Sunday, January 06, 2013

Corporations are People, My Friend

When Jonathan Frieman of San Rafael, Calif., was pulled over for driving alone in the carpool lane, he argued to the officer that, actually, he did have a passenger.

 He waved his corporation papers at the officer, he told NBCBayArea.com, saying that corporations are people under California law.

 Frieman doesn't actually support this notion. For more than 10 years, Frieman says he had been trying to get pulled over to get ticketed and to take his argument to court -- to challenge a judge to determine that corporations and people are not the same. Mission accomplished in October, when he was slapped with a fine -- a minimum of $481.

“Just imagine what THAT courtroom scene’ll be like,” he wrote.

He imagined what he might say to the judge: “Your honor, according to the vehicle code definition and legal sources, I did have a ‘person’ in my car. But Officer so-and-so believes I did NOT have another person in my car. If you rule in his favor, you are saying that corporations are not persons. I hope you do rule in his favor. I hope you do overturn 125 years of settled law.”

Full Story Here....



Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Entering the Galactic Plane

Here's a fun rabbit hole to fall down. I could follow YouTube threads like this for days. But, then again, that's me.




Tuesday, May 08, 2012

HUMAN SOCIETIES STARTING TO RESEMBLE ANT COLONIES




A really cool article from Discovery News.  (no, seriously. this is really interesting. I can't wait to bring this up with an alive mind over a cold drink)


The human population is growing at such a staggering rate that we are organizing ourselves more like ant supercolonies, with new research finding that we have more in common now with some ants than we do with our closest living animal kingdom relatives.
The new study, published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, points out that both humans and ants (termites, too) live in societies that may consist of up to a million plus members.
"As a result, modern humans have more in common with some ants than we do with our closest relatives the chimpanzees," Mark Moffett, author of the study, told Discovery News. "With a maximum size of about 100, no chimpanzee group has to deal with issues of public health, infrastructure, distribution of goods and services, market economies, mass transit problems, assembly lines and complex teamwork, agriculture and animal domestication, warfare and slavery."


In Defense Of Occupation: Dealing With Skeptics


A great write up with real-world arguments for what the author calls skeptics; I just refer to them as people on auto-pilot.




“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.” –Bob Dylan

So, you took off from work on May 1 but opted to not explain about May Day to any of your co-workers. Little did you know that you’d be recognized in footage on the evening news and find yourself face-to-face with a skeptical colleague, who ponders: I don’t get it. What do the occupiers want? Why is there no clear agenda?
You: Um, have you heard of a little something called theDeclaration of the Occupation of New York City?
ColleagueYeah, maybe, kinda… but still, everyone says they lack a coherent message.
Mic Check: Pardon us, but all the comprehensive and meaningful agendas like “Yes We Can” and “Hope and Change” and “Shock and Awe” were already taken.
ColleagueI read in the papers and saw on TV that…
You: Whether you label them liberal or conservative, most major media outlets are large corporations owned by or aligned with even larger corporations, and they share a common goal: to make a profit by selling a product — an affluent audience — to a given market: advertisers. Therefore, we shouldn’t find it too shocking that the image of the world being presented by a corporate-owned press very much reflects the biased interests of the elite players involved in this sordid little love triangle.
As they ponder this unexpected dose of reality, up walks a second co-worker, who asks: But who are the leaders? Why don’t they have any leaders?
Possible first reaction: How’s the whole leaders/hierarchy/top-down concept exactly worked out for us — or any life form? Why would a movement for change replicate relics from the omnicidal system we are seeking to replace as soon as possible?
More accessible reply: Go to your local occupation, participate, communicate, listen, and learn because (as usual) the reality is diametrically opposed to the conventional wisdom: Everyone at Occupy is a “leader.” It is a movement comprised of thousands of “leaders” from all walks of life — working collectively and sharing skills — without the spirit-crushing hierarchies and chains of command.

Monday, April 09, 2012

read this. now tell me how we're all supposed to just be ok with this.

hello. hello, are you hearing the sound of my voice? please - read these next few paragraphs. the world will wait:



Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (Viking, April 2) is one such story. Despite its vivid details, thriller-novel pacing, and foundation in personal memoir, the book, a product of several interviews between Washington Post writer Blaine Harden and North Korean refugee Shin Dong-hyuk, will likely fall beneath the radar of American audiences; regrettably, with greater ease than Shin struggled through a small opening in an high-voltage fence in 2005.

Born into one of North Korea’s six “complete control districts” (i.e. labor camps), which have remained virtually unnoticed by the global community in spite of their visibility on Google Earth, Shin was stripped of his humanity from the start. Classified as “irredeemable” because of an uncle’s crime against the state (fleeing the country after the Korean War), Shin was regularly overworked, abused, and starved. In Camp 14, an isolated compound about 30 miles long and 15 miles wide, Shin was taught to believe that violence was normal and snitching a duty.

When Shin, at the age of 13, discovered that his mother and older brother were planning an escape attempt, he promptly told a prison guard. Within weeks, Shin’s mother and brother were brought in front of the crowded camp and shot. Though Shin sees this betrayal as the most trying burden his life, at the moment of execution Shin was angry. “He hated his mother and brother with the savage clarity of a wronged and wounded adolescent,” wrote Harden.

What sets Escape From Camp 14 apart is that the preconditions for Shin’s imprisonment remain intact. As Harden points out in the book’s introduction, North Korean labor camps—home to 150,000 to 200,000 prisoners according to the U.S. State Department—have lasted twice as long as the Soviet gulag and nearly twelve times longer than Nazi concentration camps. The longevity of the camps, however, provides little excuse for their existence.


ok. so here we are, on the other side of this information. can you please explain to me how we all as moral human beings are supposed to be ok with this happening now, today, in the world we all live in. why isn't anyone doing anything? we're completely screwed as a species if our priorities have gotten so distorted and grotesque that we either ignore or cannot afford to address the fact that there are prison camps holding children from birth and who work and control them and warp them so badly that they don't even have compassion for their own mother's death. that happened.

this is real life. not an orwell novel. i don't understand why no one does anything about it. right now, i don't have an answer except to tell people about it. thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Will Self: Walking is political


A century ago, 90% of Londoners' journeys under six miles were made on foot. Now we are alienated from the physical reality of our cities. Will Self on the importance of walking in the fight against corporate control.


Put bluntly: deprived of mechanized means of locomotion – the car, the bus, the train – and without the aid of technology, the majority of urbanites, who constitute the vast majority of Britons, neither know where they are, nor are capable of getting somewhere else under their own power.

