Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sustainable Blather

Scott McGuire

For most of my grown life I’ve been a plant person; farmer, gardener, tree-planter, landscaper… and for quite a while now have been beating the sustainable-living drum as a “food-supply activist”. For the past few years, in addition to growing a backyard demonstration garden (, I’ve been teaching classes on plant-craft, as well as going to meetings and organizing activities like the Neighborhood Garden Project, matching folks wanting to expand their gardens with others without any space for one. The Transition Towns movement is well underway in our small Oregon town, which is quickly becoming a haven for retirees and other equity immigrants from California.

But I’m burnt out on all the blah-blah. Sometime last spring I stopped going to these kinds of meetings due to the lack of focus and distracting blather that never seems to get grounded in any compounding action (oh, and it was also time to sow seeds, so seeya). One symptom of denial around the immensity of the changes required/pending, is the invisible goo that fills a room causing everyone to think and move as if they were underwater, or in a dream where you can’t run away fast enough or find where you left your backpack… It’s absolutely surreal, the effective slow-motionizing of cognitive dissonance.

Some of the suggestions for action steps, coming from otherwise intelligent and informed people, I find either unworkable or outright absurd; I’m drawn into conversations I’ve concluded years ago, which is frustrating and useless and costs a baby-sitter. Here’s an example:

If neighborhood gardens could become a retail business I think that more people would have the incentive to spend their time and effort to make more neighborhood gardens happen.

The idea is that with promotion and education 'lawn care' professionals could become market gardeners. Are there city regulations that would make this difficult?

I would love to see a meeting organized with lawn care professional and gardeners to see if there was any consensus that produce production could be profitable.

And another:

I suggest that we design and implement The Ashland Front/Back-Yard & Community Edible Gardens Project (ACEGP).

I'm talking about a very focused project: to accomplish a 5-year goal of utilizing 30% of existing front-yards, back-yards, vacant lots, a larger portion of neighborhood parks, every school campus, and businesses with the space, to implement organic methods for edible plant gardening. And, have a longer-term goal to reach 80% by 2020.

First of all, I can’t muster much respect for “lawn care professionals” otherwise known as mow-blow-and-go guys. Setting aside my personal political prejudices is difficult, because for over three decades of doing landscaping projects as well as “maintenance” work (some weekly m-b-g), I’ve been continually under-cut in the bidding by illegal immigrant “landscapers” who know very little about plants and basic English, but can sure wail those small, loud 2-stroke engines. Yet these idiots get hired by the Wal-Mart minds of even the wealthiest, conscious townies, neither of whom will ever call each other neighbors (but they have so much in common!). And of course the work is seasonal, while the bills aren’t. Trying to support a family from this scenario leaves a sour taste. Time for something new!

It is not an exaggeration to say that lawn care horticulture is utterly saturated in the repugnant toxicities of the worst chemicals ever cooked up to make a profit. Chemicals exist to replace work (herbicides; weed-pulling, ferticides; composting, etc.). No such thing as soil-building, recycling nutrients, or deep digging in the perverted universe of ToxoLawnChemGreenCorp. Educating these guys about organic food growing when they can’t read the labels on their own buckets of poison is definitely the long way home.

There are a zillion regulations in every jurisdiction that hinder making money off your back-yard. Business license? Sanitation? Worker’s Compensation? Parking? These are off the top of my head, there are surely more, and are all possible hurdles to bureaucratic legitimacy. Just try to cut down an ornamental shade tree for more sunshine for food growing. The Tree Commission will crawl up your alley and slap you with a big fine faster than you can say “persimmon”.
I believe that the one most effective thing our city could do to promote backyard food production is to create parity within the water billing. If your property sprouts nothing but worthless shrubs and lawns, you pay the top rate. Demonstrate a substantial transition to edibles and receive a discount. The devil’s in the details as always, and spirals back to a core revenue glitch: the City needs the receipts from the water usage to function. How do we incentivize home food production without choking the flow of dollars back to the City?

Now who actually owns all those nice lawns? The people who live behind them? Not always. Not even mostly. It’s my impression that owner/residents are the minority, and that at least half the homes in town are rentals, or possessed by an absentee owner. Insert the Property Management Company into the equation, many of whom operate their own Mow Blow and Go divisions to make another cut off the properties they manage.

Most homeowners simply want to maintain their market value without a hassle (good luck with that). Who wants the garden? Often it’s the renter, who in these days of depressed home sales and increased availability of rentals might actually have some clout, as in, “let me make a garden here, or I’ll rent somewhere else”. Yet most rational renters are justifiably hesitant to invest tons of work and manure into a place they could be asked to vacate within a single cycle of the moon.

A lot of homeowners have not yet figured out that a garden might actually increase the appeal of their house for sale. Even so, in growing numbers are the home/owner/dwellers who in order to grow their own food either must be able to afford the moderate expense of hiring someone with the skills, tools and muscle to help (that’s me!), or face a much more expensive and steep learning curve with fresh blisters and too many trips to the rental yard.

Maybe one solution is to start an alternative landscape company, offer to take over existing contracts, rip out the junk and plant food. Could this company make money doing this for the same amount, trading chemicals for the serious labor and know-how required? I’m not reaching for a pencil and calculator right now, but someone else just might…

Besides, how much money is made from growing food in the first place? These days, based on the cheap chemicals, cheap gas and massive cheap transportation, not much. Food’s pretty cheap for what you get, staying alive and all. Sometimes really good food fetches dollars per pound, but it’s mostly still cents, two digits on the wrong side of the decimal.

Next door, the neighbors are calibrating their checkbooks with a scale that matches their participation in the real estate market/investment realm of dollars, 5 or 6 digits way over on the other side of the decimal and much closer to the dollar sign. As long as property is valued according to “dollars per square foot”, how will cents-worth of food ever compete in the same market for the same grid of earth-space? These two economies of scale may as well be on different planets.

