Judith Curry-How Many Minds Can Solve Big Problems With Big Soultions

To solve the big problems we all face we'll need big answers. Computer scientists have developed super-computers designed to solve large data crunching problems. The super-computers run control programs to solve problems like the enormous number of calculations necessary to predict worldwide weather patterns accurately moment by moment , for instance by dividing up the workload into packets, assigning each packet to a different processor, then each seperate processor does its share of the overall job and outputs its results back to the overall control program who then compiles those many individual results into a coherent whole.

The big problems we humans are facing are far more complex than those any super-computer invented yet can understand let alone solve. The big problems we face can't be modeled by numbers and manipulated by silicone gates connected by circuits because they each are framed by the emotional content of  each independent viewer as well as being more abstract questions we, the beholders, are emotional about our view of it. Humans, unlike computers, each see incoming data set through our own worldview. Each human then sees the world and its problem at hand uniquely, each then is manipulating different information about the problem. Each then might consult outside specialists or authorities to better inform themselves, but as each sees the problem differently each would be choosing a different source or sources in order to become well informed.

At that point, unlike the output of a computer, the many minds of the beholders will be outputting a huge range of solutions. At first glance it appears that these jumbled outputs would be useless in solving any problems, even the least complex. But it ain't so. Because humans have the capacity to learn, because, instead of welded wiring harnesses, we have brains that can re-wire themselves on the fly, because we each have this re-wireable, general usage processor between our ears we are capable of using the emotive filtering that seems so limiting to advantage in solving-combining a massive set of jumbled outlets into big solutions.

The secret? Communication. We, unlike computers, can communicate our individual emotionally driven outputs through our senses at various stages of developing those outputs and use this interactive recombining of our conclusions with those of other individuals whose outputs are like ours and those whose aren't. Then we can re-start our processing, but in this new iteration we have new information to manipulate. Each individual's solution to even the biggest problems can and does change because we can communicate with each other to change both the incoming-updated data-modified by the solutions of others and we can change the emotive sieve we use to sift and weight our view. Once our many minds have communicated, once we've modified our inputs and outputs by learning, we can solve the big problems with big solutions. Our big answers are as close as the person next to us if we communicate

Don't believe me? Here's proof, check out Judith Curry's website Climate Etc. where everyday hundreds of interested bloggers, laypeople and scientists from all prespectives surrounding the climate change issue are interracting, arguing, disagreeing, learning and communicating. As each day, each iteration, passes people and ideas come closer. Big solutions to big problems begin with communication.

Judith Curry's extended peer community in action.

Plausibility and the blogosphere in the post-normal age.


The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon The Rangers Tonight in Arlington

The eyes of the Lone Star State and the baseball world will be on the Texas Rangers tonight. Will the fickle finger of fate change direction and shed its grace on Ron Washington's Rangers? Will the hopes of texas' fans end in cheers or jeers? We'll find out in a few hours.

The boys of Arlington's summer were hammered on consecutive nights in San Francisco but if they can turn it around tonight all that will be history. They have a lot going for them. They're back home in front of their legions of adoring fans. Bad Vlad, who was terrible in right field in Frisco, will be re-assuming his role as designated hitter where he's done so well this season. And the smells emanting from the crowd will return to the familiar beer and barbeque and away from the pungent smell of reefer so widely reported when they played the first two games on the left coast.

Of course, they have a big disavantage too, i'm rooting for them. As everyone following The Mud Report knows my endorsment is akin to a reverse midas touch. They were big favorites going ino the World Series but, though i always go with the dogs, this time i went with The Rangers because a couple buddies of mine are diehard National League fans because they hate the designated hitter rule in the American League.

Should The Rangers win tonight they've still got a decent chance. Tomorrow Cliff Lee will be on the mound for them and if he returns to his previous playoff form, well, anything could happen. The weather looks great there right now, the tailgate parties are in full swing, the barbeques are blazing and the Lone Star beer is flowing. It'll be fun.



How Marijuana Prohibition Hurts Us All

The Mud Report has a number of entries concerning California's Prop 19, all written from a differnt perspective, all in support of its winning. This one, my last before the big vote on Nov. 2nd, focuses on the law enforcement angle. i've never been big on cops, but cops are people too and they have a tough job sometimes.

For instance, Robert Hamilton of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office who patrols Shelter Cove a little coastal town at the end of a long winding road. There's about 600 homes in Shelter Cove, half of them are, and have been for many years, occupied by retirees, fishermen and seasonal folks escaping from the city. The other half, now-a-days, are occupied by pot growers. Everyday Robert Hamilton gets phone calls from irate residents of one half of the town demanding that he go arrest the other half.

He does go out everyday and look around. What he finds are hundreds of people and their pot plants, indoors and out, in different stages of growth and with Medical Marijuana Certificates. Sure he knows that many of these, often young, unemployed, folks driving $50,000 pickups probably aren't smoking all this weed to cure their glaucoma but what can he do. He's in a bind, even when he does check all their cards, measure the square footage of their garden and press charges he knows nothing is going too happen. The law as it stands now, pre-Prop 19 vote, is unenforcable unless the operation he finds is huge and 99% of them aren't. He, like everybody there grower or not, knows that private planes fly in and out of the little airport in town in the dark and they aren't there to haul home the smoked salmon. He, and undoubtedly many other rural cops, are so frustrated by the predicament they're in that the majority of them will probably vote yes on Prop 19 next tuesday.

If it passes the police could focus on serious crime instead. And there are serious crimes that everybody in Shelter Cove, and everywhere else, agrees must be focused on. Imagine somebody's child goes missing and the cops need basic bits of information that may seem unimportant but are critical to finding the kid. They start driving up driveways, knocking on doors asking folks if they saw, for example, a red pickup yesterday. Odds are 50-50 there's a grow show of some sort going on and that it's probably to big to really qualify under the law. The residents there are likely gonna answer, "no, i didn't see nothin" or whatever answer they think will get the cops outta the driveway, and keep them out, quickest. That bit of info about the red truck might be the key to finding a lost or kidnapped child. My child or your child. Marijuana prohibition, the turning of basically honest people into criminals because of how they want to get high, hurts us all.