Year on year, the number of journeys taken on foot declines – indeed, on current projections walking will have died out altogether as a means of transport by the middle of this century. Now we are alienated from the physical reality of our cities.

Continue reading at the Guardian.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brain scans of Nasa astronauts reveal serious deformities

Reid, this one is for you.

From the Irish Times:


HOUSTON – Brain scans of Nasa astronauts who have returned to Earth after more than a month in space have revealed potentially serious abnormalities that could jeopardise long-term space missions.

Doctors examined 27 astronauts who had flown long-duration missions with the US space agency and found a pattern of deformities in their eyeballs, optic nerves and pituitary glands that remain unexplained.

(continue reading at link above)

Monday, March 05, 2012

30 yrs Gone, & Still Far Ahead


Philip K. Dick passed 30 yrs ago today. Listen to this excellent radio piece about his life and work. His mind was so unique, and his interpretations of life and "reality" are infinitely priceless. You don't even have to read any of his books to know this, his perspective was so powerful that it has pervaded throughout mainstream culture. And you don't have to be a fan or be familiar with him to gain something from listening to these interviews and analysis.




“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Fruit Feb / Meatless March

Quick goal update. I was 100% compliant with my Fruit Feb goal of 2 pieces of fruit a day. I have come to crave it, and definitely kicked my habit into high gear. Good habits.

Here's my new favorite breakfast: handful of almonds and some sliced fruit (peach in this case).



And on a cabin trip, I came up with this happy happenstance - guacamole with papaya. It is really, surprisingly, great. You have to try it sometime, trust me.




NOW.

Who's ready for the next food challenge? I'm doing Meat Free Mondays for all of March. I'm going completely vegan, but meat-free will be good enough for my books if you want to join along. "Meatless Monday" is a term I've heard for awhile now (championed by Sir Paul McCartney, no less) and have already tried to do it for the most part. Now, I'm committing full force for March. Why? Because, why not. Life's boring, push yourself, have fun, try something new. OK?



Friday, March 02, 2012

Click Here. Listen Now. Common sense on the march!

EVERYBODY!  LET'S HIGH FIVE THIS GUY. SEND HIM A CUPCAKE. OR A "GREAT JOB AT BEING A HUMAN BEING" LETTER. 

That's what I'm doing.

(the letter thing, at least.)


When I heard this on the radio this morning, I nearly crashed by car in shock. A politician, nay, a Republican politician, breaking ranks and following his inner good sense instead of being lead around on a leash by big business interests.  HOLY SMOKES!

What he's doing makes so much sense, it really almost turned me blind, I'm so not used to hearing this. Short summary: they want to build a huge open-pit mine in northern Wisconsin. It will bring jobs to the area, so most people are for it. Schultz is for it. But they have to rewrite mining regulations in the process. So Senator Schultz, seeing that reforms & legislations were being rushed through too quickly to dissect, were going too far in some cases, and just generally "heavy on what the mining company wants, and weak on public input", put the brakes on, voted against party lines, and therefore swung the vote.


WHOA.

As Schultz is quoted: 

 “It was quite clear.that the people are interested in mining and mining jobs, they just want it done right. I think one person summed it up pretty well, and I’ve heard Senator Jauch say this before, we want the mine – we fear the mine. And our job is to put together a framework for operation and oversight that should give people confidence”

Fucking balls!

(pardon my french).

I just get so amped when I see people with backbone these days.  As he goes on to explain why that is not the case with his peers: 

 “But what I have seen lately has been disheartening....I’ve watched as more and more of my legislator colleagues are reluctant to speak their minds for fear that they’re going to become a target and I think that’s bad for all of us, regardless of what issues we have,” Schultz says."


cupcakes. high-fives. great job at being a decent, thoughtful human being and caring for your community and our collective health and well-being letter. He deserves all that. We need to encourage things like this!

GREAT JOB DALE SCHULTZ.


Seriously you guys, listen to this story. You gotta hear the full thing. I don't care where you live, this is not a local issue, this is an example of a small victory for common sense.




Georgia: Stalwart Supporter of Liberty? Or Just a Big Ugly Wart?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

There is Still a Choice

Between this and the new tracking specifications, I'm avoiding Google from now on. New Browser, New Search Engine.


(made this to illustrate my point)





from The Daily What



As of this morning, the infamous definition of the word “Santorum” is no longer the top search result on Google.

Spreading Santorum, the website that helped popularize Dan Savage’s alternative meaning, was stripped of its top search result status two nights ago. It was replaced for a time by the markedly filthier Urban Dictionary definition (which even grossed Savage out), but now that too appears to have been moved down (at the time of writing, it is in the number three spot).

SearchEngineLand took a wonky look at what exactly happened, and came back with a pretty troubling response.

It seems Google has been working behind the scenes to implement new SafeSearch features that are left on even when you’ve turned SafeSearch off. One of these features prevents “adult” results from showing up when Google has deemed them irrelevant to the search.

In other words, if you’ve searched “Santorum,” Google “assumes” you’re not looking for frothy fecaled lube, but for the presidential candidate.

Another newly implemented feature aims to return “official sites” as the most relevant search result, and Google again “assumes” that Spreading Santorum is not Rick Santorum’s official site.

So, no more Google Problem for Rick, but an even bigger Google Problem for the rest of us. Fair trade?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

not no. YES.

Today is an Extra day. Do Something Bold. Propel yourself forward for the next 4 yrs.


need advice? Start here with an essay by "Sound of Young America" host Jesse Thorn.


Make Your Thing: 12 Point Program for Absolutely, Positively 1000% No-Fail Guaranteed Success



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dispatches from the Front Line

From the Yes Men (email update)


Feb. 27, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MASSIVE LEAK REVEALS CRIMINALITY, PARANOIA AMONG CORPORATE TITANS
Dow pays "strategic intelligence" firm to spy on Yes Men and grassroots activists. Takeaway: movement is on the right track!

WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs (see below), also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)

Many of the Bhopal-related emails, addressed from Stratfor to Dow and Union Carbide public relations directors, reveal concern that, in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, the Bhopal issue might be expanded into an effective systemic critique of corporate rule, and speculate at length about why this hasn't yet happened—providing a fascinating window onto what at least some corporate types fear most from activists.

"[Bhopal activists] have made a slight nod toward expanded activity, but never followed through on it—the idea of 'other Bhopals' that were the fault of Dow or others," mused Joseph de Feo, who is listed in one online source as a "Briefer" for Stratfor.