Food will become precious again when the true value of a meal re-asserts itself in the minds and bellies of our neighbors. When the Centralized Machine of Big Ag begins to creak and croak from all of this not being so cheap anymore, we’ll begin to snap out of our complacent grocery store trance and recall the deep worth of a dependable local food supply. Blink, blink, where are all the farmers?

Of course, we can all grow more food in our backyards to share the value of its nutrition and goodwill bonding, without requiring that it make us a buck. The simplest tried-and-true formula for community building has always been Feed One Another. What is the point of “community building games and exercises” without a food supply? No food, no community, because everyone has left to go where they think the food might be.

Even if a household couldn’t make decent money (what a concept) from growing food, it could offset some material costs like I’m doing this year with a garden CSA or CSG where I feed 7 households for 5-6 months for less than $20 per share per week. This isn’t enough dollars to make a big impact on a modern household budget, and only makes sense if the household is already mad enough to grow significant amounts of food for themselves anyway.

In my case, this small group serves to absorb the excess produce and cover some expenses. But unlike most tiny city lots, I’m in an old farmhouse with 2/3’s of an acre and a well for the gardens, so no water bill for growing, only household use. Still, more and more versions of home production could expand this niche, somewhere between community gardens and farm CSAs.
But if you want to make some money in your backyard, get a medical marijuana card and grow six plants. You’ll make thousands, enough to invest in local agriculture in any way you see fit. I’m not kidding. Of course, this is recommended only if you’re fortunate enough to live in one of the 15 states (and rising) that have passed such sensible legislation that challenges the rapidly eroding federal Prohibition. In the process we’ll be un-demonizing one of the most useful agricultural plants ever to exist, because we’ll need fibers and oils as much as foods when we finally take stock for ourselves. (And a little safe plant medicine can’t hurt as much as Big Pharma’s billion dollar mind-numbing boondoggle…).

And then it comes down to the biggest hurdle, the re-skilling. Who really knows how to do any of this food production stuff? Within the general population, about the same percentage as locally grown food itself; 5-10% at best. The vast majority is clueless, and without a clue they need to get a clue. This is the true bottleneck when awareness finally turns.

I’ve spoken at length with our mayor (who was elected on a sustainability platform) about an educational farm facility, cutting out some Parks Dept. land to develop an ongoing learning center. Because truth is, even the best class or workshop is woefully inadequate, being only a slice. The essence of plant-craft is not only knowing what to do, but when to do it. Timing is everything, and learners need a seasonal context into which they can grow a consolidated understanding of how all the pieces fit together.

This would become a destination place, where locals and visitors spend dollars to learn Big Sustainable Skills. This would be an excellent project for the Transition Towns movement, as it blends many an agenda into a purposeful creation that is both achievable and politically possible right now.

The number of backyard food gardens is growing, and will continue to increase, although in increments necessarily defined by the growing season itself. People can decide to grow their own any time, but that decision can only be applied during the next turn around the sun. Living on plant time requires a deep personal commitment, because it’s so at odds with cubicle time. Getting “the public” to focus on “projects” (ACEGP above) is like herding cats, but a shining beautiful farm for teaching will draw and inspire and educate at once. And it might just break even before all the banks are broken.

When the City Parks Dept. starts ripping out ornamentals for edibles, citizens will do the same. (Or is it the other way around?). Then we can start in on the School District (which I believe has more farmable land and water rights than the City), kick out the venal corporate nugget-pusher currently holding the cafeteria contract, and start feeding our own children our own food. Then get the re-skilling into the curriculum, and boot the little buggers out into the field!

Just kidding. Once the kids know how to grow it, we’ll be on our way to hopeful.

Scott McGuire is an organic farming and permaculture master based in Ashland, Oregon.
From Jenna Orkin:

US/Economic Collapse
Incredible Shrinking Boomer Economy
Geithner Assures a `Concerned' China the U.S. Will Shrink Record Deficit
"Concerned" is the new, "scared out of our gourds."
Real Treasury Yields Highest In History
U.S. to conduct record long-dated Treasury sales -- $115 billion (from Rice Farmer)
But China's still concerned:
China to hasten dollar dump to buy resources, energy (from Rice Farmer)
June U-6 Unemployment Rate Topped 20% (25% SGS) in Michigan, Oregon, Nevada, California, South Carolina and Rhode Island
U.S. Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected
States Where the Unemployed Are Giving Up (from Rice Farmer)
Caterpillar: Second Quarter Down 66%
Foreign cash for U.S. jobs
Reappoint Him
Roubini endorses Bernanke.
U.S. Home Vacancies Hit 18.7 Million; What's the Real Story?
Detroit Heads For Bankruptcy; 50 Cities Must "Shrink to Survive"
Hotel Hell - Luxury Hotels Foreclosed
UN Group Gets Look at Post-Katrina Housing Woes
US prepares major terrorism readiness exercise (from Rice Farmer)
High Frequency Trading and Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs Says Attempts to Reduce Speculation Could Disrupt Markets
Video: We Now Have A Total Gangster Government (from Rice Farmer)
And if no government, we'll still have gangsters:
GOP Candidate: If We Lose Elections, We Still Have Guns (from Rice Farmer)
Dow Chemical Loses $486M In Q2
Short Range Missiles Biggest Threat

Swine Flu
Swine flu cases doubled to 100,000 in one week
Who should get the swine flu vaccine?

Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth
Can the Military Find the Answer to Alternative Energy? (from Rice Farmer)
"The U.S. forces deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq are voracious consumers of energy. As a result they have become perilously dependent on long, costly, and vulnerable convoys of diesel-fuel tankers. More vehicles are used to transport and guard the fuel than are deployed in actual combat."
World temperatures set for record highs
World Will Warm Faster Than Predicted in Next Five Years, Study Warns
Insects to be brought in to control Japanese Knotweed
Swiss Scientists Aim to Create Synthetic Brain Within Decade

Jobless Youth: Will Europe's Gen Y Be Lost?
The Pain in Spain: Recession Hits Hard
Drawing up the Drawbridges: Europe Falls Out of Love with Labor Migration
Counterfeiters Target the Euro
Defiance as Pound Crashes: Brits Own Up to Euro-Phobia
Massive Fraud in France: Societe Generale Hit By €4.9 Billion Crime
The Banks that Wouldn't Lend: Experts Warn of New Credit Crunch in Germany
Put the Champagne Away: Too Soon for Optimism on German Economy, Survey Reveals Criticism Grows Over Banking Data Deal
Germans Hoarding Traditional Light Bulbs

New 1 Plus 1 Child Policy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Orwell v. Huxley

Jenna Orkin

No links, due to a recent inability to sit for long stretches.

