The OIympics and Denial

The high mountains above the booming ground where I work in back water Howe Sound limit my walkman radio reception to CBC AM (except at night dumping barges). Mr Olympic Promo Man Rick Cluff hosts the Early Edition http://www.cbc.ca/earlyedition/ and he's driving me nuts as Olympic hype and worry invades his every second sentence.

Rick Cluff used to be a sports reporter and he has covered many Olympics and I'm sure has many fond memories of great Olympic parties and the Olympics needs boosters and there are many good things about sport and international competition and high-end events, but the Olympics are wrong, times have changed and the Olympics are a luxury we can no longer afford, and you will never hear why or what we should be doing instead listening to Mr. Cluff in the morning.

The pros and cons of the Olympics for those in greater Vancouver and to a lesser extent the benefits and costs for British Columbians has been reasonably presented and debated. The costs of this month long party for most of the world's people and for future generations is a subject not allowed by us carbon addicts in denial and Mr. Cluff is a perfect example of a carbon addict in denial.

If climate change is a humanity threatening emergency requiring urgent systemic change isn't flying to Vancouver for a big party not only a luxury we can no longer afford but also a cold, unthinking, uncaring attitude - 'let them eat cake' - in what will come to be known as the Age of Stupid. We need real action NOW, while mitigation is still possible, but instead we're acting like crackheads.

The globe's 800 million middle class with big carbon footprints pollutes with more then half of all greenhouse gas emissions. The Olympics today is their big adfest. This party is the world's rich saying we're going to mega-party with big expense and we don't care to those today and in the future that will be most effected by climate change - and you can imagine Haiti-type disaster pain and suffering.

Wrong - profoundly unethical and totally myopic. Times have changed.

There is also the 'silent crisis' of the poorer countries of the world being priced out of resources like oil as our growing global middle class footprint leads to peak everything. I wrote about this several years ago.
Denial and refusal to shrink our obese material demands will lead to demand destruction in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc., instead. Where we can least afford it. We can enjoy local sports - pro sports are a luxury we can no longer afford. There is no shortage of wonderful music in existing venues in Vancouver.

We can party and have a fun time without the Olympics. We didn't need more venues or an excuse to party. We live in a great city and are so blessed with opportunity. Times have changed and it is now recognizably a zero sum world and now the Olympics (and the Canucks/Lions/Whitecaps - hundreds of pro sports teams flying everywhere polluting) are just plain wrong. Give the games back to the athletes at one Olympic venue and tell the spoiled rich partyers to stay home and watch on TV.

The danger of runaway climate change and our Bottleneck predicament at the start of the 21st century demand change from our uncaring, obese, addict behaviour - but we're not even going to think about it let alone connect the dots between the luxury party and the pain we inflict because we're in denial. See you dark and early in the years ahead when the death and pain is undeniable.

by Bill Henderson-bill (at) pacificfringe.net


Canadian Charter of Rights is meaningless if not applied to all

Two recent decisions by the Canadian Supreme Court have shown just how meaningless the Canadian Charter really is. The first was their decision that the women's ski jumpers were being denied their human rights by not being allowed to compete in the 2010 Olympics. But that despite the fact that Canadian law says, and the courts acknowledge, that any event recieving taxpayer money is subject to The Charter, the women had no legal right to demand their inclusion because the Olympics were outside its jurisdiction. Bullshit, the Olympics are on Canadian soil, they've gotten tons of taxpayer dough, they are subject to Canadian law and by being to chickenshit to enforce those laws the courts showed the meaninglesssness of The Charter.

Number two came yesterday when the same Supreme Court ruled that Omar Khadyr was absolutely denied his Charter rights by the serurity services and the Chretian, Martin and Harper governments each in their turn, but that once again they, the Supreme Court, had no juisdiction because they deemed the whole crap filled bag belonged to foriegn affairs. Once again, bullshit. Every other western country has demanded the return of their citizens from Guantanamo and they have been returned except Canada.

i recently read Guantanamo's Child, the story of Omar Khadyr's life. It's well worth reading whatever your feelings are about the Khadyr family.

The thing about rights is you either have them or you don't. Rights aren't only for those you agree with. Rights that only apply when convienient aren't rights. Rights that can be pushed aside by/for an elite group aren't real rights. Rights are written to protect a minority from the whims of the majority or from the power of the elites. Everyone in Canada should be worried because if the lady ski jumpers can have theit rights overrun, if Omar can be abandoned, then who's next?


Mud, Madness and the Vancouver Olympics

Cypress is a mud bowl. VANOC is trucking in 1000lb bales of hay and covering it with a few inches of snow that has been airlifted by chopper to cover them. Huge snow cats and deisel machinery are trying to move snow from the high alpine down to the venues. What does all this madness cost? VANOC refuses to publish any cost$, including those to battle the Mud on Cypress. They figure that the outcry from the citizens over the true monetary cost$ would damage the unsllied image of the event and focus the gaze of the world's press on the protests and maybe even the non-monitary costs this godzilla like event is generating.

How much climate changing emmissions is all this moving of snow costing us? How much more will farmers have to pay for feed now that so many tons of it are being wasted as fake snow? We won't know until it's over, until it's time to payup for the billionaires binge.

The real cost of this madness will never be known. Today VANOC ordered the closure of more streets in downtown Vancouver which means more cars circling, more fuel wasted, more carbon costs accrued, more small business loses, more unaccounted costs. This is nothing compared to the nightmare downtown will be in two weeks when the well heeled actually start arriving. Small retail businesses and restaurants who employ thousands might as well lock the doors there'll be no parking, no customers, no nada. Big business, big hotels, big everything will make huge profits from their grossly inflated prices.

Who'll pay for this two week binge? Guess. Already, even before the body blow to come from our debt ridden governments is thrown, the spin has started and so have the cutbacks. Cutbacks to schools and specal needs kids, cutbacks to health services, increased regressive taxes on the floks who could't afford tickets to the big show anyway. In the Olympic zone the rich rule and the rest drool.

You can cover the Mud with hay,
but it ain't going away.
The Mud will rise up to devour the hay,
the many will rise up and have their say,
one day.


Obama, the silver tongued devil

Stopped watching W's speeches years ago because i knew he and that asshole Cheney would do exactly what they said they'd do and it was just to damn depressing to watch him say so. Stopped watching Obama's speeches more recently for exactly the opposite reason. Obama always sounds great, but what's equally depressing is that no matter what he says, he won't do it. Bush Co. and the rightwing nuts had ideals, i totally disagree with all of them, but they had 'em then and still do. Obama's got ideas, he's got a great smile, a convincing cadence and zero ideals. Ideas are easily compromised, ideals aren't.

