Human Stockpile

Doc Searls:

Not surprisingly, no company on earth is more vested in the bell curve than Microsoft.

Eager to travel 600 miles to hear him speak, Searls want you to know John Taylor Gatto:

… we must wake up to what our schools really are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands.

In the coffin

World War I: $253 billion
World War II: $4.1 trillion
Korean War: $320 billion
Vietnam War: $686 billion

Gulf War: $96 billion
Iraq war: $648 billion
Afghanstian/Global war on terror: $171 billion
Post 9/11 domestic security: $33 billion
Post 9/11 operations: $859 billion


As I bent to vomit

Darfur at TimesOnline, or as a friend has said, the saddest story, a doctor in the lawless region of Sudan:

“They were shouting and screaming at us. You know what they were saying? ‘We have come here to kill you! To finish you all! You are black slaves! You are worse than dogs! Either we kill you or we give you Arab children. Then there will be no more black slaves in this country.’ The worst was that they were laughing and yelping with joy as they did those terrible things. Those grown men were enjoying it, as they passed the little girls around.

Not waiting for pundits

At the European Tribune, Jerome says,

“The current crisis has been caused by the greed of a few, and the policies they have foisted upon us all. It’s time to blame them, and make them pay back.

“The facts are on our side, even if the conventional wisdom of the pundits hasn’t caught up yet.

“It’s our job to push these simple notions in the open, so that policies can change.”

via Purposive Drift

How did it come to this?

From Slate, a review of the morality and behavior of John McCain.

McCain Keating Five stickerJohn McCain admitted to intentionally filing false income tax returns to defraud the IRS by not claiming thousands of dollars in gifts McCain and his family received from Charles Keating and Keating’s company.

John McCain then went back to the drawing board and re-invented himself as “the Straight-Talk Express” and the media gobbled it up. “Tax-Evading-Criminal” doesn’t sound as catchy as “Straight-Shooting-War-Hero”.

One crook went to prison. The other runs for President.

Contemplating the Vote

Mary Catherine Bateson

The American presidency requires both vision and practicality, just as the achievement of social justice or peace requires both. Probably all the candidates have both in some measure, but in different proportions. We should be asking a two-fold question as we look at any candidate: first, will this candidate be inspired by a high vision of what this country can be and the role it can play in ensuring a just and stable world and a positive future? And second, will this candidate have the patience and respect for the democratic system to work with the political process step by step to implement that vision? It takes passion and patience, intelligence and imagination and common sense to do both.

Yes, daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. She also said,

“You are not what you know but what you are willing to learn.”


“You will know the future when you get there.”

any aurora will do

any aurora will do
Scientists expose mystery behind northern lights

New information from five satellites launched last spring suggests the dancing streaks and colourful sheets are caused by storms in space about one-third of the way to the moon.

The storms are caused by solar wind — a current of charged particles coming from the sun — that blows into the earth’s magnetic field.

When that wind is strong and the orientation of the Earth to the sun is just right, the magnetic field gets stretched far out into space.

But when it stretches too far, it twangs back like a rubber band, releasing energy that creates a magical spectacle for earthbound observers.

The research by scientists from NASA working with Canadians at universities in Calgary and Edmonton was published online today in the journal Science.

The Canadian Press

In the north I’ve seen the star we are within that only a few miles south is not seen. I’m saying there’s a part of wonder there. Shaping me, the first thing is awe, a neurological clap of thunder reminding me that we are exquisitely primitive. That’s why I like this:

“In all your getting, get understanding.”

yes, any aurora will do

Gregory Food

Dick Gregory says,

A couple of months ago, plus a couple of weeks ago, I was in LA. And had I not been in LA, I would have never known that Ron Goldman’s best friend was murdered, because it didn’t run back east. He’s walking down the street with a lady, and two dudes run up and say “It’s a stickup!” Shoot him dead, don’t take nothing from him, and don’t bother her. Then three newspapers reporters reporting on the O. J. Simpson Trial end up dead mysteriously.

He says win in Iraq

The minimum wage in the 21st century is $2 lower in real dollars than it was five decades ago.

When you adjust for inflation, the minimum wage in this country has actually decreased 38 percent since 1968.

A full-time worker at minimum wage could not afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country.

“You get desperate, because you can’t really pay for everything,” said Gladys.

The American Dream In Reverse

$10.06 per hour 40 years ago.
$6.55 per hour in 2008.

Wealthy elites take more than the 1920s, before the Great Depression.

