It's Canada vs. Sweden today at 1PM [pst], it's on TSN up here in Canada and the arena will be rocking. It's 3+ hours before game time and apparently the border crossing from between fair Canuckistan and Buffalo N.Y. is jammed. A few minutes ago the OPP issued an advisory to warn motorists about a high volume of traffic at the three major crossing points in Niagara headed to the U.S. due to the hockey game that's part of the World Junior Hockey Championships.

Both teams are 3-0, both have handled the competition with equal ease-including the Russians. Today's game will determine which team gets the easier route through next weeks playoffs as well as bragging rights. Canada won the preliminary round exhibition game last week and will be the favorite today, but the Swedes have a good team and great goalie.

i love the buzz up here among sports fans. Usually folks have their favorite team. Most everybody around here roots for their homeys, the Vancouver Canucks, in the NHL. One friend is a die hard Montreal Canadians fan and ya see other folks wearing other gear here and there so ya never know and are always polite about demeaning the opposition.

The WJHC and the Olympics are the exceptions. Today normally reserved Canadians are streaming across the border dressed is red and white, waving their flags, painting their faces, trying to remain polite and trying to drink all the beer in Buffalo. Good luck to 'em, and better luck still to our Juniors. May their powerplay be powerful-may their goalie be hot-may their fans cheers be rewarded.



Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble Coming for Commodities

Bubble is the word that defines any asset that is overpriced because of investment hysteria. Right now all commodity's prices, other than gold and silver which are really currency hedges, are rising far faster than their real 'value' because of renewed speculative activity which keeps pumping up the commodity bubble. There’s a lot of money going into the commodities market and that drives prices through the roof.

Particularly mind numbing is the number of pension funds throwing cash at the commodities market. Pension funds, already hit hard back in 2008, seem determined to make the same mistakes again. Pension funds are under pressure, mandated, to invest. Millions of new dollars flow into their coffers from the paychecks of workers each month and fund managers must produce quarterly profits or perish. Then there's the securitization of commodities, works almost exactly like the securitization of mortgages did during the last bubble, which is the latest of Wall St.'s billion dollar 'free lunch' schemes.

The commodity bubble, like all bubbles, will eventually end. When it does the entire house of cards is going to come crashing down and we are going to experience a very bitter economic collapse. As Guy McPherson says, "You and I didn’t start the fire of empire. But we’re about to see it extinguished."

i don't play carnival capitalism personally, i'd just as soon stick to roulette, but it does piss me off that millions of people who have worked hard all their lives while looking forward to their retirement will once again take a shit kicking when this bubble bursts. The speculators and the banks borrow money at nearly 0% and use it to blow bubbles, they take the 'profits', dividends and fees as the bubble expands then, when the music ends, the security's owner-the pension fund- inherit's the wind.


Resist Fascism Through Small Acts of Resistance

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.

The facts are clear, our governments are corrupted by money, the money and the money-changers rule. Robert Scheer's article today at Truthdig nicely summarizes this. But he offers no solutions, no plan of action, no path out. The beginning of the path out for me was to step into the cash economy.

i started to ask for a cash deal everywhere and pay cash for every service. Then to 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 cash economy. Buying local and spending cash is a small way to spit in a banker's beer. The top one percent of the richest have wealth equal to the bottom 90 percent. Action, if not now, when?

All action starts small and grows. Start small, but start. Each time an individual freely chooses the cash economy they take back a little extra money and gain a little self-esteem. Corporate control is so vast that people everywhere are taking action against the reckless corporate steamroller. For me it feels good to have less, to want less, to 'drop out' of the capitalist system that is consuming our mother earth, to read, to learn, to live freely through small acts of resistance

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt


Neanderthal's and the Assumptions of Authority

For instance, i've just been reading a few of news and science articles this morning about the latest Neanderthal research from researchers in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Their study found that Neanderthals, prehistoric cousins of humans, ate grains and vegetables as well as meat, cooking them over fire. The evidence, from cave sites in Iraq and Belgium, also suggests Neanderthals controlled fire in much the same way as Homo Sapiens.

Anthropologists had long assumed that Neanderthal's were carnivores exclusively and that their restricted diet and inability to cook were major factors in their extinction and that our direct ancestors, Homo Sapiens, survived in large part because of a more varied diet.

When scientists were asked how such a huge error could be made, they answered, "We've tended to assume that if you have a very high value for protein in the diet that must come from meat. But... it's possible that some of the protein in their diet was coming from plants.". Dah. Hunter, gatherer, vegetarian masterchef-Neanderthal's ate a cooked and raw mixed diet of  many plants, including wild grass, legumes, palm dates, roots and tubers.

Expert judgment always plays a large role in the assessment of evidence and the conclusions drawn from it. Here is another example of how the conclusions of science, like all human endeavor, aren't objective, are limited by our current knowledge and our culturally derived assumptions and aren't-by definition-a 'conclusion'. To conclude is to end, good science never ends. We each see events through a unique mindset, we triage incoming information to manage the deluge. We rely on the conclusions of authorities to inform our worldview, but to often forget that authorities are just people and people love to apply nice tidy conclusions that verify their hopes and assumptions. Uncertainty is science's only valid conclusion and the hobgoblin of authority.


Canada Invades Buffalo N.Y.

Yesterday the World Junior Hockey Championship started in Buffalo N.Y. and the borders were busting as the red and white bedecked Canadians jammed the crossings. Over 2/3 of the tickets sold to the 11 day tournament were bought by us Great White Northeners. All of Team Canada's games are sold out in advance. The World Juniors are a huge national event up here, not so much anywhere else.