Surely last night Obama's speech writers and poll watchers had him pivot away from the terrible health plan and onto jobs and middle class vote buying schemes. But like all his speeches it's meaningless. Actions, i was taught long ago, speek louder than words. He'll talk the talk but he won't walk the walk.

Back when W was in charge it was easy to see where the enemy stood, directly in front of you. But now that we have the silver tongued devil it's way harder to see where the enemy stands. It's much easier, more secure, to have your enemy directly in front of you than at your back.

I watched the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat and takeover 5th spot in the East, that's a change i can believe in.


Christian Wrestling

CNN ran a bit yesterday likening Canada to a 'retarded' family member that you patronize at family functions, and maybe that's right.

Afterall look how far we lag behind in Canada on key issues like science cirriculum in schools. While 55% of our US ‘cousins’ [67% of republicans] already believe that intelligent design should be taught in school, we retarded Canadians still allow our kids to wallow in a system that teaches evolution, that regards repeatable experimental evidence as superior to divine inspiration, how backward eh.

In sport too it seems we’re being left behind by the superior US mindset. Up here retarded canucks still vote hockey as #1, still pile into the nation's living rooms and bars to collectively cheer our heroes on Hockey Night in Canada. While down south in the US the fastest growing sport is Christian Wrestling [no shit]. Check it out, a simple Google search returned 1,2000,000 pages on it this AM.

Come on Canada, get with it, we should be learning from our amerikan cousins, eh!


Larry Witanek, a long lost friend...

Larry and i were tight in the early 60’s, did a lotta neat things together. Along with things like, basketball, cars, drinking beer over in NY State... we were both addicted to shooting pool [don’t play much anymore] one night in big snowstorm hit just after he and i hitchhiked to Pittsfield from Adams, trying to make a few bucks playing 9-ball probably. When we came out of the poolhall a few hours later the place was dead quiet, a foot on the ground, more fallin fast. So hitchin back home was useless, we started walkin. Got a ride part way from a plow, walked a lot more got a ride from a cop for one section, it musta been 1963. It was a seminal night in my life, i remember it as clear as if it were last week, we talked, in those quiet long hours of walking, about everything, about the future, i can still feel the snow in my face.

In the next few years our lives went in different directions, mine to college, his to a one way ticket to Vietnam. Larry didn't believe in the Vietnam bullshit, heard him say so, but he felt he had to go because his dad was a WWII vet and it was his duty. His life/death had a big influence on how mine evolved. Time ain’t done shit to heal the wound i felt when i heard Larry had died, being just a kid then myself, it’s taken a long time to realize just how much Larry meant to me and how deep a wound gets left by each ridiculous, unnecessary death in every war on all sides.

War serves the rich, makes them richer, millions of others pay. War and politics perside only in the realm of the control of property and money and are the opposite of freedom which is an internal condition that can’t be granted or controlled but rather evolves out of attitude. Our problems are philosophical, until they’re solved the political ones, and the wars they spawn, will keep reappearing over and over.

Larry, a long lost friend...


Vancouver, a tale of two cities

A couple of days ago my best friend and i drove through Vancouver on our way to and from visiting our girl at UBC. It was a beauiful day, we walked on the beach and marveled at the mountains, the habour, the shorebirds and loving dogwalkers we shared the beauty with. Vancouver BC is consistantly ranked as the most livable and lovely city on earth, and it is as long as you've got the dough-ray-me.

On every corner downtwn, on every street and shopping district the closer you get to the downtown core you'll have to break out the blinders to not see the unlovely face of the homeless. There's lottsa money for the 2010 billionaires party, more yet for tax cuts for the corporate and well heeled politican's benefactors. Plenty for bridges, plenty for roads, plenty for those who already have lots. But in this small blue world of ours more for the few means less for the many.

The Olympic juggernaut is blowing full gale, its propaganda machine churning out headlines designed to please its corporate sponsors. Yet poll after poll shows that over 50% of BC residents aren't buying the Olympic/corporate PR. It's obvious to most folks who'll pay the piper once the hoopla is over and the real costs start having to be paid. It's already happening, cutbacks in health and social services, cutbacks in everthing essential to the already needy . Soon those who see themselves as in the middle will see their taxes skyrocket to pay for the apres-binge debt BC and Canada's governments are racking up.

Vancouver is a tale of two cities. One affluent, one sleeping on the streets. When the world arrives in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics in a few weeks, will they find a city in which there are more homeless Canadians shuffling in the shadow of BC Place than Olympic athletes parading inside the Vancouver stadium? You betcha!


Helly Aa, Creeker Style

About 6:30 last evening, just after dusk, a couple hundred Roberts Creekers assembled at the mandala down by the beach for the kind of unusual that event creekers are known for. Burning torches, costumed vikings and mythical symbols circled, sang and chanted Helly Aa-Helly Aa-Helly Aa.

Parents and their wide eyed kids, elders, dogs, babies, it was a typical Roberts Creek gathering of the tribe. The excitement mounted as the jarl, Phillip the mota-vated, left the circle of torchbearers surrounding the locally made viking galley torch held high.Saying a few words about the spirit of the Raven and returning of the sun he lit the galley a midship. Each torchbearer in their turn added their torch to the blaze. The mythical Raven-man appeared and wove through the crowd and circled the blaze.

Helly Aa's exact origins are lost in the fog of history. Basically it was the festival that ended the yule season in the nordic world. The vikings burned ships, thiers and everybody else's, to celebrate great events like death, life, probably most anything, the vikings loved fire, conquest and celebration. Somehow the Helly Aa celebration migrated to Scotland about 150 years ago and replaced tar-barreling as the Scots favorite spectacle of fire and light. Some years back one of those Shetland Scotsmen moved to Roberts Creek and brought his end of yule festival with him.

Seeing many old friends, like Peter Light wearing his bull horn headdress and holding court at the pre-festival fire circle,  was probably the highest highlight for me.

A bonfire, a neo-pagan ritual, chanting-singing, multi-generational, counter cultural... just another evening in Roberts Creek.


Divide and Conquer

After spending my first 20 years growing up in New England then a few more traveling and working throughout the western states, there have been dozens of times when my goose woulda been cooked had it not been saved by my fellow Americans. Americans of every region, color, ethnicity and class have gone out of their way to help a stranger. The American people are very generous, helpful, and friendly.

