Portable House, Simple Life


 

From PEAK MOMENT TELEVISION

Embarrassed by her middle class affluence after a visit to Guatemala, Dee Williams grabbed her hammer, built a tiny house on wheels, downsized to less than 400 possessions, and parked her house in a friend’s yard. Her living arrangement then blossomed into a multi-generational family / community. Dee shows us her warm and comfy 7×12 foot house, how she meets city codes, and some unusual ways this life has affected her.
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Obama Campaign Raises Record Sums from the Wealthy


From PATRICK MARTIN
Information Clearing House

Proving that President Obama is the first choice of Wall Street and the American super-rich, his reelection campaign announced Wednesday that it had broken all previous records for fundraising, raking in $86 million during the second quarter of this year.

The $86 million total dwarfed the previous record for presidential reelection fundraising, the $50 million raised by George W. Bush in the third quarter of 2003. It was far above the $60 million target set by Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina.

Obama for America, the official name of the reelection effort, raised $47 million, while the Democratic National Committee collected $38 million, largely from fundraising events featuring the president, where big donors are allowed to give up to $30,800 apiece. Individual donations to Obama for America are limited under federal election laws to a maximum of $5,000.

By comparison, the leading Republican fundraiser, former Massachusetts governor and investment banker Mitt Romney, raised $18.25 million in the April-June quarter. The total raised by all the Republican presidential hopefuls who have filed reports with the Federal Election Commission came to only $36 million, less than half Obama’s haul… Complete story here
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You win a class war by fighting a class war


From CHRIS BOWERS
DailyKos

As you read this, rich and powerful people in Washington, DC are trying to determine not whether they should cut programs designed to help low and middle-income Americans, but by how much they should cut those programs. The rich and powerful people in DC are making these cuts in order to pay for tax breaks they recently gave to rich people and large corporations. Additionally, the cuts are being made at the behest of the lobby organizations and media operations owned by rich people and large corporations.

If that isn’t a class war, I don’t know what is. For the past 40 years, the outcomes of the political battles in this war have almost always approximated the forthcoming debt ceiling deal. Stuff for low and middle-income people gets cut. Stuff for big corporations and the wealthy gets protected.

In this depressing environment, it feels good to see ads in the Wisconsin recall elections that are fighting the class war in the other direction, on behalf of low and middle-income Americans and against the wealthy…

Several organizations have been running ads like these against Republicans in Wisconsin, such as the ad of Wisconsin protesters by Democracy for America and the PCCC that got big play back in the spring.

SOS From Fukushima: Please help us save our children… We are afraid of a horrible future if something is not done quickly to protect the lives of our children. We beg you to please speak of our situation to the whole world.



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5 Protests That Shook the World (With Laughter)


From YES! MAGAZINE

Great moments in “laughtivism” from Yes Men Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, the guys who duped the BBC, embarrassed Dow Chemical, and mocked Halliburton.

Some say that laughter helped bring down the Soviet Union, by making “­Brezhnev” rhyme with “ridiculous.” At the Yes Lab, we help activists cook up funny antics and escapades to change public opinion—with laughter. We’ve used humor as a weapon to avenge corporate wrongdoing for more than a decade, ever since we started dressing up as phony PR men, comic strip heroes, and government officials.

That’s because we know humor is powerful: people have used jokes and hoaxes for centuries to humble the bad guys and inspire the good ones. Here are some of our favorite moments in “laughtivism.”

1. Abbie Hoffman incites a money grab.

In 1967, Abbie Hoffman and members of the Yippies, a radical activist group, threw 300 one-dollar bills from the New York Stock Exchange balcony onto the trading floor. According to Hoffman, as brokers grabbed for petty cash, trading ground to a halt. The famous stunt mocked the unregulated greed that still pervades Wall Street.

2. Let’s kill dissent—just kidding.

In 1702,

A Nation of Psychotics, Zombies, Parasitic Shrinks, and Drug Scams


From ALJAZEERA

[Our culture has become zombified by legal and illegal drugs, whether they be prescripted, alcohol, television, the internet, or marijuana, we are sleepwalking through our lives while the rich pillage our democracy and rifle through the pockets of the elderly… -DS]

Antipsychotics are the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States

Has America become a nation of psychotics? You would certainly think so, based on the explosion in the use of antipsychotic medications. In 2008, with over $14 billion in sales, antipsychotics became the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux.