"Maybe the Yes Men were the pinnacle. They made an argument in their way on their terms—that this is a corporate problem and a part of the a [sic] larger whole," wrote Kathleen Morson, Stratfor's Director of Policy Analysis.

"With less than a month to go [until the 25th anniversary], you'd think that the major players—especially Amnesty—would have branched out from Bhopal to make a broader set of issues. I don't see any evidence of it," wrote Bart Mongoven, Stratfor's Vice President, in November 2004. "If they can't manage to use the 25th anniversary to broaden the issue, they probably won't be able to."

Mongoven even speculates on coordination between various activist campaigns that had nothing to do with each other. "The Chevron campaign [in Ecuador] is remarkably similar [to the Dow campaign] in its unrealistic demand. Is it a follow up or an admission that the first thrust failed? Am I missing a node of activity or a major campaign that is to come? Has the Dow campaign been more successful than I think?" It's almost as if Mongoven assumes the two campaigns were directed from the same central activist headquarters.

Just as Wall Street has at times let slip their fear of the Occupy Wall Street movement, these leaks seem to show that corporate power is most afraid of whatever reveals "the larger whole" and "broader issues," i.e. whatever brings systemic criminal behavior to light. "Systemic critique could lead to policy changes that would challenge corporate power and profits in a really major way," noted Joseph Huff-Hannon, recently-promoted Director of Policy Analysis for the Yes Lab.

Among the millions of other leaked Stratfor emails are some that reveal dubious financial practices, including an apparent insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz, who joined Stratfor's board of directors and invested "substantially" more than $4 million in the scheme, called StratCap. "What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor's intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments," wrote Stratfor CEO George Friedman in September 2011. StratCap was designed through a complex offshore share structure to appear legally independent, but Friedman assured Stratfor staff otherwise: "Do not think of StratCap as an outside organisation. It will be integral... It will be useful to you... We are already working on mock portfolios and trades." (StratCap has been due to launch in 2012, though that could now change.)

Other emails show Stratfor techniques of a truly creepy Spy vs. Spy sort: "[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control," wrote CEO Friedman recently to an employee, Reva Bhalla, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on Chavez's cancer. (Stratfor's "confidential intelligence services" clients include, besides Dow and Union Carbide, the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines, the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon.)

Perhaps most entertainingly of all, the email trove reveals that Stratfor's "Confederation Partners"—an unethical alliance between Stratfor and a number of mainstream journalists—are referred to informally within Stratfor as its "Confed Fuck House." (Another discovery: Coca Cola was spying on PETA. More such gems are sure to surface as operatives sift through the 5.5 million emails.)

A number of the remaining Yes Men-related emails take the form of reports on public appearances by the Yes Men, such as one that describes one audience comprised of "art students on class assignments and free entertainment." Another notes that "The Yes Men tweeted about the US Chamber of Commerce 'plotting forged emails, documents to trick (AND smear) opponents,'" a reference to an apparent plot to discredit Chamber opponents using forged documents, as revealed when thousands of emails were recently leaked by Anonymous from cyber-security firm HB Gary. Yet another discusses Alessio Rastani, the Wall Street trader widely mistaken for Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum, who proclaimed, live on the BBC, that "governments don't rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world."

"Rastani was right," said the real Andy Bichlbaum five months later. "But it's now very clear that it doesn't have to be that way anymore."

The Yes Men and representatives from the Bhopal Medical Appeal will join Julian Assange of Wikileaks at a press conference at noon today, Feb. 27, at the Frontline Club in London.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We've Forgotten What We've Forgotten


Fascinating.

I often wonder about the knowledge and lifestyles that have been lost to history. This article struck a chord:


The myth of the eight-hour sleep 
By Stephanie Hegarty
BBC World ServiceF

In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.

In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.

His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.

Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.

"It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.

During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.

And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.

A doctor's manual from 16th Century France even advised couples that the best time to conceive was not at the end of a long day's labour but "after the first sleep", when "they have more enjoyment" and "do it better".

Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.

By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.

Friday, February 17, 2012

12 of 2012 Book Review: #1 - Vultures' Picnic by Greg Palast


Gonzo Journalism is defined as “a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative.” Also known as “New Journalism,” it encompasses a style that is as informative as it is entertaining, keeping the author within the story itself and not backing away from having an opinion and being subjective.

Such is Vulture’s Picnic.

Mr. Palast is an Corporate Fraud Investigator turned Journalist, with and a healthy splash of James Bond (read: plane hopping, hard alcohol and sex with women). Accompanied by a real-life “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” as his side kick “investgatrix” as he calls it, committed camera man, and truth warriors at large, he goes for the throat of white collar criminals. Often fueled by insider information and documents marked “classified,” he keeps pulling at strings that lead to bigger and bigger frauds and conspiracies (the actual, men in a boardroom kind).

EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL
GULF COAST HORIZON OIL SPILL
AZERBAIJAN SPILL that was SDT as Gulf Coast, but was covered up

RECKLESS DERIVATIVES TRADING
FINANCIAL BULLIES DISGUISED AS IMF, WORLD BANK

On, and on. Palast paints a complete picture of the puppets and puppet masters that run the show for their own veiled gains. It’s the whole enchilada. It’s an extremely intelligent analysis of Why Things Are they way they are and Who Benefits and How.

Palast is the hero to all the anti-heroes polluting our world with their fuzzy ethics and even fuzzier economics. In fact, he was at the same infamous “Chicago School of Economics” at University of Chicago where dark knights like Milton Friedman cut their teeth. Except he didn’t take the Goldman Sachs job and smother his inner voice that strives for an exciting life spent pursuing truth and passion. He went for it, baby. Big paychecks won’t make you cool! And with his fedora, cigars and accolades from everyone from Robert F. Kennedy to the son of Martin Luther King, Jr., he earned his cool in spades. Take that to the bank.

I love it.

I bought this book as a Christmas present to myself (from a local bookstore, thankyouverymuch) after hearing him on Democracy Now!. So glad I did. If everyone read this book, things would change. They absolutely would change. The stories – like the Alaska natives having their homes literally pushed into sea, and Azerbaijani’s starving next to oil fields and casinos for their despots - have embedded a different narrative in my mind. Not only of who the victims are, but what the crime is – what really happened. That’s key.

Fucking read this book people!