There is a huge difference between everyday Americans and the shit heads in their gated communities protected by private security guards and sucking the lifeblood out of their poorer cousins, they are ‘The Ugly Amerikans'.

Here in Canada the same holds true. The oil barons of Alberta are exactly as greedy as their counterparts in Texas. The stock market speculators of Toronto no less vile than those of New York or Tokyo or London or anywhere else. The super-rich, a very small minority, have somehow gained control over so many destinies and managed to keep our hands from around their scrawny necks up 'til now somehow.

In high school Latin class a million years ago i learned that Julius Caesar said "Omnia Gaulia es divisa en tres partes", though my Latin has fallen apart over time, the message is still crystal clear. Caesar knew he’d never be able to rule all of Gaul if it was united against him even if his legions could initially conquer it. But if he could keep them divided and fighting among themselves it would be easy. Today’s map of that part of Europe still accurately defines the ethnic boundaries that Caesar gladly helped maintain. That there is a Spain, a Portugal, a France and an ongoing Basque separatist war testifies to the clarity of Caesar’s political vision.

Divide and Conquer. We or me? Allow one division and others soon follow. Be it by religion, race, class, language or geography once divided it's a quick slide into 'us or them'. Solution: stand strong, undivided, unconquered, live freely, one with all, one with the mud.


Jack Herer, Emperor of Hemp

Jack’s message is even more important today as the planet spirals into energy wars, enviormental calamity, and bio-engineered foods. Check out his website: Jack Herer.com it’s a rush whether it’s the first time you read his stuff of the tenth. Hail Jack Herer, definately a-head of his time.

Jack's famous book ' The Emperor Wears No Clothes' taught us how and why hemp was criminalized, taught us that recreational pot use is 5000 years old and that there has never been even one death from its use. Jack taught us that hemp is a miracle plant who's use is supressed by the oil industry, agribusiness and corrupt church interests. Jack taught us a lot and we owe him our thanks and much more.

Jack is currently recovering from a heart attack in an Oregon medical facility. We're sending a special package of good vibes to Jack and his family and hopes for his speedy return to the trenchs. The Herer family is running Jack Herer.com until Jack returns to fighting form. The website now features 'The Hemp Headline News' a cool resource for potheads, hemp farmers and mudittes alike.

If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the greenhouse effect and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time... and that substance is the same one that has done it before . . . CANNABIS/HEMP/MARIJUANA!- Jack Herer


Chives and Bees

Worldwide bee populations are plummeting mostly due to the introduction of non-native types into foriegn habitats. Throughout history the health and survival many lifeforms, including bees, have been protected by geographical barriers. Here in N. America the oceans and the mountain ranges have served to isolate different bee populations from the diseases circulating in other distant areas. The effect being that in some areas bees thrive in others they die back.

Things have changed, in the last 100 years global transportation and industrial agriculture have conspired to wipeout the barriers that once protected native bee populations in their far flung habitats. Wherever you live, however you live, rich or poor, your food supply is only safe if the bees are too. 80% of our food depends on pollinators to mature, of the pollinators bees comprise the vast majority. Bee health equals food security.

The bees are also under pressure from climate change, the natural range of the different types is on the move away from the equator in each hemisphere. Plus the bee's predators are on the move. Many different mites and infectious agents once contained by geography and climate conditions are wiping out bees worldwide. Another climate driven factor in bee survival is the changes in flowering times for plants as the climate regions shift. Bee's need certain tempratures before they become active, plants are mostly photoactive meaning they respond to the number of hours of light to cue their growth and flowering cycles. For millenia the bees and the flora in their region have evolved a symbiotic partnership based on the timing of each other's needs.

In many areas the first high nector flowers the bees have collected from each season haven't opened yet when the bees first awaken each year. It's warm enough for the bees earlier than it used to be but for the plants, drawing their cues from the hours of sunlight, it's still to early. That's where chives come in. Chives flower very early in all regions, conditions and climates. They flower based on maturity and pruning practices. Chives are open and covered is sticky, stinky, nector before the bees wake up. This first big feed for the bees is fundamental to their early honey production, their yearly honey storage and their survival. The bees descend on your chives early, they return each day for more nector and gradually move out to pollinate the rest of your garden and surrounding wildflowers. We and the bees are partners, by planting chives johnny appleseed like we all benfit.

just email:

I'm a seed saver, last year the bees and chive plants produced thousands of mautre seed which i've collected and stored. I'll gladly give away enough chive seed to get you started into this cycle. If you live here on the Sunshine Coast of BC i'll deliver the seed to you directly, if you live somewhere else be sure to include your mailing address in your email. Chives are a delecious high vitamen green that add a spicy treat to every dish. Once planted chives regrow each year bigger and better than the year before. Miraculous for man and bees alike.


Obama's first year depressing for the left

Yesterday my homies in Mass. dealt the forked tongued Obama a slap in the kisser. Today he can be seen wandering the White House grounds chain smoking and talking to his dog. Hopefully someone, dog or pony, will have the cajones to tell Obama the truth. Yesterday the progressives stayed home. Mostly it's President Barack Obama's fault for not listening to his progressive base and forsaking us to follow the Rahm Emanuel path of cutting deals with every corporate special interest in Washington in an attempt to perpetuate Democrats in power the same way Republicans do.

Team Obama assumed the presidency exactly one year go today to much fanfare from the left and proceeded to carry over every fascist policy of the Bush/Cheney era. The list is long and well documented on progressive sites throughout the web, i won't re-list them again it's just to damn depressing.

Basically team Obama, like the Clintons, figured that the best political move after being elected by the left was to move right and try to capture the middle ground and thereby put a stranglehold on power in Washington for years to come. They figured that the progressive voters had nowhere else to go, they owned the progressive votes, now they were going after the soft rightwing votes. Big mistake. The progressives in Mass. showed 'em they did have somewhere else to go on election day, the couch.

It looks like November's elections could be another retrenchment for the left. My suggestion is for the progressive citizens of the US to either abandon Obama for a new candidate in the primaries leading up to 2012 or, better yet, start over, retrench under a new party banner, a REAL progressive party not another corporate-billionaire-military complex but a party built on 'leadership from the bottom'. Further i propose this new party be led by Wendell Berry of Kentucky. To hell with Obama, Emanuel, Geithner, Summers, Gates, etc, it's time for real change, progressive change before the darkness is total.