But the horizontal position in which I've spent most of the last week affords a new perspective, particularly given the guidance of whoever it was who recommended Neil Postman several posts ago. (Thank you!)

Brilliant guy, particularly in his classic work, Amusing Ourselves to Death.

The thesis of said slim but nonetheless magnum opus is that we are not marching into oblivion to the tune of Orwell's 1984; rather, we are dancing there to the tune of Huxley's Brave New World. Going out not with a bang nor even a whimper; we exit jiving to a jingle. We have opted for euthanasia via television. Big Brother, to paraphrase Postman, turns out to be Howdy Doody.

And this was written in 1985, the good old days. If someone would like to research what Postman had to say regarding 9/11, the result could be interesting. Though he died in 2003, offhand I can't find anything.

While the basic tenet of the core members of this blog is that this is the time to cultivate one's garden in a more literal sense than Voltaire ever intended, it never hurts to gain perspective. The reknowned literary critic Dame Helen Gardner, when she was a student at Oxford, was once chastised by a friend who was reading (majoring in) medicine for embarking on the frivolous study of English literature.

"But my dear Margaret," Helen replied, "What will your patients do when they get better?"

We are not confident we ever will "get better" since another tenet here is that things are going to get a whole lot worse first. But perspective is still illuminating and Postman offers it in spades, to continue the gardening theme. From the seven-hour Lincoln/Douglas debates to the literacy rate of seventeenth century America (over 90% for free white men, 60% for unenslaved white women) to the impressive tidbit that Americans learned the technique for making wheels out of a single piece of wood from Homer.

Almost makes you proud til you remember that the point is the opposite.

Friday, July 24, 2009

From Jenna Orkin:

Quote of the day:

A lightning rod properly mounted to a roof and properly grounded serves one, and only one, purpose: To dissipate a powerful and dangerous energy harmlessly into the ground. Lightning rods collect the energy at one precise point, and by doing so spare the building from ruination. This is precisely what happened in the last Presidential election. Under the ruse of choice U.S. voters were once more herded into two parties of the same stripe: Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. The building (at least for now) spared from ruination was the Federal Reserve, along with all of its paper contents. As I have mentioned before, it is the WWE wrestling analogy.

It all looks like real competition, but it is totally fake and scripted. If any REAL competitors show up (like Ron Paul), they are shown the exit before they can take off their warm-up jackets. So unwelcome are legitimate foes that arch-conservative Fox News saw fit to exclude fellow Republican Ron Paul from their sponsored Presidential debate.
James McShirley

Economic Crisis/US
TARP Special Investigator Says Bailout Total May Reach $23.7 Trillion
Foreclosure Filings Hit Record 1.5 Million; One in Eight Americans Delinquent; Obama's Mortgage Rescues Create ‘Confusion’
500,000 Will Exhaust Unemployment Benefits by September, 1.5 Million by Year-end
Bernanke Terrified Over Commercial Real Estate, Seeks Still More Power Over Consumers
Ten countries on the brink of failure (from Rice Farmer)
China to Deploy Foreign Reserves
Philadelphia is Out of Cash; Pension Spiking in California; Massive Tax Hikes in Oregon
San Francisco Peak Oil Task Force Report
Deal Reached to Close California's $26 Billion Budget
US Car Dealer Offers Free Kalashnikov With Every Purchase
Stepping on the Gas in Record Amounts
Gates Announces Temporary Increase in US Army
CIT May Receive $3 Billion Rescue From Bondholders
Spyware on BlackBerrys

Europe's new tactics for the far right
Tories want to give Bank of England greater powers
BP Says North Sea Oil, Gas Production to Decline 9% This Year

Swine Flu
Doctors warn over vaccine for vulnerable patients
Swine Flu Epidemic Could Derail Britain's Recovery
Drug groups to reap swine-flu billions

Car Sales Plummet by 55% in H1
Ruble Posts Record Gain on Oil Surge
Biden Supports Ukraine’s NATO Bid
Clinton: US to build nuclear plants in India

Giant Chinese Dustball Circles the Earth

Japanese Fishermen Brace for Giant Jellyfish
Fraudsters Target Tax on Carbon Credits
Hole in Jupiter
July Temperatures Set Records
Bees: An Amateur Apiary Revolution

From Secrecy News:

The transcripts of Nixon White House tape recordings that are published in the State Department's official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series are merely "interpretations," not official records, the State Department acknowledged in the latest FRUS volume that was released this month. As such, those transcripts are susceptible to revision and correction."Readers are advised that the tape recording is the official document, while the transcript represents solely an interpretation of that document," the new FRUS volume states in the Preface. The statement goes beyond previous FRUS references to poor tape quality. It is evidently a response to a simmering scholarly controversy over the accuracy of published FRUS transcriptions of the Nixon tapes, which appear to include clear errors.Here are some examples of suspect "interpretations" from the Nixon FRUS Volume XIV (Soviet Union, October 1971-May 1972) that was published in December 2006 (with audio clips courtesy of

FRUS, as published (p.171): Kissinger: "On the other hand, you and I know that you were going to go for broke against the North."

Probable Correction: Kissinger: "On the other hand, you and I know that you weren't going to go for broke against the North." (.mp3).

FRUS, as published (p.172): "What they do is they're asking for, cuddling for, the things we are going to do anyway. Like troop withdrawal."

Probable Correction: "What they do is they're asking toughly for the things they know we’re going to do anyway, like troop withdrawals."

