Herb Ruhs: The whole concept of debt under the assault of propaganda has gotten just silly…


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From HERB RUHS
The Compassionate Misanthrope
Boonville

I was surprised recently by seeing a notice at the top of my monthly statement from the Fort Brag Credit Union that they would not be accepting deposits over $5000 since no one was borrowing. Strange. A business that is discouraging business, but, as Michael Hudson points out in the accompanying article, in our upside-down economic world nothing makes sense. A relentless concentration of wealth accompanied by an overall decrease in wealth seems to be the culprit. History shows that this sort of cycle, which is sometimes referred to as “financialization,” is a routine end for hegemonic powers.

From the point of view of the topmost wealth aggrandizers it is just the beneficence of the system that allows general impoverishment to fuel oligarchy. Being rich means being right, and being richer means being more right. Bless his heart, GWB nailed it when he addressed a select audience as “my constituency, the haves and the have mores.” That really sums it up. The mechanics of the looting can be interesting in its own right and I routinely consult only three sources for enlightenment, Max Wolff, Michael Hudson and Max Keiser (RT Network).

Ingersoll: Vivisection is the Hell of Science…


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From ROBERT INGERSOLL (1890)

Vivisection is the Inquisition — the Hell — of Science. All the cruelty which the human — or rather the inhuman — heart is capable of inflicting, is in this one word. Below this there is no depth. This word lies like a coiled serpent at the bottom of the abyss.

We can excuse, in part, the crimes of passion. We take into consideration the fact that man is liable to be caught by the whirlwind, and that from a brain on fire the soul rushes to a crime. But what excuse can ingenuity form for a man who deliberately — with an un-accelerated pulse — with the calmness of John Calvin at the murder of Servetus — seeks, with curious and cunning knives, in the living, quivering flesh of a dog, for all the throbbing nerves of pain? The wretches who commit these infamous crimes pretend that they are working for the good of man; that they are actuated by philanthropy; and that their pity for the sufferings of the human race drives out all pity for the animals they slowly torture to death. But those who are incapable of pitying animals are, as a matter of fact, incapable of pitying men.

A physician who would cut a living rabbit in pieces — laying bare the nerves, denuding them with knives, pulling them out with forceps — would not hesitate to try experiments with men and women for the gratification of his curiosity.

William Edelen: What Makes You Cry?


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From WILLIAM EDELEN
The Contrary Minister

Albert Speer was the most trusted of Hitler’s inner circle. In reading his “notes” lately I came across this scene.  The war is over. Speer is in prison. An intelligence “counselor” is in his cell. The counselor confronts Speer with this question: “Speer, tell me what is it that makes you cry? Have you ever cried Speer? I want to know “what makes you cry?” Speer gave no answer.

That question haunted me. What makes us cry is a clue to who we are and what we are as a human being. My mind went to a statement by Albert Schweitzer that has also haunted me over the years: “A man is moral, and ethical, only when all of life is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as well as that of his fellow man.This is the absolute principle of the moral and ethical.”

So, I knew, I know, one thing… what it is that makes me cry. I know when I cry.

I CRY… reading about a “fighting dog” wandering along a highway in intense pain, with his head split open by an ax by a “so called” human being, who could no longer use him for fighting.

I CRY… when I see dead whales and dolphins washed up on shore as a result of the Sonar testing by the Navy… testing that has been well documented as not needed.More...

I CRY… when I see big, strong, “brave” men clubbing a little precious baby seal to death. While the baby is crying they are pounding  his little head into mush… while they laugh at this “celebration” of baby seal clubbing.

It’s time for harmony between science and spirituality…


2 (c) NASA, JPL-CaltechHelix Nebula Photo © NASA, JPL-Caltech

From PAUL FLETCHER
Positive News

The meeting of cutting-edge scientific and spiritual understandings of the world could be the foundation for us to live sustainably

In the late summer of 1983, scientists such as the physicist Fritjof Capra and biologist Francisco Varela joined spiritual leaders such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and zen master Baker Roshi at a pioneering event in Austria.

By the end of the five-day conference, which was called Other Realities and took place in the village of Alpbach, it was hard for me to distinguish the scientists from the mystics. The conclusion of all the assembled wisdom was that spirituality without science tends to be self-obsessed and weak, and that science without spirituality was mechanistic and inhuman. There needed to be a fusion of the beauty of science and the blissful nature of spirituality.

In the decades that followed, dialogue grew between scientific researchers and those with a spiritual vision for a better world. This led into new fields of thought and understanding about the nature of reality. Central to this in the UK was the founding of the Scientific and Medical Network in 1973, which felt that science was often guilty of leaving out consciousness and purpose, and which tried to apply scientific rigour to its investigations into consciousness. The Wrekin Trust charity also ran a series of conferences similar to the Austrian event.