Once upon a time, antipsychotics were reserved for a relatively small number of patients with hard-core psychiatric diagnoses

Why oil is killing the American farm


From LINDSAY CURREN
Transition Voice

After an assortment of documentaries in recent years on America’s industrial food system — Food, Inc., Fresh, The Future of Food, King Corn, Super Size Me, Vanishing of the Bees — you might wonder what another can possibly add to the conversation.

Most observant, open-minded and thinking persons get it by now that our corn fed, fossil fuel heavy, confinement livestock operations produce, in the most efficient way possible, cruddy foods that make us fat and destroy the very land we depend on for more food.

The grapes of wrath

The conflict, or so we’re told, is that in spite of a few organic farmers here and there making a go of it, industrial farming is the only way to feed America. Choosing otherwise — a niche fetish for the elite we’re also told — doesn’t profit and costs too much for consumers.

It seems those spouting that line are still refusing to listen to renegade farmer Joel Salatin, whose passion for sustainable farming is matched only by his commercial success, and by his advocacy against governmental regulations that hamstring efforts to get into the market.

Salatin’s fervent view of deregulation would seem a natural fit for old-school conservatives (the authentically small government types).

Todd Walton: Another Year



Mike Leigh

From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks.com
Mendocino

“The backers accept that they don’t know what they are going to get.” Mike Leigh

According to the on-screen credits that introduce Mike Leigh’s latest movie Another Year (available on DVD), the backers included agencies of the British government, including the national lottery. So…not only do the Brits have excellent and free healthcare, but their government provides money for cutting edge artists (be still my heart) to make major motion pictures about people so real that Marcia and I have been talking about Another Year for days on end, as if the characters in the movie actually came here and spent several days with us, getting drunk and driving us batty with all their imperfections and beauties and sorrows and strengths and frailties attendant to being human, as opposed to being cartoon characters.

The Sunday following our viewing of Another Year, I leafed through the Pink section (movies, music, theater, dance) and Insight section (books) of the San Francisco Chronicle and felt painfully embarrassed, as I often do, by our so-called culture. Books so badly written (my teeth ache thinking about them) fill the bestseller lists and garner slobbering reviews of such transparent falsity there can be no question this nonsense was planted by the publishers, those New York-based mouths of multinational corporations that would never knowingly publish

Cheese Board Collective: 40 Years in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto


From SARAH HENRY
Civil Eats

Exploring alternative ways to work in the food industry is a hot topic. Recently in San Francisco a sold out Kitchen Table Talks, a monthly panel showcasing local food folk, featured a discussion about successful edible enterprises that haven’t started the conventional route.

Two of the four panelists hailed from Berkeley. Three Stone Hearth‘s Jessica Prentice, whom I’ve previously profiled on Berkeleyside, talked about her cooperative kitchen model. Cathy Goldsmith represented The Cheese Board Collective. (San Francisco business reps in the mix: Caleb Zigas, who runs the kitchen incubator program La Cocina and Anthony Myint, the restauranteur behind Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth, both eateries give big chunks of change to charity.)

Beyond the obvious culinary connection each business is unique. What they have in common? A desire to build community—of workers, artisans, and customers—around their real food ventures.

Case in point The Cheese Board Collective, which has served as an anchor institution in what’s known as Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto for more than 40 years…

Complete article here
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Will Parrish: People Who Belong To The Land



Violet Parrish Wilder & Vivian Parrish Wilder; The Artesa Site

From WILL PARRISH
Laytonville
Anderson Valley Advertiser

According to Violet Parrish Chappell, 82, traditionalist and historian of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, her people’s name – their real name, not the arbitrary handle imposed by the white man’s society in the 1870s – has always been Wina∙má∙bake ya: “People Who Belong To The Land.” To be exact, the land to which the Wina∙má∙bake ya belong spans the coast and hills at the mouth of what is today known as the Gualala River, located just outside the town of Gualala, reaching as far south as the area below the mouth of the Russian River, also extending roughly eight miles inland.

The name reflects the integral relationship of the Kashia to their landbase. It is a relationship that manifests in ritual and religious practices, as well as materially in traditional land stewardship practices developed over the course of exceptionally long land tenure. Unlike the people of European origin who have supplanted them in the area, the Kashia long ago attained an intellectual apprehension that they are part of the natural order, rather than apart from or superior to it.

According to the traditional Kashia worldview, whatever happens to the land also invariably happens to the people.

This perspective is worth bearing in mind, because one of the greatest instances of harm ever wrought on the Kashia’s ancestral land is on the verge

Bill McKibben: The Time Has Come




From BILL McKIBBEN

Let’s do this.

