The Coast Salish Mushroom Rain

It started in the middle of the night, drumming on the roof and canopy, cleaning every leaf and needle, every stem and flower, on its way into the dry earth. We live nestled up to a rainforest but it's getting dryer every year, this is the first significant rain we've had in months. The Coast Salish watched nature's patterns for thousands of years, it was religion and necessity, one pattern they figured out long ago was the Mushroom Rain. These long time residents used the forest's mushroom crops as food and shaman's visionary tool. The Salish watched and chanted for the Mushroom Rain as the summer nights grew chillier, today it came again.

This storm will drop about an inch of rain today, more tomorrow. It'll be the biggest 24hr total since Jan. 15th which is scary in itself. We live in a coastal rainforest but are still a part of the western n. american drought, the deserts are winning, the hibernating mud dispairs.

Countless billions of mycelium rejoiced this morning along with the rest of us rainforest renegades. At the store, the gas station, the regional park every human grinned, everyone loved the smell, the sound, the clean air, it was the only topic. Stanfields or other wool sweaters, umbrella somewhere under the back seat, gumboots somewhere, if ya live along the Salish Sea ya got 'em somewhere. This morning reminded me how important they'll be in a couple months.

Each day now on our ranforest walk we'll see tiny fungus beginning to bud, mushrooms of all sizes, colors and shapes will emerge through the weeks and months ahead. The fungi breakdown the forest's fallen providing food for its fauna like birds and slugs, as well as the flora next spring. The Mushroom Rain brought its circular gift of life to us all today.


California's Pot Community Being Divided by Fear

Fear of the unknown, the boogeyman, has been used to control the many by the few since our ancestors climbed down outta the trees. In this case it's California's pot community that is being divided by fear. One group, including me, sees a YES on Prop 19 as a mostly wonderful thing. Another smaller group of potheads doesn't. From what i hear and see many of the latter group are already established in one corner of the pot industry or another.

If they 'legalize it' on Nov 2nd demand will surge but supply won't, especially immediately. With all the pre vote publicity and the 'California Legalizes Pot' headlines coast to coast, pot tourists will flock to the Golden State looking to get a chance to smoke legal weed, me too. Pot tourists will rent motels, buy gas, beer and lottsa munchies, we'll spend billions on a lot more than mota. Legalize it and the government's debt will dwindle, there'll be new jobs created and all Californians will be better off.

What about Wal-Mart, won't they just grow so much that the prices will plummet and put existing hardworking pot farmers out of business and into poverty? NO, they won't. Pot will still be illegal federally and the corporations will be scared shitless to go near pot for years to come. If Prop 19 passes then stands up to the feds in the courts somehow, then maybe the big boys would dive in. By then though it's years later and every local mom and pop will have uped production a bit and figured out how to produce for the niche markets like each unique winery does now. The Napa Valley grape growers don't fear Ernest and Julio Gallo.

A few little guys might get shut out someday by corporate competition but i'm guessin that, just like Big-Macs didn't wipe out mom and pop burger joints-Wal-Mart won't wipe out these mom and pops either. The prices could drop in California on Gallo type pot if the big boys step in but not on 'the kind', 'kush', 'BC bud' the good stuff. Producing great pot is an art, the little guy can grow better pot than the warehouse guys, they already do. A few others, mostly the get rich quick-criminal types, will cleanup in the short run before the Wal-Marts jump in, hopefully, they'll use their new dough to diversify.

The times they are a-changin and there's nothing to fear but fear itself.


Free psychiatric services available 24/7

Last night i watched a great peice on CBC's The National about psychiatric service dogs and the overwhelming success they are at helping disturbed veterans after they return from the Iraq fiasco. It was moving to see and hear how the young man in the film has been able to regain his life in large part because of his relationship with Megan his chocolate lab best friend. Megan came from Puppies Behind Bars who train inmates to raise puppies to become service dogs for the disabled, tres cool.

Today, after a long walk in the park with my best friend, i did some searching and reading up on psychiatric service dogs and found a huge world i barely knew existed. If you're looking for an inspiration: click here.

While i was reading i stated to realize that my best friend Pancho was providing me with the same free psychiatric services 24/7 that the specially trained dogs were in the articles. Like most of us, my psychiatric needs are sub-clinical most days and are perfectly well serviced by unconditional love given and recieved, being needed by and needing a kindred spirit, by companionship, by having someone to just listen, someone always glad to see me no matter what.

i love dogs, all dogs, there are no bad dogs, only bad humans who have abused them. If you already share your life with a dog type person you're lucky and you already know all of this. If not, why not? Place to small? Move. City life, two jobs, mortage, kids...all terrible excuses for living a your life without the free psychiatric services available 24/7 at your local animal shelter. If there's no space or time in your life for a dog, i offer my condolences and a bitta advice: change your life.