Douche The News

McDonalds product placement in NewsMike at RawFeed says,

“If this doesn’t ring clear as a harbinger of the Apocalypse, I don’t know what does.

“A Las Vegas morning news program is now being paid by McDonald’s for a product placement.

“That’s right: Product placement on the news.

“But here’s the best part: The McDonald’s iced coffee beverages on the desk aren’t even real. They’re FAKE drink props with fake ice that doesn’t melt, and they don’t even contain a drinkable liquid.

Flippant Spectrum Disorder

Talk Show Bullies have rampaged our airwaves enough.

The firing of Michael Savage is essential.

Comment by Kim Stagliano, Writer, Blogger, Mom to three girls with autism
Autism is not an acceptable whipping boy 6 hours ago

Many of us who have commented on this story to the media have worried about giving Michael Savage more publicity. I suppose we are. But it’s important that people understand that autism is a complex disorder and ranges greatly in its severity, but is often extremely disabling. Savage has managed to bring together many of the disparate voices in our community as we stand in defense of our loved ones. By the way, that whole, “bilking the government” statement? I can assure you, most of us with kids on the spectrum are just about broke from the costs. Until recently, most states didn’t even accept autism as disability qualifying for Department of Disability Services (DDS) programs. People with autism often have IQ’s “too high” to meet the old standards of what was called, “mental retardation” in the past, and so their applications were rejected. That’s changing some, thank goodness.

Dusty Tropics Soon


World Wildlife Fund study:

“Amazon’s Vicious Cycles: Drought and Fire,” concludes that 55 percent of the world’s largest rainforest stands to be severely damaged from agriculture, drought, fire, logging and livestock ranching in the next 22 years. Another 4 percent may be damaged by reduced rainfall caused by global warming. This is anticipated to destroy up to 80 percent of wildlife habitat in the region. [link]

What fun we’ll have restoring this good earth!

Obamania in Europe

Speigel Online says about Barack Obama in Europe:

OBAMANIA IN BERLINObama may be running for the White House, but judging by the commotion, one would think that he had already advanced two steps further and were the president of the world.

Which is precisely the issue. Obama raises hopes that he will not just change America, but politics as a whole.

We are the movers and shakers

Is our American dream dying, moving into fascism and repression, or are we going to reignite that wonderful, real American spirit, not the fake one that the rich and powerful use to try and manipulate and oppress us? We are the ones who get to decide.

Change specialist Donna Woodka encourages us to be thoughtful as our leadership ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

We are the music-makers
And we are the dreamers of dreams
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever, it seems.
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

– Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Two Much Wrong

  1. G8 leaders say, “In response to the sharp rise in oil prices … we emphasized the need for increased production and refining capacities …”
  2. G8 leaders say, “We seek … the goal of achieving at least 50-per-cent reduction of global emissions by 2050.”

How can burning more oil reduce emissions?
Maybe the same way wind flooded New Orleans….

In a society where slogans and fibs are repeated to shape our beliefs rather than inform or lead, here’s a few crude tidbits of facts:

Around 80 per cent of global oil production is from state-owned fields. At $130 per barrel, global oil trade is over $11-billion per day, or almost $4-trillion annually, $3-trillion of which goes directly to producing-state treasuries.

Sixty per cent of the 87 million barrels-per-day global oil production comes from countries where fields have already reached peak production. Four million [new] barrels-per-day must be ‘brought on’ each year just to sustain current output.

Current world activity demands over 100 million barrels per day in the next 20 years.

Jim Gray says, “Crisis means opportunity…”

“They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.” – Huey Long

Right Hand Thief says, “Read this wonderful piece by James Grant, entitled “Why No Outrage?” It gets so many things so right, and describes them so concisely. Very powerful people want you to debate oil drilling during the current run-up in energy prices, instead of connecting the energy crisis to the incredibly serious financial crisis. They don’t want you to internalize recent dollar/oil correlations like this one.”

Dollar compared to oil prices

An Oxytocin Military

Annihilation politics?
Concussion diplomacy?
Why, when a peptide will do?

Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, says in an article at TIME, “Somehow, the peptide increases trust, or alters the way individuals see each other.”

Without oxytocin people would be far less inclined to seek social interaction, let alone fall in love and mate for life (or, as scientists call it, “pair bond”).

oytocin peptide moleculeThe brain releases gobs of it during orgasm, mothers are awash in it during breastfeeding and, in clinical trials, a spritz of oxytocin has been shown to reduce anxiety, increase feelings of generosity and even ease the symptoms of shyness.