Beginning in mid-August, and stretching for two weeks into the Labor Day weekend, you’re invited to Washington D.C. to participate in sustained direct action against the expansion of the Canadian tarsands. Yes, it’s likely to be hot and humid. And yes, it’s possible that you’ll be arrested. But it’s also possible you’ll make a big difference.

Here’s the deal. A group of big oil companies has proposed one of the worst plans the continent has ever seen: a huge pipeline taking oil from the tarsands of Alberta all the way to Texas. Along the route there’s been powerful opposition from indigenous leaders, and from farmers and ranchers.

But this is a project with global impact. The tarsands of Canada are the second biggest pool of carbon on the planet, after Saudi Arabia’s oil wells. If you could burn all the oil in them, you’d increase the planet’s co2 concentration by 200 parts per million.  If we keep developing them, as the world’s leading climatologist James Hansen said recently, it’s “essentially game over” for the planet’s climate. Which is why a group of indigenous leaders, scientists, and environmentalist on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border this month asked citizens to come to Washington for what may turn into the biggest civil disobedience action in the history of the climate debate.

Day after day we’ll assemble outside the White House in peaceful ranks.

Gene Logsdon: Why Do Humans Congregate In Big Cities?


From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer

One of life’s mysteries for me is why country people have inevitably migrated to the cities in every civilization that I have studied. In the United States, where there has been little of the kind of violent upheavals that send third world countries into instability, the reasons for migration to cities seem especially specious to me. Some say we move because rural life is boring or stifling with puritanical overly-conservative life styles. Actually agrarian society has often been shockingly wide open as I tried to point out in Mother of All Arts. What happened to me just yesterday seems appropriate. I was parked along the edge of a country road jawing with a couple who were harvesting wheat. A very long-haired individual, naked to the waist, came flying by on a motorcycle, tresses trailing in the wind. Trying to be funny, I opined: “Well it must have been a man because it wasn’t wearing a bra.” One of the farmers replied, rolling her eyes: “That’s a dangerous conclusion to reach around here.”

Others move to town because they want to escape what they consider the hard work of farming. That is no longer all that true either and I wonder if it ever was. Millions of factory and construction workers perform harder physical work than most farmers do today or ever did. A friend likes to tell how thrilled he was to get off the farm 70 years ago because he had to work there every day milking cows, no weekends off.

The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan


From LAWRENCE WRIGHT
Rolling Stone (April 1985)

His friends remembered when Richard became famous. It was the year the hippies came to San Francisco. Richard had published one novel, A Confederate General from Big Sur, but it had sold miserably 743 copies and his publisher, Grove Press, had dropped its option on Trout Fishing in America. Donald Allen was the West Coast representative of Grove and the editor of the Evergreen Review, which had introduced the Beat Generation. Allen had a small nonprofit press called the Four Seasons Foundation, and he decided to publish the book himself. Allen sold 29,000 copies of the book before Delacorte bought it. Eventually, 2 million copies were sold.

It was the kind of book that captured the spirit and sound of a generation. Soon there was a commune and an underground newspaper and even a school named after Trout Fishing in America. His short stories and poems appeared regularly in Rolling Stone, often beneath a photograph of him in his broad-brimmed hat. His face became a hippie icon. “For three or four years, he was like George Harrison walking down Haight Street,” remembered Don Carpenter, a novelist and scriptwriter and a longtime friend of Richard’s. His image infuriated what Richard called the East Coast literary mafia.

The old Beats looked at Richard with envy and surprise. The Beats were out of fashion, and Bunthorne was all the rage and he was rich, too, thunderously rich

Japan Health Official does not believe Fukushima Radioactive Beef “will cause problems”


From CNN

A Japanese health official downplayed the dangers Tuesday after cesium contaminated meat from six Fukushima cows was delivered to Japanese markets and probably ingested.

Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of consumer affairs and food-safety, said he hoped to head off any overreactions.

“If we were to eat the meat everyday, then it would probably be dangerous,” Hosono said at a news conference Tuesday. “But if it is consumed only in small portions, I don’t think it would have any long-lasting effects on the human body.”

The meat, delivered late last month, has made its way to consumers and most likely has been ingested, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Monday evening. This was preceded by another recent discovery of radiation in the meat of 11 cows delivered to Tokyo from the same farm.

The discovery was made when Tokyo’s office of health and welfare investigated six deliveries made at the end of June from a Fukushima farm. So far, radiation has been confirmed from three out of the six cows. In one case, radiation reached 3400 Becquerels, which is about seven times the limit set by the government…

Complete story here
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Thanks President Reagan… your economics suck!