Yesterday the crowds sang 'Oh Canada' outside on the streets of Buffalo and in the arena. It was a great game in that the Canadian kids and fans got a scare as the Russians scored early, then tied and retied the score through the first two periods. Then we Team Canada fans all got to cheer as the boys showed their stuff and moved on to a 6-3 win in the last 20minutes.. It's early, the first game of 4 in the round robin, but the boys looked good last night thsat's for sure. Click Here to see a full tournament schedule.

Many folks, including me, aren't huge fans of NHL type hockey. Sometimes its good, but so often its fights and intimadation ruin a lot of what is the best part of the game. Hockey isn't golf, but it isn't MMA either. The junior tournament gives north american fans an oppurtunity to see the game played in a more international style, with many international rules. The european countries are always at a disadvantage because the smaller size ice surfaces over here favor tighter checking and far less wide open skating.

Canada and Canadians are known for their calm-polite demeanor in all things...except hockey.
Next up: Canada vs. Czech Republic at 1PM[pst] on Tuesday.
Go Canada Go


On Boxing Day Aussies go to Bondi-Canadians go to the Mall

Living in Canada i hear anthem of 'Boxing Day Sales'. Every year i see millions of Canadians on TV lined up outside the stores in the freezing cold for another fix. The shopaholics, i guess, are so juiced up from their unbridled frenzy that they can't come down cold turkey, they need a little 'hair of the dog', crack addict like they lineup outside the dealer's house.

The conspicous consumption season makes me ashamed and guilty. Ashamed to be a part of this culture of consumption. Guilty because the vast majority of my fellow human beings can barely feed their families yet, zombie like, we the privlidged gorge on what should be everyone's lunch.

Aussie's have a different tradition, they go to the beach. Bondi Beach is the most famous at this time of year. Thousands are there to see and be seen. Aussies are different from Canadians in lottsa ways, bigger shrimp, bigger beer cans, better weather and more sharks being a few. Everyone i've known who's gone there has loved it, the younger the better. Austrailians love to party, Canadians love hockey.

So today, i'll pass on the 'deals', i'll wish the weather was beachy and i'll root for our Canadian kids to beat their Russian counterparts in today's tournament opener for both teams. The World Junior Hockey Championships starts every year on Boxing Day, it's the best hockey all year long. The whole country unites behind our young heroes. If you can't be at Bondi and more consumption isn't your thing, check out TSN [up here in Canuckistan]. Gametime is 1PM pacific, a half hour from now, plenty of time to roll a big fatty and get ready to rumble.


Dealing With The Christmas Blues

Googled Christmas depression this morning, got 80,800,000 results. Guess i'm not as alone as i feel. Christmas is a wonderfully exciting time of year for most people, yet it is the most likely time of year to experience depression. The suicide rate is twice as high in December. What are these holiday blues?

Almost all of the articles written by mental health professionals list the symptoms as sadness, pressure, loneliness, guilt, depression, anger, frustration and bitterness. Almost all say that seasonal affective disorder [SAD] plays a big part in it. Most go on to list financial pressures and keeping up with the Joneses next. They suggest turning up the lights in your home as a remedy.

SAD sufferers might well jolly up a bit by turning up the lights, but not moi. i used to go stand in the halide lights in my basement each day as Dec. 25th approached but the intense light made no difference though smoking the dried flowers growing there did. i'm feeling quite down today [guess that's why i started this exercise]. Another recipe the pros recommend for dealing with the Christmas Blues is to reach out and call someone, not to bum them out but to try to communicate with someone outside the 'blue room'.

i will call my daughter, i will-as soon as this is published-roll and partake in a big fat joint, i will go for a long walk in the park with my best friend Pancho. Don't know what i'd do without my best friend especially on mornings like this with the rain pouring down and the wind blowing it sideways. Everyday Pancho greets me with kisses and wags. We live our little lives together, she gives me her unconditional love and i do my best to return it in kind. This morning as i sat petting her and getting kisses i told her that all this is temporary, that this too shall pass.


Buy Less, Buy Logical, Buy Local

The pressure is on, jingle bells, batman smells, buy-buy-buy all the way. The culture of more creates endless pressure, more always needs. Less lightens the load, less creates fullness, lowers pressure. Of course we all live complicated lives and we all must buy stuff, but when we do why not be logical about it, why be driven by the advertising industry's emotional manipulation. Buy only what you need, live within your means, if you need something and can't make it yourself, buy logically, buy locally.

Food is a large fraction of every one's budget and definitely a need. The rise in awareness of the benefits of buying local organic food is exponential and almost everywhere people have some choice. Expanding those choices, producing and marketing more food locally means new jobs in your neighborhood, dollars pumped back into the local economy, lowered greenhouse gas emissions in both transportation and production.

On another level organic cultivation sequesters carbon back in the soil where it belongs. "The extent of carbon sequestration found and the impressive ability of organic systems to capture carbon are important results that should be used by policy makers when planning future agriculture development." Paul Hepperly, The Rodale Institute's research manager.

La Via Campesina is leading the charge of the small scale organic peasant revolution internationally but its up to each of us as individuals to change the world by changing ourselves. Wanting and buying less, buying logically and locally when we must buy creates real long term wealth in our communities.

Create a Local Food Bill

Local Food Plus (LFP)


Organics 4 Orphans-Transforming Agriculture in Africa

"Without a transformation of agriculture in Africa, how will future generations ever raise themselves out of poverty?" - Organics 4 Orphans. Their initiative seeks to address extreme poverty by helping African communities move from food reliance into conditions of self-sufficiency – even into surplus.

