Monthly Archives: November 2010

Avoid farmed salmon

I am very fond of salmon and eat it often, however I avoid buying farmed salmon. Why? There are many reasons, including all of the usual problems associated with monoculture. This video begins to explain it.

Homeland Security shuts down dozens of Web sites without court order

This past week the Department of Homeland Security shut down 76 domains.  No court order needed says “Big Brother.” Read the full story.

Canadians upset about US Wetbacks entering Canada

Some are accusing Canadians of being racist, or classist, or educationist, but  I think they are just afraid of being corrupted or having their cultural identity diluted by the influx of so many US yuppie liberals. –t.h.g.

From The Manitoba Herald

by Clive Runnels

Canadians: “Build a Damn Fence!”

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The recent actions of the Tea Party are prompting an exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray, and to agree with Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.

Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. “I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry.

He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn’t have any, he left before I even got a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?”

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. He then installed loudspeakers that blared Rush Limbaugh across the fields.

“Not real effective,” he said. “The liberals still got through and Rush annoyed the cows so much that they wouldn’t give any milk.”

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons and drive them across the border where they are simply left to fend for themselves.” A lot of these people are not prepared for our rugged conditions,” an Ontario border patrolman said. “I found one carload without a single bottle of imported drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley Cabernet, though.”

When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about plans being made to build re-education camps where liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR races.

In recent days, liberals have turned to ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have been disguised as senior citizens taking a bus trip to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans in powdered wig disguises, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior citizens about Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney to prove that they were alive in the ’50s. “If they can’t identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we become very suspicious about their age” an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and are renting all the Michael Moore movies. “I really feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can’t support them.” an Ottawa resident said. “How many art-history majors does one country need?”

A post-election message of wisdom and hope, and a gameplan for progressives

This message from Rabbi Michael Lerner needs to be spread far and wide. Please pass it on. — t.h.g.

10 Commandments to Revive Progressives After the November Defeat

Rabbi Michael Lerner

Editor, Tikkun Magazine

1. Don’t let the media frame this as a defeat of progressives. Had Obama embraced and fought for a progressive agenda, even if he had passed none of it, he would have entered the 2010 elections as the champion of the huge idealism of the American people that was elicited in 2008 and which would have led the Democrats to an electoral sweep in 2010. Being seen as fighting for the needs of ordinary people — never letting anyone forget for a moment that he had inherited the mess that Republican and pro-corporate Democrats had created, positioning himself as the champion of those who resented the Wall Street and corporate interests — his popularity would have grown; he could have won a much bigger victory for the Democrats in 2010, and that would have allowed him to actually legislate the policies of a progressive vision.

Had Obama refused to give more money to the banks and Wall Street unless equal or greater amounts were allocated for a visionary New Deal-style program for jobs and a freeze on mortgage foreclosures; had the Democrats refused to fund the escalation of war in Afghanistan; had they advocated for “Medicare for Everyone” instead of passing a plan that forced 30 million people to buy health care, but puts no serious restraints on the costs that insurance companies or pharmaceutical can charge; had Obama fought courageously for a carbon tax and ended the bargain taxes for the wealthy; had the Democrats insisted on stopping the harassment of immigrants; had the Obama Administration called for a national effort to overturn Citizens United, such as the ESRA — Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Had Obama set up public forums at which his supporters could give him public feedback and used the web creatively to allow his supporters to weigh in, and had Obama consistently spoken honestly to Americans about the constraints he was facing and who was putting pressure on him to do what — there would have been no electoral defeat. It wasn’t the progressive agenda that got defeated, it was the corporate-military accommodation of the Democrats and Obama who couldn’t address popular outrage, not only at the economic problem, but at the way we had been manipulated in 2008; and the humiliation many felt at having allowed themselves to hope that someone in politics would fight for what they said they would fight for.

2. Challenge the elitism in the Left. Whenever you hear someone saying that it is the stupidity or reactionary nature of Americans that led to this defeat, remind them of why, absent any other voice that they would encounter expressing their outrage, it was rational for Americans to be attracted to the right-wing voices that were expressing that outrage (albeit with programs that will actually make things worse). When Americans thought they had a chance at progressive change, they voted for it in 2008 — so they are neither stupid nor reactionary.

3. Challenge the religo-phobia in the Left. As long as the progressive world seems to be aligned with those who think that anyone who believes in God must be either stupid or at a lower stage of psychological development, we will get nowhere with an American public sincerely committed to a spiritual worldview. Allow yourself to explore the various spiritual progressive communities and movements that currently exist.

