Why Ron Paul's Ground Game is Gaining Traction in the Iowa Mud

Ron Paul's leading in Iowa with one week to go both because his long time devoted supporters and a new younger disillusioned x-Obama anti-war group are knocking on every door in the state. He's poised to either win or place a strong second, either result is an embarrassment for the GOP's establishment who has rejected Paul because he sees the folly of foreign wars, because of his advocacy of a return to the gold standard, abolishing the Federal Reserve and cessation of aid to Israel.

Libertarian Ron Paul mocks the drug war, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and he rails against the assault on American civil liberties by a national security state contained in the Patriot Act. He wants to bring the troops home from all the far flung corners on the planet, he denounces empire, voted against all the Wall St. bailouts and he's been saying and doing the same thing for decades.

Ron Paul's supporters are an unlikely alliance if viewed from a left/right political perspective but from the circular spectrum view it's a natural fit. Paul supports some aspects of both OWS and the TEA Party, he has supporters in both their camps too. On many issues their camps are situated very close to the same stream.

Ron Paul winning the nomination is a real longshot and probably a good thing as some of his other stuff, like on abortion, is borderline crazy and definately scary. The huge value to Ron Paul's successful run is that his presence, his opinions, opens the ground for actual debate on some on the biggest underlying issues of our time. Because of Ron Paul there's space for debate about the cause of diseases like war, drugs and fear. Ron Paul has the GOP brass scared and if he were to win the nomination the chickenshits in charge of the liar Obama's team will see a lot of those same wide eyed kids that were knocking on doors for the O-Bomber 4 years ago now part of Paul's ground game.


Amish Christmas Lights

Amish Christmas Lights

Read up on the Amish a bit today after getting the Amish Christmas Lights picture/joke by email. Turns out they're very neat in some ways and not what i expected in others. They don't use electricity except what they generate with diesel generators. They'll use modern gasoline driven baling equipment as long as it's pulled through the fields by horses.

The Amish are as goofy as the rest of us. But they do offer an excellant example of a group using and choosing which technology is appropriate and which isn't within a certain framework. Each group of Amish have their own slightly different intrepretations of acceptability. One thing they all agree on though is no TV. That alone gives them cred.

Many environmentalists are predicting a relocalization of economies in the near future driven by huge fuel and transport costs among other things. If they're right those horse drawn carriages the Amish, and some other Mennonites, drive will be a hot item soon. Horse drawn buggies could well be the next big financial bubble, now's the time to get in for sure.

Checked out my neighbors places last night on the way home from the winter solstice celebration. Sure enough our little joint is the only one not decked out in electric lights. Even the Koreans who own the local store have lights up. Sometimes it all seems alien, but i'm a flip-flopper, when the kids were little it was easier getting into stuff like putting up lights, now i'll stick with my birdfeeder and all the little miracles here.


The Countdown to the Apocalypse

The countdown to the apocalypse is on. We’re one year away from Dec. 21, 2012, the date that the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar allegedly marked as the end of an era that would reset the date to zero and signal the end of humanity. The Mayan civilization excelled at advanced mathematics and primitive astronomy, creating what has been called the most accurate calendar in the world. So, once again, might as well party eh.

It's hard to keep all the apocalypses straight without a scorecard, but i like this Mayan myth a lot better than the Rapture or runaway global warming, its so descently close, i'm sure it gives comfort to the polar bears and billions of other living things that the ill wind of humanity might soon blow itself out.

Apocalypse theories are wildly popular online, to a non-believer all of 'em sound silly, but to a believer they can offer a solid solution in a choatic world. Belief is the key, humans whittle and mold any new information so it fits into their underlying belief structure. i believe we can only shit in our nest just so long before we're nesting in our shit. so as i digest new information-like the Russian reports of huge plumes of methane in the Arctic never seen before-it fits into my worldview that we're reaping what we sowed. Maybe lightning will strike a huge methane cloud up over the Arctic next Dec. 21st fulfilling the Mayan prophecy.