They’re doing this by equipping small-scale farmers with the resources and knowledge to farm organically and productively, and then asking those farmers to help the orphans in their communities. By alleviating the strain of food insecurity in poor, rural areas, Organics 4 Orphans creates capacity in those communities to care for orphans, the most vulnerable of the extreme poor.

Their strategies center on rural farming communities, because they believe Africa's future depends on its ability to transform agriculture. Because organic agriculture projects are central to their strategy, they're also contributing to a greener environment for orphans to inherit. The program is low-cost, community-based and sustainable. To learn more about this small group evolved by reading: 'In the Beginning...'

Organic farming can become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong. Organics 4 Orphans works to help make the transition to organic farming in Africa that the Africans need to sustain their lives and that we all our children worldwide will benefit from in the future.

"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


The winter solstice another turn in the procession of the spheres.

The sun-goddess Amaterasu of Japanese mythology emerges from her seclusion in a cave. Tricked by the other gods with a loud celebration she peeks out to look and finds the image of herself in a mirror and is convinced by the other gods to return, bringing sunlight back to the universe

It's winter now, our giant home has just a few minutes ago passed its maximum axial tilt. We're now slowly tipping back, our little hideout is now facing the sun a bit longer and the sun is a bit higher each day, the big picture. There have been December celebrations in almost all northern hemispheric cultures down through history to mark this auspicious day.

The Mesopotamians were likely first, with a 12-day festival of renewal, designed to help the god Marduk tame the monsters of chaos for one more year. The Stone Age 'Newgrange' monument in Ireland dates to around 3200 B.C., making it 500 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and a thousand years older than England's Stonehenge. Almost every ancient culture built their greatest architectures - tombs, temples, cairns and sacred observatories - so that they aligned with the solstices and equinoxes.

Reading about the ancient myths associated with the winter solstice today led me to realize that the return of the sun was and is part of each culture's creation myth. Winter was a very difficult time for people in the northern latitudes in pre-historic times. On the winter solstice they would have had reason to celebrate as they saw the sun rising and strengthening once more. Although many months of cold weather remained before spring, they took heart that the return of the warm season was inevitable. The concept of birth and or death/rebirth became associated with the winter solstice.

Here in coastal BC we missed the full eclipse of the moon last night, it was raining, imagine that. And today must be near 10C, so mild i think my dog is starting to shed-again. This kinda weather can stick around all winter in my opinion. The winter solstice another turn in the procession of the spheres.

The rising of the sun
The running of the deer,
The playing of the drum,
Sweet music to the ear.


Tar Sands Producers Should Shift To Geothermal Power

The Alberta tar sands consumes huge amounts, gigajoules, of natural gas to create steam. This gas consumption is one of the main factors that opponents refer to when they oppose existing the tar sands projects in Alberta and proposed ones in the western US states.

The first commercial geothermal facility in the Alberta oil sands could be pulling heat out of the ground and displacing the use of natural gas as early as 2012, according to the head of an oil-company consortium established to investigate the emission-free energy source. Sounds good, to good, eh. It is a long term prospect, and these are tiny baby steps aimed more at the PR department than Engineering.

"Canadians are some world's best at advanced exploration and drilling technologies. Not surprisingly, members of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) also produce more than 20 per cent of the world's geothermal energy. They just don't do it here. The almost complete absence of government support means that all of this green energy infrastructure in being installed somewhere else. That's right -- the total geothermal energy capacity in Canada is zero." - Mitchell Anderson

As a resource glutton the size of the U.S. becomes increasingly dependent on Canadian oil the independence and security of Canadian resources for Canadians will evaporate. Without a Canadians-first long term policy the resource that could-should power Canada well into the future will be squandered in the name of bullshit for billionaires. The growth in production and resultant destruction of the ecology needn't happen, conservation, regulations that demand the use geothermal power to produce steam and a national energy policy that gives the shafta NAFTA would convert the tar sands from Canada's albatross to its horn of plenty.

Instead Albertan and Canadian officials, politicians and oil sands corporations are teaming to oppose climate change laws across America. In Canada's fight to stop individual states from lower fuel carbon standards like Calif. is doing.

Nikiforuk Pores Over Royal Society's Oil Sands Study - What the scientists got right, and missed, in their high-profile, largely damning report.


Emiliano Zapata-Revolutionary Defender of the Commons

Zapata was one of the two the most famous leaders of the Mexican Revolution, the other being Pancho Villa. Zapata was paid much lip but his revolutionary ideas are ignored by those who inherited the power won in the Revolution. Zapata's 'revolution as defence of the nation' is still a vibrant force in rural and indigenous Mexico today.

Zapata's Liberation Army of the South did not accept the new government, the Zapatistas fought on. The Zapatistas demanded 'tierra y libertad' - land and freedom - for their people. This was the core of Zapata's 'Plan de Ayala', clearly influenced by anarchist ideas, Zapata and his followers demanded the socialisation of land.

"The lands, forests and water that have been usurped ... will be immediately restored to the villages or citizens who have title to them ... Because the great majority of Mexicans own nothing more than the land they walk on ... one third of these properties will be expropriated ... so that the villages and citizens of Mexico may obtain ejidos , sites for towns, and fields." - Emiliano Zapata

A lot has changed in our world during the last 100 years, but Zapata's memory, like his ghost, rides on in Mexico. His name has been invoked by the indigenous rebel army in Chiapas, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), in their struggle against exactly the same social ills that Zapata fought against: large landlords and (often foreign-owned) big business running a corrupt and repressive régime that leaves the peasants, particularly indigenous peoples, landless and exploited. Throughout this century, people all over the world have risen up against oppression, taking heart from Zapata.

