2.28.2010

Lost Highway

Willie is a prolific songwriter and entertainer, and one country's most notorious "outlaws." His Farm Aid concerts generate much-needed funding for American farmers, and his yearly "Picnic" concerts draw audiences from all over the country to Austin. He has fans from every walk of life and appeals to all ages. He remains one of the most recognizable faces and voices in country music.

Willie is an outspoken supporter of legalized marijuana, he tours North America in a bus, donating time and money to worthy causes as he and his band travel the continent.
Willie's band is always an evolving mix of old friends and new talented kids that Willie befriends-mentors as the show rolls on.
 
At 75 years old Willie, poet-philospher-musican and another of my heroes, is going strong, his latest alblum 'Lost Highway' is great.

2.27.2010

Cyanide of the Masses

Religion gives people comfort and a worldview that lets them slide through life without having to face their own mortality. Mortality, the big terrorist, death, the destination of every life. So you might as well be the special, the chosen ones, as every religion claims their adherents are, and being special, being able to hear the true word of god, they and only they will somehow escape the wheel of life. Easter Bunny logic, once our ancestors got suckered into the a-brahim crap, the one god, good/evil worldview, the unified view of our Pagan past was eclipsed.

It's time for religion to return to its churches, close its doors and get out of our courts and governments. Better yet let them all wither and die, let people once again understand that they don’t have dominion over plants, animals or minerals, we’re all equal partners. Seeing-living this unified miracle makes it apparent that any arrogant destruction by ‘us’ of the ‘others’ is really suicide.

“Religion is not merely the opium of the masses, it's the cyanide.”-Tom Robbins

Our problems are philosophical and until that's solved the political ones will keep reappearing.

What If They Gave a War...? by The Luddite
Why aren't we storming the battlements of every filthy oil company in America, demanding that their executives be tossed into fetid dungeons for cynically manipulating gas prices while raking in obscene profits.Why aren't we demanding that religion return to the pulpit, where it belongs, and keep out of the White House and the courts? In short, where the hell is everybody?

2.26.2010

Worldview War

The OJ metaphor Bill McKibben used in his article 'The Attack On Climate-Change Science' caught my attention. For years i've agrued that people's various views of the OJ verdict were determined by the historical and cultural perspective of the viewer. OJ's lawyers communicated their arguement to everybody, everybody who followed the trial cast a silent vote. The media painted the schism between people's opposing views with the race brush. 90% of blacks supported the verdict, 90% of whites opposed it. Seems obvious enough, but by looking from a different perspective, one of class not race, the dynamic shifts. More blacks are poor and the poor of all races understand from first hand experience what many cops are capable of.  The difference in viewpoint wasn't determined by skin pigmentation it was socio-economic class. We are to easily divided by red herrings like race, religion, nationalism, etc. The corporate owned MSM shines it's light on the truth it seeks and the OJ verdict was no different.

I've seen the police be brutal, i've seen them be kind. Police are just people and we are a mixed up and convoluted bunch. We all see events through our unique eyes, our conclusions more a reflection of our prejudices than of objective observation.

The wealthy love solutions that limit resources by price. The powerful will never voluntarily give up their perch. The poor are divided by red herrings. The middle class still wants to believe in the god of 'more' but understands, unconsciously at least, that they've been decieved, that there really are only two classes, the fat cats and us. There's two solutions as I see it: one has the proletariat rising up to overthrow the uber class [a very long shot indeed] the other is an economic collapse, a leveling of asset values to zero, allowing real wealth, not materialism, to dominate our future worldview.

2.25.2010

Search, Climate Collaboratorium, Science vs Scepticism, CC Wiki

to: Alun Anderson, former editor-in-chief, New Scientist and author of: After The Ice: Life, Death and Politics in the New Arctic .


Hello Mr. Anderson, saw your brilliant response to the Climategate question in The Ecologist:

There is one wonderful project I mention in the book - the SEARCH  programme for sea ice in which every year scientists say at the beginning of the year how much sea ice they think will be left at the end of the summer. Month by month they revise their predictions, they explain why they're revising them.

All the discussion is on a website open to the public - transparent, how scientists think, when they get things wrong, how they deal with error. That's the way to go and not more and more exchanges of emails between people who think they're battling the world. I think that's completely wrong.

and thought you might be interested in a similar means of innovating science process somewhere between the Climate Collaboratorium and iPhone App: Science vs Scepticism:

Climate Change: Get Smarter: Turbocharging Democracy Online

Thanks for your insight, going to get your book and thanks for your time,

Bill, Gibsons, BC

2.24.2010

Economic Collapse and Climate Change

Civilization is a disease, fatal to life on Earth as we know it. That’s the view of Britain’s Keith Farnish, author of the book Time’s Up!  An Uncivilized Solution to a Global Crisis. You might not like what he has to say – or maybe you will.