Like just about all apocalypses this myth too shall pass, humanity won't stop gobbling next Dec. 21st, but something has to happen soon that's nearly the scale of a Mayan type collapse or humans will either run out of stuff to gobble up or run out of space to throw their left over crap.


Hail the Return of the Light, Might as Well Party EH!

Evidence shows that since at least the neolithic era, losely defined as the end of the last ice age and the begining of agriculture, our ancestors of every culture celebrated the winter solstice and the return of the sun. Almost every ancient culture built their greatest architectures - tombs, temples, cairns and sacred observatories - so that they aligned with the solstices and equinoxes.

Out here on the western edge of northamerica the earth will momentarily stop tipping at 3:11AM [pst] early on the 21st. A moment later and our one blue marble's axis will begin to tip southward again. Another miraculous move in the dance of the spheres for some folks. A simple mechanical/gravitational byproduct to some. A non-event to the attention of most who might only hear the ancient drums vaguely.

It's very neat reading about the ancient myths associated with the winter solstice. It's also very neat that tomorrow will be a tiny bit different, after 6 months of watching the sunset creep down the horizon it'll start marching back up the horizon again, a day a tiny bit longer. The first day of the new celestial year. All Hail the Return of the Light

In my circle, a witches and warlock type circle, a pagan, gumboot and granola type circle, the ancient drums are calling for a feast to be had at sundown tomorrow with wine at the ready to toast the sunset. Might as well party eh.


Opposition to the NDAA, Unities The TEA Party and OWS

Left and right are artificial divisions in what is better modeled by a circular spectrum than a linear metaphor. The linear outlook has the TEA Party and OWS at opposite ends, the circular view has them shoulder to shoulder and over lapping on many issues. The OWS chant, "We are the 99%", is only true if the right-left dichotomy is given the boot.

Dividing the 99% into opposing camps is the stratedgy long employed by the 1% to achieve their goal of keeping the hands of the many from around their necks. Sometimes though issues bubble up through the chowder that tear a hole in the veil of division. The most recent being the reaction of many from both the TEA Party and OWS camps to the NDAA. Both see the clear danger in abandoning long fought for rights in the name of bogus national security fears.

Many from both nearby encampments have the same general reactions to The Patroit Act and the growing security state. Many everywhere in the spectrum agree that both major US parties and the system itself is so corrupted by big money as to be useless. Both working class groups hate the bank bailouts and the phoney stimulas packages that saved the dreams of the rich and foreclosed on everybody else's.

Guess i'm a dreamer as well as an underdog rooter, but it looks like there is a chance that the common goals of all the 99% might come into focus soon. If there is to be a class war then the side of the many will need a ground game, an infantry of pacifist occupiers maybe. They'll need artillery too and the TEA Party's got plenty. Maybe a sagebrush nation stocked cavalry could ride in wearing white hats. Let us not be divided, we, the 99%, are all in this together, ashes to ashes, mud to mud.


Bahía de Guantánamo, an Ideal Year Around Get Away for Dissenters

The weather is ideal in sunny Bahía de Guantánamo every month of the year. The accomadations are a bit sparse, and the service providers snarly, but there's 3 meals a day and lottsa efficient fencing. The Bahía de Guantánamo was, like the rest of Cuba, until recently only open to non-American citizens, all that changed the other day when the US Congress and the Prez signed The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Now you too, my fellow Americans, could win a trip to the Guantanamo Hilton.

The defination of terrorism, like beauty and cataracts, lie in the eye of the beholder. Certainly America's founding was fought for by what would now be called terrorists. The indians who fought back against the invading colonists would now be too, so would the slaves who revolted periodically on the plantations, and the union organizers, the anti-war organizers, the treehuggers, the occupiers...just about anybody who bitches qualifies for a free trip to the Bahia now eh.

i'm thinking the flights down there would be quick and easy on one of those secret jets the spooks use. And there'd probably be plenty of old friends flying in as the tropical months rolled by. Might be a perfect place for a long term getaway or for an old outlaw radical to retire.


