Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

July 30, 2012

Counterfeit Reality

No one has a perfectly clear, objective view of the world. People believe goofy things because their leaders tell them to, because their language has its limitations, or because the best explanation they can come up with is still kind of goofy and wrong. Our very senses are kind of dim, compared to the full range of possible colors and sounds and smells in the universe (ultraviolet, subsonics, smelling the oxygen. There are shrimp that can see more colors than us). Yet, as a whole, most societies keep their sense of reality in tune to such a degree that life can go on, people can plant and harvest, be born, make love and be buried.

Lately I feel like we are off the rails, like a sit-com in its sixth season. The world as presented on the news, or as many of my dear friends understand it, looks like a sham, a bunch of props. People aren’t just buying into false myths here; they’re buying into a whole worldview built of deception. The world they think they live in is a counterfeit, an intentionally-built virtual reality. <sigh> Yes, it’s like the Matrix or Plato’s Cave.

Or maybe I’m psychotic. The little fake me inside me lives in this fake world, which is firmly centered on the United States of America. This guy believes in some impossible things, because he watches the television, goes to classes, reads media published by the six big companies, and is otherwise exposed to more information about the fake world than he absorbs from his own experience. He thinks that:

The Earth will never run out of resources. (Economies can grow without limit.)
Civilizations don’t decline or collapse anymore.
The serious threats to America are China and Islam. Or liberals, or conservatives, or atheists, or religious people.
There is a political spectrum from left to right, which encompasses all significant political thought.
Science is on the verge of finding keys to all the locks.
Democracy is working. The financial and political elites are working for us.

The Earth will never run out of resources.

Of course, people hem and haw about oil running out, or the rainforest being leveled. Yet, they behave as if these things are trivial concerns, as they keep on driving cars and buying tropical fruit from ex-rainforest plantations. (Well, me too. This is an area where my habits haven’t caught up with my thinking mind.) Most everyone still wishes for the economy to grow, fantasizing that it will someday run on sunlight harvested from deep space, simply free energy which exerts no effect on Earth’s systems. In the meantime, it’s mainly all about burning fossil fuels.

“We have to stop cutting down each others’ trees or no one will be able to build a canoe ever again,” said the least popular man on Easter Island.

Civilizations don’t decline or collapse anymore. The USSR was the last one to fall and now history is over.

Um, we don’t seem to respond to crisis any better than any of the fine examples of past collapse (Mayans, Greenland Vikings, British Empire, Rome…). Obama responded to a partial economic collapse with a stimulus package that his own advisors said was too small to work, which Congress then proceeded to whittle down. Republicans only continued to insist that the government should stand out of the way of corporations and super-rich people. Also, we have no response to Colony Collapse Disorder, the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico, oceanic garbage patches, rising asthma and allergies, or climate change.

We’re like that teenager, the target of public service announcements, who thinks that “HIV can’t happen to me.” We think that plague and famine are things of the past, and that war will never, ever touch our American borders again. It’s pretty overconfident, given that our history doesn’t go back so very far.

The serious threats to America are China and Islam. Or liberals, or conservatives, or atheists, or religious people.

So you must fight that enemy like you’re Captain America.

Please do not notice the financial rip-off artists and multinational corporations who drive the race to suck Earth dry. Are Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert the only people alive who realize that the rules of the global economy are slanted to channel money, control and physical wealth to a tiny elite, fucking over all the nations, recklessly endangering our common resources?

People understand that money rules politics, but they see it as “the other party is controlling things through money!” No, the people with money are controlling things through the two parties. If someone is a threat to us, it’s not this side or that side, but it could possibly be the people at the center who wield indirect yet inviolable control over all the rest of us (rigging LIBOR, high frequency or algorithmic trading, lobbying Congress and officials with retirement packages).

An expert panel on CNBC recently admitted that “we all work for the bankers now,” although the clip is unavailable on copyright pretext.

I don’t want to bash a banker. I just want them to stop strangling the world with debt. Maybe I’m wrong, and the center of power which projects the fake world onto our eyes is the miltary-industrial complex or something. I know it’s not Black people, or Republicans, or anyone who would live next door to little old me. This thing comes “from on high.”

There is a political spectrum from left to right, which encompasses all significant political thought.

Well, I identify as an anti-statist, someone who is against rulers, domination and exploitation. I can’t even exist according to the rules of counterfeit reality. Anarchists are neutralized in the newspaper with the label “self-proclaimed,” as if to be an anarchist is philosophically impossible. Anarchists are a notoriously unreliable voting bloc, too.