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See also: REPUBLICANS ran up the debt and now THEY don’t want to pay the bill
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The 10 Essential Rules Of Liberty


From BRANDON SMITH
Information Clearing House

There is nothing worse in this world than an enslaved man who naively believes himself free, except, perhaps, trying to explain to that same man his predicament. You can lay truth after truth before his feet. You can qualify your every position with cold hard irrefutable data. You can plead and scream and raise veritable hell, but before he will ever listen, he must first become aware of his own dire circumstances. As long as he views himself as “safe and secure”, as long as he imagines his chains to be wings, he will see no reason to question the validity of the world around him, and he will certainly never invest himself into changing his own deluded destiny.

Unfortunately, there are many such men crawling and scraping about here in what was once a land graced with a self sufficient and independently minded public majority. The great lie that has been perpetuated in this country over the past several decades is that we can defer our responsibilities of vigilance and place our well being and our futures into the hands of others for the sake of “collective efficiency”, or leisure. We have been conditioned to live in a state of constant indifference, a society which prizes compromise over principle and steadfast resolve.

Keith Olbermann Issues Blistering Warning To Obama Over Potential Cuts To Social Security And Medicare (VIDEO)


From KEITH OLBERMANN
Current Countdown

Keith Olbermann tore into President Obama for contemplating a compromise with the Republicans over the debt ceiling that includes cuts in Social Security and major changes to Medicare.

Obama has repeatedly offered to raise the age of Medicare eligibility, and has put Social Security cuts firmly on the table in his attempts to craft a deal with the GOP to raise the debt ceiling.

In a Special Comment on his Monday show, Olbermann spoke out strongly against any tinkering with Medicare and Social Security. He delivered what he called a “sermon” about what he called America’s “greatest accomplishment”: the social safety net that includes the two programs.

Olbermann then issued a stinging warning to President Obama about what might occur if he agreed to alter Medicare and Social Security:

“I cannot foresee what will happen politically if you craft a compromise to a manufactured political crisis … I cannot forecast if you have made yourself unelectable next year or if there’s just enough greed and self-serving amnesia to reduce such an attack on that safety net to a political blip

Mendocino County: Republic of Cannibis


From The California Report and KQED Public Radio

Feds Threaten Experimental Pot Program in Mendocino

It’s well known that some people who grow pot do so under the cover of state medical-marijuana laws, then sell it on the black market for bigger profits. In response, Mendocino County has started a novel program intended to license and monitor medical marijuana producers. But this attempt to regulate pot producers has put the county at odds with the feds.

New Memo on Medical Marijuana Policy

The Department of Justice issued a new memo to federal prosecutors clarifying its medical marijuana policy. Calling marijuana “a dangerous drug,” the memo threatened enforcement actions against those in the business of cultivating and distributing pot. What does this mean for California?

Fighting Back Against Pot on Public Lands

James Houle: Dial a Nuclear Disaster — Fukushima and America’s Nukes


From JAMES HOULE
Obama-Watch.com
Redwood Valley

There are over 440 large commercial nuclear power plants operating in the world, mostly in the 30 post-industrialized countries. Many of the largest commercial plants have already exceeded their 40 year design lives but continue to operate, despite serious maintenance problems in many plants, and in the United States, with weakened inspection and regulatory controls. The Chernobyl disaster in 1989 and the Three Mile Island melt-down in 1986 illustrated the danger and astronomical long term costs associated with generating electric power by the seemingly simple task of boiling water when it is done in a highly radioactive nuclear reactor and then spinning this steam through a turbine to generate electric power. No big nuclear  power plants have been built in the post industrialized world since the late 1980s when it became obvious to all capitalists that the economics of nuclear power was very unattractive, the risks far higher than any profit-making electric power company could handle, and the disposal of radioactive waste products seemingly insolvable.

The Safety Myth in Japan:
Since the end of the Cold War, we have drowsed along and most of us are not informed about the threat that aging nuclear power plants pose.

Smart Meters: This is about as Big Brother as it gets


From JERRY DAY
JerryDay.com
Thanks to Elaine and Ed

[The smart meter issue is where many on the left and right agree. -DS]

The new smart meters are watching you. They sense all kinds of goings on. They see when you turn something on or off. They see how many watts your toothbrush pulls. They send the record of that little event over wireless networks, bouncing through your neighbors’ smart meters all the way to the power company where they keep a record of your power consumption volumes and patterns every minute of every day and store that data on computers that you will never get to see.

