Global Warming: Heat Records Exceed Cold by Increasing Margins…


From PETER SINCLAIR
Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Climate Central:

As the climate has warmed during the past several decades, there has been a growing imbalance between record daily high temperatures in the contiguous U.S. and record daily lows. A study published in 2009 found that rather than a 1-to-1 ratio, as would be expected if the climate were not warming, the ratio has been closer to 2-to-1 in favor of warm temperature records during the past decade (2000-2009). This finding cannot be explained by natural climate variability alone, the study found, and is instead consistent with global warming.

When you look at individual years, the imbalance can be more stark. For example, through late June 2012, daily record highs were outnumbering record daily lows by a ratio of 9-to-1.The study used computer models to project how the records ratios might shift in future decades as the amount of greenhouse gases in the air continues to increase. The results showed that the ratio of daily record highs to daily record lows in the lower 48 states could soar to 20-to-1 by mid-century, and 50-to-1 by 2100.
~~

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds…


From BILL MOYERS

BILL MOYERS: We turn now from one champion of the public interest to another. From Sheila Bair fighting for greater oversight of the big banks to a global advocate for social justice named Vandana Shiva.

VANDANA SHIVA: We need a new paradigm for living on the earth because the old one is clearly not working.

BILL MOYERS: The last time we spoke with her, she was battling Coca-Cola and other multinational giants over the privatization of water in her native India—including the waters of the sacred river Ganges. Since then, Vandana Shiva has become a rock star in the worldwide battle over genetically modified seeds. Those are seeds aggressively marketed around the world by big companies like Monsanto to not only increase, but also to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge their safety, claim they harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt and dependent on suppliers.

Following Europe’s example, many American consumers are demanding that food products made from genetically modified seeds be labeled.

Fukushima: The nuclear pushers must be stopped…


From KARL GROSSMAN
Counterpunch

The conclusion of a report of a Japanese parliamentary panel issued last week that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster was rooted in government-industry “collusion” and thus was “man-made” is mirrored throughout the world. The “regulatory capture” cited by the panel is the pattern among nuclear agencies right up to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco [Tokyo Electric Power Company, the owner of the six Fukushima plants] and the lack of governance by said parties,” said the 641-page report of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission released on July 5.

“They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly ‘man-made,'” said the report of the panel established by the National Diet or parliament of Japan.

“We believe the root causes were the organizational and regulatory system that supported faulty rationales

War Is Betrayal…


From CHRIS HEDGES
Boston Review

We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and elites.

The poor embrace the military because every other cul-de-sac in their lives breaks their spirit and their dignity. Pick up Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front or James Jones’s From Here to Eternity. Read Henry IV. Turn to the Iliad. The allure of combat is a trap, a ploy, an old, dirty game of deception in which the powerful, who do not go to war, promise a mirage to those who do.

I saw this in my own family. At the age of ten I was given a scholarship to a top New England boarding school. I spent my adolescence in the schizophrenic embrace of the wealthy, on the playing fields and in the dorms and classrooms that condition boys and girls for privilege, and came back to my working-class relations in the depressed former mill towns in Maine. I traveled between two universes: one where everyone got chance after chance after chance, where connections and money and influence almost guaranteed that you would not fail; the other where no one ever got a second try. I learned at an early age that when the poor fall no one picks them up, while the rich stumble and trip their way to the top.

Those I knew in prep school did not seek out the military and were not sought by it. But in the impoverished enclaves of central Maine, where I had relatives living in trailers, nearly everyone was a veteran. My grandfather. My uncles. My cousins. My second cousins.

Dear California State Parks Department…


From MOLLY BEE
Mendo Discussion Lists
Thanks to Janie Sheppard

Dear California State Parks Department,

Due to an increasing number of ridiculous money-grubbing maneuvers and audacious authority oversteps on your part, I think it appropriate to cut your funding by at least 80%, if not tender your total termination. How can we the public/ citizenry go about this, how can we have any say in how our funds are spent, and how can we lobby against your self-serving schemes?