On 1 January 1994 the EZLN seized power in parts of Chiapas, southern Mexico, calling for the reforms Zapata had fought and died for. Forty thousand federal troops still surround the revolutionaries. The struggle of the indigenous and oppressed people of Mexico has never ceased and the EZLN have captured the imagination and support of many


The Prairie-Chicken wiped out in Canada

"The Greater Prairie-Chicken, a bird that once numbered in the millions on the grasslands, is now considered wiped out in Canada" - Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

From millions of birds to none in about 100 years, the prairie-chicken has been wiped out in Canada. Another sad symptom of our suicidal short term lust to turn the consumption of the biosphere's bounty into quick bucks. The first Europeans to encounter North America's grasslands stood atop many feet of topsoil built up over millennia, the sequestered carbon exceeding 500 billion tons. Today, along with the prairie chicken, the top soil's extinction is imminent in most of the grassland's former domain.

When those first explorers and pioneers arrived on the North American prairie they saw the living grasslands from horizon to horizon. The most abundant types of plant life being: Buffalo Grass, Sunflower, Crazy Weed, Asters, Blazing Stars, Coneflowers, Goldenrods, Clover, and Wild Indigos. They saw a cornucopia of animals in the grasslands: Coyotes, Eagles, Bobcats, the Gray Wolf, Wild Turkey, Fly Catcher, Canadian Geese, Crickets, Dung Beetle, Bison, and of course the Prairie Chicken.

Thousands of years of agriculture have created ecological crisis throughout the world, but nowhere is the story more dramatic than in the North American grassland. We fenced the range, slaughtered the bison, overgrazed our cattle and over harvested the land. We ate up the topsoil, killed the microbes that sustained it with our fertilizers, harvested and harvested until the drought and the wind blew it away.

DNA evidence has concluded that the prairie-chicken is a species native to North America and has been around for at least 9,000 years. The flora and fauna of the grasslands created and sustained each other once, they could again. If the grasslands of North America were to allowed to live again they would begin to re-sequester the biomass we insanely used up. The grasslands and the prairie chicken can make a comeback, we, the rogue primate, can learn to live with our cousins not off them.

Nature has given us clear instructions as to how we must redesign agriculture and economy to resurrect the creative power of the plains. These instructions point the way not only to ecological restoration, but also to revived economy and human well-being. - Richard Manning


I Love The CBC

This morninng an old friend's email arrived extolling me to learn about the perilous situation the CBC. In part the email says: "Stephen Harper’s secret plan for the CBC was revealed on November 23rd when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage mused publicly about killing our public broadcaster! Consider for a moment: cutting CBC’s grant would kill CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Two, CBC Television and CBC NewsNet, leaving Canadian broadcasting entirely in the hands of the private broadcasters, and in the case of television, private broadcasters controlled by cable monopolies!"

YIKES! i love the CBC, it's not perfect but, compared to all the other north american competition, it's the only source willing to take even a modest anti-corporate perspective in choosing its news or documentary subjects. The CBC is an intagrel part of Canadian culture, millions of radios in Canada are permenently tuned to it, the National every evening is the most watched show almost every night, hell, Hockey Night in Canada is the most important unifying force Canada possesses. Kill the CBC, you kill Canada as we now know it.

Living here in southwest BC we have access to all the corporate American networks, the BBC and the Canadian networks. On any given day on any topic or story all of us are better off by examining things from different perspectives, the wider apart the better in terms of telemetry. Even the slight differences able to be gleaned from our available media can give a more multi-dimensional view. That's, for me-a news junkie, the #1 reason i love the CBC is the slightly different viewpoint that their mandate as a public broadcaster demands of them.

So, in my turn, i'll ask you to please sign the petition below in support of our beloved CBC. Agreed, Internet petitions are often useless, nonetheless, by reading up on the issue, by taking an action, i ended up more aware, more awake. You will too.


When governments control information, they control you - Anonymous

We are all told that totalitarian regimes use the control of information as one of their key tools, we don't often see as clearly our governments do the same. Back in my youth we believed that our 'free press' protected us, then, as the lies surrounding the Viet Nam war surfaced and the complicity of the press in supporting those lies became obvious that pipedream of protection from propaganda evaporated.

Now, 40 years later, our compliant media is controlled by the same corporate interests whose goal it is to encircle every commons for their private profit including the commons of the freedom of information that must underlie free speech if informed change is ever going to be possible.

The growing darkness of the light of personal freedom is the corporate agenda. Well informed, independent, people exercising their free will are most often difficult to control with simple fear tactics, they seldom stalk the malls in zombie like pursuit of consumables and they often resist in unpredictable ways.

Yesterday i did a buncha research on Anonymous and learned a lot. The link below to the story of retro theme fax machine attacks is good, but the video at the bottom, if you haven't seen it yet, is great. On the video the narrator says, “Anonymous, as a distributed consciousness, is focused on protesting peacefully for Freedom of Expression on the Internet. We ask the world to support us, not for our sake, but for your own. When governments control information, they control you.”