If you are not thoroughly entertained, horrified, enlightened, and left wanting more, I’ll come to your home, slap you as hard as I can in the face, and then give you your money back. That’s a guarantee!



(p.s. if you want to just dip your toe in the pool first, go to gregpalast.com and read his op-eds.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's a Big, Beautiful World. Don't Waste it On the Couch.

I came across an article on Forbes.com entitled "How to Be More Interesting."

This should be obvious to most people. But I've found that the obvious is surprisingly overlooked a lot of times. I do it. A lot of people around me do it. It's OK. But if you need some inspiration, a reminder on how to suck it up and stop sucking, take a look at this short, fun piece.

My favorite quote: "If your arrogance is more obvious than your expertise, you are someone other people avoid." Amen.

And this is my favorite graphic.



Maybe they're just two symtoms of the same disease - worrying too much about what other people think.

Where's the fun in that?


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Doomsday Preppers

I was introduced to this TV show over the weekend. Holy smokes - this will give you some perspective! From the immortal words of Bob Dylan:

"I will not go down under the ground
'Cause somebody tells me that death's coming 'round
And I will not carry myself down to die
When I go to my grave my head will be held high

Let me die in my footsteps
before I go down under the ground"








Let Me Die in My Footsteps

I will not go down under the ground
'Cause somebody tells me that death's comin' 'round
An' I will not carry myself down to die
When I go to my grave my head will be high,

Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

There`s been rumors of war and wars that have been
The meaning of the life has been lost in the wind
And some people thinkin' that the end is close by
'Stead of learnin' to live they are learning to die.

Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

I don`t know if I`m smart but I think I can see
When someone is pullin` the wool over me
And if this war comes and death`s all around
Let me die on this land `fore I die underground.

Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

There`s always been people that have to cause fear
They`ve been talking of the war now for many long years
I have read all their statements and I`ve not said a word
But now Lawd God, let my poor voice be heard.

Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

If I had rubies and riches and crowns
I`d buy the whole world and change things around
I`d throw all the guns and the tanks in the sea
For they are mistakes of a past history.

Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

Let me drink from the waters where the mountain streams flood
Let me smell of wildflowers flow free through my blood
Let me sleep in your meadows with the green grassy leaves
Let me walk down the highway with my brother in peace.

Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

Go out in your country where the land meets the sun
See the craters and the canyons where the waterfalls run
Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho
Let every state in this union seep in your souls.



And you`ll die in your footsteps
Before you go down under the ground.


Friday, February 03, 2012

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander


hypocrites - they'd be hilarious, sad people if they weren't in power:

from boingboing.net

Rep. Jud McMillin, a Republican in the Indiana General Assembly, has withdrawn a bill requiring mandatory drug-testing for welfare recipients. The withdrawal was occasioned by an amendment introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Rep. Ryan Dvorak. The amendment would require mandatory drug testing for members of the Indiana General Assembly, as well.

"After [the amendment] passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill," Dvorak said. "If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. ... If we're going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money."

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Resolving to Evolve

It’s January 31st, and I’m a month into a number of personal resolutions. To some people, most people, stuff like this is nonsense. A day is a day and a year is a  year, and they don’t ever change their habits or lifestyles. It is what it is. And maybe you are perfect, or maybe you don’t care, but I am neither. I want more.

I’ve found that I need to set guidelines, tricks for my mind to remember and goals that will motivate me, otherwise, nothing will ever change. I have a default setting, and it’s lazy and involves pizza.  We all make mistakes, but I do All I Can – that is what Sharon Van Etten is singing at this very moment as I am writing this. Fitting. True.



Happy to say I’ve stayed 98% true to my ‘No Wheat January’ goal. Made an exception last Friday for a beer, lest I die by whiskey old fashions, but have maintained the diet otherwise. No bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, etc. etc.  I feel great.

But going without has taught me something about extremes, and the way it can be compensated by other things that aren’t necessarily good. For February and on, I need to evaluate finding balance. Not the ‘all or nothing’ propositions that resolutions often are.  Strive for improvement, but don’t over-correct.

Moving forward, I’m still saying no to wheat, but if I’m eating out with friends and there’s shared things, I’m not going to say no. My lifestyle isn’t going to be reworked.

Some of my other resolutions have been additions, not prohibitions, and they will continue. Daily multi-vitamin and salmon oil pills. Regular shots of wheat grass (yum). Fruit Every Day (my new motto) – I like an orange for breakfast (blood oranges are in season and are delicious) and some other type of fruit for afternoon snack. Vegetables, Vegetables, Vegetables – in multitude and with variety. I cooked a collard green side dish the other weekend, great stuff. I made a beans and root vegetable variety stew (carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes), also great. Experimenting with new vegetables is making me a better cook, on top of the number one reason why I do anything, it’s fun. Throw in stretching, exercising, and drinking lots of water, and I’m built to last!

So that is what I have going on, in addition to lots of other personal and professional goals that I’m not going to spell out.  But they are in the same vein – daily and weekly goals that help remind and motivate me to do certain things.  And if you haven’t set any resolutions for yourself yet, it’s not too late. In fact, I found one article suggesting February is a better time to start anyway!

I’m inviting everyone to join me in my top goal – Fruit Feb. I’m doing 2 pieces a day, you can go with one.  But make it every day!



Benefits of Fruit

• Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.
• Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
• Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, anthocyanins. These compounds, firstly, help body protect from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and secondly, help body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant values which is something measured by their "Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity" or ORAC.
• Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some "blue fruits" like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberries, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin.
• Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants which helps body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs in the human body. The overall benefits are manifold! Fruit nutrition benefits are infinite!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sincere Question of the Day

Why is a loyal, active, youthful supporter base a problem when it comes to Ron Paul?

That's what got Obama in office.

He's the only candidate that I see as posing a real threat to Obama's reelection, and it's almost comical how clearly you can see behind the curtain that the Republican establishment will not let that happen. I don't understand why. If they embraced him, he'd have the Republican base who will Vote Republican even if Judas himself was the nominee (note: I'm not certain he hasn't been already), and on top of that, you'd have a real grab for the swing, independent voters that really do decide an election (assuming it's not just pre-programmed into the Diebold machines). I think it's because they* don't have their hooks in him and they know it. He'd be a loose cannon, too risky.



* lobbyists & the money elite they work for: bankers, large corporations, investment firms, defense contractors, oil companies, Koch brothers. in other words, the establishment as we know it. can't go messing with the status quo!