VOTE YES on PROP 19, please


Omar Kadhr's Guilty Plea In Gitmo's Kangaroo Court

Omar Kadhr, after eight years of psychological and physical torture, plead guilty at the Guantanamo military commission. Eight years of hell for allegedly defending himself from US soldiers who were doing their best to slaughter Afghan civilians. Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured, held illegally in violation of US law, international law and the Geneva Conventions. The liar Obama, while campaigning, stated that confessions obtained by torture would not be acceptable. As an American citizen, i am ashamed.

Omar was also betrayed and denied his rights by the ass-kissing Canadian Government of PM Harper. Harper's insistance that Omar would get 'due process' is worthless, there is no justice in Gitmo's kangaroo court. If you live in Canada, as i do, you too should realize you have the same 'rights' as Omar, your 'rights' can be taken away instantly just like Omar's. Agreeing to trumped-up charges after being told "Do this or we barbeque you testicles" is hardly justice.

Canada and the US signed a treaty, The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which clearly says "all children under the age of 18 captured while fighting in wars are to be offered “special protection” and treated as victims, not as combatants. The “special protection” given to Khadr after his capture, was to be tortured and threatened with rape when his interrogators told him a fictional story of a young man sent to an American prison who was gang-raped and died of related injuries-implying that Khadr might face a similar fate if he failed to cooperate.

America's hypocrisy is a huge diappointment. America believes it has the right to invade any country they want, and expect the inhabitants to roll over and do nothing. If anyone actually fights back, they arrest them, torture them, then charge them with terrorism. Even after Omar's forced guilty plea, there's no gaurantee he'll ever be released. The US's expert witness on Khadr's future dangerousness, Dr. Michael Welner, a board certified forensic psychiatrist and creator of the "depravity scale", declared Omar, now 23, a danger to the US if he is ever released. The Americans and Canadians are setting the stage for the next act, when this negotiated eight sentence nears its end Omar will be declared a unredemable terrorist, or some such, and be prison until he dies.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross."-Sinclair Lewis


Some TEA Party Slogans Melt Arbitrary Left-Right Divisions

The TEA Party slogan Don’t Mortgage the Future is an example of  how meaning, as well as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Regardless of where on the continous-undivided circle of the political spectrum a person may think they sit, some ideas are shared by us all. The idea that You Can’t Spend Your Way Out of Debt is just common sense. Everyone agrees that borrowing trillions of dollars from China, or anywhere else, to bailout the bankers and pay interest on your debts is somewhere between idiotic and suicidial. Are the ideas reflected in the slogans:

  • Don’t Mortgage my Child’s Future
  • Don’t Mortgage my Grandchildren’s Future
  • Save the children – Stop spending their money
  • Bailouts + Debt = fiscal child abuse
  • Debt is the problem; how can it be the solution too?
  • Special Interests Get the Pork; We Get the Beans
  • Wall Street Got a Bailout; All I Got Was The Bill
left or right, conservative or liberal ideas? Both, of course. They're simple common sense, they cross all the arbitrary divisions in the political spectrum. So do the ones that intuitively grasp the essence of more esoteric concepts like 'quantitative easing', which simply means printing more currency to pay debts thereby lowering the value of every dollar already in circulation including those that people have sweated to earn and save. Are signs that say:

  • Print Me a Trillion While You’re At It
  • Save Trees; Stop Printing Money
Republican or Democratic signs? Neither, of course. The kids and grandkids of everyone will pay for this folly. We The People are all in this together. Ideas like:

  • If You’re Not OUTRAGED, You Aren’t Paying ATTENTION!
  • Don’t Bail Out The Boat: FIX THE LEAK
  • No Public Money for Private Failure
  • Silence IS Consent
simply reflect a growing concensus among everyday people everywhere, including Americans, that there are only 2 classes, the rich and the rest of us. Small 'l' liberals and 'c' conservatives are the same creature. They are the mushy minded who have slightly different ideas on some issues [other than their entitlement to a mortage and a burned out credit card], but lack the ideals that should underlie those ideas. Ideas are open to compromise, ideals will always evolve as new information modifies them, but they aren't open to compromise, that's why there's two different words. Democrats and Republicans are the same party and We The People are not invited.


Biologist Alexandra Morton and the 'wild salmon people'

Today the Cohen Commission opens hearings on the effects, or lack of them, of fish farms on wild salmon stocks here in BC. This is a huge issue and the fish farming industry is spending millions on a propaganda campaign designed to soften up opposition to their dubious industry. Their advertising campaign centers on the 34 million sockeye of the Adams River run that showed up this year and gave us a $500 million fishery. Alexandra's blog gives a great explaination, in layman's terms, of the biology behind her continued concerns about the calculas of wild and farmed salmon.

Quoting her blog: "Eighteen years ago in July 1992 a salmon farm in the narrowest marine corridor used by the Fraser sockeye was stocked with IHN virus-infected salmon. IHN is lethal to sockeye. Government was secretive about this and let the infected salmon stay in the ocean. As a result, the disease spread to 13 salmon feedlots (9 million farm salmon) over three years in a 20 km radius exposing 6 generations of wild salmon to extremely high and unnatural levels of virus. This is exactly when Fraser sockeye productivity began to fail. "

"A second IHN epidemic raged in the feedlots for 3 years from Campbell River to Bella Bella via their smolt transport vessels. Again DFO did nothing to protect our wild salmon and the Fraser sockeye continued their decline. I think fish farmers cleaned up temporarily in 2008 and that is why we got so many sockeye back this year.”

Alexandra's website Salmon Are Sacred is a moving and well written appeal to us all. Her intelligent and throughly researched conclusions have disturbing implications for the future of both wild salmon and the Salish Sea. Her passion has inspired many people here and around the world to look more deeply into this issue and those larger ones that frame it.

Morton calls 'all wild salmon people' to Vanier Park on October 25 - Biologist Alexandra Morton has invited “all wild salmon people” to join her at Vanier Park on Monday, October 25, when she and her companions complete their paddle down the Fraser River.