Anonymous starts fax attacks - On the Anonymous message board, folks participating in the action were reminded not to be disrespectful and send anything distasteful across the fax lines. Some sites have dubbed this the first “denial of service” fax machine attacks they’ve ever witnessed, although quite how many faxes have been sent, and whether this has had much effect on the offices of the respective companies is unclear. We’d suggest pushing the retro theme even further. How about some carrier pigeons trained to poop through Paypal’s office windows?


Bill C-6 violates Canadians' rights and freedoms

Bill C-6 gives Health Canada inspectors the right to search for and seize 'unapproved products' on people’s property without a warrant, which is a forbidden under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 'Unapproved products' means everything that can't be profited on because it's unpatentable, criminalizing free choice and thousands of years of traditional cultural wisdom, and giving the industrial food and drug companies total domination of the marketplace.

Under Bill C-6, a person is considered guilty until proven innocent –the opposite from normal court procedures. The supplements aisle could shrink by 80 percent if natural health product companies don’t have the capacity to prove the safety of a “natural health product” through the scientific method. Every small organic market garden operation will be in non-compliance immediately. Individuals by the millions are turning to small, locally produced organic foods and products, the argibusiness and pharma corporations hate the competition and Bill C-6 is their scheme to keep control.

Bill C-6 violates Canadians' right to independently choose what's good for them and their freedom from unwarranted search-seizure. Why is there hardly any coverage of this bill in the news? The intention is for it to be passed quietly and a compliant corporate friendly media is greasing the way. Canadians should look closely at its details to judge whether the price paid is worth it.

This, Bill C-6, is the inside of the glove protecting the Canadian fist of oppression just as the 'security-perimeter' can be seen as it's outside. If our duty is to resist-oppose-rebel against the beast then Bill C-6 is a tangible target for us. We can resist by not changing our choices out of fear, by becoming part of the big solutions, by planting your own garden, by supporting your neighbors who do, by awakening to the source of the darkness and moving toward the light.

Bill C-6 will be passed into law any day now. It's to late to stop, but never to late to resist.

Pig-slaughter case sees Ottawa man cite charter


Laws, Morals and Order

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring" -- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

Today's article by Chris Hedges 'No Act of Rebellion Is Wasted' is another inspiring call to action by him, another step on the road to rebellion. Laws are meaningless compared to morals. Laws are made by the few to control the many, to control, and to keep order. i suspect that all of us, to differing degrees, obey the laws we agree with according to an individual inner moral code. Once upon a time slavery was legal-didn't make it a tidbit more moral. Anti-semitism was legal lottsa places and times in history, being lawful didn't make that moral either.

Hedges had a few moving paragraphs in his piece today, my favorite:
"We may feel, in the face of the ruthless corporate destruction of our nation, our culture, and our ecosystem, powerless and weak. But we are not. We have a power that terrifies the corporate state. Any act of rebellion, no matter how few people show up or how heavily it is censored by a media that caters to the needs and profits of corporations, chips away at corporate power. Any act of rebellion keeps alive the embers for larger movements that follow us. It passes on another narrative. It will, as the rot of the state consumes itself, attract wider and wider numbers. Perhaps this will not happen in our lifetimes. But if we persist we will keep this possibility alive. If we do not, it will die."

We have a duty to oppose-resist immoral laws. Every act of resistance creates a whirlpool of downstream effects. Each act awakens the actor. The vagabond homesteader, old RV owner, dog lover, long term near poverty resistance tactic may not be yours but one thing it does is 'act onto others as you'd have them act unto you', the golden rule.

"Hope and justice live when people, even in tiny numbers, stand up and fight for them." - Chris Hedges


The Darkness of Oppression

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

The 'darkness of oppression' that Douglas speaks of above slowly encloses us each day. Yesterday i wrote about the 'security'-trade perimeter, tomorrow it'll be Canada's Bill C-6. They are the outside and inside of the same glove. They are two more steps further into that 'darkness'.

Corporate interests, and consequently those of the governments they own, always seek greater profits and less competition. These objectives are best achieved where there are very few voices of dissent, where consumers are predictable, where laws are harmonized to suit them and where they own and control a compliant media. Control is a biggy, but humans, free, independent humans, can be wickedly difficult to control.

So, down through time, the powerful have learned a few tricks in the control game. Fear works, especially fear of the unknown-the bogeyman, the psychological darkness of fear can transform free and independent people into pawns of the powerful. This is not news, this is history, our history, as Benjamin Franklin said, "People who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security end up with neither".

i realize most every attempt to define the power behind 'darkness of oppression' leads into the quagmire of conspiracy theories, the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Bildenburg Group, the Illuminati, the Club of Rome, the New World Order, etc. These groups do exist, except maybe the Illuminati Lizards, they do conspire to harmonize financial, labour, immigration, security and law enforcement policies to maximize the short term and long term objectives of the already rich and powerful.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini


Canada's 'security'-trade plan with US and the great manipulator

Who's 'security' gets protected by higher fences, bigger guns, less privacy and more fear of the unknown? Not mine, not yours either i'd bet. As theUS Department of Homeland Security has already proven along their US-Mexican border 50ft high fences spawn 51ft ladders. Real security lies is having and being a good neighbor, invading, torturing and terrorizing civilians with deadly drone attacks isn't often viewed as neighborly. These pathetic attempts to mollify the population into returning to their zombie like march to the malls are in themselves are huge danger to real security.

Harmonizing, collaborating and information-sharing to promote a trade agenda with the fear spun Americans hasn't worked before, won't now either. Its deja-vu all over again, remember the Security and Prosperity Partnership? and how North Americans rejected it? Now a buncha lawyers who, like rust, never sleeps has cooked up a new plan that won't change anything along the 49th parallel, not one more truck will roll through, not one less car load of Canadians will be lined up to consume in the yankee malls It'll just be another layer in the US security onion delusion.