You tax us in every way you can, finding particular perverse delight in making up inane laws, and then fining us for breaking them. There is an extensive menu of infractions that are heftily fined offenses, many of which seem pointedly geared towards harassing the homeless. I was shocked to learn of the exorbitant fine for “sleeping in a vehicle” which is not only enforced on State Parks property (including parking lots or along the side of the road), but also in the entire City of Fort Bragg or anywhere in Mendocino, among most other places. Guess what happens if one is down on one’s luck (sleeping in a car), gets caught harmlessly snoozing inside a vehicle, and can’t pay the ticket fee? Well, the fine increases by 150% every 21 days, until the offending car is impounded and the offending sleeper faces jail time. This is definitely why you need to carry guns and enforce unethical laws outside the area of your intended jurisdiction: to put homeless people in jail where they ! belong! (If you agree with this last statement, you should be taken out back and have common sense and decency pistol-whipped back into your head.)

This recent stunt of yours to raze down the blackberries and hemlock on the Mendocino Headlands is a poor use of public funds to destroy some of the country charm and character of the town. Your direct reasons for this were to dislodge the homeless who sought shelter in the bushes, and to eradicate an invasive species…

William Edelen: Reflections at age 90…


From WILLIAM EDELEN
Toward the Mystery

On Tuesday, July 17th, I reach 90 years of age. As I reflect back on these years, it is fairly easy for me to find the thought, or thoughts, that have shaped my life, my outlook and attitudes, and guided my path regardless of criticism or attacks by those living in the boxes and cages they have chosen for their own confinement.

I realized that the key and path to MEDIOCRITY could be found in worry about the foolishness of public opinion, in “moderation,” in “convention” and “conformity.” Two giant thinkers helped and encouraged me on this path. KRISHNAMURTI, of whom Deepak Chopra said, “He made it possible for me to break through the confines of my own self-imposed restrictions to my freedom”; and a brilliant Aldous Huxley using almost exactly the same language.

And the other giant thinker was the Federal Judge LEARNED HAND, who in his career never had one word of an opinion changed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

My own thoughts were these before being encouraged by the writings of the two men mentioned. A most meaningless cliché is “moderation in all things.” Moderation is the key to mediocrity. Moderation is defined as: “staying within accepted limits.” Creative and uncommon people who are memorable and who use their time on this Earth to the fullest are usually most immoderate and never stay within the accepted limits.

The Sadducees and the Pharisees stayed within the accepted limits of Hebrew law. Jesus did neither. He immoderately loved those whom the Pharisees despised, and he immoderately shattered a great many of their rules and traditions. The most creative giants of civilization

Six Reasons We Can’t Change The Future Without Progressive Religion…


From SARA ROBINSON
AlterNet

Often, religion offers much that progressives need to build movements for change

One of the great historical strengths of the progressive movement has been its resolute commitment to the separation of church and state. As progressives, we don’t want our government influenced by anybody’s religious laws. Instead of superstition and mob id, we prefer to have real science, based in real data and real evidence, guiding public policy. Instead of holy wars, othering, and social repression — the inevitable by-products of theocracy — we think that drawing from the widest possible range of philosophical traditions makes America smarter, stronger, and more durable over time.

That said: while we all want a government free of religion, there are good reasons that we may not want our own progressive movement to be shorn of every last spiritual impulse. In fact, the history of the progressive movement has shown us, over and over, that there are things that the spiritual community brings to political movements that are essential for success, and can’t easily be replaced with anything else.

Religion has been central to the formation of human communities — and to how we approach the future — for as long as homo sapiens has been around. Apart from God-belief (which varies widely between religions), all successful religions thrive and endure because they offer their adherents a variety of effective community-building, social activism, and change management tools that, taken together, make religion quite possibly the most powerful social change technology humans have ever developed.

What does religion offer that progressives need to make our movement work?

Todd Walton: Salt and Song


From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks.com
Mendocino

“Things filled men with fear: the more things they had, the more they had to fear. Things had a way of riveting themselves on to the soul and then telling the soul what to do.” Bruce Chatwin, from The Songlines.

Marcia and I recently watched the marvelous documentary The Salt Men of Tibet, and if you’ve been feeling jangled by modern life, I think you will find this movie a helpful antidote to that jangling. The pace of the movie reflects the pace of life for these nomadic salt men who leave their womenfolk and children to walk with a great herd of yaks, forty yaks per man, to a remote salt lake from which they harvest salt to trade for barley so they and their people may survive another year. Walking to the lake takes the men and their yaks a month or so, with the return trip—each yak now burdened with two large sacks of salt—taking forty-five days or more. Thus three months of every year in the lives of these men is consumed with going and getting salt, and each minute of those three months is part of an all-encompassing sacred ritual.