Doda, opium tea, an ally in my shaman's garden

Up here on the coast many gardeners grow opium poppies, some for opium tea. Opium tea and the use of the opium poppy predates written history. Images of opium poppies have been found in ancient Sumerian artifacts (ca. 4000 BC). There are thousands of websites about opium and the tea ritual. All the ingredients are readily available for anyone wishing to experiment, have a little fun, get jiggy with their backyard bounty.

Back in the mid-90's my hip started to go funky, by the late 90's doing either the heavy lifting and climbing involved with carpentry or most chores on my little organic farm had become less than fun. Living here in BC getting a hip replaced at age 50 is almost impossible, most replacements last 10-15 years and are seldom successfully re-replaced. The doctors here send ya home with a prescription and a story no matter what the x-rays show until you're 60-ish so most likely you and your hip's lifespan will run out in unison. At that point i was looking at a sentence of 10 years with a lotto ticket as my only chance of parole.

The pills never really worked well enough so of course i experimented with self-medication. Tried beer, always loved it recreationally and it worked great for a little while, but even beer has its downside when taken to a professional level. Certainly my lifelong devotion to ganja helped if not with the pain itself at least with forgetting about it for awhile.

My x-wife was an opium poppy brewer, she'd taught the ritual years earlier. One day as i limped through the local gardeners seed swap meet held each year i noticed one lady selling packets of opium poppy seeds she'd saved from her crop. We chatted, i learned a few more tricks about their horticultural needs and headed home with an addition to my shaman's garden. For the next 10 years i really enjoyed August. Once a person has experimented with and found the best dosage and taste [lottsa lemon and brown sugar] opium tea can be the perfect ally for a person in pain. Opium is addictive, but if you grow your own it seems to magically run out just as you notice your intake excelerating.

Every year i saved a few of the biggest bulbs for reseeding next year's beds. Every year i gave away bunches of dried flowers to friends so they could add it to their shaman's garden. Doda is the name for poppy tea if it's made from dried pods and stalks. The big bust yesterday out in Abbotsford of 60,000 poppies shows what happens, just like pot, when a person tries to go from 'getting by and getting high' to getting rich. Opium poppies are everywhere around us hiding in plain sight, waiting like an old and trusted ally for our time of need. Like cars or guns, drugs aren't harmful if you use them wisely.


Che Guevara - Ernest Hemingway - Fidel Castro, in days gone by

These magnificant men, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Fidel, Che and Marina - how times have changed.

Over the years Che Guevara has been lionized in Latin America and immortalized all around the world. This 1960’s photograph of Che by the photographer Alberto Korda has become one of the most famous image of our times, a symbol for freedom and liberty.

Today, it has become cool to own a part of Che. Not many people understand or even attempt to understand what he stood for but they know that being part of the Che cult is the thing to do. Viva San Ernesto!


The Earth's Declining Carrying Capacity

Carrying capacity refers to the number of individuals of any species who can be supported in a given area within natural resource limits, and without degrading the natural, social, cultural and economic environment for present and future generations. According to Garrett Hardin (1991), "carrying capacity is the fundamental basis for demographic accounting."

Unfortunately as population grows the environment is constantly degraded, carrying capacity actually shrinks, leaving the environment no longer able to support even the number of people who could formerly have lived in the area on a sustainable basis. Revisiting Carrying Capacity: Area-Based Indicators of Sustainability by William E. Rees of UBC is an excellant indepth article on carrying capacity.

Basically it's the calculus of diminishing population in response to declining carrying capacity. Which brings me to The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, a link sent me by a fellow doomer. They figure phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense. Thier motto: “May we live long and die out”. They offer a well constructed arguement for not having kids [oops, to late for me] from an enviromental perspective.

The folks at VHEMT seem to be advocating an overshoot. Mother Earth went to a lotta trouble evolving an upright ape capable of abstract thought and an opposable thumb, i'm still thinkin that when the big collapse comes there will be little oasises that retain a small carrying capacity for a renegade primate or two. That setting a goal of phasing out our species completely leaves no room for hope, no room for change. Better for me to hope that somehow things will change, that somehow even in a much lower populated world my children and theirs will have a shot at using their long evolved tools to live within the carrying capacity of that future world.
Wilder yet, The Church of Euthanasia , advocates creative methods for improving population density. Even those who are not easily offended may not want to peer into the sanctuary of the Church of Euthanasia. Prepare yourself by thinking the worst first, then the four pillars of the church won’t seem so awful.