Share the Wealth

by Mark Henson


Methane - Still In Denial

My enviro listserve desk is busy this morning: combine the runaway climate change science with the financial instrument mitigation promises and other greenwashing of continuing accelerating emissions and you have to... get what?

Arctic Permafrost Leaking Methane at Record Levels, Figures Show
"This study does not show the Arctic has passed a tipping point, but it should open people's eyes. It shows there is a positive feedback and that higher temperatures bring higher emissions and faster warming."

The University of Edinburgh's Prof. Paul Palmer, who led the research, says: "The research results underline the fact that global warming is a complex process -- higher temperatures in turn speed up the warming process. Our research strengthens our conviction that satellites can accurately register changes in the emission of greenhouse gasses at specific locations on the earth. This makes it possible to accurately map the emission of greenhouse gases from a wide variety of natural and man-made sources."
Palmer said it was a "disgrace" that so few satellites were launched to monitor levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. He said it was unclear whether the team would be able to continue the methane monitoring in future.

So here we are and who is being precautionary? Runaway climate change is happening.

And as Dr. Palmer points out we are not even putting adequate resources into monitoring let alone the definitive scientific quantifying of climate change cause and effect and probabilities of danger that the scientific community could and must put together much faster and much less encumbered by politics than the too slow and faulted IPCC process - hey we have digital tech with which we could construct a global peer review process to build a much more robust consensus of danger much, much faster but we don't even try.

This is life and death for future generations maybe even humanity. The prime danger isn't sea level rise or biodiversity loss by 2100, grave though these dangers be, but crossing over a threshold, a tipping point to uncontrollable runaway warming, a tipping point we could already be over if Hansen is right about the need to get back under 350 ppm fast.

What are we doing about it? Check out this flaccid, all too everywhere on the business pages mis-education/denial. 'Are the vast majority of business people and activists who do recognize climate change as a danger STILL IN DENIAL about the scale of reductions required?'

Most certainly.

Carbon tax the best route: academic
A carbon tax is a far more effective means of shifting to a green economy than a cap-and-trade system, and Canada should follow this route if it wants to compete in environmental technologies, a top British academic and policy adviser says.

Paul Ekins, director of Britain's Green Fiscal Commission, told The Globe and Mail's editorial board yesterday that deciding how to cut greenhouse gases is one of "the toughest public policy calls" that governments have ever had to make, but if done right it can create huge opportunities.

"Those countries, regions or jurisdictions that develop the low-carbon technologies first, and are savvy about marketing them, will be the winners," said Mr. Ekins, who is also a professor of energy and environment policy at University College in London.

...Mr. Ekins praised British Columbia's broad-based carbon tax, implemented in 2008, as a breakthrough on this continent. It "has been done very intelligently, setting in place a low price to start with and then ramping it up over time."

....A carbon tax would provide a strong incentive for developing carbon capture and storage technology for the oil sands and other high-emission industries, he said.

Every word Dr. Ekins speaks or writes on his Canuck tour leads one to believe that his understanding of needed emission reduction is shallow and completely within the blinders of BAU.

He mouths the new conventional wisdom but there is demonstrably no time for puny carbon taxes - like the BC $10 carbon tax he celebrates - to be ramped up over time to effective levels - read the Anderson-Bows paper , the two seminal Nature papers ( Allen et al and Meinshausen et al ) on our global carbon budget from last year, and the Schellnhuber et al. WBGU report  Look at this graph and tell me there is time for a puny $10 carbon tax:

There is no time for thin edge of the wedge carbon taxes - Dr Ekins and many academics, business people and even activists remain in denial.

CCS is a dream, a crackhead lie that just allows expanding fossil fuel production now with not even a remote possibility of effective sequestering decades from now. The precautionary framework to protect future generations should at least insist upon no expansion of coal and dirty oil production or use
without working CCS - that would be a 'balanced' position and should provide lots of incentive to develop effective CCS quickly, if CCS is possible physically and economically.

And finally Dr. Ekins wrongfoots because restricting the mitigation conversation to financial instruments within BAU leaves out possibly effective and fair mitigation methods like rationing, relocalization (which may happen due to price signals from effective CTs but could also be legislated perhaps more effectively), much more Draconian possible governmental regulation, and other paths to keeping at least coal and dirty oil in the ground. There is, of course, nothing about powering down in economies not predicated upon growth.

We follow guys like Dr. Ekins and we go another decade pretending and wasting time - where's the full informing debate?

This is life and death for future generations maybe even humanity and we have all these time wasters and delayers STILL IN DENIAL about the scale of reductions required. We have deniers like our Premier Campbell posing as leaders working like the devil to keep the debate shoehorned within BAU where their personal agendas can come true. This is why Copenhagen failed. Supposed leaders in big denial at this crucial time as the Arctic warms, the icecap melts away and methane is released from melting permafrost.

What the fuck??!!! What now?

by Bill Henderson of Pacific Fringe.net

(Bill Henderson has written more than 40 op-eds on the science, politics and hopeful mitigation of runaway climate change over the past 10 years.)


The Bristlecone Pine

On dry mountaintops in the western United States grow earth's oldest living inhabitants, the bristlecones (Pinus longaeva, Pinus aristata). Many of the trees living today were seedlings when the pyramids were being constructed and mature in the time of Christ.

Earth's oldest living inhabitant "Methuselah" at 4,767 years, has lived more than a millennium longer than any other tree. Bristlecone pine groves are found at elevations up to 11,000 feet (3352m). Trees located in Methuselah Grove are in an area where trees reach 3000 - 4000 years of age. Very old trees are typically squat and gnarled, with many dead branches and large areas of exposed wood. In this grove, scientists have found several pieces of deadwood lying on the ground for more than 7000 years.

On a few of our road trips my daughter and i tried to get to the Bristlecone Pine areas in the White Mts. and at Great Basin National Park. In each instance the high mountain roads were closed due to snow. Two winters ago my fearless companion Pancho and i headed for Wheeler Peak in our rental car only to be turned back by another snow closed road. Next time we'll try earlier in the season, November maybe instead of Feburary. The pilgrimage to the Bristlecones remains very high on my bucket list.

"Timberline Traveler"
"It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!" - John Muir


Message from the Hopi Nation

A Message of Hope from the Hopi Nation:

To my fellow swimmers,
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel that they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know that the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.
And I say "See who is there with you and celebrate!"
At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!
Banish the word "struggle" from your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.