That data shows when you are at home, shows when you are sleeping, shows when you are on vacation, when you have visitors, when you use a lamp, a power tool, some extra computers, and if you look like you’re running a business out of your home. It even senses when you bootleg energy off the grid.

Your smart meter shows a vivid profile of your personal living patterns and if you were home on the night of the murder.

This is not electrical metering. This is personal surveillance. This is a search without a warrant every day. This is your personal private life

Classic Maher: This is a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich which every day sees our laws and culture cater to rich people


When Clinton was President the rich paid a little more taxes and the government had money. Then Bush cut all those taxes and now we don’t. I know it’s hard to grasp because it involves subtracting…

Every election roughly half the population votes Democrat and half votes Republican. Now, I understand why the Republicans get one percent of the vote… the richest one percent. That other 49%?… someone will have to explain to me.

The facts about what the Republicans have done to the middle class are beyond reasonable doubt., yet their base refuses to see it.. The moneyed elite of America are dragging a bag filled with your future down the steps and your reaction is “hold on there, that looks heavy, let me give you a hand getting it into your trunk.”

Is it really that radical to suggest slightly trimming the tax break on corporate jets? It seems like a reasonable idea given that, A: people who buy corporate jets are filthy rich, and B:… I DON’T NEED A B!

This is a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich which every day sees our laws and culture cater to rich people… tax breaks, industry-written laws, bail-outs, deregulation… all of it goes to making the lives of the rich a little bit cushier.

REPUBLICANS ran up the debt and now THEY don’t want to pay the bill


From THOM HARTMANN

What our nation is faced with today is a mountain of debt run up mostly by 3 Republican Presidents – Ronald Reagan – and the two Bushes. And now today – that very same Republican Party is saying “no way” to Democrats who just want to pay off that pile of Republican debt. Think about it this way – the Republicans ran up a huge credit card bill, and now they’re refusing to pay for it. They took the good times – the stimulation to the economy from all that spending and the political benefits from all those wars – and now they don’t want to pay for it. If you or I did that with our credit card – and did it intentionally – we’d be in jail.

Here is why we are in debt. Before Reagan took office – our national debt was just under one trillion dollars and our top tax rate was 74%. But Reagan promised the nation good times – so he gave all his rich buddies tax cuts – and then put $2 trillion on the nation’s credit card. Reagan borrowed and spent – in just 8 years – more money than every president of the United States from George Washington to Jimmy Carter – COMBINED. And now the Republicans don’t want to pay the bill for Reagan’s debt.

Rev Billy: Hysterical Revolution



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From REV. BILLY

At our gathering fighting tar sands in Salt Lake City with Tim DeChristopher – he stressed that a new generation of protest must have ingenuity. He cites the great protests that have moved freedom in the past, but calls for a new inventiveness. That got me thinking.

For decades we have had no progressive consensus on a strategy for structural change in this country. Not since the heyday of the Gender Rights movement and ACT UP – now on our minds and in our hearts with the passage of the Gay Marriage law finally in New York.

New and ultimately successful strategies often appear to be outlandish at first. And in each of the great social movements of the 20th century – labor, civil rights, women and gender rights -there was a moment where strategy was adopted that was entirely unique; a moment where those activists knew they were not the same as the famous movements full of their heroes from before. There began creative pranks, mass actions, rhetorical and visual and musical shifts – which were scary, unprecedented and history-making. We’re at such a point now with our Earth Movement. Either we stop emulating the now-cliched approaches of our ancestor activists or we perish and the Earth accelerates into a deadly spiral.

Facebook now helping governments spy on and arrest peaceful activists


From ALEXANDER HIGGINS

News reports confirm that governments are now being aided by Facebook to spy on activists who plan peaceful protests. One report reveals that over 300 activists were tracked, detained and in some case deported after organizing events on the popular social networking site.

While talking to Russia Today about recent revolutions in the Middle East and the role of social media, Assange explained that Facebook is “the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, their communications with each other, and their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. Intelligence.”

In the interesting interview, Assange added that it’s not just Facebook, but Google and Yahoo as well as all other major U.S. organizations have developed built-in interfaces for U.S. Intelligence. It helps get around the costly and time-consuming serving of subpoenas.

