who then pays interest forever to the con artists.

I’ve laid out the Con of the Decade (Part I) in outline form:

1. Enable trillions of dollars in mortgages guaranteed to default by packaging unlimited quantities of them into mortgage-backed securities (MBS), creating umlimited demand for fraudulently originated loans.

2. Sell these MBS as “safe” to credulous investors, institutions, town councils in Norway, etc., i.e. “the bezzle” on a global scale.

3. Make huge “side bets” against these doomed mortgages so when they default then the short-side bets generate billions in profits.

4. Leverage each $1 of actual capital into $100 of high-risk bets.

5. Hide the utterly fraudulent bets offshore

Mendocino County: Stop Local Privatizing Scams


From DAVE SMITH
To the Editors

Heads up!
Reference: Food and Water Watch, Gartner Group

Corporate privateers are milking our current economic turmoil for all its worth. They are approaching cash-starved states, counties, cities, and towns with offers of money in exchange for their public services.

Criminal justice services (including the operation and management of prisons and jails), police protection and health care services to mentally disabled citizens are services now being massively provided throughout the country by private vendors. The lure of lucrative contracts and high profits continue to attract private industry to go after water, waste-water treatment, garbage and recycling systems, education, fire control, road maintenance, parks, transportation, etc.

We have frightened our elected officials of even contemplating tax increases because of anti-democratic propaganda that “government is the problem” and private enterprise is more efficient.

It’s all a despicable, greed-driven lie.

Bruce Patterson: Why I quit gambling, part 1


From BRUCE PATTERSON
4mules.com
Anderson Valley

An Irishman out the depression era slums of Chicago, my dad was a very hard man. “Hard but fair,” as they said in those days. Born with a steel jaw, an open mind, the gift of gab, a hankering for fun and a powerful sense of propriety, my dad was cool the way Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were cool. Having been straightened out by his military service during WW2 (he pulled six years), my dad made his living negotiating deals, making pitches, teaching others how, accounting and socializing. Since real business was done up close and personal, face-to-face and on a handshake, his biggest deals were usually made over a fine meal and stiff drinks.

A professional “social drinker,” for over 20 years my dad drank upwards of a 5th of bourbon a day and yet only twice did I see him sloppy drunk. Only rarely did I ever hear him thick-tongued. He never raised his voice, either. Like a rattlesnake, he gave fair warning before striking, and he’d rather bust your nose than raise his voice. Then when he retired and decided to quit drinking except for an occasional nip, that’s what he did and on a dime. The same as when he quit smoking. After going through three or four little plastic boxes of Tic Tac candy, nibbling on them like a chipmunk and feeling silly, he gave up the Tic Tacs, too, and never looked back.

If my mind is a rangy dog let out the car on a country road