Team Canada still smiling at the LLWS

23-0, whadda thumpin eh. But i still couldn't have been prouder. Canada's team of 11-12-13 year olds from Little Mountain in Burnaby played hard, got knocked down and came up smiling. It was hardly a game, the Chinese Teipei kids were fantastic, i'm bettin they go all the way this year. Nonetheless the Canadian kids' and coaches' display of sportsmanship, comraderie and fun have shined through in the eyes of the broadcasters who were again beside themselves with praise for Team Canada's attitude and their example that the joy of the game trumps all.

Back in Feburary Canada had a felt wave of pride at our kids efforts and accomplishments in Vancouver. The elation coast-coast-coast the minutes after Sid the Kid's winner were unrivaled in my 41 years as a practising Canuck. What better ad could Canada get? The kids and coaches from Little Mountain maybe.

Little Leagues everywhere are 100% volunteer run. The genuine joy generated by the volunteers surrounding the Little Mountain team could be an aberation but i doubt it.

Tomorrow at 11am-pt Canada meets Panama in a re-match that this time is a knock out game. i'll be watching the Team Canada kids hustle, cheering for their success and beaming with BC pride at the victories they all have to come in the game of life in part because the truely great coaching they're getting.

Little Mountain lose crucial game, but deserve a medal for sportsmanshipThe Province


Imagine - Yes on Prop. 19

Imagine the frontpage headline 'California Legalizes Marijauna' on every media outlet accross the US on Nov. 3rd. Imagine the exhilaration in the hearts of millions. Imagine how difficult to will be for the feds to shove that genie back in its bottle. Imagine how uplifting it would be for the left to win something...anything. Remember how elated the youth and the left were when we all were deluded into believing Obama wasn't a liar, this could be bigger.

Most of the polls so far have shown Prop 19 leading by about 10 points statewide. Breaking those stats down shows that unlike gay marrige or immagration marijauna legalization is a wedge issue for social conservatives because libertarians, usually considered ultra conservative, support Prop 19 overwhelmingly. Both gun owners and non-gun owners support it. Blacks support it, though not as broadly as libertarians, vets support it...Marijuana legalization's supporters cross many of the traditional demographic blocks. Imagine how the left-right stalemate could be jettisoned in favor of a unified working class throwing off their shackles...ok-ok, that's a bit much, my imagination runneth wild.

Many of the folks who already grow pot for the underground market are worried that legalization will put them outta business, that prices will plummet, that Wal-Mart will start growing mountains of the stuff...i doubt it. The corporations will be scared shitless to invest in an industry that will still be illegal according to federal law. The prices won't drop much, if at all, because the demand for legal pot will soar and not just among Californian's as millions will travel there as pot tourists hungry for the little taste of freedom legal bud would provide. Imagine.

For sure, if it passes, the feds will try to stop it in the courts. But the facts on the ground will belie their efforts. The day the headlines read 'California Legalizes Marijauna' the battle will be won in the hearts and minds of us heathens. The Mud Report asks in the name of Jack Herer that every Californian Vote Yes on Prop. 19

Survey USA Poll Gives California Marijuana Initiative Ten Point Lead - Most of the polls so far have shown Prop 19 leading, but having a tough time getting over the 50% mark. Still, that suggests that Prop 19 can get to that magical 50% plus one by winning over even a very small percentage of undecided voters -- so long as it can keep the voters that it has and get them to the polls.

As vote looms, Northern California ponders how to peddle legal pot - The country and world will be looking at us over this, we need to recapture the sense of freedom and possibility that the '60s were all about," Smithers said. "I would capture that hippie mystique. This is a tie-dye market."


Canadian Kids and Coaches Shine in Williamsport Opener

The Team Canada kids from Little Mountain in the Vancouver area won their opening game today against Panama. It was a great game played in the historic tradition of Little League Baseball. It's easy to be proud of the kids from Little Mountain, they're now 21-0 on their playoff run.

The side story of the team's and especially the coaches' superstitions is one of the best parts. The head coach wears different exceptionally weird pants every game, they carry a smelly old sock from place to place and take turns rubbing it on the coach before the game. They also travel with a mangled porclean goose that they bash if things aren't going well for the team [at 21-0 the goose has mostly been lucky so far i'm guessin'].

Best of all though was Team Canada's 3rd base coach. As the uniformly serious and slightly scared kids approached the batters box they'd look up the 3rd baseline to get their signs from the coach stationed there. Each face in its turn was drawn tight with weight of the moment. The coach, an example to us all, would end his series of signs by taking both hands and pulling his mouth into an exagerated smile as a message to the kid to 'lighten up', to enjoy this wonderful moment. It worked perfectly as each kid's face broke into a broad answering smile just as he stepped up to the plate.

