Still choosing happiness, though you’ve considered all the facts. ~Wendell Berry
Berry’s essays include book reviews, poetry commentary, and personal essays of the kind that, in 20 years’ time, would appear on blogs in much simpler form and cut down to <800 words, most likely. Their tone is conversational and their insights simple and relatable. In fact, I was impressed by the sense of conversation that pervades the pieces. Writing for print media at a time when internet was in its infancy, Berry communicates with his readers and other authors, both contemporaries and those throughout history, in a way similar to that to which I strive in my blogging. Like a good conversation, the essays meander through literary and historical references, personal anecdotes, and assertions of strong personal opinions; I found it a pleasure to follow the trails he blazed.
The topics of the essays vary, but certain themes come up again and again. One theme is working in harmony with nature. Berry offers examples from his own experiences as a farmer, those of farmers he’s known and those of the wider community of farmers throughout history, like Nate Shaw, the subject of “A Remarkable Man,” as well as biblical support for the practice of moving with the rhythms of nature rather than trying to subdue it. This theme also shows up in his suggestion that we become knowledgable about and active in the process by which food travels to our plates, which includes eating locally, an idea that I find surprising from essays written in the late 1980′s. This idea of local eating comes up in “The Pleasure of Eating,” and is one of the rare instances when Berry actually offers possible solutions; mostly he just asks really good questions.
The theme of local action is another that runs through his essays. Berry supports local eating, yes, but he also posits the idea that family farms are failing in our country because our society devalues the work that is done in the places where we live. He writes about the disconnection many of us have with our communities and even our families, a phenomenon he attributes to the fact that we are so dependent on careers that we feel we must be willing to relocate far from our home communities, breaking ties with family and friends each time we do (this one hit home for me). “Living is a communal act,” he writes, “whether or not its communality is acknowledged.” The entire culture, Berry suggests, is oriented towards centralization, pulling us away from the connections we build with those near us in favor of more diluted connections with those over a broad geography. And this was well before Facebook.
Berry does a little of the nostalgic “back in my day” musing, but it’s not gratuitous or overbearing. He points out that in the time of family farms (actually before his day), people would visit with each other in the evening after supper. They’d just drop by and talk or play music or tell stories in the time-honored tradition of building community memory through storytelling. They would create their own entertainment while today people expect their entertainment to be delivered to them through the television or the internet. Instead of connecting in person with those near us, we hole up in our homes and connect with those geographically distant from us (or with those who are fictional), and we’re losing not only that connection to local community, but also the stories and memory that make up a community.
Too much research has been devoted to the science of stress, depression and the connection to disease and not enough to the biology of joy. If a greater emphasis was placed on why we don’t go to doctors when we are feeling optimistic, … More
(we are fast becoming Europe, where generations live under the same roof.)
There was Felix-and-Oscar. There were The Golden Girls. Such arrangements–adults living with adult roommates–are about to get less comic and more common, say experts on housing and on the aging of the Baby Boom.
One pair of roommates—Carol Loper, 69, and Gerry Venable, 74—recently was profiled on the front page of the L.A. Times. An executive of the non-profit agency that put the two of them together, tells ABC News she sees the number of such households growing.
Rachel Caraviello, vice president of Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA), says that nationally there are about 130,000 households where the cohabiters are aged 50 or older, and where they have no familial relationship or romantic connection.
All time Classic! He was so right, and was hounded mercilessly for by the IRS for his speaking truth to power.
Transcript: “There’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the REAL owners, now. The REAL owners, the BIG WEALTHY business interests that control things and make all the important decisions — forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. YOU DON’T. You have no choice. You have OWNERS. They OWN YOU. They own EVERYTHING. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations; they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State houses, the City Halls; they’ve got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They gotcha by the BALLS. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying — lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want — they want MORE for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They DON’T want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that, that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting FUCKED by system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want OBEDIENT WORKERS. OBEDIENT WORKERS.
People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now they’re comin’ for your SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY. They want your fuckin’ retirement money. They want it BACK. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it ALL from you sooner or later — ‘cuz they OWN this fuckin’ place. It’s a big CLUB. And YOU AIN’T IN IT. You and I are NOT IN the big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the in their media telling you what to believe — what to think — and what to buy. The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-workin people — white collar, blue collar — doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-workin people CONTINUE — these are people of modest means — continue to elect these RICH COCKSUCKERS who don’t GIVE a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you, they don’t GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU. T HEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU — AT ALL. AT ALL. AT ALL. You know?