Both political parties mainly support pot prohibition, blowing off the Constitution, bailing out Wall Street, ignoring Wall Street’s crimes, growing the economy of global suicide, smashing alternative food and medicine, and engaging in endless war. Does that sound anything like your agenda?

Many people don’t line up behind the Democrats or Republicans, exactly. Some people, like Joe Lieberman, are are torn between towing the two party lines. Others support candidates from outside the two parties, such as Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Roseanne Barr or Vermin Supreme. Unfortunately, many who support third-party positions feel bullied into voting for Teams Red or Blue come election day. Most of those who see through the two parties would rather not engage with sham democracy, and do not exercise their power to vote.

The big story, for half of the years, is Democrat vs. Republican for President. As if the President is a Biblical patriarch who will lead us all to glory (or ruin,) depending on who wins the selection.

Science is on the verge of solving our problems.

We’ll use hemp and solar power. We’ll engineer an economy that can’t fail, and tweak the prison and education systems until they’re optimal. An NSA database will locate all the terrorists. Pheremone perfume will help me get laid.

Unfortunately, science is largely controlled by the monied powers that control other human institutions at this time. Establishment science gave us the Green Revolution, based on petrochemicals; a pack of Canadian Amish demonstrated that organic methods are superior over the decades (citation somewhere within Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver). A bunch of hippies contributed to the methods of urban homesteading and learned to apply permaculture principles in different climates; DDT and Agent Orange were products of well-funded corporate science. Science does not hands-down show us the right way to go about living.

My Dad used science to protect GM workers from chemical and biological hazards in the factory, so I have respect for the field. But how many false hopes do we put in to it, and how much has money twisted it up? Science can be used for progress, or its opposite. Science can hold up Mordor or build the Death Star, or help us get along and recycle more efficiently. It’s up to scientists and their patrons, including the public.

I suspect that Internet Q & A and DIY forums will eclipse science as a source of significant information about getting along in the world. I suspect that direct action will supplant representative democracy. But I may be a psychotic.

The financial and governmental elites are basically honest and concerned about us.

In Yemen, my eerily-similar Arab equivalent was recently blown away by a Hellfire missile. He had received no trial. He was visiting some new friends at a cottage when President Obama ordered a strike on the place, obliterating Yemeni Ethan in the blink of an eye. He was engulfed in flames before he knew what was coming.

The Obama Administration reports Yemeni Ethan as a combatant, based on the facts that 1) he is between the ages of 15 and 35, and 2) he was in an area targeted by a Hellfire missile. Score one for the team.

Yemeni Ethan debated the meaning of charity and Islam, whilst American Ethan debates the meaning of welfare and government. Yemeni Ethan chewed khat, American Ethan smokes pot. Am I supposed to believe that my government is going to treat me  with any more humanity than the guy in Yemen?

To speak to the financial side… corporations operating in America are basically sworn to serve their shareholders and only their shareholders, and they serve to limit liabilities and push costs on to others: their customers, workers and neighbors. They view killing me as a possible liability, if their team of lawyers should suck in court.

Screw the elite. Rant against them! If they can’t see reason, fuck ’em over! Don’t live a spectator to the news, but see: They don’t give a fuck about us!

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Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

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Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

//

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

//

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

//

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

//

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

//

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July 27, 2012

Vigilante thugs keep beating crap out of raw milk provider

Filed under: food, Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , — paragardener @ 4:22 pm

Last year, Rawesome Foods was raided by LAPD and associated forces. Illegal unpasteurized milk was dumped, records were seized, people were seized.

James Stewart, the retirement-aged kingpin milkman, was taken to the LA County Jail and tortured for eight days for his terrible crime of providing raw goat milk to people who wanted it. As is usual, he wasn’t told what charges he was being held on, wasn’t fed for a day, and generally was bullied into extreme compliance as he was processed into jail.

Then, an Officer Sexton interrogated him, asking him over and over, “are you a sovereign?” Stewart replied “what are you talking about?”, yet he was still given a red armband to indicate that he was a terrorist and a danger to the general population. He was then shackled with his hands cuffed to chains around his waist and to a bench for two or three hours while waiting for medical tests, which he was put through while still handcuffed. After hours of medical testing, he was held in a cell in an empty area of the jail with a temperature around 55 degrees F, with only basic pants and a T-shirt to wear (hypothermia as torture was pioneered by the British Army for use against the IRA, and has recently been used by US intelligence against terror suspects). He was finally sent to his own cell and fed a few cookies. Raw sewage flooded the cell, and several hours passed until trusties came by offering squeegees. After a day and a half in the filthy cell, he was woken up in the middle of the night and sent back to the cold cell for six hours, from where he was finally shipped to Ventura County Jail and treated as well as a common criminal.