The film begins in a hut in a mountainous wilderness in which there are no trees. A woman is singing to the salt men, her song the story of Lord Buddha and the events composing the spiritual basis for the reality these men and their families inhabit. The salt people are devout Buddhists and believe their salt lake to be an intelligent and emotionally sensitive being who is deeply influenced by the actions of those who wish to gain the boon of salt from her.

At the conclusion of the woman’s song, the spiritual stage now set, preparations for the incredible journey begin. What we soon realize is that these people live without electricity and motors, their fires fueled with yak dung, their clothing and rope and blankets made from yak wool, and that every aspect of their lives

Medicare. For All. For Life. Everywhere…


From DONNA SMITH
California Nurses Association

After spending the past month on the California Nurses Association ‘Medicare for All’ bus tour in California, I am more confident than ever about the prospects of winning guaranteed healthcare for all under an improved Medicare model. Cradle to grave. For life. In California. Everywhere…

There is no question that Californians want guaranteed healthcare for all. Only a small percentage of those we have reached out to have rejected the call. And those few seem fixed on their own isolated “I-have-mine-and-I-don’t–care-about-you” mindset. Those few folks are often turned around when medical crisis strikes, and though I never wish that on anyone else, I know that in an instant life as you know it can change and leave you utterly dependent on others for our lives.

So it was perhaps fitting that last night in South L.A. when we were just getting ready to pull out of our stop at the S.C.O.P.E. offices after the screenings and town hall, our bus got stuck. One wheel perched high in the air, we were straddling the whole of Florence Avenue and going nowhere. Within seconds, traffic started to back up and people in the neighborhood jumped to try to help us. One man tried to shove wood planks under the airborne wheel to give traction but the driver feared that with any additional pressure, that wood might fly out from under the wheel and hurt or kill someone. It didn’t work. So many good people tried to help, but it just didn’t work at all.

Finally, after quite some time, a police officer stuck his head in our bus and said, “What are you all doing in the ghetto?” That seemed an odd question to ask on many levels, but perhaps speaks to where we are in terms of our shared humanity and perceptions of that humanity. The police officer facilitated getting a huge wrecker to the site to pull the bus forward and, after significant effort, return our bus to the road.

The successful drowning of democracy…


From DAILYKOS

Map - 31 states have addressed or have projected shortfalls for next year

31 States Project Revenue Shortfalls for FY 2012
(States Continue to Feel Recession’s Impact,
Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, June 27, 2012)

In 2001, a gentleman by the name of Grover Norquist (the titular head of Americans for Tax Reform) once (in)famously quipped that his quarter-century goal, which he described as “reasonable,” was to “get government down to the size where [conservatives could] drown it in the bathtub.” In furtherance of that (ig)noble goal, ATF sponsors and, to date, nearly 500 legislators holding federal office in the United States, have signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” This pledge commits them to refuse under all circumstances to vote for any tax increase of any kind unless it is offset by an equal tax cut. Ever.

Since Norquist let us all in on his destitute government wet dream in 2001, folks have at least tried to be vigilant in documenting the shrinking boundaries of the federal government’s fisc. Unfortunately, by focusing on the feds, we missed the Norquist ball soaring over our heads into the net, scoring (if something dramatic does not change pretty damned soon) the game-winning goal of drowning “the government”—by destroying the ability of state and local governments to provide for their citizenry.

Few, however, have noticed.

Romney Receives 20-Minute Standing Ovation At NAAWP Event…


From THE ONION

HOUSTON—During an address Wednesday to the National Association for the Advancement of White People, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a lengthy standing ovation from the group of 2,000 Caucasians who had gathered to hear him speak. The NAAWP, a 400-year-old organization with a membership of nearly 8 million whites nationwide, is expected to be firmly in Romney’s camp come November. “Thank you, thank you so much,” said Romney, whose speech was repeatedly interrupted by wave after wave of raucous applause and numerous chants of “We love Mitt!” “I love you, too. Really, this is too much.” Romney’s reception came in stark contrast to the welcome given to President Barack Obama, who spoke to the NAAWP last Thursday and was loudly booed for saying, “Hello, thanks for having me.”
~