Spanking Babies for God: Why America Is The Most Violent First World Country…


Train-Up-a-Child

From ROBERT DeFILIPPIS
The Big Slice
Thanks to Herb Ruhs

I recently wrote an article about how the same-sex marriage debate arouses society’s schizoid moral responses. It got me to thinking about another piece I wrote in 2011 that illustrates the same moral schizophrenia. In this case, how child abuse and death can result from substituting knowledge of childhood development with religious beliefs. Here it is:

It is a fact that the U.S.’s Child Abuse is the worst in First World.  From BBC News by Michael Petit, “More than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members in the last 10 years, nearly four times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. A BBC investigation finds that the United States has the worst child-abuse record of all the industrialized nations. Every week, 66 children under 15 die from physical abuse or neglect in the First World, 27 of them in the U.S. Experts say teen pregnancy, high-school dropout rates, violent crime, imprisonment, and poverty are generally much higher in the United States.”

It is also a fact that the U.S. is the most religious country in the First World. According to several surveys on religion, 83 percent of Americans claim to belong to a religious denomination. How can these two facts simultaneously exist in the same country?

Kopimism and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance…


zFrom CHRISTIAN ENGSTROM 

Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance from 1974 is one of the world’s most widely read philosophical books. I think it has a strong connection to Kopimism.

The Kopimist creation myth so far identifies three Fundamental Principles that have worked together to create life on Earth: Copying, Cooperation, and Quality.

The book of Pirsig revolves around the concept of Quality, which acquires a more and more metaphysical meaning as the book progresses.

I believe that what the Kopimist creation myth calls Quality, and describes as the attraction force of the good, is very similar to Pirsig’s Quality, perhaps even identical.

The book of Pirsig is a very deep book, of the kind that you reread in whole or in part a number of times in your life, and gain new insights each time. I will give a quick summary of it below, but the important thing is not whether that summary is understandable or not.

The most important thing is that Pirsig argues the idea that Quality is a real (though not yet explored) force of nature. That idea we can copy straight into Kopimism. We can then use the book of Pirsig as a starting point for a deeper philosophical discussion about what Quality is and how it affects our thoughts and actions.

Will Parrish: Big Orange On The Rampage…


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From WILL PARRISH
Ukiah
Save Little Lake Valley
TheAVA

[Press Conference Today, Friday 3/29/13, 10AM Across From Warbler’s Tree. Save Our Little Lake Valley and Little Lake Valley Defenders are pleased to announce a press conference at 10 a.m. across from The Warbler’s tree at mile marker 43.74.  Please join us! This is a communal celebration of The Warbler’s two-month anniversary in the tree.  The Warbler will have a major announcement at the press conference. We invite all media to attend.]

Since Thursday, CalTrans’ destruction along the southern portion of the proposed Willits Bypass route has been unrelenting. The roughly 1.5-mile long and 200 foot wide swath where Big Orange’s contractors’ have been sawing, excavating, and chipping is bracketed by The Warbler’s tree on the south and a newer tree sit in a pine grove roughly 1.5 miles away.

Todd Walton: Uncle David


From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTable
Mendocino

My uncle David Walton died in China on March 8 at the ripe old age of eighty-seven, just a week ago as I write this, yet I have already received an email with photographs from the lovely memorial service that was held for him in Xichang where David lived and taught English for the last several years, his Xichang friends and students in attendance. And that memorial service email was just one of many I have received so far along with several phone calls from a tiny fraction of the hundreds of people who knew and loved David.

David was the youngest of three brothers, my father Charles the eldest, Robert in the middle. They grew up in Beverly Hills, their father a bookkeeper for movie stars and people who needed a bookkeeper, his most famous client Hedy Lamarr. The child movie star Jackie Cooper lived down the street and the Walton boys attended one of Jackie’s birthday parties when David was very young. The brothers graduated from Beverly Hills High, where my father met my mother, and David went to MIT, as did Robert, the alma mater of their father, while my dad broke with family tradition and went to UCLA after which he attended medical school in San Francisco.

Upon graduating from MIT, David returned to Los Angeles and went to work for his father as a bookkeeper for some years, and when his father semi-retired in the early 1950’s, David relocated with his parents and brother Robert, who was by then severely disabled, to Carmel and Monterey, which is when my firsthand memories of Uncle David begin.

Antique Farm Tools


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From No Tech Magazine

Peter Charles Dorrington collected and restored over 750 antique farm tools between 1985 and 2001. Most of these tools were agricultural hand implements and fenland tools that were used in England, Wales and Scotland, dating from about 1600 to 1940, for example: “chaff cutters”, “flails”, scythes”, “dibbers” and “breast ploughs”. Photographs of roughly half of the tools that are still in the collection are included here. Information and notes on some of the tools are also included.

In pre-industrial societies, throughout the world, most people worked as agricultural labourers. Indeed many of the types of hand farm tools on this website might have been used by your own ancestors…
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THE “CHAFF BOX” OR “CHAFF CUTTER”

The chaff box or cutter was a simple but ingenious device for cutting straw chaff, hay, and oats into small pieces – before being mixed together with other forage and fed to horses and cattle. Apart from being more economical than previous methods of feeding, this aided the animal’s digestion and prevented animals from rejecting any part of their food. Since the chaff box was made largely of wood (usually ash) with only a small amount of ironwork, it cost relatively little to make and, as a result, few farms, town or country stables were without one by the end of the eighteenth century.

There were two sizes, one of heavy construction which normally resided in the darkened corners of barns or stables and another smaller model made of pine or similar wood which was portable.