Oraibi, Arizona
Hopi Nation

submitted by: Nancy Gaudry


Haiti's geology as shaky as its economy

Haiti sits on the edge of the Caribbean Plate, it's heading towards Africa. Scraping past it on the northern edge, where Hispanola sits is the huge North American Plate which is heading west toward Japan. At the boundry region near Haiti the fault between these two plates is called a slip-strike fault because, like the well known San Andreas fault, the two plate edges are slowly grinding past each other. In other regions of contact the North American plate is subducting below the Caribbean plate. The Caribbean plate also has the South American plate traveling north and subducting under its southern edge and the Cocos plate traveling eastward and subducting under its western edge. The Caribbean plate's tectonics are among the most interesting on earth.

There are volcanic island arcs on its eastern edge caused by the subducting North American plate. A volcanic arc along its western Central America side caused by the subducting Cocos plate. More islands on its southern edge as the South American plate dives below it on that boundry. On it's northern edge, where the deadly earthquake occured, the islands of Cuba, Jamica and Hispaniola are being lifted from the seafloor by the slip-strike fault. Thus has it been for millions of years, thus will it continue for many million more.

Giant earthquakes have been, and will continue to be, rumbling along this boundry, lifting it's islands and their mountains until the grinding stops and erosion washes everything back to the seafloor hundreds of millions of years into the future.

Why wasn't Haiti prepared for this inevitable calamity? Poverty. Haiti's poverty is as grinding as its geology. Forced into huge debt by France 200 years ago to pay for its freedom. Haiti sucked its resource base dry for about 150 years trying to pay off its huge debt to France. Then when they had no resources left to sell off the IMF and World Bank started 'lending' Haiti money to service its debt. Most of that money was stolen by the series of military dictators who ruled Haiti through the second half of the 20th century. Haiti's debts grew, its people suffered, its elites lived, and still do, like kings. The solution, no more structural adjustment bullshit from the billionaire bankers, no more sweatshops, no more economic slavery. Eliminate-forgive Haiti's international debts. Begin a Vandana Shiva type Earth Democracy, heal the land, heal the people, let Haiti's economy rise like its mountains.


Vodun: The Light and Beauty of Haiti

This mornings research started with the recalling of the book 'The Serpent and the Rainbow' by ethnobotnist and BC homeboy Wade Davis. Wade lives and travels throughout Haiti, meets remarkable people and learns the ways of the Loa. It's a great read, as are all of Davis's books about his adventures, and an important resource that bypasses the official christian spin on Voodoo and instead delves in the real story and history of Vodun it's followers, it's beauty and its power.

Next, i searched the history of Vodun.

From there i began to read about Ezili Danto the spiritual mother of Haiti and the preeminent cosmic symbol of Black independence, unity, self-determination, justice, equality and freedom.

Haiti's spiritual story is as multilayered as its political story, in fact they are intertwined. Consulting some of these links provides a deeper understanding of why Haiti's population is said by the mainstream media to be 80% Catholic and how it's 99% Vodun beneath the surface.
Ezili Dantò the spiritual mother of Haiti


Haiti's long history

Yesterday plate tectonics caused a massive earthquake in Haiti. Many are dead, many more injured. Countless poorly built buildings have collapsed including the presidential palace, Haiti's White House. Many countries in the area are pledging aid and support including Canada where nearly 100,000 ex-pat Haitians live in Quebec alone.

Haiti has a long and troubled history, the links below are good a primer.

There are a couple of commonly held misconceptions that hold a key to Haiti's present sad state before and after the earthquake. Haiti was a colonized by the Spanish and the French. After murdering the original Tainto inhabitants who had greeted Columbus warmly and nursed his crew back to health, every square foot of ariable land was turned to sugar production. The plantations were owned by rich and operated by their slaves.

After a couple hundred years of oppression some of the slaves who had run away into the mountains organized and fought back against the european despots. They won, the slaves overthrew their masters, but at a huge cost. Napoleon had sent 30,000 troops to subdue the slave revolt. In exchange for their freedom and diplomatic recognition the new revolutionary government was forced by the european and american powers to repay their former French colonizers for their loss of land and other capital and the cost of Napoleon's idiotic attempt to re-instate slavery.

This huge debt and the odious compounded interest have haunted Haiti to this day. Last night i heard supposedly well educated commentators in the mainstream media make error after error in their analysis of Haiti's historic predicament. To answer just a couple, Haiti's forests have been 99% obliterated, a small proportion of this devastation was for firewood/fuel, but most of the clearing was done by international logging interests with every dollar in royalities collected by the Haitian goverment going to international banks to cover the huge and ever growing interest on it's slave rebellion incured debts. Second Haiti's once bountiful agriculutrial regions have had their nutrients used up to grow sugar that they could export to service the debt. Empires suck the resources from the hinterlands and bring those misbegotten assets home to further enrich their elites. A few hundred years ago the europeans were suking their empires dry now it's the U.S. in the future it could be China or India, The names change but the story doesn't.

The History of Haiti

Haiti's Odious Debt


HOPI: The Ancient Ones

The Hopi, or Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, "The Peaceful People" or "Peaceful Little Ones," call their ancestors Hisatsinom, ("ee-SAH-tse-nom"), which means the ancient ones. The Navajo use the word Anasazi, which means ancient enemies. As Hopi they have lived in the Four Corners area for at least 1,000 years. Oraibi, AZ was settled in 1050 and is the oldest consistently occupied community in North America. Wherever they have lived, the Hopi have always been the Hopi. It is the scientists who use other names.

I've been to Old Oraibi on 3 occasions over the decades. First in '69 with two friends on our way to Canada as draft resisters. We walked in from the road after passing a hand painted sign instructing visitors to leave their cameras beind. We walked trough the village that early May morning followed by a little boy who darted shyly behind cover whenever we turned to greet him. All paths led to the abandoned shell of a long deserted church. We later learned the church had been struck by lightening about 100 years before and was soon abandoned by the church authorities because the Hopi heeded the lightening's message and wouldn't go inside it ever again. The little boy became less shy as our walking tour progressed, finally when we spoke with him and he invited us to visit his grandmother's house. Like all the other houses there in '69 its outter walls were made of piled stone rubble held aloft by expertly placed wooden wedges that stabilized the courses of erosion rounded stone. Inside we met one of the village elders, she spoke no english the little boy was our go between. She made herb tea for us, even through translation she answered our stupid questions with disarming affection. An hour later we walked silently through the still cold air back out to our old pickup, our east coast hippy worldview changed forever.