From ROMNEY THE LIAR

Willard, or Mittens, as he is so affectionately known here at Romney the Liar, is a person of such inveterate dishonesty that it can be truthfully said that he lies as easily as most people breathe. When you are unrestrained by any ethical scruples whatsoever and consumed by little more than the desire for power, wealth, and position, you will say anything you think necessary to acquire them. And Willard is more consumed by such desires than most politicians are. One gets the sense that were we to look inside Romney for any hint of integrity we would see nothing more than a barren desert of sociopathy, occupied by a grasping, clutching, desperate little man wholly focused on his own gain, regardless of the damage his words and actions do to others. That such a man has a realistic chance to attain the presidency of my beloved country is appalling to me. Romney outrages my sense of what an American leader should be.

Revolutionary Plots…


From REBECCA SOLNIT
Orion magazine

Urban agriculture is producing a lot more than food

THE ANTI-WAR POET and soldier Siegfried Sassoon reports that toward the end of World War I, Winston Churchill told him that war is the normal occupation of man. Challenged, Churchill amended this to “war—and gardening.” Are the two opposites? Some agriculture is a form of war, whether it’s clearcutting rainforest, stealing land from the poor, contaminating the vicinity, or exploiting farmworkers, and some of our modern pesticides are descended from chemical warfare breakthroughs for the First World War. But gardening represents a much wider spectrum of human activity than war, and if war is an act of the state, gardening is far, far more ancient than city-states (if not nearly so old as squabbling).

Can it be the antithesis of war, or a cure for social ills, or an act of healing the divisions of the world? When you tend your tomatoes, are you producing more than tomatoes? How much more? Is peace a crop, or justice? The American Friends Service Committee set up a series of garden plots to be tended by people who’d been on opposite sides of the Yugoslavian wars, but a lot of people hope to overcome the wars of our time more indirectly through their own gardening and farming.

We are in an era when gardens are front and center for hopes and dreams of a better world or just a better neighborhood, or the fertile space where the two become one. There are farm advocates and food activists, progressive farmers and gardeners, and maybe most particular to this moment, there’s a lot of urban agriculture. These city projects hope to overcome the alienation of food, of labor, of embodiment, of land, the conflicts between production and consumption, between pleasure and work, the destructiveness of industrial agriculture, the growing problems

Knuckle Draggers: Comically Awful Survey Says 83 Percent Of Doctors Might Quit Over Obamacare…


From MEDIA MATTERS

Did you know that American doctors are so incensed over Obamacare’s big-government communist socialism that more than eight in ten are going to quit doctoring? It’s true, according to a terribly conducted survey conducted by a shady right-wing group, reported credulously by the Daily Caller, and hyped by Matt Drudge and Fox News.

“Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association,” reported the Daily Caller yesterday. What is the Doctor Patient Medical Association? The Daily Caller didn’t seem too interested (beyond calling them “a non-partisan association of doctors and patients”) so we’ll have to fill in a few gaps.More...More...

Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Welcome to the Rest of Our Lives…


From CLIMATE CROCKS
~

ABC News:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans were left without power for days after a violent storm front moved through from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic last week. But what if — in the case of a blackout — you could just use your car to power your home?

It might sound futuristic, but in Japan it is already happening.

In Ginza, a posh shopping district in the heart of Tokyo — customers looking to buy a car can do something they can’t do anywhere else in the world — walk into a Nissan dealer and buy an all electric Leaf that will integrate into their home’s energy supply. Simply put

The World’s Most Fuel-Efficient Couple: Or, Beat Gas Prices By Being Smooth…


From MIKE DRONKERS
Lost Coast Outpost

84 mpg in a standard VW Passat TDI…

It can be done, as John and Helen Taylor have recently proven. And you can do it, too. More on that in a moment.

Humboldt’s gas prices are high, but last week’s North Coast Journal cover story doesn’t suggest relief anytime soon, if ever. And a quick scan of used cars on Humboldt Craigslist shows that people are holding on to their high-mpg cars. So it’s on us to figure this out.

Back to that Passat. New York Times:

“To simulate real-world driving conditions, the Taylors brought along 120 pounds of luggage and limited their driving to daylight hours. “We wanted the drive to be realistic…inspiring Americans to save on their upcoming summer driving holidays,” Mr. Taylor said.”

How did they do it?

Hypermiling is the habit of driving as efficiently as possible. Some people are able to push a Prius up to over 100 mpg, but it’ll work on any old car.