It's Time to Wake Up America

The idea that a person cannot be held without charge or detained indefinitely without trial goes back to the Magna Carta nearly 800 years ago. The US Congress has done away with those rights without even holding a hearing. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 would allow for the indefinite military detention without charge of United States citizens and lawful immigrants in America destroying the Constitutional rights of Habeas Corpus and Due Process.

Outrage is spreading, especially among human rights groups, from coast to coast as 'The Liar Obama' signed off on the dastardly deal. But it appears a huge portion of the American people in their fear of foreign enemies have forgotten who they are and have abandoned their values of liberty and justice. "People who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security end up with neither" -Benjamin Franklin

It's time to Wake Up America. These are the rights and freedoms that once made the US, the country i grew up in, a proud, free and unique place as well as the 'shining city on the hill' in the world's eyes. It's all disappearing in the tsunami of fear flooding the US.

"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


Agri-business Cheers the Cutthroat Market Ahead in Canadian Grains

Big day for big agri-business, this wicked witch of the prarie populism, the CWB, is dead [pretty close anyway], many more little guys will follow. In a dog eat dog world the big dogs usually do best. Same thing will happen to the small family farmer. For sure some farmers will do better and some will do worse. The smaller operations will have a hard time competing both in scale of production costs and negotiating power.

Within a decade thousands of small farms that have been totally viable for generations, that have fed and housed the families that tended them, will be bought up by conglomerates and we'll see thousands of people who used to live off the land living off the food banks.

It's true that the individual farmers should have the right to self determination, if the Canadian Wheat Board is past its due date, then the government should have consulted with them and not just arrogantly ignore the court's ruling. The Harperites are sending a message that they can and will stand above the law. The courts have two choices, the easiest out would be to roll over and play dead, the tough choice would be to stand up for the rule of law.

This case should be of concern to all Canadians, as should the recent border security deal, and ditching the koyoto deal, and changing the rules to speed up the northern gateway pipeline approval...one at time the laws and regulations that were designed to protect individuals from the leverage of the large are being obliterated. That's how the facists eat the elephant of an open society, one bite at a time.


War of the Worlds Played Out in Durban

The myth of materialist exceptionalism got a boost in Durban. The dark forces of consumption swept in from the north and clobbered the conservationists again. Their stall tactic wherein there'll be no organized international action for another decade at least means 'business as usual' for the consumptive culture.

Even then, if everything else goes just right, the US will never sign a binding agreement that challenges their entitlement to the American lifestyle. Not just them, all westerners-all materialists-wherever they live, will never be prepared to make major changes to their lifestyles. This world, this worldview, sees itself as entitled to their entitlements. The other world...not so much.

The other worldview sees the fast approaching darkness, and while continueing the good fight, fears it's probably already to late. They know that any of these proposals fall far short of having any meaningful effect on the planet's problems. The truth is the costs of changing the capitialist system, of turning this consumption train around, are astronomical, that any significant change would destroy the existing system.

This system, this globalized growth godzilla, is eating the planet but so many sheeple are beholden to the existing system because it is the only means by which they can continue to pay down the indebtedness the system has induced them into. One fate awaits both worlds, perhaps the fairy of economic collapse will wave her magic wand and save the biosphere from human hubris, if not, let the forces of Gaia's feedback loops come get us soon so 'we the demanders' ouselves feel the effects of our greed. Time to apply the barley sandwich solution eh.

Naomi Klein’s conclusion: that passionate corporate and conservative foes of curbs on greenhouse gases are right in asserting that a meaningful response to global warming would be a fatal blow to free markets and capitalism.