Team Canada's next game will be Monday the 23rd at 2pm-et againt the winner between Chinese Taipei and Saudi Arabia later today. The unanswered question among fans at the forum [below] is: Will it be televised? There's been no word yet out of TSN where i watched today's game. But if they don't televise it i suggest the Rogers Sportsnet Regionals oughtta jump in and do it. Why? First off Team Canada's opener today drew more viewers than any of the 3 Blue Jay games from Oakland that were blacked out accross most of Canada this past week. Second, these kids and their coaches are winners no matter where they end up in the tournament and after Rogers idiotic moves with Sportsnet One it'd do them a lotta good to hang with some winners.



Is Rush Limbaugh a Muslim?

Spent some time this afternoon reading up on 'ol Rush Limbaugh. No matter how deep ya dig ya can never find proof that Rush isn't a Muslim. For sure there's lottsa quotes of him saying he's not a drug addict and look how that turned out. If he isn't a Muslim why is he wearing an obvious Muslim icon as a lapel pin in his OxyContin ads?

Rush is all over everybody he thinks might be a muslim, he calls 'em terrorists or worse. Maybe it's all a smokescreen, maybe he's in denial or still in the closet, but as Shakespear said, "me thinks he doth protest to much".

The Mud Report is calling out Rush Limbaugh. Rush, if you're not a Muslim, prove it!


Jays Fans Outraged at Rogers and Sportsnet One

The furor among Blue Jay's fans continues to build. The mainstream media, the sports media specialists, the comments on the fan forums show that Rogers is in for fight. They must be losing huge money from advertising revenue as their audience is down 94% according to BBM Canada Audience figures. Only 31,000 Canadians watched the Toronto Blue Jays play the Los Angeles Angels on Rogers' SportsNet One television station this past weekend. That number was 94% lower than the more than 480,000 Canadians who tuned into the Jays versus Angels games on existing Sportsnet regional stations on Friday and Sunday.

The Mud Report comes from coastal BC and, like two-thirds of Canada, can't access Sportsnet One even if we wanted to [which we don't]. i watched the ads Rogers ran on the original 4 Sportsnet regional channels this spring. They promised they'd be carrying ALL the Jays games on those Sportsnet stations, they lied.

Rogers arrogance is, unfortunately, common among vertical integration-monopoly capitialists. Capitialists and their corporate henchmen fulminate endlessly about the wonders of competition but the real adgenda is to control every aspect of everything thereby eliminating all competition so they can gorge on the fruits of their monopoly. Rogers owns the Blue Jays, it owns the stadium, it sells the broadcast rights to itself [Rogers' Sportsnet], on its broadcasts it runs ads for its various products including the lies about carrying ALL of this season's Blue Jay games. Rogers are greedy bastards, they believe they can wring a few more bucks outta us but they're gamble is backfiring.

At the moment only Rogers cable subscribers have the option of buying into Sportnet One and they aren't in droves. The rest of us can and certainly should bitch loud and often on the forums linked below or take whatever proactive action we can to get Rogers braintrust to acknowledge their huge error, to apologize to Blue Jays fans for this error and to promise they'll dump to idiot who's idea it was. Every day Rogers is losing big bucks on ad revenue already, as time goes on they'll sell less and less Jays' merchandise, the already terrible home game attendence will get worse, the spin-off of businesses and jobs around Toronto will dwindle and with less revenues the Blue Jays will suffer and so will we the Blue Jays' fans.

FORUMS and Comments:

Jays fans feeling betrayed by Sportsnet

Jays on Sportsnet One

Pawns in a game of chicken

Jays audience on SportsNet One down 94%


Sportsnet One Boycott Sweeps Canada

Got a warm fuzzy feeling today when i googled 'Boycott Sportsnet One', Jays fans from coast to coast to coast are up in arms about the loss of access to many Jays games because of the greed and stupidity of Rogers. The baseball and Jays forums are 100% in agreement that Boycotting Sportsnet One is imperative, i agree totally. In addition to boycotting Rogers Sportsnet One i'm going to start a list of advertisers who appear regularly on Sportsnet and send them all emails outlining how few folks can actually watch the Jays games that will be taken over by the greedy bastards and suggest they join the grassroots cross-Canada boycott of Rogers Sportsnet One.

Jays fans aren't the only ones Rogers' corporate braintrust has in their sites, Raptors fans will get the same treatment, Leafs, Canucks, Canadians, Flames, Oilers fans too will have their turn come fall. Soccer fans won't have to wait long either, the boardroom bullies at Rogers will try to squeeze them too, same for rugby, same for...all of 'em and all of us.

We who already pay cable and satellite providers through the nose to watch endless commercials must stand together immediately to nip this corporate ripoff in the bud. We must scream bloody murder, email our friends, add your commenst on the web's forums, etc. You can bet the snivelng leeches in Sportnet's braintrust are watching the comments, reading the articles and feeling a bit queasy today. They must be made to see the error of their ways, made to understand how quickly merchandise revenues can dry up, how quickly advertisers will bolt when a Canada wide backlash starts to focus on them. To bad Ted Rogers is gone, he knew how to build a team and a fan base for the long run, now we have to deal with the snake oil salesmen who've taken over the Jays and Sportsnet.

