Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza (1999)

Dandelion Salad

by Patricia Lanza
motherearthnews.com
April/May 1999

The basics of a nontraditional method of gardening that is not only organic, earth friendly, and incredibly easy, but will enable you to accomplish more, in less time, with less work…

If someone told me years ago that he or she had found a way to do an end run around the sweat equity of traditional gardening, a way around digging, weeding, and rototilling, a way to produce more regardless of time constraints, physical limitations, or power-tool ineptness… well, I would have checked that person for a head injury. Yet such a system is actually possible, though I never would have believed it if I hadn’t stumbled upon the basics myself.

Lasagna gardening was borne of my own frustrations. After my husband retired from the U.S. Navy, we began our next period of work as innkeepers. When the demands on my time became so great that I could no longer do all that was required to keep both the business and the garden going, the garden suffered. I’d plant in the spring, then see the garden go unattended. I needed a way to do it all.

Just when I was about to give up, it happened: a bountiful harvest with no work. I’d planted, late again because of a late spring. And again, when the seasonal demands of the business began claiming all of my time, my plantings were forgotten. In midsummer, I made a much belated foray into the garden. I had to hack through a jungle of weeds to find the vegetable plants—but what a payoff! I discovered basketfuls of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and egg plant. True, there were also basketfuls of rotted, overgrown, and unusable vegetables (the product of neglect), but the abundance was truly amazing.

To gain some measure of control that year, I simply stomped the weeds flat in between rows and put down cardboard boxes to walk on. The harvest continued, with carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes persisting among the weeds. Stout stems of collard greens pushed the plants up to tower above the mess, despite the native morning glory that tried to hold back growth. Lower-growing Swiss chard also persevered, though I had to cut out the shriveled leaves and pull a few weeds to get to the good growth.

…continued

see

Gardening

A Discussion of Race Worth Having by Cynthia McKinney

Dandelion Salad

A Message from Cynthia McKinney
March 18, 2008

Much has been made around the edges of this campaign about the issue of race. Sadly, nothing has been made of the public policy exigencies that arise because of the urgent racial disparities that continue to exist in our country. Just last week, the United Nations criticized the United States, again, for its failure to address the issues arising from the rights, particularly the right of return, of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors. Author Bill Quigley writes in “The Cleansing of New Orleans,” that half of the working poor, elderly, and disabled of New Orleans have not been able to return. Two weeks ago, United Nations experts on housing and minority rights called for an immediate end of public housing demolitions in New Orleans. Now, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, ratified by the U.S. in 1994, further observes that the U.S. must do more to protect and support the African American community. In 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Commission “noted its concern that while African Americans constitute just 12% of the population, they represent 50% of homeless people, and the government is required to take ‘adequate and adequately implemented’ measures to remedy this human rights violation.” In short, the United Nations has issued reports squarely calling for the United States to do more to eliminate racial discrimination and this discrimination is a human rights violation.

I am deeply offended that in the middle of a Presidential campaign, remarks–be they from a pastor or a communications mogul, or a former Vice Presidential nominee–are the cause of a focus on race, and not the deep racial disparities that communities are forced to endure on a daily basis in this country.

Myriad reports and studies that have been done all come up with the same basic conclusion: in order to resolve deep and persisting racial disparities in this country, a public policy initiative is urgently needed. A real discussion of race, in the context of a Presidential election, ought to include a discussion of the various public policy initiatives offered by the various candidates to eliminate all forms and vestiges of racial discrimination, including the racial disparities that cloud the hopes, dreams, and futures of millions of Americans.

For example, every year on the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. United for a Fair Economy publishes a study of the true state of people of color in America called the “State of the Dream Report.” And it was their 2004 report that noted that without public policy intervention, it would take 1,664 years to close the racial gap in home ownership in this country. And that on some indices, for example, infant mortality, the racial disparities were worse at the time of the report than at the time of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In their 2005 report, entitled, “Disowned,” United for a Fair Economy explored the disparate impact of Bush’s “Ownership Society” economic program that saw Black and Latino lives shattered as unemployment, income, home ownership, business ownership, and stock ownership plummeted even in the face of Administration economists trumpeting the phenomenal “growth” of the U.S. economy as a result of their policies.

In 2006, United for a Fair Economy focused on the devastating and embarrassing effect of government inaction before, during, and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. They focused on something as simple as car ownership and the relationship between vehicle ownership and race. In the case of New Orleans, car ownership literally meant the difference between losing or saving one’s life.