Friday, January 27, 2012

This is what gives me hope




From the Guarduan: 

"Russian police don't take kindly to opposition protesters – even if they're 5cm high and made of plastic.

Police in the Siberian city of Barnaul have asked prosecutors to investigate the legality of a recent protest that saw dozens of small dolls – teddy bears, Lego men, South Park figurines – arranged to mimic a protest, complete with signs reading: "I'm for clean elections" and "A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin".

"Political opposition forces are using new technologies to carry out public events – using toys with placards at mini-protests," Andrei Mulintsev, the city's deputy police chief, said at a press conference this week, according to local media. "In our opinion, this is still an unsanctioned public event."

Activists set up the display after authorities repeatedly rejected their request to hold a sanctioned demonstration of the kind held in Moscow to protest disputed parliamentary elections results and Vladimir Putin's expected return to the presidency in a March vote."

continue reading.



It's sad because it takes a cutesy photo like this, one that is complete internet blog bait, to get some international attention. Again, my new enemy NPR, I remember about 2 months ago driving to get my sister after work and NPR was doing nothing but gossiping about Republican candidates, so I switched around finally to see what other talk radio stations were out there. I found one other news talk station that was airing a very loose call in show that was featuring a long phone conversation with an American journalist in Russia. She explained why people were upset and what it took to get them so mad to protest in such a major and historic way. This conversation was at least 15 minutes long, not a 4 minute and forget it style piece a la NoPointRadio. That really woke me up to how much were missing out on. (And let me add, I get "woken up" all the time. I find it has to be a continual process because it starts to fade and you slip back into complacency.)



All that aside, what can we do to help these people? This doll protest is one of the greatest, funniest things ever. I love that the human spirit can turn desperate times into not only desperate, but creative and funny measures.  Here's another example: a Banksy supported art collective painted this giant phallus on a draw bridge that faced the local FSB headquarters (aka the successor to the KGB).





lol's.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What You Don't Know Is Hurting You. And Me. And Everyone Else On This Planet.



I’m currently reading “Vulture’s Picnic” by Greg Palast (long, gushing review to come in the near future). I googled Exxon last night, and this is the latest news headline, dated January 19, 2012.

Exxon to pay $1.6M penalty for Yellowstone River spill

What I’ve learned from his book so far, is that to oil companies, it’s cheaper to Pay the Victims than to Prevent the Crime. (made this jpg to illustrate. do i have to put some sort of "supposedly" disclaimer so I don't get the hounds sicked on me? I hate that it's dangerous to have an opinion in this country today). In other words, if they took all the measures necessary (and very often times legally required but un-enforced) it is much cheaper to just pay for the cleanup and buy off the local victims. Preventative measures like P.I.G.S to examine the pipeline structure, valid cleanup plans and actually equipment built and ready along with personnel trained and prepared to react when the inevitable happen, all that is just money spent on “what if” when they could spend half that on a lazy “oh shit” response should the time come.

AND THE TIME ALWAYS COMES.

Yellowstone. Prince William Sound, Alaska. The entire Gulf Coast. These are areas that are just ruined now. There’s no going back. Irreplaceable habitats, and the local economies inextricably linked to these areas devastated. Lives ruined. Futures lost. History lost.

Instead of the bare minimum payments for cleanup costs, why don’t we demand a portion of the enormous profits that are being made off of these operations? They’ve taken a resource that belongs to no one except whoever successfully called “dibs” last, and they’ve recklessly extracted and transported it through highly sensitive areas. The bare minimum is not good enough. They do not deserve to make such ridiculous profit off of this at the expense of humanity itself. *

And if we’re not going to demand more money – seemingly the only value these type of people hold – can we at least get some lawmakers with guts and follow through to hold them to tighter scrutiny? Safety and prevention. Clear cut demands on what a total “clean up” would be defined as. That’d all be “nice.”

AND FINALLY. My rant the other day on NPR. This story is CASE IN POINT on what is being missed by supposedly mainstream “liberal” media. I checked nytimes.com, huffingtonpost.com and NPR for coverage. NY Times had (seriously, not an exaggeration) – 1 paragraph. 1 lousy paragraph, and that was on a “green blog” with a title “On our Radar” and was followed by a few other miscellaneous things. I really think framing things like this as a “green” issue, as if it’s a cozy cuddly, that’d be nice to do type thing, instead of a five-alarm crime against our heritage and future well-being, is just, well, sad.

Huffington Post and NPR just posted an Associated Press piece about it. (I didn’t see anything on NPR that it actually made it to the airwaves). And – surprise, surprise – it’s the blandest collection of words you could ever imagine. Emotionless robots write for the AP. There isn’t a pulse to be found in those letters. It makes it sound as dry as the meeting notes from a local PTA gathering. Instead it’s belying the fact that YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, pretty much the face of this country, was defiled by corporate negligence.

Here’s my favorite, infuriating bits of info from the AP article:

The same day the settlement was announced:
“Also Thursday, Exxon increased its estimate of how much crude spilled into the river during the July 1 accident near Laurel to 1,509 barrels, or more than 63,000 gallons.”

Here’s some money. Oh, by the way, it’s a lot worse than we admitted. Bye-now!
“It contains provisions to shield the company against any future lawsuits from state agencies.”

And what have they done so far?
“Only about 10 barrels of crude were recovered by cleanup crews. That's less than 1 percent of the total spilled, federal officials have said.”

“There were hundreds and hundreds of acres of land affected and it was a major oil spill.”


Yep, here ya go! 1.6 million should cover it, right boys? [carelessly shakes a bit of change out from the bottom of his pockets] Pleasure doing business with ya. See you next time!

Is there no justice in this world?**





* [Sidenote: I’m not a socialist, so go boink yourself if you want to say that. When it comes to LIMITED, ESSENTIAL RESOURCES of which no one person or company can say they created, why does the public get skinned for that? Go build a widget factory, and I won’t give a crap what you do with your profit. As long as you don’t shit on your neighbor in the process. There needs to be rights and oversights to entities that endanger the public good. STOP REPEATING small minded & loaded terminology to protect your own greed and fear based ideology. IT’S DO OR DIE TIME – stop defending the purveyors of our own demise.]

** [Trick question. There’s not. Greg Palast has proven that to me beyond a doubt.]

Monday, January 23, 2012

Seen on the Streets



Saw this Sunday morning - someone must have hacked the bus stop ad. Love it. Really love it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'm Grateful for the Women Who Came Before Me

Roe vs. Wade turns 39 today.