Marisol Valles Garcia, police chief of Guadalupe, Mexico and the 'War on Drugs'

Marisol Valles Garcia is a 20-year-old college student majoring in criminology and she's just been named the new police chief of Práxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, Mexico, not far from Ciudad Juarez often considered “the most dangerous city in the world.”. How did she land the job? Well, she was the only one who applied for it. The last police chief was gunned down by the warring local drug cartels in July 2009 and the town's mayor was murdered this past June. The town had been unable to find a replacement a chief for more than a year.

Public officials are often sitting ducks and many have been assassinated by drug cartels doing business in Mexico. Guadalupe, a town of 8,500 in the border state of Chihuahua, used to be a quiet farming community before two rival gangs began fighting for control of the drug trafficking route along the Texas border that runs through it.

The drug cartels in Mexico make huge profits servicing the US demand for illegal drugs. The cartels are prmarily made up of the children of poor rural and urban Mexicans who have for generations been kept dirt poor by the unequal distribution of wealth down there. The richos own everything in Mexico. They've bribed every government at every level, and killed any opposition that arose througout Mexico's history. More recently the Mexican's have had to suffer the embarrassment of being servents to the rich gringo tourists who often belittle them. The new generation had had enough, now there's a bloodbath and countless innocent Mexicans are dying along with cartel members.

As the huge sucking sound of America's addiction to drugs grew louder each year many young Mexicans decided to put down their hoes and serving trays in order to make more money by filling the empty hole that was once the American dream. The US fought back with their 'War on Drugs' which was destined from day one to be a total failure. The supply side deluded Americans were, and still are, convinced that they can control the drug trade at home and abroad if they jump a bit higher over the buffalo jump. They refuse to even consider that it's their attitude of intolerance that is the problem so they build 50ft walls and the cartels build 51ft ladders.

All this killing is totally unnecessary. The hypocritical Americans will defend their right to own guns with the logic: 'guns don't hurt people, people hurt people. They understand that gun control is stupid and pointless because it's criminals who must be controlled not objects. At the same time they steadfastly refuse to apply the same logic to drugs. Drugs don't hurt people, they're an object, ballast, it's people who hurt each other. So pretty 20 year old Marisol Valles Garcia is now in the crosshairs of the idiotic War on Drugs. One day my fellow Americans will have to wake up, i hope it's today.

Mexican student takes over police in drug war town. - When she was asked whether or not she was afraid, Marisol Valles replied: “Here, everyone is afraid, we are all afraid. But we are going to exchange this fear for safety.”


Wikileaks' Iraq War Logs

"This disclosure is about the truth. We hope to correct some of that attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war, and which has continued on since the war officially concluded." - Wikileaks' Julian Assange

The Mud Report is very happy to be extended heartfelt thanks to Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange for having the courage to stand and speak out in the face of the public pressure applied to him and his website by the Pentagon and US State Department. He, of course, also knows that behind the scenes every western 'intelligence' agency has been covertly doing everything they can to discredit him or worse.

Today, following the release of these almost 400,000 classified documents, an offical Pentagon spokesman denied the US ever did any of the stuff their own documents tesity to. What else can you expect. The Pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI, and State Dept. are lying liars telling lies, misinformation is their job, nothing new there. But to be fair, Canadian military and 'intelligence' up here in Canuckistan are no different about their exploits in Afghanistan or anywhere else. Neither are Brits, French, Chinese, Pakistanis, Aussies...any of 'em.

As Julian Assange also said as his opening statement at the press confrence after the Iraq War Logs release, "the truth is the first casualty of war". Thanks again to Wikileaks' Julian Assange for his brave actions on all our behalf. Hopefully he has ninja bodyguards and a phalanx of food testers surrounding him 24/7.

Iraq: The War Logs - How the US gave its troops a chilling order to ignore detainee abuse by Iraqi authorities, however severe.

US turned blind eye to torture - Leaked documents on Iraq war contain thousands of allegations of abuse, but a Pentagon order told troops to ignore them.


Artificial Divisions In The Political Spectrum

Leftwing, rightwing and centerist are symbolic terms used to artificially divide the continuous spectrum of political philosophy into manageable groupings. This averaging not only doesn't reflect the true nature of the political spectrum it also frames the discourse into a linear relationship when a circular one far more accurately symbolizes the body politic of all western countries.

Just as red, blue and yellow are used to simplify the continous spectrum of a color wheel into 3 'primary' colors when in reality no such divisions exist we try to label political philosphies into groupings that in reality exhibit no hard divisions. Instead a continous circle of political thought morphs from one position to the next to the next without any sharpe divisions.

In America the media uses terms like RINOs [Republicans in name only] and Blue Dogs [DINOs?], conservatives and liberals, libertarians and anarcists to divide the continuum into bite size chunks. The emergence of the TEA Party has begun to melt these arbitrary chunks of the spectrum. Are TEA Partiers Rebublicans? Libertarians? Blue Dogs? Conservatives? All of the above, a bit of each or none of the above? If we follow the linear logic of the left-center-right metaphor we'd probably put anrchists are the furthest 'left' next to them, heading toward the 'center', would be socialists then mainstream Democrats, then comes the DINOs and RINOs, the mainstream Republicans, the TEA Partiers and the liberatrians furthest to the 'right'.

The linear metaphor puts anarchists and libertarians as the two most apparently distant groups when, in my opinion, these two artificially labeled groupings are kissing cousins philosophically. Anarchists and libertarians are no more different in political philosophy than say RINOs and DINOs. The circular metaphor, in my opinion, much more accurately reflects the real relationship of America's, and all western country's, morphing political paradigms.

The circular metaphor offers an alternative to the political dead end of our current artificial divisions. With it libertarians who see big government as anethma realize they have cousins at both shoulders not just one. Anarchists, who equally despise big government, do too. Likewise issues like gun control and marijuana legalization can be understood as philosophical cousins. So too for any of the diverse and colorful combinations on the political wheel. Circular logic shows us we are all cousins because, seen through the circular metaphor, all people and their intricately woven individual paradigms are equally distant from the 'center'.