FRUS, as published (p.743): Nixon: "You see, that's the point [South Vietnamese President Nguyen] Thieu made which is tremendously compelling."

Probable Correction: Nixon: "You see? That's the point that you made which is tremendously compelling." (.mp3)

FRUS, as published (p.746): Nixon: "And, you see, I'm going to lift the blockade as I've said. It’s not over yet--the bombing's not over yet."

Probable Correction: Nixon: "And, you see, that I'm going to live with the blockade as I've said. Well, it's an ultimatum." Kissinger: "Yeah." Nixon: "Bombing is not an ultimatum." (.mp3)

There is widespread agreement that it is not possible to produce a perfect transcript of the Nixon tapes. "Audio fidelity was never one of the design considerations of the original, surreptitious taping system," said one former official. But by publishing the transcripts alongside other undisputed archival records, the FRUS series has appeared to boast a higher level of transcription accuracy than it has in fact provided."It is perfectly possible for two experienced auditors to transcribe two conflicting versions of the same conversation," said Dr. William B. McAllister, the Acting General Editor of the FRUS series, though he admitted that only one of them could be correct. He said that the problem of interpreting official records was not altogether new and was also not limited to the Nixon tapes. The renowned Long Telegram that was sent by George Kennan in 1946 has some garbled text that has been interpreted in different ways. And with the growing importance for historians of audio, video, and even twitter records, "It's only going to get more tricky.""Readers are urged to consult the recordings themselves for a full appreciation of those aspects of the conversations that cannot be captured in a transcript," the FRUS volumes recommend, "such as the speakers' inflections and emphases that may convey nuances of meaning, as well as the larger context of the discussion." A growing selection of Nixon audio tapes can be found online at interesting new FRUS volume on "American Republics," which is the first FRUS publication in 2009, addresses U.S. policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean between 1969 and 1972, including covert action. The new volume, published online only, excludes materials on Bolivia, which the editors say have not yet been declassified, and it also omits records on Chile, which are to be published separately. The Preface states that documents on Uruguay are not being published "due to space constraints." In fact, however, space is not at a premium in online "e-volumes," and Secrecy News is told that the Uruguay compilation has not been declassified, which ought to have been noted.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



Michael C. Ruppert

July 21, 2009 -- Hi guys:

To make the film CoLLapse work best, BLUEMARK FILMS urgently needs original FTW hard copy newsletters to scan into the movie of the following stories. They can't take them from the web because that won't visually show that they were written years ago and existed in print. If anyone has them, please send them directly to the BLUEMARK film offices in Milwaukee. They will be returned to you within a few days. Please let Jenna know if you have them and have responded. Sending USPS, First Class is fine.

Bluemark Productions220 E. Buffalo St #400Milwaukee, WI 53202


1. Microbiologists -- 2002 Oh Lucy Timeline -- 2002 Insider Trading and 9/11 -- 2001 PROMIS -- 2001

Thank you!

Am truly enjoying this little vacation. Haven't read a news story in almost two weeks. I've been writing some kick-ass song lyrics that are being looked at in L.A. and Nashville. Also been trying to get my pipes back into shape and singing every day now.

CoLLapse is nearing the final cut and there should be announcements soon. Sorry I can't say more. It's maddening for me too... moreso, trust me. It is all good news but delays can drive one bananas. I've been trying to raise a little cash to help me pay the legal bills from Oregon. Over the last three years they've added up to more than $45,000 including travel and expenses. I'm tapped out and it'll be a while before I see anything from the book or movie. If any of you would like to help with that you can write to me directly at my home address: 4269 Baldwin Ave. Culver City, CA 90232. (There's no point in not printing it anymore. That part of my life is over and done with.)

Here's a set of new lyrics I wrote. It'll tell you where I am... Enjoy! -- I'm not sure what the polite protocols are. These lyrics are being worked on by a pro songwriter who I've known since 1982. So, if anyone wants a shot, just know that they are being shown and worked on elsewhere. This is a song I want to sing someday.


My Heart Lies This Way

Don’t know if I can go near this love again
My heart lies to me this way
There have been so many loves
That have burned almost as bright
That shook me like a rag doll
Never with my heart at night

My heart it lies this way

Don’t know if I can go near this love again
My heart lies this way
A wild-man wizard blinding
I was too much for them to take
And just too much for myself
They all ran away and stayed

Their hearts lied to me this way

If I go too near the music
Then all I've labored to understand
The years I lived the old way
Has the weight of blowing sand

My old life's on the table
I'm eager to see it go
All the duties and obligations
Let music make it so

(Surrender to your fate) [Back up]
(Surrender to your fate)
Consume, blow me away
Consume me

And now just at sunset friend
You come knocking at the door
Stirring flames and passion
And that familiar hungry roar

My heart it lies this way

Don’t know if I can go near this love again
But I see I’m already there
Like Icarus close to heaven
I’m waiting for my friend

Our hearts they lie this way [All]

(Repeat chorus)

Let these lovers have their day
Consume me
Consume me

Our hearts they lie this way

[This is the way Bernie Taupin and Elton John did it... Gilbert and Sullivan too, I think.]