Here are a couple of more links for Keith Farnish:
His blog: earth-blog.bravejournal.com.
Another blog is unsuitablog.com

Keith, like more and more people, see economic collapse as necessary both enviromentally and economically. Enviromentally because we humans are incapable of voluntarily curbing our collective greed and devotion to our god of 'more'. Economically because the division of wealth is so skewed only the great leveling of assets by making them all worthess can wrestle power from the privledged.

The rich and super-rich seem completely oblivious to the plight of their fellow citizens. How else can we explain the obscene pay packages of CEOs and other executives? They are the product of upper-class exceptionalism -- the normal rules of citizenship do not apply to them. They do not have to consider the fate of their country so they hide their money in foreign banks -- with no guilt -- to evade taxes. They are simply entitled to everything they have -- and to even more if they can get it. Class divisions in Canada have been growing now for at least 25 years, to the point that we seem to be entering a new era of feudalism. This is a part of the crisis in democracy that almost never gets talked about. - Murray Dobbin

Toward the Collapse: Growth-Economy = Climate Disaster

Is global warming unstoppable now? Could we be saved by total economic collapse? If so, should we help civilization fall?

2.23.2010

The International Day of Peasant Struggle

On April 17th 1996, nineteen landless Brazilian peasants who were defending their right to produce food by demanding access to land were massacred by the military police. Since the massacre at El Dorado dos Caraj├ís, every year on this date actions are organised around the world by farmers’ organisations, communities, student groups, non-governmental organizations and activists, in order to demand food sovereignty and peasants’ rights to produce food.

To mark the 17th of April 2010, La Via Campesina calls upon its members and allies to join forces and increase resistance against TNCs, and to amplify the voices and rights of peasants worldwide.

What can you do?

  • To raise awareness about the destruction being caused by TNCs, and the benefits of peasant agriculture, organise an event or action in your community, school, city or organization. Possible events might be a protest, public debate, direct action, film screening, farmers' market, heirloom seed exchange, song or picture contest;
  • Subscribe to La Via Campesina's 17th of April mailing list to stay informed about the actions being organised around the world, to receive our mobilisation kit, and to tell others about your plans. Subscribe here
  • Tell us what you are planning as early as possible to be included in the activities' list published on http://www.viacampesina.org/
  • Send us pictures, articles and videos after the event at viacampesina@viacampesina.org

2.22.2010

Micro Finance - Take Direct Action Through Kiva

With a couple clicks, you can find someone like Agatha Kubena, a tailor from Dodoma, Tanzania, who received business training from VEF. Kubena is disabled, and wants to buy a sewing machine and the fabric necessary to make traditional African garments so that people in her community won't have to purchase foreign clothes. Like many of the personal accounts on Kiva, Kubena's experience will resonate with people everywhere who are struggling just to get by. As Flannery said, "I find the loan is often just a means of connecting to another person."


Fortunately Kiva's online micro finance setup has become a huge success. Please check this out, I’ve read about micro-loans before and how they can make a huge difference in 3rd world family's living conditions. but this is the first time I’ve run into such a neat way for individuals to take direct action towards this goal in a way that’s easily scalable to each’s own financial abilities.

2.21.2010

Canada's Psychosis

Canada is a-tingle, it's in every conversation, often 1st up. At 4:40pst, with 85% of Canadian TV's tuned in, the puck will drop. Though nobody goes home, it's still the preliminary round, beating the 'evil empire', having bragging rights, is still a central part of Canada's Psychosis.

It's another bright sunny day here in greater Vancouver, it'll be well over 15C by game time, but shades will be closed, beers will be emptied, flags will be waved. At the game itself rabid fans will have the place jumping. Those damn mittens will be everywhere in homes, bars and at the game.

Either way, the sun will rise tomorrow, the robins will still chirp, the worms will still wiggle, but for a few hours time will stop in fair Canuckistan as her mythical heroes take on the US Goliath.

GO CANADA GO

2.20.2010

Soil the solution to climate change

There is a miracle going on under our feet every second of everyday. The microbes that are so abundant in living soil are digesting organic matter and pooping out perfect food for the flora. These microbes are made of carbon and their growth sequesters tons of carbon per acre.