Can someone explain to me: why do otherwise rational, leave politics out of it libertarians like Ron Paul, also support pro-life movements? And at the same time, don't support welfare and programs that actually help kids who are here and need support. I really, really (really) don't get it.





Let's leave headlines like this to the Onion.


Supreme Court Overturns 'Right v. Wrong'

WASHINGTON—Striking down the judicial precedent that established the legal supremacy of right over wrong more than two centuries ago, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned Right v. Wrong.

The landmark reversal—a bitterly contested 5-4 decision that has been widely praised by murderers, rapists, bigots, usurers, and pro-wrong advocates nationwide—nullifies all previously lawful forms of right and makes it very difficult for Americans to make ethical decisions or be generally decent human beings without facing criminal charges.

"It is the opinion of this court that the Constitution was crafted in such a manner as to uphold and encourage practices that are not right and, ideally, are very wrong," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority, which also in­cluded Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, and John Roberts. "Despite the compelling case for goodness, truth, and justice made by our predecessors in the case of Right v. Wrong, we firmly believe that malice, dishonesty, and injustice were the framers' original intent."


(p.s. the main headline link is to a really intense article in Mother Jones entitled "The Way It Was")

Thursday, January 19, 2012

All Things Consider (and by "All" we just mean bland, distracting fluff pieces with an occasional foreign affairs story)

On the way home from the grocery store this evening, about a 7 minute drive, I heard on NPR not once, not twice, but three separate mentions of Rick Perry dropping out of the race. IN SEVEN MINUTES.

This is EXACTLY why I have no faith in our future. The supposed voice of the people and the "fair and balanced" gives 90% of their broadcast each evening to this sideshow circus. WHY?

It's distracting minor leagues bullshit. Mention it once and move on. OUR SOCIETY IS ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE. I really don't care about has beens and never be's. TELL ME ABOUT THE 'IS HAPPENINGS' AND THE 'OH SHIT' type stuff. ENOUGH ALREADY!

It's sad because I have a friend who, in trying to proclaim their breadth of news analysis, said they listen to both Fox News and NPR. OK, you have the far right and the just right of center. Trust me. TRUST ME! There is a whole other range of news in the spectrum that those two don't come remotely close to touching.

For example, everyone who is either cheering me on right now or raising their nose in disgust and disbelief should read the latest book by Greg Palast's "Vulture's Picnic." That shows you what real reporting can do.

In the meantime, I'll just continue doing what I usually do: swing between cowering in fear beneath my covers, forging plans for total self-sustainability, and trying to stab and poke at the big beast with things like this blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Day: many footsteps, many paths to follow

I am an avid and devoted listener of WTF with Marc Maron. It’s an intersection of a lot of things I really love: I really (really) love funny people, I really love learning about other people’s lives, I really love learning about successful people’s lives, I really love creative people who have the courage to take the path less traveled, and I really love Marc Maron and his sensitive intellectualism.

This morning’s interview was particularly interesting and powerful, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect and promote it on my corner of the internet. It’s an extremely intelligent, honest & passionate conversation with Todd Glass, a successful comedian, who comes out of the closet as a forty-something year old man.

Why was he in the closet for so long? He’s not religious, his family is supportive of who he is, it seems that he just really feared judgment and being defined by his sexuality.

Why did he come out of the closet at long last? Kids are dying because of the persistent homophobia in society and what it can be internalized as, and he knew his conscious would no longer allow him to stay behind that safe curtain of compassionate neutrality. And also, as Marc puts it, holding a secret becomes something that you contract and grow around, and after awhile, your emotional health and personal evolution becomes hinged on acknowledging and releasing that secret.

My summarizing will never do this justice, so I encourage people to take a moment and listen. It’s so worth it, I swear! He really made clear, and opened my mind (which I previously held as being wide open already) to a lot of things.


But, to that conversation, my addendum is this graphic I’ve been wanting to put together for awhile (since watching a documentary on William Burroughs). “Gay” has been an adjective my generation in particular has held onto as a word not associated with sexuality necessarily, but just a descriptor for something being stupid, uncool, etc. And what Todd really opened my eyes to, is the way that simply hurts people on a deep and personal level. And it’s not right.

Not only is it not right to perpetuate that hurt and shame, but it’s just not right because being gay is NOT stupid and uncool. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Being bold enough to be gay often times means you’re also bold enough to breakdown other standards, to make breakthroughs in a number of disciplines because you have elevated yourself beyond the dimensions of societal boundaries. It’s fucking rock n roll! It’s the best any of us can hope to be! If there’s any goal any one person can hope for or should strive towards achieving in this life, it’s to come to terms with who you truly are, and as such, live a life in pursuit of your true passions and as your true self. That’s the hero’s journey.

And that’s hard! That’s really hard for anyone. And I want to do my best to not only achieve that for myself, but to help make it an easier world for all of us to do the same. Thanks to Todd Glass and Marc Maron for paving the way!




“Within the typical secondary school curriculum, homosexuals do not exist. They are 'nonpersons' in the finest Stalinist sense. They have fought no battles, held no offices, explored nowhere, written no literature, built nothing, invented nothing and solved no equations. The lesson to the heterosexual student is abundantly clear: homosexuals do nothing of consequence. To the homosexual student, the message has even greater power: no one who has ever felt as you do has done anything worth mentioning.” - Gerald Unks, editor, The Gay Teen

Historical figures referenced were found at http://www.lambda.org/famous.htm.





addendum: (here is a link to Todd's own very funny podcast, where this week he has what I'd call a post WTF wrap up, where he just sorta gets some other things off his chest in a loose way, and with the support of his BFF, the fabulous Sarah Silverman. I don't know why I liked this whole to-do so much, I just did.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Truth is Out There (We Just Choose Not to Find It)

Unbelievably believable. The NY Times Editor recently asked the question: "I'm looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge 'facts' that are asserted by newsmakers they write about."

It's funny how, at the end of this article covering the consequence of this question on the UK's Guardian (again, not surprised), it says that in order to maintain a reputation of neutrality amongst politicians and advertisers, it means newspapers cannot fact-check & debunk a lot of things politicians say. So being "neutral" means ignoring or being unconcerned with the actual truth.

FAIL.

Fail, fail, fail. Thank God for the new age of the internet and independent bloggers. (and on that note, a reminder to protest SOPA please). What a complete dark age we'd be in if the gatekeepers of information were only these old dinosaurs, concerned not with their readers and their duty as the 4th estate, but with playing nice.