Thousands Demonstrate in Solidarity with 'Wall Street on the Waterfront'

Thousands of demonstrators, in solidarity with the Wall Street on the Waterfront action staged from San Diego to Anchorage, forced shipping terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt parts of their operations Monday. Canada's West Coast ports, large and small, saw demonstrations as well. Just when it looked like the Occupy movement was over, protesters on the West Coast are showing that they haven’t gone anywhere.

Many small communities here on BC's left coast saw demostrations at BC Ferry terminals. Occupy Powell River's Call to Action states in part that 70% of British Columbians voiced anger at being priced out of their own transit system. Families can't afford to visit each other for the holidays, seniors miss their medical appointments and are stuck sitting with pets on the car deck, tourists avoid the coast altogether, visiting the Interior where the ferries are not only optional, but free of charge.

BC's ferries are part of the highway system, they are a necessity-not a luxury-to thousands of coastal residents. BC's residents of generations past and present have built the ferry system through taxes and hard work just as they have built the rest of the highway system. But by an accounting mirage the Campbellites morphed this public asset into a corporation who now ranks finances over services and seeks to eliminate ferry subsidies altogether. As lond as The Coastal Ferry Act is in force taxpayers will increasingly pay more and more.

Up and down the West Coast the many local issues blended seamlessly with the broader issues of the 99% campaign and the worldwide class struggle pitting the havenots at the gates against the haves within their walls of entitlement.


Charity is Empathy in Action

We are the lucky mud. Our atoms, made up exactly like other atoms, have lucked out. Somehow our atoms can see and think about and understand what they're seeing. What lucky atoms. But this seeing, thinking and understanding comes at a cost. The more a person sees the more a person is obliged to act thoughtfully and with empathy towards those bits of slightly less lucky mud.

How then might a person, who's attempting to be a seeing, thinking, understanding and empathetic pile of lucky atoms, best approach Christmas. It's a dilemma, people smile joyously while loading up the credit card, others have a job serving them. All the stuff has to be made and shipped and...if the total cost to the planet were added in an ipad would cost millions. Yikes, what to do?

Our family started a tradition new to us over a decade ago when 'we the adults' decided that instead of buying each other gifts we'd make a contribution to a charity of each's choosing. It has worked great, this year, like the last few, i chose the local Food Bank. i met some neat people there the day i stopped by, people helping each other. Charity is empathy in action.

Of course everybody's situation is unique and sometimes presents are unavoidable, what then? For me, buying locally made useful stuff is next best 'cause it keeps the money in the community. Next, if that's not possible, i'm looking for Fair Trade goods made by real people not corporations. In a nutshell, Fair Trade puts people and the planet before profits. For those folks living near Gibsons BC Canada the Gaia store in the lower part of town is wonderful.


The Harperites vs. The Canadian Wheat Board, Headin for Armegeddon?

The Canadian Wheat Board is a 75-year-old marketing structure that works by price pooling and single-desk selling. Farmers fought very hard, over the decades, to build a system that could serve their own interests against predatory grain companies and giant railways.

A Federal Court judge in Winnipeg ruled Wednesday that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz breached the Canadian Wheat Board Act by introducing legislation without holding a plebiscite for producers.  Ritz's answer,“This declaration will have no effect on continuing to move forward for freedom for western Canadian farmers.”

Farmers have approved none of this. Most are well aware that this path will only diminish their own power and profits, and hand them back to the corporate world of agri-business. That's what this is about, money honey, $5 billion a year and Harper's backers want a bigger bite, no matter that generations devoted their lives to the Prairie cooperative movement that resulted in creation of the Canadian Wheat Board, or that this decision could be the beginning of the end for many family farms that are the backbone of Canadian agriculture, in a matter of weeks it'll be gone if the Harperites get away with it.