"From the Harper government's hastily passed Anti-Terrorism Act to the controversial 'no-fly' list, harmonization has violated civil liberties while not improving trade between Canada and the United States in the slightest." - Council of Canadians

The US bigshots want unfettered access to Canada's natural resources especially oil right now, but increasingly water as time goes on. These guys see Canada as a colony, an amusing, polite, bi-lingual colony. Amerikans see Canada as already under their security blanket, most Amereikans think the only reason we can afford such luxuries as health care is because they protect Canada and its precious resources from the bogeyman with its nukes.

Security comes from full stomachs, warm-dry homes, meaningful work, education for the kids and a few laughs with friends. For some the freedom to enjoy the comfort of their religion, for others a few beers on Saturday night...but real security never comes out of reacting to fear. We are fed lies to keep us divided, fear of the unknown is the great manipulator if we let it be. My homeland is secure, my best friend gaurds us against the coyotes and bears while i keep an eye peeled for religious fanatics and tax collectors.

Council of Canadians demands release of secret Canada-US perimeter security plan


The Mud Report Turns One

A year ago today i thought-hoped The Mud Report would be a multi-user forum where all the bright well spoken people i know, and all the people they know etc, would share their new ideas and their big solutions to the big, complex problems we all face. It turned out that from the first post onward it was my baby.

i wondered at times if i'd be able to find topics everyday that would fit into The Mud Report's 'leadership from the bottom' perspective. It turned out that everyday there were always to many ideas, almost everyday i'd write one piece and think 2-3 others. Today is no different.

Europe has got the austerity blues, yesterday's student riots in the UK were emblematic. All over the world times are tough, the rich have a stranglehold on the planets resources, the poor are uniting, uncertainty reigns. The Irish fellow in the video below clearly understands the reality we all must face together. "Resist much, obey little." -Walt Whitman


Let The Anonymous Speak

"The internet is capable of connecting us all. When we are connected we are strong. When we are strong we have power. When we have power we are able to do the impossible. This is why the government is moving on WikiLeaks. This is what they fear. They fear our power when we unite. Do not forget this. We are Everywhere. We are Everyone. We are Anonymous."

Hacktivists will continue to attack, rumor has it today is Amazon's turn. The hacktivists collectively overwhelm a website's server with requests. This 'denial of service' attack is an annoyance to financial places like Visa-MC-PatyPal who have their processes operating safely-securely far from their public website-homepage. In Amazon's case the 'Anonymous' attack could be more than annoyance. We'll see.

A main goal of 'Anonymous' is to draw attention to their cause. So far, so good. One message is that the internet is a tool, like any tool, it's magic is in the magician. Julian Assange believes WikiLeaks will change the world, could be right, but it could be cyberwarfare in the short run.

Meanwhile i don't think 'Anonymous' is into, or able to, cripple any body's bank accounts or intravenous credit cards. There's lottsa great reasons to live a cash life, if 'Anonymous' can also open more people's eyes that's great. Fear not, let the Anonymous speak.

'Hacktivists' Warn Over More Action

Hactivist group persists with attack plans despite Twitter, Facebook blocks


Corky Evans - The Commons Is The Essential Prop Of Democracy

"Don't ever think that wealth ever comes from any place except labour and dirt."- Corky Evans

What the NDP here in BC needs is a leader with ideals, a leader who can reinvigorate the party with new ideas and a vision that connects with voters. The NDP must end their internal battles and rediscover their common cause. Today, after reading the Tyee's interview 'Corky Evans Unplugged', i think Corky Evans is that kinda person.

Below are links to a series of articles and interviews with Corky when he was in government. Each of them is right on. Corky Evans is the MLA who lost his teeth trying not to say the word "horseshit" in the legislature, when the word was already halfway out. Corky, a politician who always stood up and spoke up for the little guy, once said, "The commons is the essential prop of democracy, that without a sense of agrarian community, economic freedom is impossible and democracy is a lie. That's kind of the underpinning of my view."

Corky wears his heart on his sleeve, he offers big solutions to big problems:
"If you're asking about the large public policy questions, what it would take to make land-based resources sustainable and profitable, it would take breaking monopoly control of the beef industry, and the seed industry, and the logging business, and the fishing business."
"If you're asking what it would take to make things work, it would take breaking the monopolies, and it would take the public deciding that they want competition, free enterprise and creativity, and they don't want corporate control."


Corky Evans on Making the Woods Work
Markets are good, logging can be honourable, and the left must lay claim to the language of the right to achieve its goals.

'Dear Friends of Formosa Nursery'
An NDP MLA vents his frustration at those who would pave a blueberry farm.

The Emperor Has No Clothes
Podcast: 'Deconstructing Dinner' records Corky Evans on food politics in BC.


La Via Campesina's Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

With colorful flags, hats, signs, posters, and lots of music the protesters took to the streets of Cancun and other parts of the world today as part of La Via Campesina's Global Day of Action for Climate Justice which has as its main slogan "Peasants cool the planet". The protesters will announce their opposition to the mechanisms being imposed in COP 16 such as the false solutions of carbon markets, REDD, agrofuels and geoengineering being imposed on the peoples of the world.

This action is part of the thousands of activities to be performed worldwide as La Via Campesina's “thousands of Cancun's.” Actions will happen in Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and in the United States and Canada. The actions include public meetings, forums and sit-in's in Korea, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Nepal, Turkey, and mass actions in India, Argentina, Indonesia, El Salvador, the Philippines and Mexico. It is estimated that these actions and events will bring together more than 1 million people.