Conversely, researchers are beginning to discover that low levels of the hormone — or the body’s faulty response to it — may contribute to severe social dysfunctions like depression and autism.

Research on oxytocin, not the brand but the molecule [wiki], has focused on animals, not terrorists.

And yes, I’m just chewin’ on a straw, but have we studied the food and mood of an enemy? It wouldn’t surprise me if…

Broken man without morals

For years John McCain is cashing monthly Social Security checks the Associated Press reports [link].

In 2007, he received benefits of $23,157 from Social Security, approximately $1,930 a month.

“I’m receiving benefits,” McCain told campaign reporters, but added, “the system is broken.”

Monocrop riots

…a recent pest and disease epidemic that has ravaged Asian rice fields and sharply curtailed the supply of the main food staple of half of the world’s population.

Putting institutionalized corruption to bed is a task this generation ignored to the peril of the earth. I do not forgive my fellow citizens because the writing on the wall is more than fifty years old.

It’s difficult these days; not hopeless, difficult; not dangerous, difficult.

For example, by AlexRosin, A Tough Row To Hoe:

The idea was to reduce hunger through the magic of economies of scale. The plan was to implement a new approach to farming across the developing world.

And so, starting in 1945, the U.S.-backed Green Revolution did to farming what the Model T did to auto production.

It subsidized peasants in developing countries [ed: subsidized elites!] to abandon centuries-old, small-scale farming techniques that used diverse, locally adapted crops and instead plant vast fields of single crops specially bred for high yields. And, since the new monocrops were often less suited to local conditions, farmers were also encouraged to use plenty of pesticides and fertilizers to improve harvests.

Playing a major role in the Green Revolution was the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), set up in the Philippines in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations with the collaboration of the Philippine government.

Now, almost half a century later, the Green Revolution’s key innovations – chemicals and monocultures – are being blamed for a recent pest and disease epidemic that has ravaged Asian rice fields and sharply curtailed the supply of the main food staple of half of the world’s population.

The shortages have helped to send rice prices into orbit and sparked unrest across the developing world.

We are not short of opportunity and tasks.

Governance as War

Karl Rove and his entire ilk shame our world, shrink our goodwill and sucker us with slogans until we believe lies.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan describing the Bush administration:

“…deliberation and compromise, elements central to governing, all but disappeared.”

Pennsylvania Avenue is a campaign of dominance. The “mentality of political manipulation” operates around the clock.

Thomas Jefferson warned that Washington D.C. should be moved every generation or so. You didn’t know that?

He worried that an embedded class would, just naturally, infiltrate every office and hallway until every politician and bureaucrat would serve only themselves, a perpetual Versailles.

Jefferson’s recommendation to the American people was to relocate the three branches of government, train and hire new staff, and invigorate our Constitution with new officers and elected representatives.

As pop-up cities easily appear in Dubai and China, as raising an Olympics or building new trade routes consume billions of dollars, what can be a better investment for America than revitalizing justice and honor in a new capitol?

Bzzz Update

Job Offered
Pollen Vector Worker
Apply Within

A 2007 Worldchanging post, revealed that China is beginning to pollinate crops by hand due to severe population losses in bee and flying pollinators.

By hand?!

Using human labor to pollinate cropsHand pollination is an interesting method of pollinating crops and provides employment and income generating opportunities to many people during apple flowering season. But at the same time it is an expensive, time-consuming and highly unsustainable proposition of crop pollination owing to the increased labor scarcity and costs.

As a dearth of pollination continues worldwide, the high cost of oil might seem picayune in comparison to the shock we’ll feel paying $5 for a peach.

Not to worry. The decision makers we elect to Congress, while handling today’s plethora of problems they’re busy enough to ignore on behalf of their contributors, have plunked $10 million into the 2008 Farm Bill to identify causes and solutions for bee colony collapse disorder.

But many species of flying insect pollinators are rapidly disappearing!

The problem is far beyond the research dole at the Federal honey pot. It’s far beyond the shrinking profit of farmers, more than 90% of which are vertical conglomerates. And it’s far beyond bee vendors renting empty hive boxes.

Sex-hungry crops want to know, “What’s killing bees, bumble bees, wasps and other flying insects needed for pollination?”

Toronto’s Globe and Mail reports that Steve Buchmann can tell you everything that is currently known about Colony Collapse Disorder, killer bees and a plant’s promiscuity.