My next visit was in about 1980 on a road trip of dicovery and recovery through the great southwestern desert. Old Oraibi had changed some. There had been a split, now at the bottom of the impressive mesa on top of which sat the original Oraibi i passed the town of New Oraibi. Complete with satellite dishes, power lines and sewer problems New Oraibi's residents had split from their elders ways and moved to this lower location. Even the old town was changing slowly, there were a few framed, tarpaper covered, small houses intermingled with the piled stone originals. I stopped at one of the tarpaper variety because it had a small bi-lingual sign saying 'book store'. The store owner filled me in on the recent history of Oraibi's divisions. I bought 'The Hopi Cookbook' said my thanks and drove on. The cookbook stayed with me through all these years and provided me with many great ideas for preparing and enjoying the bounty of our garden in a simple, traditional, Hopi style.

The final stop, so far anyway, was in '90. This time my new partner and our beautiful little baby were along for the ride. We had a goal in mind on this visit, to bring back Hopi corn for our garden. We tried at all times to grow open pollinated heritage varities of as many crops as we could, Hopi corn is as heritage as there is. We stopped by the newly constructed Hopi Cultural Center [ great idea in that the area gets so many visitors/seekers that its villages were being overrun by us]. There we met quite a few young Hopi inside and out. One was a young lady farmer. She directed us to her farm where we could buy each of the four ancient types of seed corn. We brought it back to our little farm on the southwest coast of British Columbia, we planted them all but the only one to survive well enough to save for re-planting was the yellow. Interestingly the Hopi's 4 corn colors each correspond to a direction and the winds from that direction, the yellow's direction and wind is from the northwest just like us. We ate, we dried, saved and re-planted year after year for 15 years. We passed the seed on to other small farmers in our area. It was good, it was real, it still is.

The Hopi Worldview


The Garlic Ritual

An email from a friend in Grand Forks yesterday asking about the garlic planting ritual started me thinking about the great garlic crops we've had through the decades. Garlic is fairly easy grow.

The 1st step is to figure which kind does best in your area. We grew a stiff necked variety of garlic brought to BC by the Dukabors named Homesteader. It has huge oily cloves that almost skin themselves. Each year we re-plant about 120-150 cloves out in a new a newly prepared bed that’s loaded with aged llama manure, compost and sweat. They end up a couple inches deep to the top of the cove, exactly the depth the hole my finger makes in the bed. Garlic is always planted root side down.

It’s a yearly ritual, it’s the first thing planted for the next year's harvest making it a re-affirmation that you're going be there 'til next July for the harvest. The full moon in September is the perfect time to plant garlic in the northern hemisphere. An old world pagan gardening practice is to plant things whose mainly edible parts are below the ground like garlic, potatoes, onions, radishes, etc. at the full moon and to plant above ground crops like corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, etc. at the new moon. Be sure to rotate each of your garden's crops each year, including the garlic.

Garlic is one of the easiest things for a gardener to become self-sufficient in. You plant it in the fall, you weed it once in late May, you break off the flower heads in June, harvest it mid-late July. The whole 130 bulbs planted in a grid 4-6 inches apart takes up about 50 sq. ft. and probably about 3 hours total per year. We end up with 50-60lbs generally, it keeps all year round in a jute mesh bag outta direct sunlight and at cool-ish room temperature.

Looking for miracles, try the endless bounty of the yearly garlic ritual. The alchemy of manure, sunlight, rain, and open pollinated seed produces one of the most healthy of all foods, garlic.


The Simpsons turn 20

Our family have watched The Simpsons faithfully throughout the years. We've seen many episodes numerous times. In each and every re-watched episode we've been rewarded with details that were overlooked before. The Simpsons have pulled off social commentary that other mainstream media won't go near week after week, year after year. Our kids have been raised watching it with us. The questions and answers stimulated by the show have helped hugely to bridge the boomer-i-tooner generation gap.

Matt Groening's animated characters started in the late 80s on Tracey Ullman's show and grew into a global phenomenon. The Simpsons is where the stars hang out, apparently if you haven't done a guest appearence of the show, you're outta the upper echelon in twinkle town.

The 20th anniversary special is happening tonight, Jan 10th on thousands of stations, and in millions of homes. It's the450th episode of the best that TV has to offer.
Be there or be square!


Wiebo Ludwig...saint or sinner?

Wiebo Ludwig and his ongonig war with the corporate state, consumerism and big oil form an interesting lense through which we can view our preconceptions. On the one hand most Canadians see Wiebo through the eyes of the corporate media which drumbeats the view of social order and business as usual. On the other, many people see Wiebo's fight as a Don Quixote like quest in defense of his ideals and respect him for it.

Contradictions, Wiebo's full of 'em. As a fundamentialist christian, Wiebo serves a personal god, believes that his work will earn him a direct line to heavan on the rapture express once armageddon happens [any day now from many reports]. Wiebo hears the voice of his god and follows his commands, Wiebo is delusional, but happy about it.

Wiebo and his family work an organic farm, heat with wood, have solar hot water heat and windmill generated power. The family believes the best way to stop big oil's profiteering is to stop buying their products, and they don't just talk it they do it. Wiebo is soft spoken, charismatic, and works hard everyday keeping his family and farm going. If only he weren't sucha deluded nut case i'd applaud his bombastic lifestyle.

Below is a good biography of Wiebo and his family. Read up on Ludwig, his story is everywhere right now because the authorities think he's trying to scam them outta money by saying he can stop the Dawson Creek bombings of Encana's gas pipeline infrastructure if only they'll pay him to help. Like most eveything Wiebo is a Rorschach drawing for us to project our prejudices on. We view everything through our own cultural/experiencial/conditioned veil including Wiebo Ludwig.

Oil industry foe Ludwig spent lifetime revolting against authority
Wiebo Ludwig's life has always been stormy, marked by conflict with his family, his wife, his church, his neighbours, the oil industry, the police.


Cuba's Operation Miracle

The Cubans seem to have figured out one trick, the ‘Great Health Care’ trick. The articles below are each an indication of the respect the Cuban model has gained throughout Latin America and the rest of the world unlike countries like the US where the ideology of capitialist greed allows for no alternatives. But taken together they show not only just how much Cuba is doing, but just how much we aren't.

The Cubans are educating thousands of young Latin American doctors on the barter system. They’re trading knowledge for oil, access to classrooms and labratories for food, the Cuban model is dangerous to the corporate health model and the elites know it.

Take 'Operation Miracle' for example. This brainchild of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, this exraordinary humanitarian program, has restored the sight to millions of patients from poor villages and barrios in Central and South America for FREE. Operation Miracle operates in 35 countries and offers free treatment to all at their clinics. No wonder Cuba is considered a terrorist threat in Amerika.

