An exquisite film in every aspect

The Biggest Little Farm is inspiring, hopeful, suspenseful, emotional, and beautifully crafted. It demonstrates what is possible when we work with nature instead of trying to conquer it.

How five elder women are creating an intentional community in an expensive housing market

By Saki Bailey,|June 4, 2019

Five elder women in one of the highest-cost urban areas in the United States are banding together to build the intentional retirement community of their dreams.

San Francisco Bay Area residents Mary McDonald, Barbara Reusch, Alisa Foster, Harriet Tubman Wright, and Ina Clausen  were all concerned about where they would be living in 10 or 20 years, who would be helping to care for them as they aged, and how they could achieve their desire to age in an intentional community — especially given soaring housing costs. Hibiscus Commons, which is slated to be the first elder cooperative created in partnership with the Bay Area Community Land Trust, was born out of their conversations.

“If you are a homeowner, you may have the luxury of aging in your own home, but this isn’t the case for a lot of lower-income elders who have never been homeowners,” said co-founder Mary McDonald. “Even for those lucky enough to stay in their own homes, it can be lonely and isolating to age on your own, and expensive to get in-home care.”

Aging with security and dignity can be difficult or even impossible for some seniors. The fastest-growing segment of the homeless population is people older than 55, and that cohort is likely to keep growing as the U.S. ages. The number of Americans aged 64 or older will nearly double by 2030 from 20 years earlier, to 70 million. In the expensive East Bay, the problem is acute. “Almost half of the Oakland homeless population became homeless after the age of 50,” said Harriet Wright.

Hibiscus Commons, a self-managed elder cooperative and intentional community, addresses all of these things: the isolation that comes with aging, the insecurity of housing and living on a fixed income in an area with one of the highest costs of living in the U.S., and accessing the care needed as one grows older.
Read more…

Mamak Rhapsody

Here’s a clever Malaysian adaptation of the 1975 Queen hit, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Your Health and Big Pharma

I don’t much trust the drug companies (or the medical establishment for that matter) and I take no prescription drugs. I’m especially suspicious of drugs that are advertised on TV.
I eat right, get exercise, and I trust my body to know what it needs and to use it’s built-in mechanisms to stay well. I make occasional exceptions after I’ve exhausted all other approaches and I’ve done my research. The last one was 4 years ago when I took antibiotics and anti fungal meds to deal with a severe digestion problem.

Everyone ought to read the new book, Do You Really Need That Pill?: How to Avoid Side Effects, Interactions, and Other Dangers of Overmedication by Jennifer Jacobs, MD. I happen to know her personally, as she is one of my bridge friends.

And watch this 60 Minutes expose on how drug companies and their minions in government put profits ahead of the public’s health and welfare: Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress.

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Europe moves to protect your data… or does it?

The European Union has recently passed something called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The full implications of this are still unclear. Will it protect people from spam and abusive treatment by corporate behemoths, or will it impede the free flow of peer-to-peer communications?

The cynic in me is inclined to suspect that the regulation may be intentionally designed to destroy the greatest threat to centralized control, our ability to communicate with, and inform, one another without being driven through the filters of the propaganda machine that is so ably served by the mainstream media.

Here below is the English translation of a message I received from a correspondent in Germany, which illustrates the chilling effect the GDPR will have on peer-to-peer communications.

This is my last newsletter.
The new EU General Data Protection Regulation will apply from 25.5. and forbids me to email you my newsletter as usual in the future.
The European Parliament wants to protect us – against data abuse, against loss of privacy. A well-intentioned bureaucratic attempt to save the freedom of European citizens. The opposite of “good” is mostly “well meant”.
With the threat of absurdly high fines I face an opaque jungle of prohibitions and regulations. The lifetime is too precious to me to deal intensively with the question: May I and if so, how legal it would be to send a newsletter to 3,000 customers, friends and cooperation partners?
If there were not so many state interventions in our most intimate private lives at the same time – surveillance cameras in every public area, data collections and evaluations, small and large eavesdropping attacks – I would be happy to receive so much political care. In context, I feel this law as a bumbling, hypocritical harassment. An attack on the biggest capital of individual entrepreneurs and artists: Our network of relationships.
I’m tired of being a one-person entrepreneur by the legislature constantly equal to a group – and thus discriminated against – I’m fed up with unnecessary, bureaucratic stupidities, I’m sick of wasting my valuable, limited life with pointless administrative clutter. I prefer to focus on my clients, work, family, friends and art.
Relevant information you will find in the future on my two homepages, please take care of it yourself.

[Signature and personal information omitted]

Happy about old-fashioned calls, paper letters, e-mails, meetings at the Heuriger and in the coffee house.

See you soon in the woods!

 

I’ll bet you’ve never seen fireworks like this

Christmas celebration, a history