The flora use the food to grow more diverse carbon structures sequestering carbon in the plants themselves and bulding interconnected comunities that provide cost free services like nitrogen fixation.

Agrobusiness, corporate farming, oil based fertilizers and their ilk do the opposite by killing the microbes and fungi that support real living soil and plants. Spring is coming on early here on BC's southwest coast, it feels like time to turn over beds, do a bit of prep even in no till gardens, smell the rich soil, harvest from and turn compost from the bin, check out the worms, the robins watching your progress. Living soil, round and round she goes.
 
Nitrogen for Free

2.19.2010

Climate Models Unpredictable

The vanishing sea ice, melting glaciers, rising oceans are only a few of the many measurements whose reality has proven the models woefully conservative in their previous predictions. Gwynne Dyer in his recent book 'Climate Wars' writes a fine peice on the timetable involved in producing/publishing the results based on predictions from a climate model and comparing them.

Dyer points out that first field workers collect data over a sufficient peroid of time to be useful, then the data are processed, conclusions are published and the long give and take of the peer review process plays out, next a final report is submitted to an august body like the IPCC of the UN, they use it and other scientific submissions along side the pressure from 'special interests' to produce a conclusion that everyone can swallow.

The process takes years, we're always hearing conclusions drawn from years old data through a web of political interest. Our models are unpredictable because their inputs are old and their outputs gerrymandered. The sea ice is vanishing here and now as the most recent 'vanishing ice' media reports point out. Extinction for polar bears in the wild and unknown others, what a wonderful ethic our generation lives by, the ethic of 'want more now' and let our children pay.

" Politics is how you live your life, not whom you vote for!" -Jerry Rubin


Sea ice in Canada’s fragile Arctic is melting faster than anyone expected, the lead investigator in Canada’s largest climate-change study yet said Friday — raising the possibility that the Arctic could, in a worst-case scenario, be ice-free in about three years.

2.18.2010

the 'want less' meme

Wikipedia says "A meme (rhyming with "cream") is a unit of ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Virus like, memes have the potential to be passed on from one mind to another.

We all see Climate Change, for instance, through our own veil of beliefs. Through mine the climate is changing due to human consumption and materialism. How can the millions who share my perspective get our meme, let's call it 'want less', established and accepted?

Cool could work. If somehow, through peer pressure, it became cool to 'want less', to have less, to comsume the least, then our 'want less' meme might have a shot.

Beliefs are a set of ideas. We use our beliefs to triage incoming information into acceptable and unacceptable, deal with the one, trashcan the other. This web of beliefs is malliable. New sets of ideas, memes like 'want less', can outflank our cultural blinders and carry, Trojan Horse style, their message to the forfront and focus of our attention, making 'want less' the veil we triage events through

2.17.2010

Caspian oil and Afghan pipedreams

How did we, Canada, got there? Why did Harper and his predessors the poll sniffing, equally corporate ass kissing liberals do it?

A great history of the complexity of the answers can be found by reading Eric Margolis' first novel ‘War at the Top of the World’, a masterpiece, you get a view from ground level in Afghanistan, of it’s recent history, who the Taliban really are, and what the eventual outcome will be.

Margolis' second novel, 'American Raj', which i'm currently reading, goes deeper into Midleast history and it's corruption by our consumptive oil culture. It’s all about oil, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, all bumps on the road to the US imperial consumption of everything, everywhere, for now it’s oil, but in the long run it’s everything.

Canada has huge natural resources that are being plundered in the name of short term profits for the already obscenely wealthy and the US car culture. Canada doesn’t need to fight and die for US hegemony, Canada doesn't need to pollute the planet with tar sands pollutants, Canada needs social justice, healthcare, pollution controls, not the neo-con oil war agenda that our present little fascist PM Harper is attending to.

Unocal and the Afghanistan pipeline

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Argentine oil company Bridas, led by its ambitious chairman, Carlos Bulgheroni, became the first company to exploit the oil fields of Turkmenistan and propose a pipeline through neighbouring Afghanistan. A powerful U.S.-backed consortium intent on building its own pipeline through the same Afghan corridor would oppose Bridas' project.

2.16.2010

Alberta's deal with the Devil

Alberta was a windswept peice of desert, a home to more cows than people the joke used to be, just a while back. Then somebody found oil . Oil revenues, then natural gas revenues started to swell the provincial coffers. After a decade or more the govt. was outta the debt it had built up in the past just providing basic services like health care and education.