Who rules Canada, the courts, or the parliament? Is any government above the law? Or does Harper think he's guided by a law higher than human law? Most evangelicals do, George Bush did, and this Conservative government is loaded with 'em. as Marci McDonald's book 'The Armageddon Factor' shows. This could quickly escalate into a showdown at high noon in the Supreme Court. Of course i always bet on the underdog so i'm predicting a huge win for the little guys and a big black eye for the Harperites.

Address to Senate standing committee on Agriculture and Forestry December 8, 2011 by Allen Oberg, Chair, CWB board of directors - Very informative!

Stop The Steamroller - Over 30,000 supporters of the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance have sent an email so far..


Today's Canada-U.S. Border Deal Announcement Another Dark Day For Canadian Sovereignty

According to Stevey Harper Canadians need not be concerned about matters of Canadian sovereignty in relation to the Border Pact and Security Perimeter. According to his corporate cronies it's a great day. Why then do so many of us non-corporate cheerleaders have such a sinking feeling deep in our psyches. Could it be because we know that this is just another step down the road to Fortress North America.

Step by step Canadian sovereignty is being sacrificed on the alter of the rightwing nut jobs. "I think we have to realize that Canada is not immortal. But if it is going to go, let it go with a bang rather than a whimper." - Pierre Trudeau

Canadians are being lied to about the real purposes behind this dark deal. If Canadians think this deal will result in even one truckload of goods rolling more quickly into Amerika they're in for a big surprise. The vast majority Americans are paralyzed by fear of anything and everything outside of their law enforcement's control. This deal is just one more step toward the 'normalization' of Canadian laws and law enforcement techniques with those of the paranoid public in what was once upon a time known as 'the home of the free'.

Stevey's Omnibus Crime Bill is an example of what the future holds for Canadians in Fortress North America. Why, when all crime statistics are dropping, do Canadians need to spend billions of dollars on more prisons? Why the demise of the Wheat Board and the Long Gun Registry without allowing any real debate in parliament? Why pull the stakes on Koyoto now? Why, why, why? Because the wolf at the door demands appeasement and fearful Canadians seem quite willing to oblige. One day soon there'll be a knock on Canadian doors and it'll be obvious then that the new security state the wolves 'don't need any stinking badges'.


The Impoverished and Hungry Seldom Have the Strength to Complain

Once upon a time here in North America people had the courage to stand up for their rights. The many understood that their rights were all that stood between them and servitude to the few. But things have changed now. The many have allowed themselves to be divided by fear and now seldom have the strength to complain.

i'm 63 and much of it has happened in my lifetime. It started decades ago with cutbacks in education funding i think. After World War 2 people here were riding a wave of material success and began to forget the long hard lessons of class warfare passed on to them by generations past. They began to believe themselves entitled to their good fortune by the superiority of the capitialist dream, they lost sight of the real and danced to the banker's beat.

Studying the old knowledge became non-sense in a culture gone insane with the delirius dance of material desire. The public demanded that schools concentrate on the functional not the foundational, on the new knowledge, on the means not the meaning of life. Whirling and twirling we, the sons and daughters of that generation, believed it all. We believed that growth could be endless, we believed that things could only get better. We borrowed on the future when the present began to provide less than our dreams demanded, we mortaged our futures then our children's futures to pay for it all. We forgot the lessons hard learned by our parents and grandparents, we forgot that a penny saved is a penny earned, we forgot that what goes up must come down, now we're starting to remember.

It's getting late, the dance is winding down and many of the dancers have forgotten their way home. So many have lost their good paying jobs, their homes, their dreams of a better life for their kids and grandkids that our streets are filled with the impoverished and hungry. Those still on the dance floor know it's the last dance, they know that if they stop twirling, even for a moment, that they'll be the next one out in the cold. The rich get richer, the impoverished and hungry seldom have the strength to complain.

"Resist much, obey little." -Walt Whitman


How Perennial Grasses and Organic Farming Sequester Carbon

Every day we pump more heat trapping gasses into our common atmosphere than the planet can absorb and recycle. Every day we march closer to enviromental disaster. Every day lofty speeches delivered to those of us already convinced of this reality become less listened to by our fellow humans.