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pick Your Poison

From Jenna Orkin:

Swine Flu
Swine Flu threat greater than terrorism
NHS prepares for 65,000 deaths from swine flu
BBC 'stockpiling' Tamilflu
Doubts over UK swine flu vaccine deals
Swine Flu: Pregnant Women and Young Children Most at Risk
Flu outbreak could tip stretched UK into deflation
Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail (book review)

One of the reasons we do this 'job' is the fun of connecting the dots. Start with the first headline below, connect to some recent events, as well as their consequences, on the not-so-quiet Eastern front and see what picture emerges.
Fiscal ruin of the Western world beckons
Commercial Paper Falls at Record Pace
GE Profits Fall 49%
Unemployment Rates Hit Record Highs In Several States In June
Supporting the Financial System by Bleeding the Real Economy
As Mexico Border Tightens, Smugglers Take to Sea
The NSA Wiretapping Story Nobody Wanted
The Biggest Blow to Health Care Reform
Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Population Control
Jon Stewart Takes on Goldman Sachs

EU Moves to Cut Europe's Gas Risks

UK: Eco-towns Approved Despite Country Devastation Fears
Britain revealed as a dumper of toxic waste
UK firms accused over hazardous rubbish
Britain’s role in dangerous trade in e-waste
Britain to take Brazil toxic waste
Millions of identities for sale on the net
Helicopter fleet to be reduced to save £1.4bn
Barclays workers in pensions strike ballot
Turks and Caicos Islands Commission of Inquiry into grand corruption, Final Report, unredacted, 18 Jul 2009:
French workers paid not to blow up factory
EU Georgia war report delayed
Police uncover £80m 'Ponzi scheme'

Middle East/Africa
Israeli warships rehearse for Iran attack in Red Sea
Cash Offered for Drought Plans

Eastern Front
Blasts At Jakarta Hotels Kill 8, Wound 50
Nine dead in Indonesia hotel bombings
Jakarta Stocks Slide On Bomb Attack
China admits shooting dead 12 rioters
Countering Riots, China Snatches Hundreds From Their Homes
Restless China eyes Russia's assets
Washington funds its Uyghur 'friends'
Boeing engineer gave secrets to China
5 militants killed in Tajikistan shootout
Kashmir: Ground zero of global jihad
Asian Gains Checked By Political Uncertainty
Four from Rice Farmer:
Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia
Japan looks to triple army and boost defence budget
Japan watching Chinese navy
U.S. wants to boost Japan nuclear umbrella: paper

Plane Crashes Cut Travel Demand, Raise Insurance Rates: Chart of the Day
One way or another for the last several years, oil has been conserved during the peak summer travel months.
MI5 Whistleblower Becomes Transvestite Squatter
One of those who has muddied the waters of legitimate 9/11 investigation now also gives a bad name to transvestites.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Coming Attractions

From Jenna Orkin:

Financial Crisis
Washington's Dilemma: This Isn't a Recession, It's a Collapse
Mobius Says Derivatives, Stimulus Money May Trigger a New Financial Crisis
Americans Now Pariahs Of Foreign Banks
The Doctrine of Preemptive Bailouts and the Biggest Bailout You Haven't Heard About: Treasury Plan C and the $3.5 Trillion You Will Be Paying (from Rice Farmer)
Goldman Sachs' Mark of the Beast
JPMorgan Earnings Soar as It Finds Profit in Slump
Global Confidence Declines as Unemployment Surge Counters Fiscal Stimulus
Young hit by soaring jobless toll soars to record levels
Pay us off or we blow up the plant, say French workers
At a Factory, the Spark for China’s Violence
'Groundhog Day' as 1,200 more Lloyds jobs go
US pension fund sues rating agencies over $1bn losses
Airwaves Feature Pawn Shops, Plastic Surgeons as Auto Dealer Ads Decline
U.S. small business funding dry, getting drier
California's needy may bear brunt of budget crisis
Los Angeles accused of criminalizing homelessness
Al Capone Style Plan to Curb Britain's 30B Pound Crime Industry (from Rice Farmer)
Michael Huffington Suing Carlyle
Boiling the Frog
As usual, Paul Krugman is in the vanguard of the MSM to catch on to what Peak Oil advocates have been warning of for years. But it is in reference to his economic policies that the following article was written: Krugman best taken in reverse
It stands to reason that the cheerleader-in-chief of the Keynesian brigade should also prove to be the most self-contradicting reverse indicator of true economic direction or workable economic policies. All that said, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman of the New York Times is the commentator for everyone to peruse and understand; for it is in doing the opposite of whatever he recommends that salvation could arise. (Jul 13,'09)
Japan's Robots Join Ranks of Unemployed

Swine Flu
H1N1 pandemic spreading too fast to count: WHO
The Big Question: Is swine flu mutating, and how worried should we be?
Has swine flu started to mutate?
U.S. to spend another $1 billion on flu vaccine

Why we'll run out of oil sooner than we think
Producer Prices in U.S. Climb More-Than-Forecast 1.8% as Gasoline Surges
Morgan Stanley Raises 2010 Oil Forecast to 85$
Verleger Says Oil to Collapse to $20 This Year on `Devastating' Crude Glut
Miliband Promises More Green Jobs But Vespas Wind Turbine Plant Is Closing
Exxon Says Algae Fuels Project May Cost Billions

Experts: Cyberstrikes Originated from Britain, Not North Korea
Chechen Rights Campaigner Is Killed
US battleship arrives at Georgian port for military exercises
Russian oil expert jailed in Turkmenistan - report
Al Qaeda Vows Revenge on China After Uighur Riots
Twitter Hack Raises Flags on Security
This, a few days after Twitter was declared essential for national security.
Children urged to join Belfast riots by texting
Classified Intelligence Leaks, 2001-08
From Wikileaks: "Nuclear accident in Iran may lay behind mystery resignation"

Two weeks ago, a source associated with Iran's nuclear programme confidentially told WikiLeaks of a serious, recent, concealed nuclear accident at Natanz. Natanz is the primary location of Iran's nuclear enrichment program.We have reason to believe the source was credible however contact with this source has been lost. We would not normally mention such an incident without additional confirmation, however according to Iranian media and the BBC, today the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Gholam Reza Aghazadehhas resigned under mysterious circumstances. According to reports, the resignation was tendered around 20 days ago.Contact:

Latest Study Reveals Larger Than Thought Chernobyl Effects
Potato famine disease striking home gardens in U.S.(from Rice Farmer)
Crops-for-Chemicals Barter Creates Liquidity for Farmers in Russia, Brazil
Burmese pythons plague Florida

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

From Jenna Orkin:

Climate change 'will cause civilisation to collapse'
The very fabric of society is breaking down; What the hell is there left to believe in?
Peak Oil Latest: Yikes - Times Online
Warning over honeybee decline
Japan Should Diversify Reserves, DJP's Nakagawa Says