Then the devil started whispering about how Alberta's land was soaking in oil, millions of acres of tar sands, more oil potential than Saudi Arabia. If Alberta would just prime the pump with development dollars the petro boys could get going. Soon, the whispers said, huge royalties would roll in, Alberta would be rich, tax cuts, jobs for all, a free lunch. So Alberta made its Faustian bargain. Alberta would get the oil, the riches, the jobs, the low taxes, but...the there were costs, the devil has a price, and Alberta's paying.

As the world's #1 source of industrial carbon emmissions, the tar sands and Alberta are at the swiring center of worldwide enviromental condemnation and now lawsuits by big oil to stop market based protests. Then there's the growing importance of the oil sands to the province's financial well-being helps explain Premier Ed Stelmach's refusal to accept calls from environmental groups to slow expansion plans to reduce the growth of greenhouse-gas emissions and the local consequences on land and water

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

Dark clouds on the horizon, Alberta has a jones, they need more revenue for services for the new oil boom population not less. A few already obscenely rich get richer, the SUVs keep rolling down the US Interstates and Alberta's govt. limps on, now in debt, needing ever more loonies, Albertians now listen to Mephistopheles' whispers of cheap natural gas fom the MacKenzie Delta to fuel the latest tar sands expansion, bonton roulette.

"The interests of the corporation state are to convert all the riches of the earth into dollars."
-William O. Douglas

2.15.2010

Dancing in the Street at Robson aand Thurlow in Vancouver

Just before 4 p.m. yesterday, a flash mob errupted into dance along along Robson St. to the tune of Dancing in the Streets by Martha and The Vandellas blaring over a loud speaker. Men, women and children faced East toward Thurlow Street, and began a choreographed dance. The moves weren't overly complicated, making the dance as accessible as the Macarena. After about three minutes of jubilation, the song ended and the dancers dispersed.

The flash mob was the result of an elaborate planning process by a group called Imagine1day, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide access to schools and a primary education for all children in Ethiopia, Africa. They organized the event and four warm ups through Facebook, where about 3,000 people had confirmed their attendance to the final performance. According to Imagine1Day spokeswoman Sapna Dayal, “It was a really good way to bring people together in a fun, community way,”.

Imagine one day, great name. Great event yesterday, uplifed the spirit of the streets after the stupid pointless display the day before. Street theater, the power of song, surprise, humour, impeccable, their concern seen by hundreds and heard by millions.

2.14.2010

Where have all the Yippies gone?

As a result of yesterday mornings' rampage by the kids who call themselves anarcists many British Columbians who were sympathetic to the Olympic Resistance's message are now off the fence and firmly on the side of the government, VANOC, and the corporate sponsors. The real losers are all the thousands of legitamate political types who've worked tirelessly for years to oppose the 2010 Olympics for real reasons.

For sure there are times when violence must be resorted to. This isn't one of them. Lay down in the streets if you want to stop traffic. Chain yourself in a circle, chant and beat the drums. The people of the world will listen, they were in fact before this meaningless little bit of buffonery tarred all the resistance with bad vibes.

Decades ago in the 70's, before family and farming took my attention, i was active in the Vancouver yippie scene. The yippies used theater and music to gain a foothold in the pschye of the broader population. Painted faces, drummers, dancing and singing would erupt at intersections throughout the city. Normal everyday citizens would get out of their gridlocked cars and dance through the streets with their long haired hippy brethern. The air filled with excitement, the yippies passed out joints, flags waved, consciousneses were raised. There were confrntations between the cops and the yippies, a few turned violent when police riot squads charged and yippies resisted, but mostly the cops and the kids co-existed and the carnivals that appeared unannounced disappeared leaving only an inner message of liberation beind.

The yippies faded from the scene by the mid-late 70's as the back-to-the-land movement drew many of the people out of the cities and into rural areas. Today we see a different type of urban guerilla, there's lots less methphor, a lot less carnival, face paint has been replaced by black masks, theater by violence.

Peaceful protest sours as 'criminal element' takes over streets
Some 200 anti-Games protesters, some clad in black and wearing masks, stopped traffic Saturday morning in downtown Vancouver. Violence erupted after a small faction of the group began vandalizing storefronts and nearby cars and buses. Seven people were arrested.

2.13.2010

One thing can't be denied

As it was in Galileo's time, laws that forbid asking questions don't protect the truth, they protect vested interests. Those vested interests, in their turn, use the courts to enforce adherence to their version of the truth.