Incidentally, Stewart’s family and attorney were trying to find him, but he wasn’t allowed a phone call and officials were claiming that he was “lost in the system.” Anyone who thinks you can’t be disappeared in Obama’s America had better pay attention to that point. Once the local enforcement machine admitted to having Stewart, his bail was set at $1,000,000.

On July 19 of this year, Natural News broke a story revealing that “cops” who participated in the raid had never signed Oaths of Office, and therefor have no immunity from charges of assault, theft, malicious destruction of property, or kidnapping. The perpetrators were nothing but vigilantes impersonating cops! Even the Health Department official who signed the search warrant had not signed an Oath of Office, making the entire sordid affair extralegal. Amazingly, the DA attempted to fend off these charges by releasing Oaths of Office with signatures redacted for privacy! Um, so it looks as if the Brownshirts are exercising free reign over there in LA and Ventura Counties.

On July 27, James Stewart was assaulted, pepper sprayed and taken by bounty hunters. Inexplicably, these angry dudes were driving brand-new luxury cars with no license plates. They refused to produce their legally-required certificates of training and proved what kind of people they are by calling a filming eyewitness a “retard.” Way to take down an old milkman! Was anything about this legal, or was it (another) kidnapping?

You can annoy the Ventura County DA’s office by following the contact information here. Ask them to end their insane crusade.

Thanks to Mike Adams “The Health Ranger” for doing basically all the original reporting on this story.

July 18, 2012

Food Stamps for Independence

Over 46 million Americans use food stamps (or SNAP or EBT, also called the Bridge Card in Michigan), or over 15% of us. I think that you could say that the program has grown beyond a “safety net” function and become “life support for the rest of the economy.”

And what is the nature of that food-stamp-dependent economy? It seeks to rip off the rest of the world à la the United Fruit company, and then redistribute some of the spoils according to a humane, human welfare model. How can we support multinational companies exploiting all of the people and resources of the world and yet stay comfortable and well fed at home? Equilibrium will be restored, by jobs leaving the country, immigrants sneaking in, or by the financial powers that be putting us in the austerity sights. An EBT that is basically helping its user buy into the corporate food chain is supporting not only fruit company plantation imperialism, but also Monsanto, and Monsanto’s biological weapons, beehive death, and the degradation of the world into sterile salt flats. On the other hand, an American family gets to eat for another month, which is no small thing.

Food stamps don’t have to support imperial trade practices or shitty farming. SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has a couple of neat wrinkles in it that promote independence, particularly independence from the abusive corporate food chain. Firstly, food stamps can be used to buy fruit and vegetable seeds wherever they are accepted (as at a grocery store with a rack of seeds). Secondly, Michigan residents can receive bonus tokens for spending their Bridge Card money at various local produce markets. It’s as if someone has been listening to Michelle Obama.

Food stamps could buy seeds since 1973, yet the fact has not been much publicized. Senator James Allen of Alabama explained at the time:

The recipients of food stamps would thus be able to use their own initiative to produce fruits and vegetables needed to provide variety and nutritional value for their diets.

While this amendment does broaden the definition of food items which may be purchased with food stamp coupons, I would expect that the food stamp recipients would be able to purchase the seeds and plants they need from grocery stores who are now participating in the food stamp program.

I would not expect the Department of Agriculture to undertake the administrative costs of certifying those thousands of additional stores to supply the seeds and plants that food stamp recipients might wish to purchase.

The amendment would allow the food stamp recipient to purchase with his food stamps seeds and plants for the purpose of growing food  for consumption by himself and his household.

It would allow a person to buy  $1 or $2 worth of seed or vegetable plants and possibly have available a plot of land and be able to raise $50 or $100 worth of food for himself and his family.

It would encourage industry on the part of the food stamp recipient and it would be at no cost to the Federal Government.

Now, Senator Allen left out the best part. If someone raises $100 worth of vegetables from $2 of seeds, they’ve just denied the corporate food chain $98. SNAP Gardens is an organization promoting food stamp gardens, and providing information to gardeners. I suggest SNAP non-recipients visit the page to absorb some of its enthusiasm.