Fetish Break-ins Terrorize Their Mostly Female Victims And Families

"Crimes involving sexual fetishes are far more prevalent than one might think."-CBC News. Fetish break-ins aren't silly petty crimes they are violent predatory acts that terrorize the victims and their families. Yet the courts and police treat them lightly instead of treating them as part of a psychopath's progression from seemingly victimless behavior to rape and murder.

Almost everyone, especially males, have sexual fantasies. Some of them are bizzare, but as long as they remain between the ears of the beholder or acted out in privacy they remain victimless. A fetishist becomes sexually excited by a nonsexual object and many are non-violent, non controlling and not to be confused with predators. But as soon as a fetishist takes the first step outside the private realm between their ears he becomes a terrorizer of those that he stalks or steals from.

"By sneaking into someone's place, they're showing that they can invade their territory. What that person is showing the other person is that he has no problem invading her space. It indicates that the person is working their way toward rape of a real person," said criminal profiler Pat Brown, CEO of the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency."Taking someone's underwear does two things," Brown said. "It shows that you were there and that you're taking a souvenir of your accomplishment. He is getting as near to the person's skin, so to speak, as he can possibly get."

Russell Williams is a psychopath, he has no empathy for anyone much less his victims. He, like all psychopaths, is delusional. He acts only to fulfill his delusion without regard for the victim, the pain of their family, or his own. Like a pedophile, this serial predator can't be rehabilitated he and his ilk are hardwired to do the evil they do. If there ever was an overwhelming arguement for the death penalty the SOB Russell Williams is it.

As a parent of two wonderful daughters Williams behavior terrorizes me too. Like millions of parents, i worry everyday that my kids and grandkids might be victimized by some deviant like Williams. i fantasize that if anything like these abominations were ever to happen to any member of my family i'd want the cops and the courts to turn the psychopath lose and tell me what door he'd come out and when, i'd bet Williams' victim's families feel the same. Instead of Canadians paying to feed, house and entertain assholes like Williams, Clifford Olsen and others i suggest The Louisville Slugger solution.
Williams 'pure evil': murder victim's brother
"I miss her every day. First it was Mother's Day, then it was her birthday in May. So many dreams I had of my daughter have been destroyed. I will never walk her down the aisle, hear that she's expecting a baby. He has not only taken away my precious daughter, but dreams of her future children, my future grandchildren."


Tea Party, Bright Light or Outhouse?

Years ago Preston Manning, founder of the Reform Party of Canada, answered "Bright lights always draw flies." when asked by a reporter, Why does the new Reform Pary have so many nutty supporters? "Outhouses do too" woulda been my reaction. There are many parallels historically and philosophically between Canada's Reform Party and the Tea Party that go beyond their ability to draw flies.

Like the Tea Party, the Reform Party started out as a far right populist movement whose first objectives were to cut taxes and the size of governnment, to instill Christian morality into the political mainstream, and to eliminate government regulation in every sphere of life and commerce. Unlike the Tea Party, Reform began its life as an independent political party and got their candidates elected to a small minority of federal ridings. Within a few years Reform's electoral success had reached its zenith.

Canada already had the Progressive Conservatives who, like the Republicans in the US, were the historically 'right' of center party. When Reform entered the scene most of their supporters were disenfranchised PCs plus a very few right leaning Liberals. Basically Reform simply divided the right in two creating two unelectable parties on the conservative side. Their only solution was to merge into one new party, today's Conservatives, which now are in power because the more progressive voters are votes were and are still divided between the Liberals, NDP and Green Party. At first it looked like the older larger PCs would absorb the nascent Reformers easily, but they didn't and in a matter of months Manning's protege Steven Harper emerged as the new party's leader and is now Canada's Prime Minister. Along with the Reformers came the flies circling their outhouse of ultra right wing crap. Many of these flies now make up Harper's cabinet.

The Tea Party appears to have been absorbed by the much larger Republican Party right from the get-go but, as in Canada's case, appearances can be decieving. And along with the Tea Partiers the Repulicans are now having to deal with the flies. In Canada the amalgamated rightwing parties rule with less than 40% of the vote because their opposition is divided. Unless the 'left' in Canada, Liberals, NDP and Greens, unite the theocratic Harperites and their ilk will rule the roost for many years to come.

In the US the already sorta united Rebublican-Tea Party coilition are about to win big in the mid-term elections in large part because their is no 'left' left. The solution, as i see it, is for US progressives to form their own quasiparty of idealists and, using the Tea Partiers example, bootstrap themselves back into the position they were in before the liar Obama stole their thunder.


Guns For Jesus

With the US mid-term elections just two weeks away some Republican knuckleheads are praying that Jesus will 'save them' again. This time from the embarrassment of running out of ammo during the shooting of not only commies but their TV ads.

A few nights ago i tuned in to Parker-Spitzer on CNN for the first time. My timing was perfect, it was the very begining of a set Republican TV ads they were focusing on. Seems that either muzzle velocity has replaced horsepower as the quickest route to an Amerikan's heart or the Republicans are totally committed to pandering to ignorance, or, most likely, both.

Now i realize that a commie pinko tree hippy hugger peace-nik like me has only one real function in the eyes of any real Amerikan: providing a large slow moving target to test their sights and rangefinders on. None the less it was quite a display. After the show's feature on Republican firepower Kathleen Parker commented sarcastically, "guns for Jesus". What a cool quick comment eh. i thought that probably only a southern conservative woman like her could get away with that kinda remark and not get the boot off TV within 24hrs.

The saying stuck in my head somewhere so a few minutes ago i Googled it and found...well try it yourself, it's revelational. When you consider that there's more guns in Amerika than cars or TV's it's no wonder the Tea Party will be running the place in a couple years. What with the 'great recession' and all i'm gueesing my fellow Amerikans are gonna need lottsa ammo to fight off them terrorists clamoring over their gated walls and into 'The No Sin Zone'.
"GUNS FOR JESUS"..."Arma-get-it-on" Gone Wild!
"Dear Lord/Baby Jesus: We humbly pray, here in our garage wednesday evening prayer group, that you shoot straight, keep spit on your sights and never just "wing" any of the people who hate you."