Swine Flu
Swine Flu is Unstoppable: WHO
Swine flu: first death of 'heathy' [sic] British patient
Get Ready For More Swine Flu in the Fall
UK swine flu cases to soar, but deaths 'will remain rare'
Swine flu vaccine to be given to entire population (UK)

Cheney Set Up "Illegal Secret Spy Project"
MoD may face hundreds of new torture claims

Not so "U." All happy states are alike but each state falls apart in its own unique way.
California - And by Extension the U.S. - Headed for Permanently Smaller Economy
Food-Stamps Reach 33.8 Million in April, 5th Consecutive Monthly Record
Continuing Claims Soar by 159,000 to New Record; Initial Jobless Claims Skewed By Autos States Use Stimulus Money for Short-Term Needs
Infrastructure: What’s Hot, What’s Not (from Rice Farmer)
Furloughs "A Drop In The Bucket" Towards Balanced State Budgets
Detroit Public School System Ponders Bankruptcy
Texans Asked to Reduce Electricity Use
Power providers warn of mandatory blackouts (from Rice Farmer)
Note: This not some Third World country, it's Louisiana!
Battle Lines Form Over "Son of Stimulus"
Craig Roberts, Former Assistant Treasury Secretary on the Bailout, the Dollar and Goldman Sachs
Military mega-lasers are too hot to handle (from Rice Farmer)
Little Brother: Chips in official IDs raise privacy fears (from Rice Farmer)
Animal Medications More Lucrative than Human
Mint Again Suspends Production of Gold Coins
Four from Sebastian Ronin:
Thieves might have smuggled mint gold in acid, say experts
Forum on secession:

Secrecy News writes:
"Guidance on the Ruling of the Muslim Spy" by Abu Yahya al-Libi was translated, rather clumsily, by the DNI Open Source Center. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.The book cited the use of electronic homing devices to guide air-launched missiles to their targets and images of several such devices were included in the original Arabic version of the book (at page 146). The purported use of the devices was discussed in "CIA Drone Targeting Tech Revealed, Qaeda Claims" by Adam Rawnsley, Wired Danger Room, July 8, 2009. also prepared a proprietary translation of the new Al-Libi book, which was reported by Fox News last week.

The National Reconnaissance Office, which develops, launches and operates U.S. intelligence satellites, last week released most of the unclassified portions (pdf) of its Congressional Budget Justification Book for FY2009. While those unclassified portions are only a small fraction of the full budget document, they still provide a fresh glimpse or two of the agency and its four directorates (IMINT, SIGINT, Advanced Systems and Technology, and Communications)."The U.S. is arguably more reliant on overhead collection that ever before," the NRO says, while "intelligence problems are becoming more complex and increasingly require synergistic, multi-INT, multi-source solutions." See "National Reconnaissance Program," FY2009 Congressional Budget Justification, February 2008, released under the Freedom of Information Act July 2009.The NRO has suffered serious acquisition failures in recent years and it has been rumored, unconfirmably, that the agency may be broken up or reorganized. ("Spy Agency May Face Ax" by Colin Clark, DoD Buzz, July 1, 2009).

Meanwhile, President Obama reportedly issued a directive last spring -- Presidential Study Directive 2 -- ordering a review of classified space activities. ("President Orders Sweeping U.S. Space Policy Review" by Amy Klamper, Space News, July 6, 2009).

'Horrific news' on pensions
Retirement could rise above 65
Value of taxpayer's holding in banks plummets
(from Rice Farmer)
Teenage Robberty Crime Wave Sweeping Britain
Brown's secret plan to cut Afghanistan force by 1,500
Brown Guilty of "Ultimate Dereliction of Duty" in Relation to Afghanistan
Britian Halts Some Arms Exports to Israel
Why Whitehall Hates Solar Panels
Newspaper attacks phone hacking claims
The rise and rise of the vegetarian

Unemployment skyrockets throughout Europe (from Rice Farmer)
True unemployment rate already at 20%
(from Rice Farmer)

Russia Wants to Open 2nd Military Base in Kyrgyzstan
Altai Protest Violently Dispersed
North Korean leader 'has pancreatic cancer' China bans mourning
Workers protest over job cuts in central China

€400bn energy plan to harness African sun
Feeling Low on Energy? Have a Bath in a Barrel of Crude Oil
Irish-Belarusian team to make biofuel near Chernobyl

The Exploding World in the Last Moments of a Soap Bubble
A fitting image for our times.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Between the Lines of the Writing on the Wall

From Jenna Orkin:

Are You Ready for $20 Per Gallon Gas?
FDIC Insurance Fund Doesn't Actually Exist

Review of "A Presidential Energy Policy"
America's Fiscal Train Wreck and Cassandra's Curse
Waves of Job Losses Sap US States' Budgets
Obama Jobless Safety Net Torn by New Normal's 48-Year-Old Rebecca Alvarez
U.S. Consumers' Mood Sours On Jobs Data
Suzuki, Mitsubishi Urged to `Forget About America' as Vehicle Sales Plunge
US Consumers Fall Behind On Loans at Record Pace
Feds Have 48 Times as Much Debt as Gold
Influence is All in the Bag for Goldman Sachs According to the New York Stock Exchange figures for the week of April 13 that I quoted, Goldman executed twice as many big trades -- called "program" trades by the industry -- as any other firm. And, the bulk of the 1.234 billion shares bought by Goldman that week were paid for with the firm's own money. This was the time, remember, when banks were trying to recapitalize by selling shares to the public. Goldman, you'll also recall, had turned itself into a bank holding company so it could take $10 billion in government money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.... Federal prosecutors accused a guy named Sergey Aleynikov of stealing proprietary "black box" computer codes from Goldman. The agent in charge of the case said the following in court: "The bank (Goldman) has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate the market in unfair ways."
G-8's Economic Dominance Faces Challenge From China, India, South Africa
Brazil, China and the New Asian Currency
Pension Costs for Local Governments May Triple by 2015
Ron Paul video on auditing Fed
Comment on gold manipulation at 4 minutes, 30 seconds.
Audit Would Harm Country, Fed Vice-Chair Warns
Health guide for 9/11 kids is released, with one doctor critical
McKinney released, returning to United States (from Rice Farmer)
Statue of Liberty Decapitated
Stolen from VoxPop, coffee shop of Sander Hicks, 9/11 researcher.
In California, Even the I.O.U’s Are Owed
California Dreamin': How the State Can Beat Its Budget Woes
Smoke Dope and Save California
US Apartment Vacancies Near Historic Highs
Staggering Budget Gap and a Reluctance to Fill It
Alcohol Deaths Rise by 40%
Generals Who Led Honduras Military Coup Trained at the School of the Americas (from Rice Farmer)