The idea of being independent of the Ugliness Economy doesn’t mean everyone must become an atomized individual sewing their own clothes from thread they spun themselves from a sheep they fed from their own garden. Clearly people need to support each other, with gifts, barter, and fair, localized commerce.

In Michigan, some farmer’s markets have a Bridge Card tent where you swipe your card, and then the cashier tells you that the card won’t scan, so you stand there and ask them to manually punch your number in (well, that’s how my Bridge Card worked after a couple of months). Anyways, they give you tokens representing food stamp money to spend at the other booths. And the cool bit is, they double your money up to $20 per day. The program is called Double Up Food Bucks, and if you follow the link you’ll find a list of participating markets. (Thanks, Wilfrid Cyrus, for pointing this one out to me.) These markets are much nicer places to spend money in than, say, Walmart. Other states may have similar programs — for instance, in Rhode Island, you can spend WIC credits at farmer’s markets.

I would love to see a Homesteader Card program, which would give out money for soil, fertilizer, planters, fencing, homebrew gear and all of the other good stuff that allows people to take care of their own household needs. Since that would undermine growth of “the marketplace” — people would get used to getting $100 of vegetables for only $2 — the government would never do such a thing. Oh, well. In the meantime, SNAP gardens and Double Up Food Bucks can still be used to undermine the Ugliness Economy.

Garden for victory!

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July 16, 2012

Naked Face-Chewing Bath Salt Zombie Crime Wave?

Filed under: Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , — paragardener @ 4:59 pm

Within hours of Rudy Eugene chewing the face off of Ronald Poppo, members of the news media were speculating about imminent zombie apocalypse and blaming the incident on “bath salts,” a marketing term for mephedrone and mixtures thereof. By July 5, David Edwards wrote a piece for Raw Story about a nationwide naked crime wave, in which bath salts are “suspected.” Suspected by who, exactly? This story smells… cooked up.

Some police suspect bath salts behind every sort of deranged behavior. Phoenix Police Sgt. Eric Wyckoff notes that “I wouldn’t approach naked people running around the streets of Phoenix,” which is sad, because I like to approach the naked and deranged and have some fun with them.

“Did you forget something back at the house?” I’ll ask. “Nice cool breeze, don’t you think?”

Sgt. Wyckoff continued, “Generally speaking, if you run into a naked man out here, we found there’s usually some kind of illicit narcotic on board.” This raises questions for me. Weren’t there insane people who wandered about naked before we had today’s great variety of drugs available? If we pulled people off the street at random and drug tested them, wouldn’t we find a great number of otherwise normal people with illicit narcotics on board? I can certainly imagine someone having a psychotic reaction to their drug of choice, and getting publicly naked in the confusion. But I don’t trust that the relationship between illicit drugs and naked crime is all that tight. Could someone show me some numbers?

David Edwards’ piece goes on to link to various naked crime stories. In one case, a Texas mom crashed her car, left it there with three children inside, and wandered to the drug store where she proceeded to strip naked and eat ice cream. The bath salt connection? From Reuters: “Some online commentators are also speculating about the possible use of drugs like bath salts, which can raise a person’s body temperature.”

A Florida woman stood in the intersection, rather forcefully flashing passing drivers with each of her naughty bits until sheriffs arrived to take her in. The bath salt connection? At least David Edwards suspects that she may have been high on bath salts.

Hysterical mugshot.

Broward Sheriff’s Dep’t.

In Georgia, a half-naked man was arrested for disorderly conduct on a golf course. He admitted to being high on bath salts and threatened to eat the faces of the arresting officers. Do bath salts lead directly to the urge to get naked and eat faces? Or did Karl Laventure get himself deranged with the original Miami zombie attack influencing his expectations?

There is no reason to fear that bath salts lead straight to naked face-chewing. We now have toxicology reports from the Miami-Dade medical examiner, who found nothing remarkable in Rudy Eugene’s system. The original naked face-chewing bath salt zombie attack was not caused by bath salts. For some reason, everyone just assumed that it was. “Oh, this is odd. It must be connected to that scary new drug.”

A June 14 story in “Hollywood Life” makes flat and unsupported statements that a woman who attacked her own son and dog on a violent and nude rampage was high on bath salts. Since the story also cited Rudy Eugene as a bath salt user, I see no reason to treat the story as credible. Rampager Pamela McCarthy was tased to death by responding police. How convenient for them if she were a nearly invincible yet mindless zombie attacker, and therefor had to be taken down at any cost.