The Roots Of Resistance In France

France's general strike, if you believe the mainstream media reports, is rooted in the selfish demands of its spoiled population. The issue de jour in the media headlights being the raising of the legal retirement age from 60 to 62. From Aljazeera to CNN the headlines pound out the drum beat that millions are marching to secure their own future and maybe in some cases that's true.What's not mentioned in the mainstream media are the real roots of the french working class's discontent.

Like almost all of the capitialist world's banks France's spent the last decade or more drinking the free lunch derivative kool-aid. A series of French governments followed the Reagan-Thatcher-Bush-Clinton-Bush2 de-regulation formula of voodoo economics [main tenet: 'greed is good'] down the toilet. Then, like all their neo-liberal comrades, when their banker's bets went belly up the French borrowed big bucks from the future by selling bonds and printing money which they used to bailout the billionaire bankers. Now France and their comrades are bankrupt financially as well as morally. They can't balance their books and, unlike the US, they can't just keep printing money [quantative easing in the parlance of voodoo economists], so sorry SOB has gotta pay. Guess who?

It ain't goona be the rich, that's for sure. It's gonna be, in every counrty, the working class. The French workers and students know the score, they have a lively underground press not controlled by the corporate oligarchy who has been all over the roots of the story since the deception's inception.

So as the streets of France fill day after day with protesters, as the petrol runs out and the police and army battle to save their bank's bonus binging bastards, enjoy the show being put on by your working class comrades but don't think your government isn't doing the same thing to you, they are. They're selling bogus bonds, printing funny money and mortaging your kid's and grandkid's future to avoid paying the price of their foolish greed themselves. Vive le Presse Libre! Vive le Resistance!


The Liar Obama's Fool Me Twice Tour

Two years ago Obama fooled me and millions of others with his memorable and moving campaign speeches. i changed my work and leisure schedule around to make time to listen to his speeches, watched with my college aged daughter so she'd remember the beginings of the big winds 'change' in US and world direction away from the corporate greed that was then and is now consuming the planet and her generation's future.

Pulling the wool tightly over my own eyes i made excuses for every peice negative information that surfaced. So what if he was accepting millions from health insurance creeps and big pharma, he obviously needed the dough to fight off the Republicans. So what if he said Afghanistan was a just war. He promised to get out of Iraq, close Guantanamo, end torture, pass single payer healthcare...the list of his lies is long and well documented elsewhere, google it, if you dare.

So here we are two years later and both he and his muse Bill Clinton are again furiously criss-crossing the country giving rousing progressive sounding, slogan laden speeches aimed at resurrecting the broad based coillition of progressives that they fooled before. But this time the outhouse type aroma wafting from the podiums isn't being masked by our own hopeful self-delusions, this time we know that he and Bubba are lying bastards, this time we remember the old Chinese proverb, "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me".

Neither Obama nor Clinton ever were progressives, they simply told us what we wanted to hear and we ate it up. The only difference between GW Bush and Obama is that i used to turn off W's speeches because i knew the SOB would do exactly what he said he'd do, now i turn off Obama's because i know he won't. The spinless Democrats deserve the wiping they'll recieve on Non. 2nd. In my opinion the only possible chance my kids and grandkids have left to live a life worth living, if any at all, is a collapse of the industrial monster and who better to bring it on than the brain dead Tea Partiers.

The Ricky Ray Rector President - Perhaps a better explanation for the failure of Obama and his ilk to fight hard for the country’s welfare and for progressive values is that he is no progressive at all.


Winning Big Bucks On MLB Playoff Bets Made Easy

Everybody in the know has figured it out thatfollowing my sports prognostications is a sure fire path to fame and fortune. The trick is just bet on the opposite of my prophecies. Last week i picked 3 out of 4 losers in the first round of the major league playoffs. The one pick that did win was SF, and in that case it was an old friend who schooled me on the virtues of their pothead star pitcher Tim Lincecum.

The key to my consistancy is betting on the underdog. In every sporting event there's usually a favorite, an underdog, and a reason why each is what it is. In most cases of professional sports the favorite usually is the favorite because their organization has more money to buy top notch players than the underdog. Sometimes the odds makers' call is a toss up-even money-50/50 in which case i'm as likely as the next fan to be right/wrong so stear clear of my picks in those. Otherwise, as in all walks of life, there i'll be cheering for the hopeful but usually hapless.

Tonight it's game 1 of the AL championship, Texas Rangers vs. the Evil Empire. Of course i'm picking the Rangers to win the 7 game series. Not just because Bad Vlad, Cliff Lee and my old nemisis Tommy Grieve are part the team, not just because the Damn Yankees resemble a bunch of Wall St. barons binging on unearned bonuses, not just because they win to often by buying up their competition's best players, but because they're the dogs in gambling parlence. On the NL side, despite years of rooting for Roy Halladay when he was a hapless Blue Jay, i'm stickin with the left coast Giants, a definite dog, and their pothead pitching star.

Why do it? Why take pride in rooting for a long string of dogs? Why not just smarten up and ride the tide, go with the flow? For one, as fair Sarah of the North points out, only dead fish go with the flow and i've still got a pulse. For another, after years of losing money by betting bucks with my heart i'm now only in it for the buzz, the thrill of unlikely victory snatched from the maw likely defeat. Winning in sports can be a big endorphine buzz if you're a player, as it was pour moi in years gone by, because of the investment of the effort put into preperation and execution. Watching not so much, unless of course your investment has morphed from effort into emotion. So if, like me, you're willing to ride an emotional rollercoaster that usually ends at the bottom just so that once in a blue moon you get the big buzz, hop on the Rangers ride tonight at 5PM[pst], see ya there.


Chi, Chi, Chi, le, le, le, Miners of Chile!

With the entire world riveted, the last miner, Luis Urzua, rose smoothly out of the small hole in the ground, prompting an eruption of applause and cheers.

After a warm round of hugs and a "muchos gracias" to one and all Luis answered a few questions from Presidente Piñera. Then led by Piñera, who urged everyone to "sing with our helmets on our hearts," the crowd removed their helmets and sang the national song of Chile, con mucho gusto. Next the crowd of Chileans and international media chanted the cheer that met each miner as he left the Fenix, "Chi, Chi, Chi, le, le, le, Miners of Chile!"