And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care…that’s what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth: It’s called the American Dream…’cuz you have to be asleep to believe it.”
Nathan Fraser, the author of As King: A Simple Guide to Autonomous Living, will talk about how to operate within the system of law and what tactics to use in court. Nathan is the host of the radio program Live Free FM where the topics of discussion include the legal system, how to fight back in court and how to achieve true autonomy with one goal in mind, the goal of a free and voluntary society. In the first hour, Nathan explains the philosophy behind his approach and tells how he attained his experience and knowledge. He’ll talk about Corpus Delicti, the principle that a crime must have been proven to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime. We’ll discuss the history of tyranny and the fraud of democracy. He describes how the police have no duty to protect citizens and how the state, using stolen money, is involved in suppressing people as opposed to protecting them. Nathan argues that all human relations should be of a consensual basis. Later, he explains the process of discovery, understanding the rules of evidence, the process in court, what happens at trial and how to impeach a witness. In the second hour, we talk about some of his previous successes in court. He shares some of the questions he uses to get the representatives of the state to get caught up in their own rules and paint themselves into a legal corner. Lastly, Nathan explains why he wants to share this knowledge and expose the flaws in the legal system.
Dylan DeNeve of Brooklyn dined on homemade baby food of vegetable purées, delicately seasoned with leeks, red peppers, cumin and thyme, prepared by her mother, Alexandra, a lawyer. In Atlanta, Wes and Hadley Stewart enjoyed homemade mashed-up kale, butternut squash and ancient grains.
“I was a big fan of introducing all sorts of tastes, and my rule was to try new things at least 10 times before I gave up,” said their mother, Morgan, an independent educational consultant. “I was determined to establish good eating habits early, and now the two of them will eat anything.”
Thanks to mothers like these, sales of commercially prepared baby food have been steadily falling since 2005. But the baby food industry is hardly waving a white diaper.
‘The diet industry reached 61 BILLION dollars in 2013 in the United States alone, but people are fatter than ever. Between magic pills, diet food, and commercial weight loss plans, the obesity epidemic is a HUGE business.
Despite all of the do-good advertising and the inspiring slogans, the secret is, the diet industry doesn’t actually want you to lose weight, at least not for the long term. A customer who fails to maintain weight loss ends up being a long-term customer, contributing to the business’s bottom line. Richard Samber, the former Finance Director for Weight Watchers, was questioned about the company’s 16 percent success rate after five years. Get ready….he explained “that the business is successful ‘because the other 84 percent have to come back and do it again. That’s where your business comes from.’” (source)
So basically, your failure means their success.’
As you see food prices sky rocket this summer in the U.S., remember this chart.
(They’ve had free Tesla energy for 100 years, so take this news for what its worth)
Surf’s up! The US Navy appears to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence – turning seawater into fuel:
After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel.
The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it.
Curiously, this doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash (no pun intended) on the evening news. Let’s repeat this: The United States Navy has figured out how to turn seawater into fuel and it will cost about the same as gasoline.
This technology is in its infancy and it’s already this cheap? What happens when it’s refined and perfected? Oil is only getting more expensive as the easy-to-reach deposits are tapped so this truly is, as it’s being call
‘The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that JP Morgan has massively manipulated energy markets in California and the Midwest, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from grid operators between September 2010 and June 2011.
Pulitzer prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston notes today that Wall Street is trying to launch Enron 2.0:
The price of electricity would soar under the latest scheme by Wall Street financial engineers to game the electricity markets.
If regulators side with Wall Street — and indications are that they will — expect the cost of electricity to rise from Maine to California as others duplicate this scheme to manipulate the markets, as Enron did on the West Coast 14 years ago, before the electricity-trading company collapsed under allegations of accounting fraud and corruption.’
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‘So now we have proof of what we, the much maligned truth tellers, have been saying since day one. The video had nothing to do with the jihad attack at Benghazi, and even if it did, the coward in the White House copped out to sharia instead of standing for freedom. The White House knew from the very first that it was Islamic terror. The White House directed the cover-up.