Operation Miracle: Cuban Health Care Gives Sight to the Near Blind for Free
While the US struggles with its health care system, already the costliest in the world both overall and per capita, Cuba is struggling with a different problem, how to open more clinics in more countries to give more people free ophthalmological care so they can see better than before.

Medical know-how boosts Cuba's wealth
Health ministry officials say Cuba's $1.8bn (£1bn) and growing tourism industry will soon be overtaken as the number one foreign exchange earner by biotechnology joint ventures, vaccine exports and the provision of health services to other countries.


Tom Robbins, muditte philosopher emeritus

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

Tom's novels have inspired millions of mudittes through the decades. Starting in the early '70s with 'Another Roadside Attraction', Tom's works have been eagerly awaited by his legions of devotees.

Tom's books are well researched, they all focus on ancient history and mythology, each puts us in touch with some aspect of our present day delusional culture. All are witty, well written and scathing attacks on the 'establisnment. All are very funny.

Tom uses humor to slip past our veiled preconceptions, he understands that 'facts' are relative to the paradigm of the viewer, that 'facts' can never change the viewer's interpration of his senses input, that the only way to slip behind the viewers veil is misdirection. Like the old Torjan Horse we only allow that which we percieve as harmless behind our gates.

Tom's greatest work, in my opinion is 'Skinny Legs and All' in it he confronts our veils of perception, challenges our views on time and space. In it he encapsulates the convoluted history of Arab-Isreal's shared stories and destinies. Tom is a teacher, he understands that we, fauna-flora-mineral-microbe-forces-fairies and Gaia herself, all share this one life equally. That none has dominion over another, that none is more blessed than any other. Tom is, like so many other great thinkers before him, a Pantheist, so was Sitting Bull, so are we all who understand that we are undifferenciated, that we are 'the mud'.

Every seed is awakened and so is all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our animal neighbours the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. -Sitting Bull

Interview with Tom in January Magazine


Coca Mama

Coca, a medicinal plant, has been in continous use as far back as we can record Andean culture, at least 4,000 years. Historical record has shown that the coca plant, which has been cultivated since time immemorial, has always been omnipresent in the indigenous universe and that it has not only enriched their ancestral traditions but symbolized their vigorous resistance to colonial domination and subjection.

In contrast with alcohol and tobacco consumption, the traditional use of coca in its manifold forms is not and never has been a form of drug addiction, but a natural indigenous custom which it is possible to give up without producing any narcotic syndrome. No one can claim, in the absence of scientific proof to the contrary, that the Quechua and Aymara Indians, particularly in Peru and Bolivia, who have been chewing the sacred leaf of their ancestors since time immemorial, have ever become drug addicts.

It was the colonial Dutch chemists that invented the reduction into paste and eventual production of cocaine. It’s the capitalist get rich quick mafia types that are raking in the dough, cocaine addiction is a white man’s disease. Same story for the opium that colonialists turned into life ruining heroine or sugar cane refined to diabetes causing white sugar. The traditional organic whole plants and humans have co-evolved, co-existed for millinia, we have the metabolic tools to use these gifts from the Great Mother. But when these traditional plants are refined and concentrated by the industrial madmen our defenses are over run, the results disasterous.

Is Coca is a good thing? Good and bad are values that we humans attach to things for convience. These names we use to define and divide aren’t real, coca simply is. We’ve so divorced ourselves from the ‘real’ that we allow ourselves to believe in simple perjoritive tags instead. ‘Mother Coca’ has much to teach about itself and ourselves too.

BOLIVIA: Coca, Poverty and Hope by Diana Cariboni and Franz Chávez
Just about any crop can be grown in the heart of Bolivia's fertile Yungas region, say local farmers. But only coca has prospered. And although it is the only crop that brings anything close to a living income, local campesinos are still steeped in poverty. Coca has been grown since time immemorial in these forest-covered mountains that were once controlled by the Aymara kingdoms from the highlands.


World Jr. Finals Tonight

Tonight's championship game between our beloved Canadian boys and those from the evil empire oughtta be one of the best hockey games of the year. Their matchup in the round-robin was a classic overtime shootout won by Canada by a whisker. The World Junior Tournament offers a non hockey zealot like me the oppurtunity to enjoy the game as it should be played. There's no fights, no millionaire's egos, no billionaire owners. There are young hard working teams playing for their team, their teammates and their counrtymen.

There always some controversy, this year it's Pepsi Co. and their attempt to co-opt the wave of pride Canadians feel for their boys in green [or whatever jersey they wear tonight. Blogs and news outlets accross canuckistan are full of outrage at Pepsi's backfiring advertising gimmick.

All that's a sideshow, junior hockey is the story. Beside possibly at the Olympics the junior tourney is hockey at it's best. It's tonight at 4:30 pacific. Lineup your beverages, get ready to cheer Canada's finest 3 hours approaches.

Canadian hockey fans aren't sheep, Pepsi
Tonight, the floodlights will burn out on yet another spellbinding World Junior Hockey Championship. Canada and the United States are set to face off in what will inevitably be another gripping iteration of the two nations' border war for bragging rights and precious gold. But while tonight's gold medal game will bring an end to the tournament, many Canadians hope that PepsiCo's pointless endeavour to try to inject pride and loud noises into an already batshit-insane hockey nation will die with it.


Angel, a real Hero!

A wonderful, inspiring story but all in a days work for the most perfect of beings, caninis homelis, the family dog. Dogs accept us into their pack, they bless and shower us with unconditional love, they'll immediately lay down their lives in defence of their pack mates. Angel is a hero to all, a role model for selflessness, a great being.

On many occasions through the decades i've seen our dogs - Ali, Happy and Pancho - go after bears many times their size, to charge them teeth bared and growling, fearless, proud, among our family's finest. The bears always have reteated up a tree or run through the fences to escape, the bears know the dog's purity of heart. The bears in our southwest BC backyard are only after a free lunch, some fruit or berries, maybe an occasaional older/slower chicken, bears are dangerous but none have the heart of a family dog.