Oil demand set to rise
The Fed and Peak Oil
Obama's Push for Caspian Energy Routes Imperiled by Azeri Refugee Struggle
Canada: String of pipeline bombings (from Rice Farmer)
Iranian oil: Depletion and rust -- only five more years of oil exports? (from Rice Farmer)
Iraqi Oil Goes To China
Ecuador: January-May Crude Oil Exports Down 63%
Price is EV's Elephant in the Room
Boomtown Bremerhaven: The Offshore Wind Industry Success Story
Pickens Backs Off Wind Farm Project
Utah Coal Plant Scuttled, 100th in US Since 2002
9$ Airline Seats

Democrats Say C.I.A. Deceived Congress
Did CIA and RAW create Uighur unrest? Xinjiang - China's energy gateway
Beijing's concern at the unrest in Xinjiang extends beyond the threat to its own authority. The vast region, already an essential supplier of oil and gas to the rest of China, is an important border gateway for energy supplies from its numerous Central and South Asia neighbors
North Korea Suspected in US/S. Korea Web Attack
UK Weapons Inspector Who Was Found Dead Was Writing Expose (from Rice Farmer)
Colonel Sabow
Unclassified Report on the President’s Surveillance Program (pdf)
Joint Inspector General Report, 10 July 2009
Sending GPS Devices the Way of the Tape Deck?

Climate Change
Winter, Like Guest Uninvited, Drops In
Snow in New York in July
Two from Rice Farmer:
Heat and humidity causing problems with pavement buckling
Searing heat, preceded by wet conditions, causing pavement to blow up

Swine Flu
Swine Flu Shots Could Begin This Fall
Swine Flu Epidemic (UK)
Swine flu: Government is scaremongering say leading GPs
Russian doctors say treating swine flu with aspirin causes coma

Russia/Central Asia
Russia Wants to Open 2nd Military Base in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan weighs opium as industry (from Rice Farmer)

Troops Flood Urumqi as Chinese Minister Cuts Short G-8 Stay
Cyberattacks Hit U.S. and South Korean Web Sites
Chinese Bank Announces Bombshell (from Rice Farmer)
Taiwan's Exports Down 30% in June
Yuan Deposes Dollar on China's Border in Sign of Future for Global Trade

Sterling Crisis Looms as Unravelling Leads to Budget Cuts
UK: Bleak job prospect for 2010's graduates -- 48 applicants per opening! (from Rice Farmer)
U.K. House Prices Unexpectedly Decline as Unemployment Rises,
Banks to Use Food Labels
Swiss Government Says It May Seize UBS Data to Prevent Disclosure in U.S.

NSW in the grips of a blackout crisis (from Rice Farmer)

Theory of Everything Said to Solve Its First Real World Problem

Wednesday, July 08, 2009



Michael C. Ruppert

JULY 7, 2009 I have been back from Oregon and the sexual-harassment hearing for over a week. Having run out of money I had to fly up and represent myself. I relied heavily on excellent pre-trial work by local counsel Lee Werdell. I cannot ever find a way to express my gratitude to Mark and Emanuel for coming down to Medford for the hearing in the three-year old case. Their presence stopped an absolutely rude, bullying Case Presenter (the Labor Board's version of a prosecutor) from calling me names or screaming at me non-stop. They were the only witnesses in a 10 X 20 hearing room. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) was utterly professional and had to admonish someone from his own Department about six or seven times a day; (six times in the closing argument alone). I never lost it once.

I have every confidence that I won. My accuser, Lindsay Gerken, was caught lying several times and, in the end, her story just fell apart. Her own mother even impeached Lindsay's testimony. And Scott McGuire was a true and honest friend who stood up to tesify about things he had seen. She had no witnesses. I had photos disproving her story. I had some records. She had nothing. I will receive the Administrative Law Judge's ruling within about 50 days now. Most importantly for me though, I sat there and fought in that crucible which had been hanging over me for three very long and painful years. I have always needed to look all my demons in the eye. There is no other way to know the truth.

I have now proved and documented that a horribly flawed and biased police report, written by an officer terminated after I left, (who had formerly worked for an L.A. area police department), was improperly leaked to reporter Bob Plain of the Ashland Daily Tidings. I had already had a knock-down, drag-out with the Tidings (and won) before Ms. Gerken came along. I can use her name now. It's a public record. Based on that flawed and biased police report, the reporter (Bob Plain) and his editor (Scot Bolsinger) published two of the nastiest and most vicious news stories I have ever seen after I wnet to Venezuela. They hurt. The Case Presenter -- Patrick Plaza -- introduced them as evidence against me in the harassment case. I got all of the trash about Bolsinger and Plain on the record to impeach the two hit pieces. Plaza's case kept falling apart like that. The ALJ (from Eugene) was listening. Legally, I deconstructed Plaza's entire case. At the end he was getting desperate.

Yeah, it was nasty.

The Ashland Police Department in 2007 and 2008 apologized first in front of attorney Ray Kohlman, and later Jenna Orkin. The APD abjectly apologized for the series of "really bad screw ups". At the second meeting the Deputy Chief, Rick Walsh, came in and apologized also. I was not a suspect in the burglary and they twice refused to give me a Voice Stress Analyzer test; in front both Jenna and Ray. A break came because the Detective who met with us, Randy Snow, was also an Army Ranger and familiar with the Pat Tillman case.