The whole thrilling story was live and totally transparent. Transparency is far different from how our Norte Americano disasters or resues are handled. Here the media never gets close to the raw story, it gets carefully controlled statements from media experts well trained in the art of spin. i guess we're unable to accept either the raw ecstasy of victory or the agony of defeat except within the confines and rules of sport, the Chilians aren't. Only we in the 'developed' world require filtering lest someone might do or say something politically incorrect. Our press is free to publish anything that doesn't ruffle their sponsors feathers.

It was a unifiying event worldwide but, like most industrial disasters, it didn't have to happen. The mine had only one exit route which is totally illegal here in Canada. Chile does have some bare bones safety regulations but they are usually ignored by the mining companies who simply pay a few dinero to the regulators and inspectors so they'll look the other way.

The miners themselves are quoted, not just in Copiapo but everywhere in Latin America, as being scared every time they enter a mine. Why would these obviously intelligent, hard working, robust men go underground in those conditions for an average wage of $1 US dollar an hour? Because that's what their fathers and their fathers did. Because there are few choices if a man wants to rasie and love a family than to go underground, to dig gold and copper so the richos become richer. It was a milagro [miracle] to the predominately Catholic Chilians, a real live drama for me and a lesson about the courage common folks are capable of in uncommon times.

"I would like to thank the Chilean people, thank you very much for rescuing our brother, Carlos Mamami, Bolivia will never forget, this is a historical moment, and this unites us more every day. These events are fostering greater trust between Bolivia and Chile." - Evo Morales, President of Boliva


Esperanza Para Humanidad

Last night humans everywhere cheered as the first of the 33 trapped miners in Chile was reborn. Palestinians on one side of the barrier cheered as did Isrealis on the other. Chinese and Taiwanese cheered, Americans and Cubans, Indians and Pakistanis, Bosnians and Serbs all cheered. In southern Africa blacks and whites were elated, in the Middle East Shia and Sunni alike thanked Allah, Enviromentalists and corporate big wigs, Hindus and Muslims, Protestants and Atheists all cheered. i did too.

It was a unity unlike any except maybe the first moon landing i've experienced in my 62 years. When i went outside to let out a WAHOOO a couple minutes after that first miner emerged there were sirens blaring as the local fire fighters had been watching too.

All around the globe speed of light communications untied us in our hope for humanity, esperanza para humanidad. The sight of the capsule Fenix emerging from hades with the first liberated miner while his wife watched and his son cried was one of the most moving moments in my life.

What a wonderful feeling to be a part of that unity. "Imagine', as John Lennon said, "there's no countries and the world could be as one." Last night it was. Today, as the 24th miner emerges, it still is. Viva Chile! Viva Esperanza!


Canada seen as corrupt corporate puppet worldwide.

Aerial view of a small section the supertanker route that lies at the terminus of the proposed Enbridge bitumen pipeline from Ft. McMurray to Kitimat. Check out the new video Oil in Eden - The Battle to Protect Canada’s Pacific Coast for more details.

Canada's loss at the UN today of the international vote for Security Council seat is being spun by the theocratic Harperites as a condemnation of the Liberal opposition rather than the clear rejection of Canada's foriegn and enviromental policies. Harper's edition of governing Canada isn't really very different from what the Liberals are expounding now or the policies they pushed when they were in power under Chrétien and Martin.

Both the Conservatives and Liberals are bought and paid for by their corporate sponsors. Both unconditionally support Isreal in wharever they choose to do no matter how racist or hypocritical. Both proudly show off the brown lips they earned kissing the ass of the US whenever possible. Both support the Tar Sands disaster, the exporting of deadly asbestos though it's illegal here in Canada, both support Enbridge's pipeline to Kitimat BC and the tanker traffic connected to it. They are tweedledee-tweedledumb.

Today the United Nations' members clearly showed that the majority don't support the US and Isreali empire, their puppets, or the corporate resource wars. Good on 'em. Not that the UN has any clout, they don't, but at least once in a while the members get chance to stand up on their hind legs and pretend they are more than a debating club whose sole function is to grease the wheels of consumption of the globe's resources and further enrich the already over-gorged billionaires who bribe and corrupt almost all of their governments back home.

In Canada, the US and every self-styled democracy there are two social classes, the very few who own and control the corporate greedocracy, and the many who to often believe the propaganda that they somehow are also invested in this BIG LIE. The many want to believe that they too are the 'entitled' so they pull the wool over their own eyes. Democracy is a myth because noone speaks for the countless billions of flora, fauna, microbes and minerals, the voiceless fellow shareholders of our common weal.


Religion and Fear, Bullworks of the Dark Ages

For centuries my European ancestors lived in a world where no thought that contradicted the church's dogma was allowed, where people were condemned to hell for looking in a mirror, and it was the death sentence for believing that the earth wasn't at the center of the universe. Down through history every culture has been vulnerable to being commandeered by a belief system that promises a repreive from death.

From the earliest cities uncovered in central Asia to the present day divinings of the bishops, rabbis and imams, the many have been controlled by the few through their fear of death. Real power lies in becoming the interpreter of a culture's belief system, a religious authority. Once any culture comes up with a story/mythology that ameliorates the existential fear, that's it, no questioning of the dogma is allowed, everything has to fit in that jar, no matter what.

Here comes the important part, one of the grand illusions of our shared reality is that we assume 'seeing is believing' when actually it's the opposite. Once you really believe something to be true, every fact, every bit of evidence encountered will corroborate it. We see the world and everything in it through the filter our belief system. Beliefs come first, experience second.

These religious belief structures our ancestors evolved can be calming and useful, but still just a tool. If we drop our vigilance and forget that we're looking through the self-imposed veil of our beliefs it can appear that all world around us is validating this worldview we believe in, when in reality as the Sufi saying goes "the sea will be the sea, no matter the drop's philosophy".

"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


Resistance To The Flow Creates Change

Resistance heats your baseboard heaters, lights your bulbs, cooks your turkey. Resistors created the electronic revolution, billions of them allow us to join together here on this page. Each resister, no matter how apparently small and independent, has an effect upon the entire system. In electricty each resistor, each act of resistance to the flow, creates a change in the current which effects every outcome downstream.