Connecting bath salts to a naked crime wave is a pretty fine drug scare. It is reminiscent of vintage drug scares like Old South cocaine (making black men into superhuman rapists), or Reefer Madness-era marijuana (giving fine upstanding youths uncontrollable violent impulses). Yet, there is a note of ghetto-terror PCP (its ability to cause utter, violent confusion and immunize one against pain), with even a whiff of the club drug scene from our latest round of being frightened about MDMA. This is the most complex, fullest-bodied drug scare we’ve enjoyed in a long, long time!

You can’t have a drug scare without doctors getting their two cents out. So, addiction specialist Dr. Ravi Chandiramani captures the richness of the bath salt scare in one line: “It’s different than anything else we typically encounter because it’s almost like having cocaine, ecstacy, LSD or acid and amphetamine in one substance.”

Bath salts are a capitalistic, loophole-finding, make-money-first-and-ask-questions-later way to skirt around drug prohibition (don’t sell drugs as drugs. don’t even label them.) You could grouse about corporations being more socially responsible but it’s a little late for that. The other problem is that people need to have better ways of getting drugs! In the meantime, don’t trust what you hear about bath salts and don’t panic about naked zombie attackers.

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July 11, 2012

Dr. Drew Pinsky: Shameless Whore

Dr. Drew Pinsky, beloved host of Loveline and the Teen Mom aftershow, chief doctor on Celebrity Rehab, accepts bribes to promote pharmaceuticals.

GlaxoSmithKline has just been hit with a $3 billion fine for fraudulent marketing of its snake oils. GSK was caught promoting its medicines for off-label uses, pushing fishy medical journal articles, and paying doctors like Pinsky for phony medical opinions. Dr. Drew was happy to take GSK’s money and parrot their line, but unfortunately he won’t be giving up millions or going to jail.

In 1999, on David Essel — Alive! — a national radio program — Dr. Drew was asked whether or not a woman could have 60 orgasms right in a row. Drew said that that was typically seen with medication, and then segued into talking about Wellbutrin, which is believed to at least not dampen libido like other SSRI antidepressants. C’mon, Dr. Drew. Selling Wellbutrin as an aphrodisiac? (The DoJ has made a transcript of the program available).

Dr. Drew was receiving $275,000 to participate in a two-year “educational” program on “Intimacy and Depression,” sponsored by GSK. Dr. Drew gave his money-weighted opinion on Wellbutrin in a series of writings, multimedia activities and town hall meetings. However, he insists that everything he said was based on his clinical experience. In Dr. Drew’s innocent mind, we are to imagine, GSK paid him $275,000 to educate the world about intimacy and depression, and it was mere coincidence that Dr. Drew’s prescription for the depressed bedroom is GSK’s product.

Joe Rogan (the host of a talk radio show and tv’s Fear Factor) called out Dr. Drew as a whore years ago, for treating marijuana as an addictive substance.

I was willing to imagine that Dr. Drew was misinformed about marijuana because he went through some kind of brainwashing in the course of getting his Addiction Medicine Specialist certification. He seemed like a friendly, slightly nerdy guy with decent advice to offer, and a few stupid opinions. I now understand that Dr. Drew will say whatever gets him money, ratings or prestige.

As far as Wellbutrin goes, SSRI antidepressants don’t work and doctors have known since 2002. When drug companies run studies, they publish only the ones that support their new, patent medications. However, they submit all studies, positive and negative, to the FDA. When Irving Kirsch and colleagues got a hold of the FDA’s complete set of studies, they discovered that SSRI’s show a very, very tiny advantage compared to placebo. The apparent effect of SSRI’s is so small that it is probably really a glitch in the standard study methodology, or perhaps it’s due to medication side effects enhancing the placebo effect. It shouldn’t surprise you to know that Dr. Drew continues to view SSRI’s as valid antidepressants.

Sorry to let you know if you’ve been paying for worthless placebos or suffering pointless side effects. Quitting the meds could still fuck you up, so you need support from a sympathetic doctor to withdraw. Finding a sympathetic doctor may be tough, as so many doctors are whores who rely on pharmaceutical companies for money and advice.

A whore in the sex work field makes a living by selling their own body. A whore in the medical profession sells out their patients’ bodies. And a celebrity medical whore like Dr. Drew Pinsky sells out the entire body public.

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