The release of Benghazi emails tied a top White House aide to former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice’s mendacious Sunday show statements after the Benghazi terror attack.
Knowing that the cold-blooded murder of our Ambassador and three other brave Americans was Islamic terror, knowing this, the President of the United States stood up before the world a week later and said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” That is what the President said after we were brutally attacked on September 11, 2012. That Romney never pounded this is one of many reasons he was a hopeless loser.’
Kerry subpoenaed to testify in Congress over Benghazi
‘Following revelations that the White House kept certain emails related to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, from Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry has been subpoenaed to testify on his department’s handling of the situation.
The email in question – drafted by deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes – was sent to multiple administration officials and advised then-United Nations ambassador Susan Rice on how to discuss the event during her television appearances. When Congress initially subpoenaed documents related to the attack, which left four Americans dead, this email was not included.’
‘It’s no secret that police departments around the country are deploying automated license plate readers to build massive databases to identify the location of vehicles. But one company behind this Orwellian tracking system is determined to stay out of the news.
How determined? Vigilant Solutions, founded in 2009, claims to have the nation’s largest repository of license-plate images with nearly 2 billion records stored in its National Vehicle Location Service (NVLS). Despite the enormous implications of the database for the public, any law enforcement agency that signs up for the service is sworn to a vow of silence by the company’s terms of service.
Vigilant is clear about the reason for the secrecy: it’s to prevent customers from “cooperating” with media and calling attention to its database.’
May 3rd, 2014
The Army’s most iconic helicopter is about to go pilotless.
The U.S. Army and defense contractor Sikorsky Aircraft demonstrated hover and flight capability in an “optionally piloted” version of the Black Hawk helicopter last month. It’s part of the Army’s effort to reduce troops and costs, in this case by letting the five-ton helicopter carry out autonomous expeditionary and resupply operations.
Sikorsky has been working on the project since 2007 and convinced the Army’s research department to bankroll further development last year.
“Imagine a vehicle that can double the productivity of the Black Hawk in Iraq and Afghanistan by flying with, at times, a single pilot instead of two, decreasing the workload, decreasing the risk, and at times when the mission is really dull and really dangerous, go it all the way to fully unmanned,” said Chris Van Buiten, Sikorsky’s vice president of Technology and Innovation.
The Optionally Piloted Black Hawk (OPBH) operates under Sikorsky’s Manned/Unmanned Resupply Aerial Lifter (MURAL) program, which couples the company’s advanced Matrix aviation software with its man-portable Ground Control Station (GCS) technology. Matrix, introduced a year ago, gives rotary and fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft a high level of system intelligence to complete missions with little human oversight.
‘Yesterday, Roger Waters and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd urged the Rolling Stones not to go ahead with a planned concert in Tel Aviv this summer.
“With the recent news that the Rolling Stones will be playing their first-ever concert in Israel, and at what is a critical time in the global struggle for Palestinian freedom and equal rights, we, the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd, have united in support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), a growing, nonviolent global human rights movement initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to end Israel’s occupation, racial discrimination and denial of basic Palestinian rights,” the pair write in their message, published in Salon.
“Playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid; regardless of your intentions, crossing the picket line provides propaganda that the Israeli government will use in its attempts to whitewash the policies of its unjust and racist regime.”’
‘Not satisfied with collecting your phone records, text messages, and web activity and selling (or giving) it to the NSA, AT&T has partnered with SST to provide law enforcement and other government agencies real-time acoustic surveillance of our city streets.
The ShotSpotter technology detects gunfire from its many sensors all over town and will triangulate and transmit this information to the local police, or any other agency the subscribes to the service. ‘
U.S. State Department Propaganda Office Active on, “Blogs to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, and Others”
May 1st, 2014
Via: Ars Technica:
The State Department unveiled Wednesday that it is widely employing social media as a method to counter online violent extremism from Al-Qaeda and others.
Buried in an intelligence report published Wednesday, the government said that the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), established in 2011, last year produced more than 10,000 online postings globally, some of which included one of 138 government-produced videos.