Resistance to the corporate monster consuming the planet is the sum of many independent tactics rooted in shared philosophies. Every act of political resistance creates a whirlpool of downstream effects. Each act awakens the actor. The vagabond homesteader, old RV owner, dog lover, long term near poverty tactic may not be yours but one thing it does is act onto others as you'd have them act unto you and that'd be the golden rule for all types of resistance.

Urban forms of resistance, like the black box tactic, that use its friends as camouflage during their protests results in ridicule that silences their philosophical comrades and weakens-not strengthens-the paradigm of resistance to the flow of business as usual. Better that the social networking generation just wear suits and ties like everybody else in the city, then they can showup at any place any time, do their act of rebellion, then blend back in with the city suit uniform. It'd be easy, they all look alike to me.

Resistance through non-cooperation [the central theme of The Mud Report lately] is a non-violent tactic designed to suit very few folks. There's as many viable tactics as there are tacticians. Whether you're in the country, a small town, the city, the burbs, the root ideas remain the same: live by cash-stay out of debt-never buy on credit-save your money-buy local-work hard-be patient...

"Politics is how you live your life, not who you vote for!" -Jerry Rubin


Need Help Shedding Civilization, Get A Dog

Dogs need space. Dogs need attantion. Dogs need a pack, even if its just 2. So do humans on all counts. If you want to learn to live a new life, a healthy, naturally rythmic life, get a dog and learn. If, like most of us, your 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 you no matter what, get a dog.

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'd like offer a bitta advice: change your life.

About 20,000 years ago man's best friend found our stinking half starved ancestors living in caves and took a few of them into their packs. The canines taught the humans to first hunt then live collectively. They taught their two legged partners how to thrive in consort with nature through cooperation. The dogs civilized the primates no doubt in my mind.

Civilization, like chinese handcuffs, holds on by the power of fear. If you let go, stop retreating in fear, even for a second, the spell is broken. The freedom to live, hope and work towards your dreams is only one smart choice away. So, do like your ancestors did, let a dog adopt you and learn what life's really worth.



 Despite the fact that one of BC's favorite sons, Justin Morneau, is out of the playoffs due to injury again this year lottsa BCers are still rooting for the Twinkies especially in the opening round where they face 'The Evil Empire'. For decades now the Twin City team have been the most successful small market team in the Major Leagues. They, as opposed to the damn Yankees, do it the right way. The Twinkies build their teams by developing their draft picks as they progress through the farm system.

Though they seldom are able to re-sign their stars once they've been in the league long enough to be free agents they always seem to have quality young players to replace them. The Yankees on the other hand do their business like the Wall St. bankers they resemble. The pinstripers buy and sell big name, often over the hill, stars and free agents like prized cattle. The Yankees are hated because they're rich arrogant spoiled multi-millionaires. For sure some folks root for 'em and buy their gear but i figure those same folks probably either root for the ruthless rich as a rule or suffer from brain damage or both.

#2, i'll be pulling for Tampa Bay. They too are a small market team that has built their prowess internally through wise draft choices and a well run farm system. Texas has Tommy Grieve an old childhood friend and competitor who it's difficult to root against but just like back in '65 when i struck him out with my knucle curve in high school, it always felt good the few times i beat Tommy at anything because he's a great guy with tons of talent and winning against such an adversary is a huge rush. GO RAYS.

Over in the N.L. they all look equally terrible to me. i'll be rooting for the SF Giants mostly because their star pitcher and tonight's starting pitcher Tim Lincecum is an outspoken pothead and San Francisco itself is one of the left coast's great cities whereas Atlanta...isn't. Last but not least i'll be backing Cinncinati because their star is Canadian Joey Votto, also a star on Team Canada each time the World Baseball Classic [baseball's best tourney] comes around. Plus the damned Phillies have been going around trying to imitate the Yankees by tryin to buy their way the winner's circle. When they bought Roy Hallady away from the Blue Jays it was the end of me rooting for them unless, of course, they make into the World Series against the Yankees.



The Seed Saving Circle

Seed saving is both effective and necessary on every scale. There are groups around the world fighting huge and important battles against the corporate agribusiness for the future of mankind's right to save heritage seeds and regrow them as our ancestors have done since the dawn of agriculture. Vandana Shiva leads one, their website provides excellant info. in far greater depth than a blog can, please check it out if you haven't already.

On a personal scale it doesn't matter if you've got acres, a postage stamp yard or a few containers on the deck, seed saving is both an action and a symbol. Actions almost always start small and grow bigger, maybe start with a bucket of chives on the balcony if you're in a small place. As soon as the days warm up next spring the chives will be amongst the first to poke up. They'll be one of the first to have sticky smelly nectar on their flowers too. Soon the bees will come to collect it and pollinate each flower as they do. Within a month the seeds will ripen into tiny black balls ready to be spread to friends and planted everywhere. The bees are dying, chives are important.

Beans are important too and they're an easy second step because all beans are open pollinated therefore able to be saved, dried and regrown into healthy plants year after year. Many other common garden plants normally bought at a garden upply outlet have been hybredized and so aren't able to be saved for regrowing. Almost all though still have heritage types that are being cultivated by gardeners in your locale. They're the folks you need to connect with, you can learn the basics of saving every kind of seed with a simple google search, but it's the locals who'll know what grows well and what doesn't in your particular mirco-climate. Look for a Seedy-Saturday in your area early next spring or scour the local ads, the folks you'll meet will be happy to share their experience and their abundance with you. In turn you will too one day.

Real organic food grown from heritage seeds saved, replanted and saved again is resistance in action, sharing and trading your seeds multiplies your effort's effectiveness. All homegrown food is part of the 'Victory Through Vegetables' worldview, but it's also a symbol and smybols are like windows, it doesn't matter how they're built, it's what you see through them that counts. Through seed saving i see the circle of life, including mine,  i see our mother earth's abundance being plundered, i see that seed saving is one small act of awakening, one small step toward our famly's future food security and one small step of resistance regardless of the scale it's undertaken at. What do you see?