Scot Bolsinger, the former editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings, is now in prison for unlawful sex with a minor and under ongoing investigation for racketeering in defrauding at least three Ashland businesses out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Bob Plain has disappeared. All of that is in the record at the sexual harassment case. It's public now........

(paragraph removed by JO pending consultation.)

My ten-year business relationship with Ken Levine is... OVER.

It's over... It's all over. There is nothing hanging over my head.

I have no more battles left to fight. I have kept all the work we all did, clean and unblemished. My duties are discharged.

It's time to...

No, it's just happening that I am walking away from all of this for a while. I am still working closely with Chris Smith and Kate Noble on CoLLapse. ( Watch the site closely now. It seems the whole world is holding it's breath. We should see it in early August and that will coincide with the publication of "A Presidential Energy Policy" by Variance Publishing and a real marketing campaign. The book will be in bookstores when the movie comes out. -- I guess I've been fighting a great many battles for a while... thirty years or so.

In the meantime Cynthia McKinney sits in an Israeli prison for trying to smuggle crayons and medical supplies in Gaza... Well, she is a few years younger than I am.

But I'm not reading any news stories for a while. I'm not anaylzing or pondering. I'm not thinking about Peak Oil or collapse, or die off or any of it. Life has given me a second shot at some things that have long been missing; like music, singing, romance, friends... and more. The re-emergence of music in my life has set off a freight train train that I just have to ride for a while. I have two special friends to thank for that: Doug Lewis and Andy Kravitz... But then there's also this guy named Jim Sullins.

In 1982 I had a band and Jim was the first guy I hooked up with. He'd written songs for Sheena Easton, Ray Charles and Julios Iglesias. He played one of the crispest rhythm guitars and we sang some crazy-ass harmonies. Well I've heard from Jim a few times lately. I've sent him some lyrics that seem to be pouring out of me. Jim's a songwriter in Nashville and after twenty-five years he screaming at me, "Sing! Sing! Be with music. Be happy." I am happily a member of the Venice Arts Club. Scroll down at the site and you'll see a few pics of me being happy with some fine people.

The daimon which brought me this far, through all this, to meet and be with you guys... to do the work we've done, is now dragging me into a place I'll call... happiness. I am not resisting.

I'll be there for whatever the movie asks and I'll do all for the book. But otherwise, I'm done. Now I can really retire.

Jenna, the blog is all yours. I may send a few things out. But Jenna Orkin has been this blog's parent for a long time and we all know it. What a job she has done. I'm not looking back for a while.

Love to all,

From Jenna Orkin:

A cursory glance at the news would suggest that The Powers That Be and their spokesmen, the Mainstream Media, aren't trying to save the patient (us) from our current crises; they're trying to anaesthetize us through the dying process. The neverending story of Michael Jackson advances this agenda as we calmly moonwalk backwards off stage.

Not to torture that metaphor since I have no understanding of the moonwalk, but it would seem reasonable that all you need to do to fall behind in the world is to stay put while the world moves forward. Just keep on doing the same ol' tricks, crank out a few trillion more of that trusty ol' currency, while around you the scene has evolved; the currency, lost its trustiness.

But who could have known? Such a thing never happened before (except in Rome before the collapse of the Empire, China under Kublai Khan, France after John Law, Germany after World War I......)

Economic Fragility Underestimated - Collapse May Be Imminent (from Rice Farmer)
Debt Burden Accelerates Global Power Shift as G-8 Countries Lose Influence
U.S. Should Consider a Second Stimulus Package, Obama Adviser Tyson Says
No Amount of Stimulus Will Work
Oil price rollercoaster
Is this another inflationary spike that could derail the economy?
Pope Calls for New Political and Financial World Order
California - and the U.S. - Headed for Permanently Smaller Economy
Who Killed California's Economy?
Who'll take California IOUs?
Goldman Sachs Says Morgan Stanley All Wrong About Fed's Quantitative Exit
GM to Fire 4,000 Managers by October, Become ‘Greener’: WSJ Link
Will General Motors Kill Its Electric Car?
US Weekly raw steel production down by 46.1pct YoY (from Rice Farmer)
Americans are working fewest hours on record (from Rice Farmer)
Forbes' Layoff Tracker
Social Security Number Can Be Guessed From Government Data, Web Sites
Office Vacancies Near 4-Year High; 24% Vacancies in Suburbs; Rents Fall
Twitter Vital for National Security
500,000 Canadians 90 Days Behind on Credit Payments
Hotels Feel the Pain of a Glut of Empty Rooms and Lower Room Rates
FBI detains Russian programmer for stealing secret Goldman Sachs codes
Pentagon IG Probes Afghan Headquarters Contract

Police Fear Far-Right Terror Attack
Anti-terror police face budget cuts
The Secret Torture Evidence MI5 Tried to Hide
MI5 Accused of Bribe Offer
Straw Proposes New Powers to Prosecute War Criminals in Britain
Britain to face 100,000 swine flu cases a day by end of August (from Rice Farmer)
Summer of chaos feared as BA workers reject plans

Riots, Street Battles Kill At Least 156 in China
China's Uighurs March to Protest Detention of 1,000 After Deadly Rioting
China Signals End of Commodity Stockpiling (from Rice Farmer)
"It is possible that the entire commodities / equities rally and economic ‘green shoots’ were spillover effects of Chinese stockpiling."
China Arrests Four Rio Tinto Employees dispute over iron ore prices.
Key in Afghanistan Is Economy, Not Military
Workers Have Daily Smile Scans

Baltic Exchange made changes in calculating BDI (from Rice Farmer)
"Maritime Global Net reported that the Baltic Exchange has made changes to the way it calculates the Baltic Dry Index in a move it says is designed to help boost derivative trading."
Will Improving Farming Solve the Food Crisis ?
Scientists create test-tube sperm