The New York Times public editor's very public utterance


from the Guardian:

Thursday, Arthur Brisbane, the public editor of the New York Times, went to his readers with a question:

"I'm looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge 'facts' that are asserted by newsmakers they write about."

Brisbane (who, as public editor, speaks only for himself, not the Times) referred to two recent stories: the claim that Clarence Thomas had "misunderstood" a financial reporting form when he left out key information, and Mitt Romney's assertion that President Obama gives speeches "apologising" for America. Brisbane asked whether news reporters should have the freedom to investigate and respond to those comments.

The reaction from readers was swift, voluminous, negative and incredulous.

"Is this a joke? THIS IS YOUR JOB."

"If the purpose of the NYT is to be an inoffensive container for ad copy, then by all means continue to do nothing more than paraphrase those press releases."

"I hope you can help me, Mr Brisbane, because I'm an editor, currently unemployed: is fecklessness now a job requirement?"

Brisbane had clearly not been expecting this excoriating and one-sided a reaction. Brisbane has since tried to clarify his views twice. The first was on the media blog JimRomenesko.com:

"What I was trying to ask was whether reporters should always rebut dubious facts in the body of the stories they are writing. I was hoping for diverse and even nuanced responses to what I think is a difficult question."

The second was on the NY Times site:

"My inquiry related to whether the Times, in the text of news columns, should more aggressively rebut 'facts' that are offered by newsmakers when those 'facts' are in question. I consider this a difficult question, not an obvious one."

This only added fuel to the fire.

Now, it's worth noting that Brisbane's question makes perfect sense, considered from the newsroom's perspective. Romney's claim that Obama makes speeches "apologising" for America isn't readily amenable to fact-checking. Instead, Romney relied on what are sometimes called "weasel words", in which an allegation is alluded to, without being made head-on. (Romney, for instance, never quotes any of the president's speeches when making this assertion.) For Brisbane, the open question was whether a hard news reporter should be calling out those kinds of statements, or should simply quote the source accurately.

Continue Reading

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is this the twilight of blues music?


I came across this article just now. How? How does anyone find anything on this interwebs: I stumbled into it.

Let me retrace. I googled "John Lee Hooker lessons." Why? Because I want to learn some John Lee Hooker songs on my guitar. That's why. And on the blues website with a video lesson, to the side it had a repost of a tweet that said "97-year old blues artist wins a grammy." So I clicked on that to see - was that Honeyboy? I couldn't remember how old he was when he died, but maybe they just awarded him something and I didn't know about it. But nope - it was another old boy I have a sweet spot for - Hubert Sumlin. Hubert! And from that article, I finally came to this final destination: a link to a piece entitled "Is this the twilight of blues music?"

Oh, boy. I don't like hearing that. I really don't. But this author makes a good point - we lost a lot of good people in 2011, certainly last of their generations. So Happy to say that I've seen all three name checked in this article: Honeyboy Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins. I even had a conversation with Honeyboy! One of those great little moments I'll always be glad I went for, as I stood at the Hideout waiting for him to go on, and noticed, hey, he's just sitting at the back of the room enjoying a beer. Should I go over there? Should I? This mid-twenties little white girl, who hides an old soul and a love of the blues inside? I did. I went for it, and he seemed grateful for the company. Anyway, that's not my point, to brag on that.

My point is: that this article makes some good points. Especially about the lack of support for Chicago blues clubs, and those clubs who are stuck in a routine, afraid to shake things up. I'll certainly agree with that. As for his analogy to blues being like Gregorian chant, I must say: whoa dude, back that train up. Apples to oranges, apples to oranges my friend.

The blues exists and thrives in all shapes and forms. It will not be some dusty thing on the shelf. It's just not - it's influence is too wide and too deep. There's too many musicphiles that go right to that source. Look at Keith Richards or Jack White. Ask them if they're Gregorian chant revivalists or true blue channelers of a primal art form. Ask them.

Anyway, no offense, but this article itself had that familiar Tribune flavor of all polish, no soul. Maybe it's his editor, the way he's conditioned after years of employment, or maybe he's kinda stiff himself and that's why he can't see the many threads modern blues continues to weave. Of course they don't play it on the radio. Does anything good come from commercial channels of any sort? No. I dare say no.

But things do leak through. Maybe someday, that thing will be the blues again.


From ChicagoTribune.com:

"They buried Hubert Sumlin two weeks ago at Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery in Homewood, laying to rest the man whose ferocious guitar riffs galvanized Howlin' Wolf's classic recordings of the 1950s and '60s.

Just before Sumlin's casket was lowered into the ground, young Chicago blues artist Shemekia Copeland stood at his graveside and sang "Life's a Rainbow," her arms outstretched to the coffin. Barely 30 people showed up at the funeral — which was paid for by Sumlin admirers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards — bidding silent farewell to a bluesman who left Chicago years ago, dying in New Jersey at age 80.

As the wind blew across the cemetery grounds, Chicago blues musician Todd Park Mohr stepped near the casket and chanted a song of his own. It honored a man who helped define Chicago blues a couple generations ago, at long-forgotten clubs such as Silvio's, on the West Side:

Fly away from here, Mr. Sumlin.

The ground in New Jersey has gone cold. ...

When you ever gonna learn,

Chicago always gonna be your home.

Drive away from this evil world, Mr. Sumlin.

Drive that old car back to Silvio's.

"

Continue reading.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

You do not have to wait for the future distopia to arrive. It is here. You are it's maker.



If you own a Mac product and do not listen to this radio piece, you will not get into heaven.


Wait. Wait, this just in. That goes for anyone who owns ANY piece of electronic equipment made in China. Sorry, God said.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Wheat Belly.









Dear People in My Life,

Preface: You may realize by now that I am a curious person. I question things. I don’t just take it at face value. I want to know the whole story. I love fringe and outsider thinking. And this leads me into some very off-the-beaten-path territories sometimes. But I love trying on new thought and belief systems in search of greater truths. To me, it’s fun. But to others, I can see that it clearly threatens them in some deep way, making them defensive, dismissive, or most often, just generally uncomfortable – “can we talk about pop culture and the minutia of our day now?” Yes, I guess so.

Doesn’t stop me!

So the latest path that I’ve been following can be generally filed under the label of “nutrition.” It’s a natural extension from my love of food, which led to a love of cooking, which led to interest in farming and thinking about food sources, and now, I’ve just been thinking about what is the best for the human body. What is the fuel that makes a healthy mind and body, and what is the crap that turns us into sloven miscreants? I don’t know about you, but I want to be the best possible version of myself.