Nobody jails people who claim to have seen bigfoot. Nobody arrests people who think Elvis is still alive. Only in one area of history is the mere asking of a question or the performance of a laboratory test grounds for imprisonment for a crime deemed so evil that even the truth is not allowable as a defense.

For all histories countless atrocities the victims cry out for more examination, more study, more research. Only in this one area do the victims work so hard to punish anyone who wishes to take a closer look. We are all asked to buy the used car without being allowed to check out just what kind of engine is under that hood.

Like most Americans, I grew up being taught and believing the orthodox accounts of the history of WW2. But the older i got the more i learned that the saying 'truth is the first casuality of war' is true and was true during WWII. What do i know, anything might have happened back then, but i do know i get queasy when historians, chemists, and researchers are punished for asking a question, and begin to suspect some old secret could be being hidden...

"Deny Anything, Like Evolution or 9/11 Bushco Complicity; But You Can’t Deny the Holocaust!"

2.12.2010

WANT LESS... Want Less... want less

You're getting sleepy... Your legs are feeling heavy...Your arms are feeling heavy...You're falling into a deep sleep. Deeper. Deeper, but you can still read this blog [mysteriously]. You're thinking about peer pressure, the power of others' opinions over you. You're thinking about how hard it is to be different, how important it is to be cool. You're thinking stuff = cool in our culture, want more+get more = more cool, the calculas of cool.

But is it? Or is more stupid stuff really a bummer? You're still deep asleep but you're thinking consuming stuff might be more about what others expect than what you do. Peer pressure is just a little fear, almost everybody has it, not a big deal, everybody wants to be cool. But you sense cool is never about what was, it's about what will be.

You're starting to wake up slowly, you're seeing that what's coming next is a disater if wanting shiny new stuff stays cool. You're waking up more by the minute. You see that your children and theirs need you, they need you to really be cool, they need you to want less.

Your eyes are wide open, you feel a new energy, you're thinking about starting a little veggie garden, about patching a few holes in your wardrobe, about reading a book. In the back of your mind you can still hear a little voice saying "want less, want less, want less".

2.11.2010

Geology's Scale of Time

The optimistic lesson of geology is found in its 'the scale of time'. Breifly, 1st there's the Precambrian era which is about 7/8 of the earth's entire history and is primarily defined as the period before which almost no fossils can be found because during those long 4 thousand million years there were no skeletons, no bones, no teeth. Then the Paleozoic, the next 250 millon years before the present, defined as the era between the arrival of those first megascopic fossils and the great Permian extinction when fully 1/2 of all fish, 3/4 of all amphibians and 96% of all marine fauna suddenly diappeared. Then the Mesozoic, the next 100 million years ending with the Cretaceous Extinction, often called the 'age of reptiles', which now seems to have ended with the impact of an Apollo object crashing into and through the Yucatan and leaving its Iridium signature as a thin line found everywhere around the globe. Finally, the 154 million years of the Cenozoic which starts when the dinosaurs say adios and continues until now.

The problem is that humans think in five generations-two ahead, two behind- with heavy attention on the one in the middle. On a geologic timescale a human lifetime is reduced to a brevity that is to inhibiting to think about, it's like my mind almost blocks the information.

Geologists will sometimes use the calendar year as a unit to represent the scale of time and a symbolic way around our trickster minds. In such a timeframe the Precambrain runs from New Year's Day until after Halloween. Dinosaurs appear in the middle of December and are gone by the day after Christmas. The last ice sheet melts on December 31st at one minute before midnight. The Roman Empire lasts 5 seconds. With your arms spread wide to represent all the history of our earth, look at one hand, the Cambrian begins in the wrist and the Permian Extinction is at the outer end of the palm. All the Cenozoic is in the fingerprint, and a single stroke of a medium grained nail file could eradicate human history.

Most all of this is paraphrased from one section of 'Basin and Range', the first of 5 books in a series by John McPhee called 'Annals of the Former World'. Each of them stands alone quite easily and they were published seperately over a period of about 20 years. The set is in our Gibson's library and i hope in every library everywhere.

How liberating it is during those fleeting moments when i catch a glimpse of deep time. How uplifting to realize all the sins and selfish delusions of our 'civilization' will one day amount to no more than a pencil thin line of stainless steel here and there, maybe a blob of bronze or a bit of fossil. The birds will sing the fish will swim long after our remains have been subducted into an oceanic trench. Round and round we go, might as well dance.

2.10.2010

the "Cult of America"

Our ancestors lived in a world where no thought that contradicted the church's dogma was allowed, where people were condemned to hell for looking in a mirror and a death sentence for believing that the earth wasn't at the center of the universe.