It doesn't have to be this way, there are viable, practical solutions that could be adopted, that could lead us and future generations out of the desert of madness and into an oasis of sanity. Today's Global Day of Action on Climate Change seems like a good day to review one set of win-win solutions that The Mud Report has focused on often in the past.

Research suggests that a global shift to organic agriculture on the earth's 3.5 billion acres of tillable land could reduce current carbon emissions by nearly 40 per cent. A shift from seed grains to perennial grasses offers the same type of numbers. The links below lead to the results of this research and the conclusions drawn from those results by some of the world's leading scientists.

'We can only shit in our nest just so long before we start nesting our shit.' was a projection of future disaster decades ago and a visible reality now. Please take a look below and follow some of the links offered in these articles, they offer hope of a better not bitter future for our children and grandchildren.

Perennial Solution - Annual grains feed the world, but they create problems. Perennials are thrifty. Their long roots hold on to soil, water, and fertilizer, which means less pollution.
Climate Change and Agriculture: Biodiverse Ecological Farming Is the Answer, Not Genetic Engineering by Vandana Shiva - Biodiverse organic farms produce more food and higher incomes than industrial monocultures. Mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity and increasing food security can thus go hand in hand.
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.

Perennial Grasses - Awesome Library


Putting Christ Back Into Christmas

The other day while on my way into Powell River i passed a sign in front of a local church extolling us to put Christ back into Christmas. It got me thinking about the depressing hordes descending on the malls in search of Black Friday 'deals'. It got me thinking about who the historic Jesus Christ was, about his message and his methods of communicting that message.

Christ was a rebel, he opposed the banking and financial elites of his day, he condemned injustice, praised a life non-materialism, and used street theater to draw attention to his message. Jesus Christ challenged the representatives of the religious and political status quo and they killed him for it.

Now don't be confused, the churchs, christian-muslim-hindu-buddhist-etc, are political institutions. Their mission is control not liberation, their insistance that only the 'bishops' of their institutions understand the 'truth' is a tool of that mission. The churchs are inventions of we the self-interested-lazy-fearful bi-pedal primates not of divinity [whatever that is].

Jesus Christ was the original #OWS member. He overturned the money-changing tables at the Temple which really had become a tax collection agency and a bank. Would Christ have been in the Black Friday crowds? i doubt it. Would he instead have been working in the soup kitchens and free clinics feeding the hungry and giving comfort to the poorest among us? You betcha.


Attawapiskat-Colonialism's Karma

This morning's research into the present fiasco of Attawapiskat's housing crisis has been emotional for me and hopefully the real story will move everyone else too. An excellant place to begin is Alison's Creekside blog where i scooped the picture above. There you'll find a number of great links to information on the numbers that Harper and his buddies are misusing to support the fog of denial and divert the attention of Canadians as well as appeal to their rightwing base.

To be fair this isn't a Conservative government invented problem, the Liberals used the same illogic to cover their tracks too, so have successive provincial governments of all stripes including the NDP.

The numbers themselves, as outlined by Aaron Wherry's breakdown of the figures, though insightful, only give a two dimensional snapshot of the greater problems created by colonialism that we all must face. Colonialism is one of capitialism's tools of oppression. This isn't news, humans have slaughtered and stolen the resources of the 'conquered' since the begining of history. Attawapiskat isn't news but it is symbolic of the ongoing battle being waged against capitialism everywhere.

It's also symbolic of how we the many allow ourselves to be divided by the few for their own short-term gain and how, sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost. The blog âpihtawikosisân has the most clear, detailed, informative article on Attawapiskat by far, and on Canadian Federal-First Nations relations generally.

“The Harper government has told the other communities, 'You speak up, we will take you out.' That is as blunt and brutal a colonial message as could be delivered,”  - NDP MP Charlie Angus