Sports fans of Canada unite, you have nothing to lose except Sportsnet One.

Sportsnet One has Jays fans up in arms
Jays fans angry over launch of Rogers SportsNet One

Jays' Marcum one-hits A's  the comment here at the Toronto Sun by nklenman [August 17th 2010, 12:27pm] pretty much sums up the feelings of Jays fans: I am joining the Rogers boycott and have given Fido notice that my four year relationship with them goes into the toilet. Those greedy fools. Trying to force the hand of the cable channels to carry their Sportsnet One, with the games we already get free in return for suffering their interminable commercials. Well, I have had it. Who needs 'em? We get a fourth place team, ok, fine, we can watch it grow... maybe. But Rogers? The late founder must be barfing in his Valhalla. He was a gentleman and a sportsman, and he has left it all in the hands of jerks, fools, baby execs without a brain in their heads. So we missed Marcum's performance? Go ahead, Rogers. See if we care.


The Sacred Stakeholders of Cascadia

I Am Cascadian is a revolutionary concept because it empowers all forms, not just humans, as stakeholders in the bio-region. We the flora, fauna, microbes and minerals evolve through time in response to the challenges and oppurtunities presented by the geology and climate we are immersed in. Just as the Salmon are Sacred so too are all forms in our interwoven world, the birds, the bees, the flowers, the trees, the mountains, the rain...we're all in this together. The idea of Cascadia acknowledges a higher order than the schemes of the greedy deluded humans.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world”. - John Muir

The system of borders in use today tries to divide the undivisible in an attempt to own and control nature's bounty as well as enslave the working class into doing their bidding. Borders control the free movement of labour but not capitial, borders are like the fences in a stockyard designed to protect the power of the few from the wrath of the many. When i see/hear the explosion of misdirected emotion along the Arizona-Mexico border i realize how well this particular form of tyranny has worked to divide the poor and divert their attentions away from their common oppressor. If, instead of the free-trade bullshit, we palavered over fair-trade agreements the results would be decent living wages on both sides of the border along with far fairer treatment for the overall ecology of the bio-regions that that false border tries but fails to divide.

The demise of our present understanding democracy will unfold we embrace the concept of the bio-region. The defination of democracy stands on the definations of stakeholder rights and who gets to vote. Remember that not long ago we white guys were able to deceive ourselves in believing that women and blacks weren't deserving, now we're saying only humans. we've deceived ourselves before, and we are again.

Over time, Life shapes the planet while the planet shapes Life. We are all stakeholders in the biosphere, we will either survive together or not survive at all.


Bio-Regions trump Borders

The Salish Sea and Wrangellia are a portion of the bio-region of Cascadia. Cascadia is most often defined as the watershed of rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean through North America's temperate rainforest zone. Cascadia extends from northern California to southern Alaska - along a coastline once cloaked in nearly continuous rainforest - and inland as far as the Continental Divide.

Cascadia's common ecology has naturally bonded all its inhabitants, flora ,fauna, mineral and microbe, into an interdependent whole, the only 'real' political unit. Cascadia is a powerful political idea in that it transcends the present system of borders. Cascadia is evolving, some people already call themselves 'Cascadians'.

Cascadia's interwoven ecology has driven common cultural themes in response to her climate and character through different eras. Each eras inhabitants had to deal with the rain, the rivers, the forest, the bears, including ours. This building of community through time is key to the political power of a bio-region.

Our present borders are built to control and organize humans exclusively. Surveyors shoot straight lines accross valley and mountaintop alike without notice for the wholeness being divided. i can see from satellite photos that the Great Mother takes even less notice of the political lines.

Divide-Divide-Divide, if there must be political boundries to control the masses then they should reflect the underlying bio-regions. But way better is to just live, undivided, free, like the roaring waters and the soaring raven.

Cascadia, land of falling waters - Perched high on the edge of the sea, Cascadia is a land of “Mountains & Rivers Without End” (Gary Snyder). A region where rivers are knives, and glaciers, plows. A world in which water in all its forms animates everything, inscribing a living memory into the landscape. Water is the voice of this place, calling life into the land. This bioregion is named for the white waters streaming down the north Pacific slope. Cascadia is a land of falling waters….


Riding The Edge Wrangellia

We live along the live along the crumpled southeastern edge of Wrangellia. Almost everyday we walk through a Regional District Park where the granite intrusions rub shoulders with the far older basalts of the Wrangellia Terrane. Wrangellia, like almost all of the rocks that underlie British Columbia, was formed elsewhere and transported here in the distant geological past.