Every culture has been vulnerable to being commandeered by a belief system. These beliefs structures our ancestors evolved can be calming and useful, but still just a tool. If we drop our vigilance and forget that we're looking through a self imposed veil, it can appear that all world around us is validating the worldview we believe in.

People have everything invested in their gods, their after-life mythology is far more important than even the biological drive to live. Muslim suicide bombers believe they have virgins waiting for them in heaven, Christians chose to be lion chow rather than disavow their beliefs. Whether its Japanese Kama-Kazi pilots, or Aztec priests, no epoch or corner of the world is immune to the disease of belief, religion is the only contagious psychosis.

The elites figured out long ago that real power lies in becoming the authority, the spokesman, the conduit and the judge of what does qualify, and what doesn't, as part of the hocus-pocus. From this pulpit of supposed moral authority, political authority is far easier to maintain.


"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
- Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas-

A Time for Heresy by Bill Moyers
The "Cult of America" has taken on its own version of a state religion, with the president at its head. In the end, people want to believe the myths — we are great because we are good and therefore we are hated because of that. To question that is to question nationhood, the divine blessings of God upon the American people and, by extension, our own personhood.

2.09.2010

Soil, the secret weapon in carbon sequestration

Vandana Shiva's book 'Soil Not Oil' outlines the problems humanity faces from our abuse of the commons, it details the reasons we teeter on the brink of extinction and it provides a broad green boulavard to a solution. Shiva's latest book is filled with both scientific and small farmer based rational for our enslavement to agribusiness and solutions to help us wiggle out from its domination.

One solution in immediate need of adoption is seed saving. Vandana's co-op at Navdanya walks the walk on this topic. 'Soil Not Oil' takes on the Monsanto mentality and clearly argues that saving heirlom varities of seed is our and our planets only long term hope of surviving the corporate agriculural model.

The central focus of the book is soil and its capacity to sequester carbon when allowed to. Instead our agribusiness' addiction to oil is destroying the living carbon sequestering soil by killing its teeming billions of microbes and funguses with agro-chemicals and creating huge dead zones where once thriving communities of microbes worked their miracles as part of the recycling of carbon through the enviroment.

A few facts from 'Soil Not Oil': Fully 30% of all Greenhouse Gases are produced by deforestation, almost all of it destroyed in the southern hemisphere to grow bio-fuels for export to the rich north. That the Structural Adjustment Programs demamded by the WB and IMF force impoverished countries and their already underfed populations to grow export cash crops on all productive land in order to pay back loans that were most likely stolen long ago by the dictators who were in charge at the time. Organic Agriculture sequesters 18.87 tons of carbon per hectare per year, oil based chemical fertilizers kill the microbes that have sustained our food chain and our lives up until now.

The solution to so many of our seemingly intractable problems lies in the changeover from agribusiness to sustainable organic farming methods and local distribution systems. We can either continue to serve corportate criminals or take hold of our future and that of our children and their children and their....Please read 'Soil Not Oil'.

2.08.2010

massless memes go viral

A meme (rhyming with "cream") is a unit of ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.

A meme, an idea, has no atoms, no energy of any kind we can measure, yet everybody can be moved by one. We can laugh from em’, we can get scared by em’ to unfortunately. Sometimes when we’re scared of stuff we can’t figure out or control, we use memes to comfort us. Like gravity, a force we don't understand but who’s power is unquestioned, memes are so fundamental we forget them consciously while balancing them silently.

The power that certain ideas, memes, can manifest can be seen in the behavior of religious zealots. Regardless of which meme they caught, they caught one. Religion is a contagious psychosis and the agent of contagion is viral-like memes. Our viewpoints and belief system can be accessed and altered through the receptors called emotions. Memes could attach to our fear emotions, for example, and by providing comfort to a fear the meme gains access to the emotional grid through which we view events. Just like they might of caught a cold from a rhino virus, they caught religion from a meme.

It’s high time we started treating these poor individuals with compassion not as fools, and recognize them as the meme-tally health challenged. There’s are lottsa other meme-tal diseases too. Capitalism, another deadly meme, the only other thing that preaches/believes/lives in an unlimited growth lifestyle while immersed in a limited resource enviornment is cancer.

Beware, Danger Ahead!. Massless memes in every direction are looking to trade any easy answer for a paradigm filtered future.