Not that Facebook is run by U.S. Intelligence agencies, but instead of handing out records “one by one,” it saves Facebook time and money to have “automated the process” for spying. Assange believes that all Facebook users should understand

Todd Walton: Lives Unlived


From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks.com
Mendocino

“Every art has its secrets, and the secrets of distilling are being lost the way the old songs were lost. When I was a boy there wasn’t a man in the barony but had a hundred songs in his head, but with people running here, there and everywhere, the songs were lost…” Frank O’Connor

I am reading The Collected Stories of Frank O’Connor for the third time in twelve years. Enough time has passed since my last reading of his remarkable stories so I have forgotten sufficient details and plot twists and endings to make the stories new to me again; and in some ways they are better than new because I know them now as I know favorite pieces of music or beloved paintings, and in this further experience of them I discover more and more of the genius they contain.

Frank O’Connor, who died in 1966, was Irish, and most of his stories are set in Cork and Dublin in the 1940’s and 1950’s. O’Connor was hailed by W.B. Yeats as the Chekhov of Irish literature, yet very few of my well-read friends have heard of him, and I, a voracious story reader since childhood, discovered him relatively late in my incessant search for great stories. I should note that many of my well-read friends are aghast at my reading habits which now largely involve reading and re-reading a relatively few dead writers of short stories, with barely

Book Review: Kim, Rudyard Kipling


ATLANTIC MAGAZINE (1901)
A review

There is a fine antidote to all manner of morbidness in the brilliant pages of Kim. Mr. Kipling’s last work is, to my mind, his best, and not easily comparable with the work of any other man; for it is of its own kind and of a novel kind, and fairly amazes one by the proof it affords of the author’s magnificent versatility. “Not much of a story” may perhaps be the verdict of the ruthless boy reader who revels in the Jungle Book and Captain Courageous, and derives an unholy gratification from Stalky & Co. Kim is, in fact and upon the surface, but an insignificant fragment of human history; a bit out of the biography of a little vagabond of Irish parentage, orphaned when a baby, and left to shift for himself in infinite India. But the subtlety of the East and the “faculty” of the West are blended in this terroe filius, this tricksy foundling of earth’s oldest earth. His adventures are many and enthralling. He joins himself, as scout and general provider,—incidentally, also, as chela or disciple—to a saintly old lama from Thibet, “bound to the Wheel of Things,” and roaming India in search of the Stream of Immortality. The pious people of the country are permitted to “acquire merit” by feeding and lodging these two, between whom there grows up

Transition: Resilient to what?


From ROB HOPKINS
Transition Culture

I was reading through the Executive Summary of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2011 this afternoon (as you do) and the chart on page 3 caught my eye. In it, the authors set out all the risks they see in the world on a matrix which positions the various risks by their perceived impact on the global economy and by the perceived likelihood of their happening. What you might expect to be at the top, given recent media reports, would be the threat of terrorism or perhaps some hideous computer virus that knocks out nuclear power station.  But no.  There at the top, leading the pack, are climate change, ‘extreme energy price volatility’ and fiscal crises.

In my research over the past couple of years on the subject of resilience, I often ended up at the question of ‘resilient to what?’  In a paper for the think tank DEMOS called ‘Resilient Nation’, Charlie Edwards listed the things he felt we should be preparing resilience to. They were climate change, floods, extreme weather events, pandemics, energy shortages, nuclear attacks, terrorism and a few others.  The UK government Cabinet Office runs ‘Regional Resilience Teams’ who are charged with creating plans for each region. Yet the main focus of this will most likely be on terrorism and pandemics.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here…


From oftwominds.com
Thanks to Bruce McCloskey

The government’s promises, for pensions and healthcare and everything else, cannot be kept. We as a nation will eventually have to have a truthful conversation about that reality…

The fact that the Federal government cannot possibly fund the entitlement/ benefit programs that have been promised to the citizenry is well-known, but remarkably unwelcome.

I have addressed this difficult reality dozens of times, as have hundreds of other commentators, for example:
To Fix Social Security, First Ask Why It Is Deep in the Red (January 18, 2011)
Is the Recovery “Self-Sustaining”? Here’s a Test (March 22, 2011)
If You Want Solutions, First Pin Down Where the Money Is Going (May 23, 2011)

Bruce Krasting recently penned a wonderful evocation of the bitter “I, Me, Mine” rage this reality triggers in Americans: I go to a 4th of July party (Zero Hedge).

The typical reaction is either denial, mixed with wishful thinking–if only we taxed the rich and cut out war spending, everything could easily be funded indefinitely–or rage against anything and everyone that threatens the individual’s own share of the swag.