The margin of the North American continent has grown westward from the Alberta border by the addition of exotic fragments of the Earth's crust, which geologists call 'terranes'. Wrangellia Terrane originated within what is now the Pacific Ocean and was transported northeasterly on the now mostly subucted Farallon plate to collide with North America about 100 million years ago. The force of this collision crumpled North American rocks as far to the east as the Rocky Mountains.

Small chuncks of the once mammouth Farallon plate are still being suducted by the relentless westward crawl of the North American plate. The Jaun de Fuca plate, off the west coast of fair Wrangellia, is one such chunk. Wrangellia is still slowly compressing/uplifting and will continue to until the last bits of ancient Farallon are subducted many millions of years from now.

Riding west now, along with the rest of North America, here on the edge of Wrangellia won't give me motion sickness, but it can be liberating during those fleeting moments when, by paying attention to Wrangellia's long ride on the Farallon, its suturing onto N. America, and its subsequent change of heading, i catch a glimpse of deep time. How uplifting it is to realize that all the dubious 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, a bit of fossil, or in my case decayed tooth. The birds will sing, the fishes will swim and long will Wrangellia abide despite us.


The Salish Sea and the Georgia Depression

The Salish Sea, showing the Strait of Georgia near centre, the Strait of Juan de Fuca below, Puget Sound at the lower-right, Johnstone Strait at the extreme upper-left, Pacific Ocean at lower left. Sediment from the Fraser River is visible as a greenish plume in the Strait of Georgia.

When i look at the map above the first thing i notice is the lack of political borders. The Strait of Georgia drains a huge watershed and contains a unique interdependent ecosystem. The surveyor's lines were invisible to the salmon, mussels, oysters, cod, shrimp and orcas among the countless flora that once thrived here, the Salish Sea too recognizes the 'real' boundries of sea, land and sky.

All the geo-political lines i'm used to seeing on a map are unreal divisions used by the powerful few to divide the many. The 'real' political lines, if there must be any, would be far better if they reflected the interconnectedness of each watershed than the arbitrary post-colonial crap they do now.

Geologically the Salish Sea represents what's called the Georgia Depression which further shows the bio-region's cohesion even down to its glacial, sedimentary, terrane boundry and tectonic roots.

The Coast Salish are a grouping of indigenous peoples of common cultural origin who have lived in southwest British Columbia, and northwest Washington State and shared a common linguistic history since at least 8,000 B.C.E. They lived in commune with the abundance of The Great Mother. My white anglo-saxon ancestors slaughtered them, used biological warfare to exterminate these gentle people, then they stole the land, the sea and the sky. Today we continue to rape the bounty our ancestors stole, but not for much longer, in under 200 years we've scoured the sea beds, polluted the land and the air. Soon, at our present pace, the capitialists will have wrung the life out of every square inch of paradise here and beyond. Hopefully some little bits will have escaped, some seeds will remain to sprout, a few fish will re-migrate, a random salmon will re-explore once perfect habitat and The Great Mother will once again abide in and around the Salish Sea

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do." - Samuel P. Huntington


Salmon Are Sacred in the Salish Sea

The last few days my inbox has contained quite a few invitations to visit Alexandra Morton's site 'Salmon Are Sacred' and learn about the issues surrounding the IHN virus in feedlot salmon, its effect on wild salmon runs, the industry/government attempts to cover-up information and evade the inspection process.

My biologist friend Jon's email got me started: Here is the easy to sign petition re: inspections and transparency of the fish farms. Alexandra Morton has good evidence they've hidden IHN outbreaks in sockeye and they are trying to deregulate the inspections. I've studied and worked with IHN virus in salmon and it is deadly to fingerling sockeye. Please read Alexandra's letter and go to the petition site, sign and pass on the link. We don't have much time if you read her letter. We need transparency on these inspections absolutely. - Jon

Reading through a bit of Alexandra's blog one quickly sees her hard work and dedication to science and wild salmon. She has lived a life immersed in the wonder of the sea and land, she has been a tireless defender of the flora and fauna in and around The Salish Sea.

i ususally don't get involved with promoting or even signing online petitions because they are so often easily dismissed, but this is different, this is part of the sixty-day public input period, this supports Alexandra Morton's monumental efforts on our behalf and as Jon says above, "We don't have much time".

The federal government has released their proposed Federal Pacific Aquaculture Regulations with a sixty-day public input period. These regulations role back the safe-guards we have in British Columbia to prevent heavy industrialization and privatization of the coast at the expense of our communities. - Alexandra Morton


'Drop Out' of the system consuming the earth

'Drop Out' would be a decent title for my biography. Having spent my entire adult life doing my best, i realize it's not easy. Timothy Leary said, " 'Drop Out' meant an elective, selective, graceful process of self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change." For Leary it was another step on the ontological ladder of awakening, but for the 60's culture it was a call to physcial as well as metaphyscial change.