2.07.2010

Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl has taken on a life of its own. Worldwide millions of otherwise non-football fans gather with their fan brethern at parties that are centered more on the munchies, beer and socializing than the football. Here in N. America there's a Super Bowl party in every social circle. One old friend has hosted the tribal gathering for the last 30 years, different houses, different wives, but many of the same faces attending, including mine.

For sure there's a contingent of the devoted camped on the sofas glued to the tube. Another bunch that checks it out when the devoted roar, and another cocktail party group it barely intrudes upon. It is the #1 day for sales of for beer, chips, avacadoes, salsa, etc. every year.

There is a ball game, it's 44th rendition, saw the first one in my freshman dorm basement in college and mosta the rest. Even went to one once upon a time at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It was the hometown Rams vs. the Steelers from Pittsburg, it was a spectacle, over 100,000, the biggest crowd ever for me. The game was historic, the Steelers made a huge comeback to win. One memorable side story was beer distribution. My seat was in an area of mixed Ram-Steeler fans, they booed and insulted each other as the moment dictated. But one thing transcended all, beer. Everyone bought a flat of a half dozen cups [after having a pee] and as they got to their seat nearby folks could throw the cash in the box and grab a beer. Everyone co-operated everyone gained, didn't matter who you rooted for, everybody shared beer. Americans are feircely independent and hate communists [ask Fidel] in all things but beer.

Here's hoping we all get to see lottsa old comrades at our local Super Bowl bash

2.06.2010

Aussie Olympic team defies VANOC order to take down flag

The Australian team's banner at the Olympic Village in Vancouver has displeased Olympic authorities. The display of national pride at the Olympics by competing athletes is a tradition, the Australian team says, so it will defy an order to take down a boxing kangaroo flag at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Mike Tancred from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it was something Australian Olympic teams did at every Games.

VANOC's dictatorial pronouncements are nothing new for those of us within spitting distance of the security barriers setup around lotus land but now that the international press is here the story of 'The Fighting Kangaroo' is spreading around the globe faster than a speeding bullet. VANOC has bullied Vancouverites, attacked LuLu Lemon, shut down a host of commuter corridors and wildly overspent their budget estimates [the price tag for security alone has multiplied by 10 already]. The BC government has destroyed habitat to 'upgrade' the highway to Whistler, they've bankrupted small businesses along the Cambie St. corridor, they've passed special laws to expedite moving the homeless out of camera range as much as possible, and generally pissed off stranded motorists trying to get to their jobs because "the mortage isn't taking an Olympic holiday".

So the Aussies have become an instant symbol for the 'no fun' Vancouver Olympics first few days. Other countries, led by the Swiss, are putting up their flags as they arrive in Vancouver in support of the Aussies. VANOC is in the home stretch, the last furlong, of its multiyear buildup to the games. Maybe if they'd have been less pushy during this long process they'd now have more supporters, but as it is, almost everybody from Vancouver's Mayor to its street people say " Go Aussies" and are in total support of someone finally standing up to VANOC.

2.05.2010

The Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster

After having read that many members of Alberta's new Wildrose Party believe that the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution in Alberta's schools. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let's remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

That's why this blog is appearing today, to request that this alternative theory also be taught in Alberta's schools, along with the other two theories. I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms throughout Alberta, across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster

2.04.2010

Enviros look at Green Games and Suzuki being Co-opted

The David Suzuki Foundation [DSF] made a pragmatic decision to use the Olympics to leverage green change; that's their mandate and their expertise. But times change and the science has gotten way worse.

I've been trying to make the point that we need deep systemic change if we want to have any hope of not going over impending tipping points and there is an obvious systemic change that needs to happen to the Olympics and I wrote it up this way in my Olympics and Denial: Give the games back to the athletes at one Olympic venue and tell the spoiled rich partyers to stay home and watch on TV.

Offsets and new energy systems, etc make the Olympics only marginally less Greenhouse Gas [GHG] producing. Agree to Lillehammer, for example, tell the people not to come except for athletes and family and a very few dignitarys and press, and give the world an example of the global rich caring enough to do the right thing.

But because of DSF's strictly within Business As Usual [BAU] mandate and the carbon addict denial that permeates this big party and adfest, no green group makes the key argument and so it's off to Russia in four years, etc. etc.

I think this is a super important metaphor for how Big ENGOs do business and fail us at this crucial time. I think tinkering with pleas for green energy and offsets for a green Olympics is DENIAL for all of us to see and as I said before ' forget about battling the stupid deniers in the Mainstream Media [MSM] - work instead upon the delayers who know the science and who should know better but remain in denial about the need for systemic change. Bill Henderson

And GlanGolf wrote: Really!? Does that include the trucking in of snow and the huge diesel generators that provide power at the Stadium? (BTW, why didn’t they get Hydro to fire up the Burrard plant for the festivities instead – less pollution than the diesel generators – for sure) And what is that about a huge supply of natural gas going into BC Stadium via gigantic, newly-laid, subterranean pipes?