It’s amazing to me how much there is to know, and how so much of it is just not obvious. We eat 3 times a day, every day! It’s something we cannot avoid!! And yet, I’d wager most people just don’t put too much thought into it. They eat what’s available and easy.

So my latest guide down this path has been a podcast called “Gnostic Media” hosted by Jan Irvin. He’s had a series of interviews with doctors and nutritionists to discuss a variety of whole health applications. For the past few weeks, I’ve been obsessed with the idea that one such individual advocated – that the modern diet has excluded a slew of essential minerals and anti-oxidants, and that a large percentage of modern diseases have been the result.

But it’s not like our ancestors took vitamins, you nay-sayers might be thinking. Well, this doctor explains that we used to cook with wood ash, and it would get in our food. And that wood ash would be spread into the vegetable gardens as well, and that this was the source of essential minerals that we have been missing out on when we switch to electrical, stove-top cooking. This Doctor claims to have cured everything from type 2 diabetes to alzheimers’s by introducing the missing minerals en masse to patients. I can’t go into this any further, or I’ll lose track of my main point. If you are interested, listen here to the podcast on minerals.

What I really wanted to share is today’s interview on……Wheat Belly!

He says wheat creates that gross fat that wraps around your organs and causes a distended belly. And that by just eliminating wheat, you can take inches off your waistline, as well as correcting a lot of other health problems from IBS to skin problems. Again, if you want the details, listen to the interview here. Or read testimonials on Dr. Davis’ website.


Now. If you want to be on the same page as me, of course, first listen to those podcasts. And then, please join me in a wheat free diet! I’m avoiding wheat at all costs, starting immediately. And come New Years, that is my #1 resolution. I am going to go at least 4 wks completely wheat free, and will report back on any changes I notice. And hopefully, I’ll keep it going from there, but I’m giving it at least that much time to figure out for myself what the benefits might be.

I think it will be hard, but not impossible. Biggest pitfalls are obviously beer, pizza, pasta and bread. But it’s not a resolution if it’s not a challenge. Wish me luck!

And people in my life whom I love and want to live long, happy, disease-free lives: please join me in taking nothing for granted when it comes to what we consume. I swear – it will be fun! (and for another day, get me started on water.)




From a Macleans interview with Dr. Davis:


"William Davis, a preventive cardiologist who practices in Milwaukee, Wis., argues in his new book Wheat Belly that wheat is bad for your health—so bad that it should carry a surgeon general’s warning.

Q: You say the crux of the problem with wheat is that the stuff we eat today has been genetically altered. How is it different than the wheat our grandparents ate?
A: First of all, it looks different. If you held up a conventional wheat plant from 50 years ago against a modern, high-yield dwarf wheat plant, you would see that today’s plant is about 2½ feet shorter. It’s stockier, so it can support a much heavier seedbed, and it grows much faster. The great irony here is that the term “genetic modification” refers to the actual insertion or deletion of a gene, and that’s not what’s happened with wheat. Instead, the plant has been hybridized and crossbred to make it resistant to drought and fungi, and to vastly increase yield per acre. Agricultural geneticists have shown that wheat proteins undergo structural change with hybridization, and that the hybrid contains proteins that are found in neither parent plant. Now, it shouldn’t be the case that every single new agricultural hybrid has to be checked and tested, that would be absurd. But we’ve created thousands of what I call Frankengrains over the past 50 years, using pretty extreme techniques, and their safety for human consumption has never been tested or even questioned.

Q: How does wheat make us fat, exactly?
A: It contains amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar. In fact, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar to a higher level than a candy bar does. And then, after about two hours, your blood sugar plunges and you get shaky, your brain feels foggy, you’re hungry. So let’s say you have an English muffin for breakfast. Two hours later you’re starving, so you have a handful of crackers, and then some potato chips, and your blood sugar rises again. That cycle of highs and lows just keeps going throughout the day, so you’re constantly feeling hungry and constantly eating. Dieticians have responded to this by advising that we graze throughout the day, which is just nonsense. If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly. I’ve seen this with thousands of patients.

Q: You seem to be saying that aside from anything else, wheat is essentially the single cause of the obesity epidemic.
A: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all obesity is due to wheat. There are kids, of course, who drink Coca-Cola and sit in front of video games for many hours a day. But I’m speaking to the relatively health-minded people who think they’re doing the right thing by limiting fat consumption and eating more whole grains, and there’s a clear subset of people who are doing that and gaining weight and don’t understand why. It causes tremendous heartache. They come into my office and say, “I exercise five times a week, I’ve cut my fat intake, I watch portion size and eat my whole grains—but I’ve gone up three dress sizes.”
"


Examples of Wheat:
Bran
Bread
Breading, coating mixes
Communion wafers
Couscous
Croutons
Granola
Farina
Flour or cereal products
Pasta
Pastry and pies
Pizza
Semolina
Soy sauce
Spelt
Teriyaki sauce
Wheat breakfast cereals

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Winter Solstice!


"If you live in this hemisphere, it’s your signal to celebrate. The shortest day is here! After the winter solstice, the days will get longer, and the nights shorter. It’s a seasonal shift that nearly everyone notices.

When is the solstice where I live?

The solstice happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth. But our clocks say different times.

In 2011, the December solstice takes place on Wednesday, December 21 at 11:30 p.m. CST (Thursday, December 22 at 5:30 UTC)."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Bradley Manning!!

War crimes whistle-blower Bradley Manning turns 24 years old today. He made the courageous decision to follow his inner conscious instead of the fuzzy "rights" and "wrongs" as defined by everyone's crazy & corrupt big brother, the US government. Would you have done the same thing?

He's one of the bravest young people I can think of, and I hope they have mercy on him at his trial, which is just beginning. Unfortunately, all that can be guaranteed is that history will vindicate him as a hero. That much, I'm sure of.

In honor of his birthday, I wanted to take time to post about Bradley. And in the process, I discovered this excellent song by Graham Nash (yes, that Graham Nash) and James Raymond (son of David Crosby).

Please share this video & take time talk about Bradley Manning! We can't forget where he's at & what he's going through.


(and if you want to take it a step further, like I did, click the link above and donate to his defense fund. what a great birthday present!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thinker


This was made with one rectangular piece of paper and a pair of scissors.

Let your brain turn this puzzle around for awhile. Solution at the link above.