“CSCC’s programs draw on a full range of intelligence information and analysis for context and feedback. CSCC counters terrorist propaganda in the social media environment on a daily basis, contesting space where AQ and its supporters formerly had free rein. CSCC communications have provoked defensive responses from violent extremists on many of the 249 most popular extremist websites and forums as well as on social media,” said the document, Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 (PDF).
The State Department has a global social media presence from Afghanistan to Vietnam. The platform ranges from blogs to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, and others.
April 30th, 2014
A series of lawsuits filed in recent months in federal courts along the U.S. border with Mexico highlight what advocates say is a growing list of complaints against two U.S. agencies that have expanded rapidly amid the clamor to secure the nation’s borders.
In one lawsuit, centered on events in Chula Vista, Calif., a Border Patrol agent is accused of leaping on the hood of a car driven by a mother of five and shooting her dead. She was unarmed. The agent had been fired from his previous job as a sheriff’s deputy for a variety of misconduct.
In a second case, a Customs officer in Brownsville, Texas, violently pushed a disabled woman to the ground. She had a miscarriage the next day. Border officers also had to call firefighters to remove handcuffs that allegedly had bound her wrists too tightly.
For a third woman, her return to the United States was intrusive and painful. She was pulled from a line at an El Paso, Texas, border crossing, apparently on the suspicion that she was carrying drugs. She was handcuffed. Over the next six hours, agents escorted her to a hospital, where they oversaw the probing of her anus and vagina, forced her to take a laxative and then watched as she moved her bowels. When no drugs were found, they ordered her to submit to an X-ray and a CT scan.
When the ordeal was over, the officers asked her to sign a consent form before they allowed her to return to her home in New Mexico. When she refused, the hospital billed her thousands of dollars for the procedures.
SARTRE | 21st Century Wire
Few will dispute that careerist politicians often demonstrate psychopathic behavior.
In the article, Who Controls our Government? The Psychopathic Corporate Elites of America, Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null attempt to answer several fundamental questions:
“Is the problem, therefore, we the people? Are we at fault for having been seduced by those in power to sell us blank bill of goods, drugs, products and policies that are more harmful than beneficial? Are we at fault for having deceived our selves by being convinced that their illusion is the truth? Or is the elite, the best and brightest in Wall Street, Washington and throughout the top stories of the multinational corporate networks, the real obstacle to a promising future for all? Are the oligarchic elite, including corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans in all branches of government, not in fact a special breed of psychopath with no moral compass, striving solely to maintain their power, control and wealth? In this article we explore this phenomena with two leading experts on the psychopathic nature of our CEOs, business leaders and politicians who rule America from their residences on Psycho Street.”
What may be revealing to the average person is that many of the same sociopathic characteristics exhibited in the policy manipulators exist in the general population. Martha Stout, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and former Harvard Medical school instructor and author of The Sociopath Next Door. The article, Psychopaths and sociopaths share many characteristics: seem to coincide, cites she “estimates that one in 25 people, 4 percent of the population, are sociopathic. Dr. Stout describes sociopaths as those who, through grand schemes of contrivance, manipulation and deceit, seek to undermine and manipulate simply because they can.”
Disney Products!!! Don’t you love the way they are playing such mind games with our youth today? Miley, a two-split personality on the Disney Channel and now a mind controlled slave of the illuminati to program our youth.
..and Angela Jolie, member of the Council of Foreign Relations turning to the Dark Side of Cinderella as The Malificent!!…Meaning the BAD
Quite a stir occurred with the academic presentation, How Technology Is Destroying Jobs, by Brynjolfsson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and his collaborator and coauthor Andrew McAfee. Both have been arguing for the last year and a half that impressive advances in computer technology—from improved industrial robotics to automated translation services—are largely behind the sluggish employment growth of the last 10 to 15 years.
Even more ominous for workers, the MIT academics foresee dismal prospects for many types of jobs as these powerful new technologies are increasingly adopted not only in manufacturing, clerical, and retail work but in professions such as law, financial services, education, and medicine.
Catherine J. Frompovich
According to American Citizens Abroad,
FATCA also requires US citizens who have foreign financial assets in excess of $50,000 (higher for bona fide residents overseas – $200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for joint filers – see the IRS website for more details) to report those assets every year on a new Form 8938 to be filed with the 1040 tax return. Instructions for form 8938 were published in December 2011 and can be found on the IRS website.