GOP Tyrants run wild…


From DAVID ATKINS
digby

Remember how Republican states were certain to accept the Medicaid money because hospitals would insist on it? And how establishment Democrats in D.C. were certain the states would accept the bargain? Well, the biggest Republican state isn’t having any of it:

Texas turned down an expansion of Medicaid coverage and said it will not create a state-run healthcare insurance exchange, joining the chorus of states that are rejecting two key proposals of the Obama administration’s healthcare overhaul measure.

In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released on Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose bid for the GOP presidential nomination fell flat this year, rejected both healthcare proposals. The move, which had been widely expected, echoes similar pronouncements by other conservative Republican governors as well as the GOP’s overall opposition to the heathcare law.

“If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Perry stated.

14 Surveillance Technologies That Big Brother Will Be Using To Spy On You…


From MICHAEL SNYDER
Activist Post

Most of us don’t think much about it, but the truth is that people are being watched, tracked and monitored more today than at any other time in human history. The explosive growth of technology in recent years has given governments, spy agencies and big corporations monitoring tools that the despots and dictators of the past could only dream of.Previous generations never had to deal with “pre-crime” surveillance cameras that use body language to spot criminals or unmanned drones watching them from far above. Previous generations would have never even dreamed that street lights and refrigerators might be spying on them.

Many of the incredibly creepy surveillance technologies that you are about to read about are likely to absolutely astound you. We are rapidly heading toward a world where there will be no such thing as privacy anymore. Big Brother is becoming all-pervasive, and thousands of new technologies are currently being developed that will make it even easier to spy on you. The world is changing

Hope Is For The Lazy: The Challenge Of Our Dead World…


From ROBERT JENSEN
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Via Organic Consumers

In 2005, I preached on the ecological crisis in a sermon I titled “Hope is for the Weak: The Challenge of a Broken World.” Looking back, I realize that I had been far too upbeat and optimistic, probably trying too hard to be liked. Today I want to correct that.

Hence, my updated title: “Hope is for the Lazy: The Challenge of Our Dead World.” Let’s start with two of the three important changes.

First, to be a hope-monger or a hope-peddler today is not just a sign of weakness but also of laziness, and sloth is one of the seven deadly sins. Don’t forget that, as good Christians, we try to avoid those.

Second, our world is not broken, it is dead. We are alive, if we choose to be, but the hierarchical systems of exploitation that structure the world in which we live — patriarchy, capitalism, nationalism, white supremacy, and the industrial model — all are dead. It’s not just that they cannot be reformed, but that they cannot, and should not, be revived. The death-worship at the heart of those ideologies

Transition: Regarding George Monbiot’s announcement that ‘we were wrong on peak oil’


From ROB HOPKINS
Transition Culture

George Monbiot announced in the Guardian on Monday “We were wrong on peak oil. There’s enough to fry us all“, an article which concluded “peak oil hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time”.  Several people have written, and even stopped me while I’ve been out shopping, to ask for my take on his piece, so here it is.  It has been a tricky thing to write, as in the time it took me to compose it, so many other interesting analyses of it have been posted, many of which I have tried to reference here.  In a nutshell, I think Monbiot’s piece swallows an over-optimistic take on peak oil, and there are things in his piece that I disagree with and things that I agree with, although I don’t for a moment consider myself a peak oil expert.  What he does prompt is a rethink in terms of how we present peak oil.  Let’s start with the things I disagree with.

Firstly I would question the idea that it is somehow news to anyone that there are a huge amount of as-yet-unexploited hydrocarbons in the world.  I first became interested in peak oil in 2004 when I met Dr. Colin Campbell

Dear Climate Change Deniers: ‘This Is Just the Beginning’…


From WORLD VIEW OF GLOBAL WARMING

Huge areas of drought spread across the United States, while heat and wildfires add to climate woes.

More than 2,000 heat records were broken last week around the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)…

“You know, as time goes on, we always expect to set new records, but there should be an equal number of highs and lows. And in the 1950s and the ’60s and ’70s, that was the case. But by the time we got to the 2000s, the ratios of highs to lows was about two-to-one and this year so far it’s running at about a ratio of ten-to-one. And so clearly this is just not natural variability anymore.”