Millions of flower children dropped out of the surburbs and cities to return to the land only to find out why their grandparents had quit being small farmers. It was, and always will be, a lot more hard work than romantic interlude. Some stayed and became the forerunners of today's organic foods and local distribution networks. Many were called, as they say, few were chosen by the tests of endurance and commitment to succeed.

Awakening for the 60's counter-culture included resistance to the war, millions marched, many thousands left for Canada. Awakening now must include resistance to those same destructive forces that now threaten to consume the earth. Everbody has a unique life and circumstances, each, hopfully, draws their own line on how to resist those forces. Leary's ladder led to an independent worldview, to learning, to change and to action.

All action starts small and grows. One step, or maybe step 1, is into the cash economy. Ask for a cash deal everywhere, especially here in BC where i live, pay cash for any and every service. Get paid in cash, if you can't, think of changing things so you can. Become a plumber or a gardener or a roofer or a million things that exist in the underground economy. Buy local and spend cash, an easy way to spit in the Empire's drink. Another rung up might be growing your own everything, self-employment, vegetarianism, pedal power. We live in desperate times though and unfortunately there's very little overall effect, beyond awakening individuals, accomplished by baby steps.

Do i know what to do? Hell no. But i've thrown 'em a few curve balls in my day, and i've still got a change up or two left in me, look foward to throwing 'em. i do know it feels good to have less, to want less, to 'Drop Out', as far as possible, from the capitialist system that is consuming our mother earth, to read, to learn, to resist.


'Tune In', immerse in the miracle of the moment.

Leary's exhortation to 'Tune In' meant to interact harmoniously with the world. Leary and the many merry pranksters of the 60's practiced and studied the universial truths as spoken by the great teachers of all cultures down through time. All sought immersion in the 'one' and to recognize that paradise is here and now in the miracle of the moment.

"The Goddess in all her manifestations was a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature. Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hill, trees, and flowers." - Marija Gimbutas

The 60's were a time of exhileration, revolution was on the tongue, change was in the air. Some challenged the politics of war, some challenged ridicoulous racism, some were feminists challenging the male dominated culture, some used psychedelics and pot to open their doors of perception. Leary's message was to use the glimpses of that greater reality afforded while bypassing the petty tyrannt of our conditioned veil to bootstrap ourselves beyond the illusion of duality and toward the illumnation of our immersion in the ground of being.

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


'Turn On' to the tyranny of the prefrontal cortex

Timothy Leary was a PHD in pschyology before he was a psychedelic daredevil. His advice to 'Turn On' was informed by his formal academic training and his experiences while investigating some of the various methods employed by the peoples of every culture, in every era, to bypass the tyranny of the prefrontal cortex. There are many scolarly works on the roll the prefrontal cortex plays in our consciousness, please, like Leary, inform yourself.

Basically the prefrontal cortex produces an inner movie that 'the decider' watches. The producer makes sure the movie maintains a cohesion with past events and fits in with our assumptions about the future. Every mental movie is a matrix woven of incoming sensual data and the priorities of the prefrontal cortex. This production takes time, only milliseconds, but still long enough for most all of us to have had an experince of time slowing down when we are thrust into a dangerous situation like a car crash when the adrenaline of the moment forces our inner decider to watch and react directly with our sensual input.

Leary, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Kesey, Alpert and we fellow inner travelers had read The Doors of Perception, a 1954 book by Aldous Huxley detailing his experiences when taking mescaline. In it Huxley does an excellant job of defining the cultural veil through which we experience the 'real' world. Huxley lays out a framework for catching a glimpse beyond our doors via the psychedelic experience. Millions of us experimented on this fast lane to enlightenment, a few saw the light, a few tried flying off all buildings and the vast majority turned on to the fact that their awareness was anything but absolute.

Many who tried the psychedelic experience later continued their odyssey by practicing ancient asian rituals whose goals are the same, escape from the tyranny of the prefrontal cortex, but whose much safer methods are both slower and more enduring if accomplished. For Leary to 'Turn On' was a step on the pathway to the fullness and richness of life that we all can enjoy. To 'Turn On' in the 60's meant to seek more not less.