Up here in Canada our Conservative government is totally behind the REDD program, it's the best thing since white bread to a buncha tar sands lackeys. See, if REDD gets adopted Canada gets huge carbon credits for all the forests they aren't currently mowing down. Then when they plant rows of GMO cloned hemlocks and feed 'em with petrochemicals they get more credits. All these groovy free carbon credits will be applied to Canada's carbon account and more than balance out the tar sands disaster. The three countries with the largest still intact forests, Russia-Brazil-Canada, are REDD's biggest boosters.

Every part of the globe has what seems like local issues, local problems with the whole COP process. The COP process is a front for the capitalists to slither into and out of private ownership of what was up until now part of the commons. Each of the schemes, the banker's solutions of carbon markets, REDD, agrofuels and geoengineering, all designed to sound good while allowing Business As Usual-no actual CO2 reductions and produce huge profits for the corporations and the banks that finance the schemes.

Viva La Via Campesina!


'Foro Global Por La Vida La Justicia Ambiental Y Social' gets under way in Cancun

Alternative Global Forum for Life, Environmental and Social Justice, led by Via Campesina-the International Peasant Movement, farmers have been travelling around Mexico before their caravans arrived here. Among the major actions planned is a day of protests on December 7 to reject the “false and market-based solutions” to climate change. Positioned as a direct challenge to the United Nations meetings, Via Campesina, which has a presence in more than 70 countries, has been uniting farmers, workers and indigenous people to stake a claim for their rights and make their voices heard.

Agribusiness is corporate business, they're only goal is short term profit, it matters not if we mortgage the future, if we burn up the resources, if we turn the arable land into deserts. Agribusiness is in the business of not paying all those inconvenient long term costs, and a lotta others [like how much is a depleted aquifer worth]. Agribusiness sells cheap food to the world by not paying anywhere near the full costs of producing it. Agribusiness depletes our real wealth, pollutes our Mother Earth and enriches the few while enslaving the many.

Organic farming and range management do pay their share, they sequester CO2, increase arable land area, create soils that hold water and is a part of the great circle of life we are immersed in. Paul Hepperly, The Rodale Institute's research manager, says, "The extent of carbon sequestration found and the impressive ability of organic systems to capture carbon are important results that should be used by policy makers when planning future agriculture development."

Small is beautiful. Having spent a good portion of my life on my knees with my hands in the earth i learned...to love the weeds, to love the worms, to see the circle of the seasons and this one life turn. i learned that the magic is in the process not the product, that, once the basics of survival are covered, more money doesn't equal more happiness, often, more is less...

Farmers to denounce “market-based solutions” to climate change

Opening day of Global Forum for Life and Environmental and Social Justice


Even in death Abbey was inspirational

Edward Abbey, in a career spanning four decades, wrote passionately in defense of the Southwest and its inhabitants, "Resist much, obey little," from Walt Withman, was his motto. Abbey was a genuine rebel who simply did not believe in the modern industrial way of life. He wrote against the grain, in 1969 he published one of the first great environmental novels 'Desert Solitare'. Abbey's novel 'The Monkey Wrench Gang' inspired many of the direct action enviromental protection movements of our time.

Abbey was a dedicated outdoorsman, a father, a farmer, a rancher, a lover and a drinker. His books and essays are a must read and will, hopefully, continue to inspire generations long into the future. The website 'Abbey's Web' is a great resource for learning more about Abbey's life and his works.

Edward Abbey died March 14 1989 at his home in "Fort Llatikcuf " (read backwards) near Tucson, Arizona from complications from surgery. He was 62. Even in death Abbey was inspirational, his burial was different from all others, as requested by himself. Abbey wrote a message directed to his wife and pertained to what Ed Abbey wanted done for him, and not to him, after his death.

He wanted his body transported in the bed of a pickup truck. He wanted to be buried as soon as possible. He wanted no undertakers. No embalming, for Godsake. No coffin. Just an old sleeping bag... Disregard all state laws concerning burial. "I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree." said the message. As for graveside ceremony: He wanted gunfire, and a little music.

Ed lived a great life, his books and essays continue to inspire me and many others, Edward Abbey is one of my heroes.


Viva La Revolucion Organica!!

La Via Campesina is leading the charge of the small scale organic revolution especially this week in Cancun. Everyday the numbers outside the barricaded chateaus grows. Everyday the marches grow larger, the marchers more jubilant. Inside the barricades the dinosaurs do their dastardly deeds, outside the peasants party. Inside it looks hopeless, outside a rising tide of hope.

The hope springs from the growing understanding that organic farming and ranching on just a quarter of the Earth's 12 billion acres of farmland and range land can clean out and safely store in the soil 3,000-7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre per year. If farmers stop planting GMOs and make the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land will become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong.

Earth has five pools or repositories where greenhouse gases are absorbed, stored and re-cycled: the oceans (which contain 40 trillion tons of carbon), the atmosphere (800 billion tons), the soils (3.2 trillion tons), plants and forests (650 billion tons), and hydrocarbon/fossil fuel deposits (4 trillion tons). The current living soils of the Earth hold four times as much carbon as the atmosphere. Before the advent of industrial agriculture and industrial forestry, these same soils sequestered or stored twice as much carbon organic matter as they do today, or eight times the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere today.