We have cougars in the mountain rainforest behind us just like everywhere else in BC. Cougars aren't like bears, they don't stumble into the yard in search of berries, cougars stalk their prey. Cougars circle to be upwind, they lie in wait, they spring with lightening speed at the last moment. Angel knew her foe, her sense of smell alerted her, she acted with selfless purpose in defense of her little boy.
Angel, my dogs past and present, the dogs we meet everyday with their families on our forest hikes, these are the descendents of the wolves and coyotes that adopted our ancestors millenia ago. They taught our ancestors the art of cooperative hunting, communal sharing, unconditional love. Without canine partners our neolithic ancestors might not have gotten beyond their caves. Without canine pack mate Angel by his side Austin would be dead. Angel, a true Hero!
Boy calls dog who fought off cougar his 'guardian'
"A boy from Boston Bar, B.C., whose golden retriever saved him from a charging cougar, says he wouldn't be alive if his dog hadn't stepped in. Austin Forman, 11, was gathering firewood in his backyard at about 5 p.m. Saturday when his dog, Angel, started acting strangely. Angel started following him to and from the woodshed, Austin said, almost as though she was checking to make sure he was OK. Suddenly, Angel ran toward Austin and jumped over a lawn mower — right into the path of a charging cougar." - "I feel very, very lucky", said Austin, "If it wasn't for my dog, I don't think I would be here." - CBC news


The Illusion of a Middle Class

Through the decades since WWII the distribution of wealth has grown steadily more one sided. Now at the dawn of 2010 it's literally sickening. Today the top 1% controls 40% of the assets, the bottom 40% control 0%. The top 5% control 90% of the assets, the rest of us...have very little beside maxed out credit cards, a mortage and an ulcer.

The illusion of a middle class is nothing but spin. Spin as a PR tactic designed to keep the collective hands of the havenots off of the throats of the haves. Back in the 70's, when i thought being a union organizer was the best possible service i could provide to my fellow mudittes, i watched as union after union bought into the bogus arguement that their members would be better off with indexed pensions tied to stock market averages or direct stock/bond investment schemes instead of the 'old fashioned' pensions where employers contributed pre-determined amounts into each employees retirement acount.

The pension scheme worked perfectly for the rich, they got trillions of dollars force fed into the 'markets' over these decades. Unlike the investments of the rich themseves, these pension funds kept growing monthly with a drip feed portion of the working classe's wages. These funds were mandated to buy, not what to buy, just BUY. The effect, a rising tide for all, all stockholders, especially the 5% who owned then and still own 95% of the market's assets.

The other perhaps unforseen but greater effect was to implant the delusion in the minds of the woking class that they had a stake in the pardigm of unrestrained free-market capitialism. The delusion spread through union members and nonmembers with equal zeal. The illusion of a free lunch is very powerful. All was well as long as the 'market' kept rising and all the boats kept rising.

Now, after last year's market meltdown, with peak oil as a 'governor of greed' an accepted reality, with the calamity of imminent climate catastrophy at our door, the prospect of economic collapse results in the kinda spin usually associated with carnival rides for the beleagured lower class. Everywhere now millions of market based pension scheme holders see doom at the doorstep, instead of a bubble gum-free lunch they're getting ulcers. Instead of the security promised to the working class they've got worries. Governments worldwide seem powerless to stand up on their hind legs because each is totally owned and corrupted by the big money interests. Democracy is an illusion when none of the choices offer any chance of fundmental change.

The rich get richer and the poor hand over their meger money to make it happen. There are only two classes, the rich corporate elites including their politican puppets and the rest of us, the blindered, bewildered, bankrupt lower class using the lower floor facilities of the outhouse pictured above.


The Muditte's SUV Solution

Will 2010 be the year of the Muddite SUV revolution? The year when we re-establish our connections with those mydrid millions we share this one life with? There's always hope, but the morning line in Vegas is calling this a VERY long shot.

It’s really no surprise that hybrid cars, SUV’s, trucks and buses are the fastest growing segment of the auto industry here in North America and around the world. Even in California, where cars are king, it’s become the ride of choice from the hip Beverly Hills types to the treehuggers in Humbolt County. Soon the plug-in hybrid will enter the market and the consciousness of consumers. With plug-in technology and rooftop solar photovoltaic generation one day we could see transportation approah a zero throughput of carbon emissions.

But what about the dirty old fashioned energy it would take to build all these new cars/batteries/chargers etc.? Engineers call this, the often overlooked energy used to produce a product, embedded energy. That’s where the muditte solution pictured above really starts to gain a foothold, eh. Forget callin the tow truck to haul away your old beater when it finally kicks the bucket, just chop off the front end and away you go into the future in the world’s most perfect SUV.


Obama-capitulator in chief

Like millions of others i watched the Obomber take the stage in Chicago that November night of his election. All those beaming young worshippers, the tears of Jesse Jackson, he had a chance at that moment to change history and he blew it. For sure he's a great orator, his speeches throughout '08 were spellbinding, i was definately a believer. Guess that's what happened, we were all spellbound. Many of us, the believers, eager to project our vision of change into the empty vessel of his rhetoric, saw in him an oppurtunity for 'real' change. We were self eluded chumps, again.

In the first days after his electoral trimuph he selected Rahm Emanuel, fixer/compromiser extraordinair. It was his first big decision, his first huge mistake. But Obummer coulda survived Rahm's insider bullshit i told myself. Then came Geithner and Summers and the stomach's of millions sunk in unison. How could he pick the same guys to fix the Wall St./bank bullshit that created and nurtured it? Stunned by Obummer's early moves we all clung to the faint hope clause, maybe he was just gathering momentum, but no, like Evel Knievel at the Snake River Canyon, he had been at the top and was catapulting to infaminy.

Our Obummer seems such a bright guy, so well spoken, a craftsman of words. How and why did he let that asshole Cheney reframe the torture debate from a moral issue, 'right vs.wrong', to an expediency issue 'did it work'? It happened in a day or two, Obummer still had huge poll numbers, he'd debated at Harvard's Hasty Pudding, he knew the framing of any question determined its answer. The acceptance of the Bush era's history of torture as an expedient opened the flood gates, the 'knuckle-dragging Neanderthals", smelled blood, Obama blew it and they knew it

It just kept happening. The links below by well written correspondents outline, far more eloquently than i can, the list of the Obomber's capitulations. Please read some or all of them, if you haven't already. If  peak oil doen't get us or the recession or endless war, if we live through all this maybe being informed about the self delusion of our projections into an empty vessel can save us from the next demagogue, left or right, who'll undoubetly try the same tactic.

Obama blew it. he had his moment, he had his chance, he can talk the talk but he doesn't walk the walk.

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0 by Dave Lindorff

Obama's Big Sellout: The President has Packed His Economic Team with Wall Street Insiders

Now I’m Really Getting Pissed Off by David Michael Green