The classic Taoist text, the Tao Te Ching, begins with the words, “The Tao that can be spoken of is not the everlasting Tao,” and many of the following pages reinforce this theme. Language – that uniquely human and most powerful of all artifacts created by our pfc – is seen as anathema to an understanding of the Tao. Similarly, when we turn to Buddhist thought, we find a systematic attempt to undo the constraints of the pfc’s conceptualizations. The Buddhist emphasis on living in the present moment can be seen as a way to avoid the constructions of past and future that are the hallmark of pfc-mediated activity. Interestingly, these traditions shared an emphasis on cultivating the mind through the practice of meditation, to integrate mind and body and to quiet the incessant chatter of our pfc-based inner narratives. - Finding the LI


Turn on, tune in, drop out - still good advice

Timothy Leary said his famous 60's quote 'turn on, tune in, drop out' was mostly misinterpreted to mean 'Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity' contrary to his explanations of it as a sequence of personal development. “ 'Turn on' meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. 'Tune in' meant interact harmoniously with the world around you - externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. 'Drop Out' meant an elective, selective, graceful process self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change." - Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary's sage advice, delivered in the psychedelic 60's, is still good advice today. Psychedelic drugs weren't the only way Leary and his merry band experimented with their neural equipment but, unfortunately, the media clamped onto the quote's catchy-ness, spun it and shrunk it down to popular culture digestability losing its real depth of meaning.

Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass) were my spiritual mentors in the 60's. They led a generation of flower children on the many interwoven developmental pathways to inner clarity, to 'turn on'. Their experiments helped my fellow searchers see that our worldview is relative, that we experience all sensation through our 'doors of perception'. Sometimes, using these insights, we fellow travelers were able to 'tune in' to our intimate connection with all of creation. i'll be attempting to expand on these visionaries' insights in the coming days.

The Flower Children 'dropped out', they went back to the land,  formed communes, roused enviromental awareness, grew and distributed organic food, smoked a buncha homegrown,... Things have changed in the last 50 years, including my mind many times. But as Leary also said, "You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind."


Victory Through Vegetables, undermine the paradigm one carrot at a time.

The old saying, "a penny saved is a penny earned" is only half the story. For sure that penny you didn't spend is still in your pocket but it also hasn't gone whirling through the 'economy' either. With each whirl a bite gets for taken out for somebody's profits, interest and taxes. It's the Toilet Bowl theory of economics. Just like how gravity pulls at the water going around in the toilet so that quickly all the water is down the drain, so to do profits, interest and taxes pull the buying power of your penny down the drain after a few revolutions.

In Money and Banking class, about a million years ago, i learned that velocity matters far more than volume in matters financial. Every time the economy turns over the billionaires, bankers, government get a their bite. The faster the action, regardless of the size, the better. The demands of velocity are relentless, the mortage works night and day, Sundays and holidays always moving, always multiplying even when we sleep.

Just as a penny saved is a penny denied the draw of the drain so to is money not spent on most stuff. Money not spent is profits ungouged, interest unaccrued and taxes uncollected. Money unspent retains its potential energy in your pocket and still creates a effect by denying the drain the kinetic energy it would have otherwise had. So too for the stuff your penny didn't buy, it too didn't consume the embedded bite of the drain at each exchange on its journey to your house.

Imagine a corrot, two carrots really. One carrot you grow in a patch out back, the other grows in some agro-industrial complex somewhere. Your backyard carrot grew from a tiny seed, was fed by the sun, the microbes in the soil and your watering. It arrived in your kitchen, as the Japanese say, "right on time", its quality is beyond comparison with its agrobusiness lookalike, it has an almost zero embedded carbon footprint, it has in fact sequestered atmospheric carbon to grow itself [its orangy goodness the product of Gaia's alchemy], its remains return to the compost as food for the microrganisms whose poop will feed next season's bounty. One little carrot can make a triple difference, #1 the penny you still have, #2 the penny denied to the drain and #3 the embedded costs to the enviroment uncharged by the unbought agro-carrot.

We can change the world one carrot at a time if need be. Victory Through Vegetables!


Punctuated Equilibrium and the Lone Wolf

Punctuated equilibrium was developed as an alternative to gradualism, which stresses consistent, cumulative changes to species. Ice core samples from Greenland and Antactica show the same 'punctuated equilibrium' has ruled our climate's evolution as well. Human evolution, same story, millions of years as hunter-gathers, then along came agriculture and huge rapid change 10,000 years ago.

Culture too evolves through long slow periods punctuated by abrupt change. A few minutes on the morning of 9/11 changed the minds of millions, mostly for the bad, it showed the power of fear, the cohesion of the pack in defence against outsiders. Culture attempts to resists abrupt change in favor of gradualism in defense of its dominate icons just as individuals do when their worldview is abruptly shaken by the outsiders, the unknown.

The unknown is powerful, it lives always just beyond the edge of our control, it sits, like the lone wolf, overlooking our valley, waiting. The pack of wolves in the valley changes its leadership gradually, internally, the new leader and old are part of the pack. The lone wolf waits.

Every system undergoes periods of choas at some point. No matter how stable any grouping may appear in the present its future is never totally predictable because of all the things we just don't know. Our system, western capitialism, appears stable, but sitting silently on a distant hill is the lone wolf watching our paradigm crumble, waiting for its time and another punctuated equilibrium.