Bob at The Mud Report says: Even the buildings that Suzuki says are the reason for his support aren't green at all if you look closely. Nowhere, in the buildings, or the overall games themselves, does VANOC even consider the embedded energy involved. Everything takes energy to produce, concrete, rebar, the deisel dumptrucks hauling snow from Manning Park, everything. So when VANOC talks about its carbon footprint it's always talking throughput consumption. Everyone i meet is outraged by the pollution caused by the hauling and helicoptering of snow. The closer the flame comes to Vancouver the stronger the opposition and outrage becomes. How much more upset will folks be when the true economic and envirmental costs now being hidden by VANOC and the various governments oozes out into view?

2.03.2010

Terminator Seeds

Terminator "suicide" seeds are genetically engineered so that seeds from the resulting crop are dead, they cannot be planted. Terminator technology was first developed by the United States Department of Agriculture and US seed company Delta & Pine Land to prevent farmers from saving and re-using harvested seed, forcing them to buy new seeds each season.

They threaten bio-diversity through contamination and they threaten the livelihood of tens of millions of poor peasant farmers who traditionally save seed to plant their next crop. The only beneficiaries from this perverse technology are the large transnational corporations who develop them. Their only new feature is the requirement that new seeds be purchased for every crop. The international Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group) called terminator technology "the most controversial and immoral agricultural application of genetic engineering so far."

The Canadian government is doing the bidding of huge transnational companies pushing bio-tech seeds thereby cynically abandoning millions of peasant farmers around the world. If Canadians are concerned about the big issues of foreign policy and specifically our stance on the policies of our imperial neighbour, they should be just as concerned about the other dimensions of how we engage the world. The face Canada presents to other countries is now corporate: cold, hard, and ruthless.

BanTerminator.org
Monsanto, the world's largest seed and agbiotech company, made a public promise not to commercialize 'Terminator Technology' - plants that are genetically engineered to produce sterile seeds. Now Monsanto says it will develop or use the so-called 'suicide seeds' after all.

2.02.2010

Groundhog Day and Imbolc

Like so many of our rituals Groundhog Day is a hand-me-down from pre-history. This one was restarted in the West by German immigrants to Pennsylvania about 200 years ago. Originally it was called Imbolc by its Pagan Celtic celebrators. Feburary 2nd, halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, [on the new calander] was Imbolc. This very cool ancient celebration centered on the lactating of ewes as a fortelling of good fortune for their new lambs. All accross the Pagan world we find ruins built to celebrate this auspicious day.

Here in the southwest corner of Beautiful British Columbia none of fauna or flora saw their shadow at sunrise today prognosticating a forshortened winter and early spring. Mark Madrega, my favorite weatherman, agrees. So do the early appearing robins scrounging around in the compost pile, the blooming bulbs, the exploding chives and that most perfect predicter of spring, the first running of the lawnmowe being heard hither and yon.

Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the N. American Groundhog Day. A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:
"The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground."

2.01.2010

Marijuana Rejuvenates Cells in the Hippocampus

Couldn’t be happier than to read that researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have proven that marijuana rejuvenates cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with learning and memory. Neuroscientist Xia Zhang and his team found, under the influence of marijuana, that their rats started growing new brain cells.

Good news for everybody; the rats, the researchers and us potheads. For sure humans aren't rats and the rats didn’t get pot they got a chemical facsimile, and there’s gonna be another study come out that shows the opposite, that’s science. Basically there’s two sides to every question, we each pick the side we like.

This lack of a nice clear one sided answer on most issues puts the pot ball, and every other purportedly objective-scientific experiment, clearly in the subjective court. Subjectively, i’ve been observing marijuana’s effects on a brain as often as possible for over 40 years now. It has always seemed to me, and a lotta other long time users, that pot causes new connections to be made between brain cells. Countless times in my life, when faced with an intractable problem, the kind that can go round and round in the ol’ brain, i’ve had a eureka type solution jump out at me after having smoked a joint. Matter of fact i could use a few extra brain cells and/or connections right now to help with my next project. Guess i’ll go roll up some brain food.

Good Drugs
Researchers discovered that chemicals from marijuana rejuvenate an area of the brain linked with learning.