Finding A Place To Make Your Stand

Not everyone realizes that they can shed their old worldview and lifestyle easier than a snake sheds its skin. Many urban dwellers have little experience with weeds and wheelbarrels. If that's you please check out Willing Workers On Organic Farms, it's an international organization that connects organic farmers with [you guessed it] willing workers. In exchange for your time each farm provides room, board and an immersion into the small organic farm lifestyle.

Many professional people use the agency to book their vacation time, some retired people travel from farm to farm as a lifestyle, lottsa young folks use the network like a system of work-hostels. The Canadian group has over 600 farms all accross the country available to choose from. If you're unsure about making a switch to 'la dolce vita' after spending a week or two doing real work, sweating real sweat, preparing and eating real food and sleeping the sleep of the tired, you'll know.

However it happens, one day it will if you're willing to work hard, save your cash and be patient. At the end of every dirt road is a perfect old homestead that's been built, worked on and lived in for decades. There's thousands of them out there in recession torn america. In lottsa them live old homesteader[s] now having trouble hanging on. Their kids have grown up and left, they aren't interested in poverty and sweat as a life's calling.

Working and traveling in an old RV down the blue highways maybe one day it'll be your turn to get lucky, when it is be smart. Offer the oldtimer[s] a couple of deals-options, one that allows them to stay on the homestead forever, one that gives them a way out with dignity. If they stay you move onto the property, setup your RV and start learning from your new partners how to do everything it takes to keep the place going. If they go [way worse for you, you need what they know] you'll give them your cash and your RV and a bunch more dough in debt that'll probably be serviced by a little corner of the green economy.


Recessions are the best time to find a Fixer-Upper

The honking Canadian geese just flew over. They come and go with the annual seasons. So do property prices though the period of their pendulum is more like a generation than a year. There are almost everywhere in the US great deals to be had on land and homes caused by the 'Great Recession'. Folks who've lived a cash life, like the illegal aliens have, who've spent only on necessities and saved every extra dime, are in a position now to make a great deal on a fixer-upper that's been forclosed on and abandoned. They, the unindebited, can build their new life on a foundation of hard work and savings.

The same thing happened to my grandfather who in 1931 moved his pregnant wife and daughter from New England, where the economy was diving, to Detroit where there still were decent paying auto industry jobs. He'd saved enough money working as an auto mechanic in Adams, Mass. to buy a little run down 2 story house. On the ground floor the family quickly renovated and opened a small general store, upstairs they lived and rebuilt. Grandpa worked on cars and trucks out in the backyard garage when there was work, they all ran the store together. By 1936 they had not only survived the 'Great Depression' but had taken a huge step foward financially in that they were a bit better off and most were way worse. They sold the house and store and moved back home now with enough cash to buy a little peice of land and build a home on it for their kids and eventually grandkid, moi.

Same sorta story happened up here in Western Canuckistan about 1980. Most folks had ridden the realestate boom of the 70s right into the toilet, forclosures were daily as most property was underwater and the banks held lottsa property folks had walked away from. That's when we bought our little farm. We met a homesteader from the previous generation who was going further behind every month. We made a deal that got them a new start and, if we could meet the baloon payments, got us a home with good land, good water and good air. We worked day and night 7 days a week and thanks to the gods of sweat and ganja we did it.

So now in the US, if a person or family has lived like the 3rd little piggy, they have a solid foundation to make the same kinda move my grandfather did. Up here we're behind the US on the collapse curve due to Canada's continued ride on the resource pony, but its time is running out. Therefore right now is the perfect time, especially in Canada, to begin your new life of resistance to the folly of capitialism, to launch your worldview out into the underground green economy, to save your dough while looking for the perfect fixer-upper.


A Rolling Home Gathers No Taxes But Lottsa Oppurtunity

Had a born again experience back in '76, signed over everything and was reborn as either a totally broken loser or a budding working class experiment. Either way the grocery store wasn't giving away peanut butter so...Fortunately real estate prices were about to take a nose dive around '80 [guess all those years of prayer worked] and i'd have a few years to build up a small down payment. Meanwhile everybody living in a rainforest needs a roof so i bought a great old '50 Chevy school bus that had all the RV gear but needed gutting. That, plus other carpentry jobs took the first year. The Bus morphed into mosta the down payment 4 years later when my daughter and i found a place to make our stand.

Buying a solid old RV that doesn't leak and whose appliances work, just like the bus was in '76, is still a great first step for the committed corporate resister. You can work on it as you roll from job to construction job or farm to farm. It's an inexpensive rolling roof that, once beautified, could be a nestegg or a first hogan whereever you find to make your stand. There are thousands of potentially resurectable RVs out there for a couple grand apeice. If you're an American, the great southwest desert, because of its aridity, is one place to look. If you're Canadian your best bet would be Alberta, the closest thing to Arizona we've got up here.

If you're retired like me, an old RV is a good way to downsize and enjoy the fruit of all those years of sweat plus way to keep busy as any an old RV owner will tell ya. If you're middle age it's a great way to make a new start, to re-test the wind, to live your dreams again. And if you're young, it's the best way to disappear into the underground economy, to disappear from the tax collecter, the cencus, the banks...seasonal agriculture, construction projects, living on the road, all perfect ways for younger folks to connect their roots with their dreams.

The road divides for the rolling home, one path leads to the life of the vagabond, one to the life of the homesteader. For me it was an easy choice. The call of owning, building, farming my own bit of dirt was the loudest siren's song of all. We made it, though in the first buncha years it was barely. No matter where you stake your claim, unless you're born with a silver spoon, it's gonna seem impossible to round up a down payment, impossibler yet to build a home however small, clear land or develop a garden. Up here in BC many oldtimers rolled into the budding green economy as a way to mitigate the mortage and turn their green cash into building their dreams.

Take a look around, the rich rule, the rest drool. One of the only commodities a country boy can produce that commands a decent income for the work invested is weed. Every state and province has its own weed industry, most every rural area is next door to the wide open spaces. If you're lookin to bootstrap your way to owning a bit of dirt check out the green economy.