More than three quarters of the area of the lower 48 states is in drought and dry conditions, apparently the most since weekly detailed drought mapping began in 2000. The National Drought Monitor map and analysis as of July 3, by the National Drought Mitigation Center, shows areas suffering “exceptional drought”

The City Dark…


Stargazing in Times SquareStargazing in Times Square

From AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY | POV
Is darkness becoming extinct? When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves from rural Maine to New York City and discovers streets awash in light and skies devoid of stars, he embarks on a journey to America’s brightest and darkest corners, asking astronomers, cancer researchers and ecologists what is lost in the glare of city lights. Blending a humorous, searching narrative with poetic footage of the night sky, The City Dark provides a fascinating introduction to the science of the dark and an exploration of our relationship to the stars.
Watch the film free online here until August 5th, 2012

The town in rural Maine where Ian Cheney spent much of his childhood has about 4,000 residents. Waldoboro had electric lights, but on a cloudless and moonless night, it was impossible not to be struck by the incredible array of stars visible above. Cheney became deeply curious about the stars, as humans have been for millennia. He followed his passion into amateur astronomy, fashioning his own homemade telescope, and then into astrophotography to capture the wondrous scenes that revealed themselves at night.

William Edelen: Vision Quest…


20120708-091157.jpg

From WILLIAM EDELEN
Toward The Mystery

Due to my current involvement with cataract surgery, my thoughts have been meditating on the broad range of “vision” implications and reflections, both outward and inward.

Interesting that I am writing this for the July 8 issue, and tomorrow on July 9th I have my conference with Dr. Shaaf about my left eye. He completed my right eye and has been waiting for total healing before doing the left eye. I have found Dr. Shaaf to be truly outstanding. My right eye is now being used without any correction glasses and the colors that are now visible to me are brilliant and pure, beauty that has been unknown to me for many years.

This experience has kept me in a reflective mood about the entire range and profound considerations of that beautiful word, “VISION.”

There are so many wonderful and perfect definitions in the dictionary that refer to the mystical, insight, intuition, awareness of the supernatural, and more.

For The Time of Necessary Decision…


From JOHN O’DONOHUE
To Bless the Space Between Us

The mind of time is hard to read.
We can never predict what it will bring,
Nor even from all that is already gone
Can we say what form it finally takes;
For time gathers its moments secretly.
Often we only know it’s time to change
When a force has built inside the heart
That leaves us uneasy as we are.

Perhaps the work we do has lost its soul
Or the love where we once belonged
Calls nothing alive in us anymore.

We drift through this gray, increasing nowhere
Until we stand before a threshold we know
We have to cross to come alive once more.

May we have the courage to take the step
Into the unknown that beckons us;
Trust that a richer life awaits us there,
That we will lose nothing
But what has already died;
Feel the deeper knowing in us sure
Of all that is about to be born beyond
The pale frames where we stayed confined,
Not realizing how such vacant endurance
Was bleaching our soul’s desire.
~~

Todd Walton: Apes


From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks.com
Mendocino

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” Francis Bacon

Sometimes it helps me to remember we are apes. Before the advent of clothing and tools and weapons and religion and cars and nuclear power and nations and money and vast social and economic inequities, we were naked apes looking for sustenance, shelter, safety, and love. We foraged for food, made nests for sleeping, and hung out in groups large enough to dissuade leopards. We had mates and children, we changed locations when our favorite foods grew scarce, and we socialized with family and friends every day. We did not, I think, have long term goals. We lived wholly in the moment because we didn’t have anything other than the moment to live in. We had nothing to carry, nothing to hide, nothing besides each other.

Okay, so that is a gross oversimplification of ape reality

Dave Smith: ‘Neighbors Reading’ Meets Every First Friday Mulligan Books 6pm


 

From DAVE SMITH
Mendo Free Skool

Neighbors Reading at Mulligan Books
208 S State Street, Ukiah

Bring one of your favorite books and we will take turns reading and discussing brief passages from them. Preferred are general topics around Neighbors, Community, Transition and Resilience, but not confined to them. This class is for those who care for our community’s future.

The readings will be videotaped for showing on Mendocino Access Television leading to live remote broadcasts in the future.

First Fridays, 6-7 p.m.


From GUY McPHERSON
Nature Bats Last

Words To Give By…

I’m fussy about the words I use. Words matter, after all. For example, anarchy is not chaos, though you’d never be able to distinguish the two based on anything presented by the mainstream media.