Bringing the soil back to life is the dream and the work of millions who'll live in more diverse, and more localized economies. Bringing it back to it's former sequestration capacity would be useless unless the industrial agriculture model that has destroyed the natural sequestration capabilities of our farmlands, pastures, range lands, and wetlands is abandoned. Viva La Revolucion Organica!!

Climate Catastrophe: Surviving the 21st Century:

Organic Farming Sequesters Atmospheric Carbon and Nutrients in Soils - "The extent of carbon sequestration found and the impressive ability of organic systems to capture carbon are important results that should be used by policy makers when planning future agriculture development." Paul Hepperly, The Rodale Institute's research manager.


BC's NDP Leader Carole James and The Italian Flag Principle

Headlines across BC picture Carole James as on the horns of a dilemma. Should she stay or should she go? The same 'ol two sided logic that traps us so often. There is another logic that is right now making huge inroads into the fuzzy zone of unknowns. It's called The Italian Flag model, (IF), is a representation of three-valued logic in which evidence for a proposition is represented as green, evidence against is represented as red, and residual uncertainty is represented as white. The white area reflects uncommitted belief, which can be associated with uncertainty in evidence or unknowns, both known and unknown.

The term unknown unknown refers to circumstances or outcomes that were not conceived of by an observer at a given point in time. The meaning of the term becomes more clear when it is contrasted with the known unknown, which refers to circumstances or outcomes that are known to be possible, but it is unknown whether or not they will be realized. The term is used in project planning and decision analysis to explain that any model of the future can only be informed by information that is currently available to the observer and, as such, faces substantial limitations and unknown risk. - Wikipedia

That's where Carole sits, not on the horns of a go-stay dilemma, but in the white zone of uncertainty. Like all difficult choices, there are the arguments for and against each choice and the unknowns floating around in between. When looked at through the IF lens it seems that any conclusion to Carole's situation, like all situations that require a conclusion, can never be 100% certain. Certainty and logic, certainty and science, are strangers. Certainty has no unknown-unknowns, no IF to consider.

Applying the IF model to Carole's situation it appears she has a fairly equal number of supporters and non-supporters among elected NDP incumbents and roughly the same number of uncommitted members of caucus. Neither 'stay' or 'go' can produce the near unanimity Carole, or any party leader, needs. The third choice, open the leadership race tomorrow, offers Carole, or whoever wins, the opportunity, after hearing the uncertain member's admonitions, to include all the known and knowable-unknown voices and thereby minimize the uncertainty, white part of the IF, to only the always present unknown-unknowns. Carole could well be the best choice, let's see.

'Every MLA Will Be Held Accountable': James - As NDP leader announces emergency caucus meeting, some see fate of the party hanging in the balance.


Austerity Comes to Ireland

The road to ruin that Ireland took is well laid out in an excellent article: ‘Disaster Capitalism’ Comes to Ireland by Robert E. Prasch. It's the same road Greece took and Iceland and Italy and...all of 'em, if they call themselves capitalists, they took the free lunch bait and are now in trouble. The Irish 'bailout' will be paid back at 5.8% interest, higher than a mortgage at the corner bank. Guess Ireland is a good bet to either go bankrupt or go rogue.

The bankers get bonuses, the rest of us get austerity programs. Austerity means less spending on education [the rich have private schools anyway], health care, social services, etc. everything the many need especially in tough times. What austerity doesn't mean is higher taxes on the rich, the banks or the corporations.

The corporate control of our world is so vast that people who call themselves anything politically—liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, independents or anarchist—should be banding together against the reckless industrial steamroller. Austerity is a tool. If wielded from afar it's a tool of oppression. If self imposed it's a tool of independence.

People are marching by the millions all across Europe to protest the austerity measures being imposed on them as a means of paying off the debts incurred by their governments when bailing out their banker buddies. Going rogue is a way out.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” – Mark Twain


La Via Campesina at Cancun

La Via Campesina and its friends are traveling in caravans from across Mexico and converging on Cancun. The caravans will stop at various places of peasant, social and environmental struggles, as well as at the world alternative Forum and for a large demonstration taking place in Cancun as well as in the rest of the world, on December 7th. The alternative conference at Cancun, The Global Forum for Life and Environmental and Social Justice, will focus on small-scale and diverse solutions in contrast to the unremitting march of carbon-emitting, neoliberal globalization.

La Via Campesina and its allies will propose alternatives to the climate crisis and to the lack of responsible agreement between governments. A press release from La Via Campesina gives a schedule of highlights during The Global Forum for Life and Environmental and Social Justice. It'll be a great week wrapped up with a speech by Evo Morales of Bolivia.

The International Peasant Movement, will attempt to make two basic points:

1. That industrial agriculture is by far the biggest source of carbon emissions is based on a recent study that looked at all emissions from the global food system. Surprisingly, one-third of the emissions come from food processing and transport. The bulk of emissions come from land use changes - conversions of forest and grasslands - and from direct agricultural production like fuel use, fertilizers and tillage.

2. The potential rates of carbon sequestration due to improved range land management practices have been shown to rise from 50 to 150 (kilograms carbon per hectare per year). If farmers could make the transition to organic farming the land base could, passively, become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong.
Organic Farming Sequesters Atmospheric Carbon and Nutrients in Soils "The extent of carbon sequestration found and the impressive ability of organic systems to capture carbon are important results that should be used by policy makers when planning future agriculture development." Paul Hepperly, The Rodale Institute's research manager.

Cancun, and more Consequential C Words - Considering climate change, Copenhagen, Cochabamba, the coming calamity, and most controversial: capitalism.