Buchmann has been warning us about the pollination crisis at least since 1994. His Forgotten Pollinators Campaign started in 1995. Years ago his research shows that it’s unlikely we’ll save any single pollinator species unless we rebuild farming at the landscape-level.

Photo through the eye of a beeBee Seeing You Differently

Pollinators respond to a great variety of lures from plants, but it doesn’t seem to be that they’re happy with a 100 miles of corn flowers. Industrial mono-crop agriculture may be the first weakening of these insects.

Hive and nest chemistry might require nutrients, compounds and enzymes from a far greater variety of plants and environments. Gee whiz, I should tease and tease our imagination! We’re learning enough about complex ecology these days, such as the DNA bending powers of rainforest orchids, perhaps it’s plants killing bees! Yes, plants might be playing a part in pollinator killings – revenge of the starving mitochondria – because bees and insects fail in a ‘fair exchange’ of diverse compounds in exchange for nectar.

It seems to be the advancing theory that a richly diverse landscape are the answer, not monocultures of corporate crops, not merely sprinkling wildflowers amidst the pastures and paddies of corporate farms. Oaks and pine and willow and birds and worms and fungi and, well, you get it. Pollinators may not survive by Farm Bills alone.

Protecting the Birds and Bees, By Mrill Ingram, Gary Nabhan and Stephen Buchmann.

Resonating Bodies is a series of mixed media installations and community outreach projects, which focus on the biodiversity of pollinators, such as bumblebee colonies and their foraging activities, ultraviolet bee vision, and pollinator/plant co-evolution.

Post about Resonating Bodies, art with living systems.

Big Brother in the Beehive, 2005

Wasp Condo, homes for bees and pollinatorsAnd one more thing for the pent-up real estate and mall developer in us all.

Schools, families, gardeners and farms, corporate conglomerates too, can begin to assist pollinators. Holding back on pesticides, of course, but providing habitat too. Dr. Peter Hallett of the University of Toronto is encouraging condo developments for pollinators.

Bee Haven. Bumble Corners. Pollinator Palisades.

Voodoo V-Vote

New Orleans, NOLO Free Press – Gulf State election officials announced today they are pinning their hopes on the sharpened results introduced after delivery of upgraded voting machines.

John and Cindy McCain voodoo dollsWhile continuing their coverage of vote rigging and e-voting in New Orleans, Mississippi Gulf and Gulf South, investigators at New Orleans News Ladder showed contents of a package only identified by the scrawled address to Mr. and Mrs. John and Cindy McSame.

After a frenzy of conferences today, policy agreement has been reached to launch investigations along Gulf States levee and lowlands impacted by Hurricane Katrina but only the areas FEMA declared had been flooded by wind.

Helicopter-based infrared scanning will not be funded as part of the tactical round up after local residents repeatedly assured officials that the perpetrators did not give off sufficient heat for detection by conventional instruments.

An emergency presidential campaign committee assured the RNC that this is not aimed at the voodoonomics of the Reagan era, but worried about repeating vote rigging in Florida, representatives of the Southern Gulf states are acting quickly before November polls.

An unattributable voice left the impression that ‘voodoo-voting’ will likely quiet down if the pinpetrators fail to unseat McCain’s presumptive candidacy at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

Greatest Russian in history

Tsar Nicholas IIAmericans abhor socialism yet vote and parade for dominating leaders and social controls without realizing they may have created a top down system of brigands and bullies. Perhaps never in history have a people delivered more to the top.

In this era of tremendous volatile argument as we seem to die for a democracy we have never built, isn’t it a surprise that the people of Russia seem to be ignoring their gaggle of greats and the puppets of the Presidium while, ninety years after he was executed, Tsar Nicholas II is leading a tight race to be named the greatest Russian in history?

Maybe the poll is sour. In 2005, a similar USA poll named Ronald Reagan the “Greatest American” which to me is the equivalent of naming Tom Cruise the greatest among religions.

So many poor architects of our lives; so few builders…

Filthy Petco Raided

Filthy conditions at PetCo violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Widespread rodent and bird infestation near open food containers of dog and cat food.

Busted in April, an FDA inspection found widespread and active rodent and bird infestation. Busted in May, continuing and widespread infestation. Seized in June

Warrant issued by the US District Court in Chicago to end rodent and pest contamination.

Marshals seized animal food and products stored in unsanitary conditions.

Distribution center quits shipments to Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. [story]