Transition Culture: Solving For Pattern


From ROB HOPKINS
Transtion Culture

My years as a teacher taught me that if one person asks a question, even if they think they are “missing something obvious”, chances are that many others are wondering the same thing.  This is probably an opportune moment in the rolling out of this patterns approach to stop and take stock as to whether everyone is still with me here!  This was triggered by an email I received yesterday from Kate Clark:

“As a member of a Transition initiating group (Transition Whatcom) and a huge proponent of Transition, I have a lot of respect for your work. However, I am finding the term and concept of “Pattern language” to be very vague and frustrating.  I keep trying to make sense of it, as if I can find a ‘pattern’ in the language (repeat first sentence once, second sentence three times, then first sentence twice, then repeat the whole pattern five times?)!  Can you send me a single sentence description of pattern language? Where is the pattern? What is the language- do you mean permaculture terminology?  Sorry if I’m being dense. I’m a communications specialist, and finding this one to be so vague that I feel I must be missing something obvious. I have NO idea how to explain this to anyone else, as a result”.

Letter to the Editor — The AVA


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

To: The Anderson Valley Advertiser

Editor:

A friend, author Gene Logsdon, recently wrote a book published by a major publisher: Holy Shit – Managing Manure to Save Mankind. In his blog, Gene lamented that Prairie Public Radio interviewed him and the Chronicle of Higher Education praised his latest book, in both cases carefully avoiding mentioning the title, which includes one of George Carlin‘s “seven dirty words you can never say on television” or on the radio or in major print media.

For example, a current bestseller is titled, Sh*t My Dad Says. Childishly, and hypocritically, we in America are shielded by our media from the most used, or second most used, word in the English language for fear of offending the three fundamentalist church ladies who still shudder at its mention.

The AVA may be the only newspaper in America where, in many more ways than one, shit really is shit. We shall see.
~~

Noam Chomsky: The Iranian Threat


From NOAM CHOMSKY
Chomsky.info

The dire threat of Iran is widely recognized to be the most serious foreign policy crisis facing the Obama administration. General Petraeus informed the Senate Committee on Armed Services in March 2010 that “the Iranian regime is the primary state-level threat to stability” in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the Middle East and Central Asia, the primary region of US global concerns. The term “stability” here has its usual technical meaning: firmly under US control. In June 2010 Congress strengthened the sanctions against Iran, with even more severe penalties against foreign companies. The Obama administration has been rapidly expanding US offensive capacity in the African island of Diego Garcia, claimed by Britain, which had expelled the population so that the US could build the massive base it uses for attacks in the Central Command area. The Navy reports sending a submarine tender to the island to service nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines with Tomahawk missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads. Each submarine is reported to have the striking power of a typical carrier battle group.

19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Blow Your Mind


From THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

The United States is rapidly becoming the very first “post-industrial” nation on the globe. All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing.

It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II. But now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of America. Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period. The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little.

Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us. The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now just a shadow of what it once was. Once upon a time America could literally outproduce the rest of the world combined. Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume

‘Conservatism’ Has Turned Into ‘Crackpotism’


From JIM HIGHTOWER
OtherWords

If you can think of a better, more apt term, please let this columnist know.

I’m at a loss for words, so I need your help.

Not so long ago, Republican officeholders in our country were conservatives, a political philosophy that literally encompasses the notion of conservation. Those Republicans wanted to conserve important things–including our public infrastructure, the rule of law, public education, and even our environment. During the last 30 years, though, voters in the GOP’s primaries systematically culled these classic conservatives from office, replacing them with right-wing, laissez-faire ideologues. These new-breed Republicans largely rejected our country’s commitment to the common good, instead supporting privatization of government functions and tax favoritism for the corporate elite.

The media, however, made no linguistic adjustment to this fundamental change in philosophy, simply shifting the “conservative” label to the right-wingers. But if they can be called conservative, what the hell do we call the new new-breed Republicans who’re presently displacing those politicos who displaced the actual conservatives?

This year, the Republican primary races went from plain old right-wingism to right-wing crackpotism. In Nevada, Wisconsin, Colorado, Delaware, New York, Kentucky, and elsewhere, many GOP nominees to Congress and other offices are farther out than Pluto! “End Social Security,” they rant. “Stop punishing BP,” “Cut off unemployment benefits to jobless Americans,”

OK, I Was Wrong — We Don’t All Have to Eat Vegan to Save the Planet


From GEORGE MONBIOT
The Guardian

I used to think being a vegan was the only ethical way to eat. But an important new book suggests we can change our food system to allow for healthy meat consumption.

This will not be an easy column to write. I am about to put down 1,200 words in support of a book that starts by attacking me and often returns to this sport. But it has persuaded me that I was wrong. More to the point, it has opened my eyes to some fascinating complexities in what seemed to be a black and white case.

In the Guardian in 2002 I discussed the sharp rise in the number of the world’s livestock, and the connection between their consumption of grain and human malnutrition. After reviewing the figures, I concluded that veganism “is the only ethical response to what is arguably the world’s most urgent social justice issue”. I still believe that the diversion of ever wider tracts of arable land from feeding people to feeding livestock is iniquitous and grotesque. So does the book I’m about to discuss. I no longer believe that the only ethical response is to stop eating meat.

In Meat: A Benign Extravagance, [Available in US January 2011] Simon Fairlie pays handsome tribute to vegans for opening up the debate.

Sheila Fetzer & Bob Daley, Mendocino Hotel Tonight 9/25/10


Hooked On Growth – Life After Growth


From GROWTHBUSTERS

[This column dedicated to Wendy Roberts and her ‘dumb-growth ideology’ supporters. “Growth is a quantitative accumulation. Development is the liberation of creative possibilities. Every living system in nature grows up to a certain point and stops growing. You are not growing anymore, nor he nor me. But we continue developing ourselves… So development has no limits. Growth has limits. And that is a very big thing, you know, that economists and politicians don’t understand. They are obsessed with the fetish of economic growth.” As Wendy Roberts says, “polling indicates that Dan is right that the ‘growing on our own strengths’ is the winning argument.” Vote for a smart, local, healthy, sustainable economy. Vote for Dan Hamburg, 5th District Supervisor. -DS]

Dave Gardner’s upcoming documentary looks at modern society and asks, why are we behaving irrationally? There’s overwhelming evidence we’ve reached the limits to growth, yet continue in our addiction to it. In a search for the cure, Dave starts with the need to tell different stories and shares examples from several folks he’s interviewed. He highlights an amusing segment which depicts a family’s impacts remaining in their yard! This “crowd-produced” film will also show activities at the community level which could make a huge positive difference.

Economic Growth
Job Growth, Increasing Production And More Consumption – Holy Grail Or Siren Songs Leading Us To Destruction?

* In our documentary, Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity, our examination of population,