4. Do not demean those who disagree with us. Act as though every person, no matter what their politics, is created in the image of God or deserves fundamental respect, and only challenge their ideas and policies, but without attributing bad motives to them. And do not demean your own leaders — stop the back-biting and competition that so often drives the most creative thinkers and activists out of the movement! Make the progressive world focus more on taking care of each other in its meetings and public events.

5. Take time every day to rejoice in the grandeur and awesome mystery of the universe — and remember that the world is filled with loving people who would be there with us if they knew that we took love as seriously as we take critique.

6. Build a unified political movement that calls for A New Bottom Line in American society so that instead of judging institutions, legislation or policies rational or productive only to the extent that they maximize money and power, they are judged by how much they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical and ecological behavior and awareness, and the extent to which they tend to encourage us to be more caring toward each other and the earth and more able to respond to the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement at the grandeur of being and consciousness and to experience true gratitude at being alive.

7. Build within the Democratic Party an opposition to the corporate-oriented leaders of that party, from Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi to Diane Feinstein and Charles Schumner. Create a spiritual progressive caucus in every city. Run candidates in the primaries against that leadership — follow the example of the Tea Party in their effort to move the Republican party to the Right.

8. Build outside the Democratic Party a separate political party that talks about love, kindness, generosity, and The Caring Society — Caring for Each Other and Caring for the Earth. Let that party be based on the notion of A New Bottom Line as expressed in Commandment Six. Let this party talk explicitly about building a world that supports love and generosity! Stop speaking the language of the bureaucrats and the technical manipulators — start speaking the language of the heart. End the time in which Democrats believe that progressives have “no place to go” and hence will support their corporate-oriented candidates no matter how far they are from progressive ideals.

If the Greens are able to transform themselves to a party that puts love and caring and the language of the heart at the forefront of its public identification, rather than a primarily technocratic, issues-debating, hard-nosed “realistic” from the left, policy-but-not-love-generating social force, then it could be this. But at the moment it is not, and it may be easier to create something new than to reform the inner workings and political culture of the Greens,

9. Create a United Progressive Fund so that all the different progressive organizations stop competing with each other for funding and instead allocate according to how many people belong to any given progressive organization.

10. Don’t be realistic! The powers that be in the media, politics and economics define “realism.” The most important changes in our country have come about because people were willing to fight for what everyone supposedly knew to be “unrealistic” (e.g. ending segregation, ending ten thousand years of unchallenged male supremacy and sexism, legitimating gay and lesbian lives, building an environmental movement, and the list goes on).

Realism is idolatry — believing in God is believing that there is some Force in the Universe (some of us call it God) that makes possible the transformation from “that which is” to “that which could and should be.” Support a Global Marshall Plan to once and for all end global poverty, hunger, homelessness, insufficient education or health care — and pay for it through a Tobin tax on all international financial transactions of over $1 million. End the domination of money in politics and challenge the irresponsible environmental policies of corporations — through the ESRA — the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Follow these ten commandments and the progressive forces will finally be able to reshape this country before it is too late. If you wish to help us do this, please join and help create a local chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives here. But if you like these ideas but don’t want to work inside our organization, then bring these ideas into whatever organization you are already part of and insist that they debate these ideas, align with us in our campaign for the ESRA and for our proposed Global Marshall Plan, and insist that they develop the kind of broad strategy we are presenting here.

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun magazine, a Jewish and Interfaith Critique of Politics, Culture and Society; chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue.

Protect your baby from the vacciation scam

Here is yet another warning from Dr. Mercola about childhood vaccinations, this one about Hepatitis B inoculation.

Hepatitis B vaccination has been recommended by federal health officials since 1991 for all infants and children.

There are now hepatitis B vaccine mandates for children to attend daycare or school in 47 states, despite strong evidence that the health risks of doing this outweighs the benefit for your child.

Three hepatitis B shots are part of the standard government-recommended childhood vaccination schedule, with the first dose given at 12 hours of age in the newborn nursery of most hospitals.

But hepatitis B is a primarily blood-transmitted disease associated with risky lifestyle choices such as unprotected sex with multiple partners and intravenous drug use involving sharing needles—it is NOT primarily a “children’s disease.”

As Dr. Jane Orient of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) so eloquently testified to Congress:

“With hepatitis B vaccine, the case for mandatory immunization with few exemptions is far less persuasive than with smallpox or polio vaccines, which protected against highly lethal or disabling, relatively common, and easily transmissible diseases…

“For most children, the risk of a serious vaccine reaction may be 100 times greater than the risk of hepatitis B.”

There are more reports of serious adverse reactions in children than there are cases of childhood hepatitis B reported in America and, despite what you may hear in the media, reactions can be serious.