William Edelen: Thomas Jefferson and The 4th of July…


From WILLIAM EDELEN
Toward The Mystery
Thanks to Mark Scaramella, TheAVA

On the 4th of July, 1826, America celebrated the 50th anniversary of her Independence. John Adams, the second President of the United States, died on that day at the age of 90. His last words were: “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” But on that same day, Jefferson too died. There was something mystical about the relationship between Adams and Jefferson. It was these two giants who, with James Madison, set the direction and the philosophy of this great nation.

What are we celebrating on this 4th of July? It is the Declaration of Independence. With only a very few word changes, that magnificent document was written by one man, Thomas Jefferson. When John Kennedy was President he hosted a banquet without precedent. He invited every living American Nobel Prize winner. When the guests were seated Kennedy stood and said he wanted to offer a toast. He said this: “Never has so much talent, so much genius, been assembled in one room — since Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

I have one bust in my study. It is of Jefferson. On the base are these words: “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every tyranny over the mind of man.” (He uses the word “God” as a Deist, not as a Christian. A vast difference) He made this scathing statement aimed at the tyranny of the Christian church.

Being Radical…



~

From GUY McPHERSON
Nature Bats Last

You probably recognize this symbol, though you might have forgotten its name: √

When I write the symbol on the whiteboard in a class, and ask what it is, the response is invariable: “The square root.”

I respond, “Yes, its function is to take the root, including the square root or any other root. But what is it called?”

Extended silence ensues, followed by, “The square-root symbol.”

I lead the abundant laughter.

“Really? Nobody took math in junior high?”

Nervous laughter.

“I’ve insulted everybody here within the first minute of our meeting,” I say. “Now that that’s out of the way, we can proceed.”

Long pause before I give away the answer: “It’s called a radical.” Another long pause before I reveal the point of this exercise. “It’s called a radical because it gets at the root. That, by the way, is the definition of radical: of or going to the root or origin.”

I use this anecdote to introduce myself to the class. I’m a radical, I point out. And, whereas this culture has convinced most people that a radical is a bad thing, similarly to anarchy, it’s actually not a bad thing, and it’s different than most people believe.

Herb Ruhs: Comments on recent Ukiah Blog posts…


From HERB RUHS
Boonville

Peak Denial

From the time that “scientific” (in quotes because science abhors lying) propaganda came on to the scene, ushered in by the book Propaganda by Edward L. Bernays, the entire species has progressively inundated by well crafted lies, denials and fantasies. This has resulted in mass mental illness. Our systems seem to tolerate some level of deceit, but when trusted sources disappear, when the burden of lies incorporated into peoples world view, reaches a threshold then individuals, then whole societies, sink into a condition of cognitive dissonance that leads to serious mental illness. Truth is important.

In R. D. Lanig’s book The Politics of the Family (can’t find my copy to check for sure, it may be in another of his books) he describes a Polynesian custom for dealing with mental illness. Their approach is to bring the whole extended family down to the beach and have them share their secrets and admit their lies. If the ill person remains symptomatic then someone is holding out and nobody gets to go home. Honesty cures. Dishonesty sickens. The whole world is now mentally ill with no beach to go to to sort it out.

Mental houses of cards, whether they are those of delusional individuals

Unequal Protection — Chapter 14: Unequal Protection From Risk


From THOM HARTMANN
Truthout

When corporations gained the protections that had been written for persons in the United States, a substantial shift began in who bears what risk, resulting in an imbalance that now affects virtually all parts of the world. Most companies handle risk responsibly, but many corporations are legally allowed to avoid responsibility in ways that would never be permitted for an individual.

Risk is a matter of who suffers when something goes wrong. Corporations and their shareholders may risk loss of income or even loss of their investment, but that pales in comparison with the risks that humans share as a result of a corporate activity—such as degradation of the environment, higher rates of cancer and other diseases, job-related disfigurement or death, community and family breakdown after a factory is closed and jobs are shipped overseas, and even a life with no income or health insurance if we choose not to affiliate with a corporation.

Large companies rarely risk anything nearly that serious. They rarely undergo corporate death (charter revocation) or disfigurement. The burden of risk is unequal, and one source of this inequality is the changes in laws and regulations that happened after companies gained access to the law-making process when they were declared to share the same rights as persons.