In 2007, United for a Fair Economy explored the Black voters’ attachment to the Democratic Party, and in a piece entitled, “Voting Blue, but Staying in the Red,” they explored goals that the Democratic Party should have put at the top of its agenda for its first 100 hours in the majority. While noting that the Democrats didn’t even mention Katrina in their agenda, United for a Fair Economy concluded that Blacks and Latinos voted in the November 2006 elections in the blue, but due to a failure of public policy that pays attention to their needs, they continue to live in the red.

In their 2008 report, United for a Fair Economy explores the sub-prime mortgage crisis and note that the largest loss of wealth in U.S. history is being experienced by the Black and Latino communities with an estimated $92 billion being lost by Blacks and an estimated $98 billion being lost by Latinos. And while families are losing their life savings and the only major investment that they own, policy makers are asking them to tighten their belts. But the predator banks’ CEOs are walking away with record remuneration. And our policy makers are notable for their inaction: first on the predatory lending that disproportionately affects Blacks and Latinos, and then on offering relief so that homeowners remain homeowners, including in the midst of this crisis.

Sadly, United for a Fair Economy isn’t the only research organization to find glaring and intolerable disparities in our society by race and no appropriate public policies enacted to address them. Hull House did a study that found that it would take 200 years to close the gap in the quality of life experienced by black Chicagoans and white Chicagoans. There has been no public policy initiative taken up by the mayor or the governor of Illinois to begin closing that gap.

Several years ago, the New York Times published a finding that nearly half the men between the ages of 16 and 64 in New York City were unemployed. There was no initiative by the mayor or the governor of New York to begin addressing such pain.

Every year, the National Urban League publishes a study, “The State of Black America,” in which the ills and disparities that persist in this country are catalogued. Every year, the story is basically the same. The United States has a way to go that only public policy can address. However, when Harvard University/The Kaiser Family Foundation did a study on White attitudes about race several years ago, it found that Whites have little appreciation for the reality of Black life in America, from police harassment and intimidation, to imprisonment, to family income, unemployment, housing, and health care. But without an appreciation of the reality faced by many of our fellow Americans, the necessary public policy initiatives to change those realities will find difficulty gaining acceptance in the public discourse.

Additionally, compounding the problem, there is little public discourse because the corporate press refuse to cover the deep implications of the results of all these studies. I am convinced that if the American people knew the truth of the conditions, change would surely follow. I believe that to be the case because of the impact of the images of “Bloody Sunday” on the passage of the Voting Rights Act. I believe that to be the case because of the impact of the images of the Vietnam War on the turn of the tide of public opinion against that War.

This moment sheds light on a much-needed discussion: on race and the legacies of race and slavery and the continuing problems associated with our failure to treat racism as a curable American disease.

I am glad that candidate Obama mentioned the existing racial disparities in education, income, wealth, jobs, government services, imprisonment, and opportunity. Now it is time to address the public policies necessary to resolve these disparities. Now it is time to have the discussion on how we are going to come together and put policies in effect that will provide real hope and real opportunity to all in this country.

To narrow the gap between the ideals of our founding fathers and the realities faced by too many in our country today: That must be the role of public policy at this critical moment in our country today.

I welcome a real discussion of race in this country and a resolve to end the long-standing disparities that continue to spoil the greatness of our country. I welcome a real discussion of all the issues that face our country today and the real public policy options that exist to resolve them. That must be the measure of this campaign season. For many voters, this important discussion has been too vague or completely non-existent. Now is the time to talk about the concrete measures that will move our country forward: on race, war, climate change, the economy, health care, and education. Our votes and our political engagement must be about ensuring that fairness truly for all is embodied in “liberty and justice
for all.”

“And advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’
specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the
realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”
PNAC, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, p. 60:

“The less you know, the more you believe.” Bono

“Certain material weaknesses in financial reporting and
other limitations on the scope of our work resulted in
conditions that, for the 10th consecutive year, prevented
us from expressing an opinion on the federal government’s
consolidated financial statements.”
David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States,
December 15, 2006

Paid for by the
Power to the People Committee,
Cynthia McKinney for President
http://www.runcynthiarun.org/

h/t: Cynthia McKinney for President 2008! (Green Party)
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters (must-see video)

Dandelion Salad

COMO Police in Action

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Originally posted on my old blog: June 30, 2006

FlexYourRights

How to exercise your constitutional rights during encounters with police.

Continue reading

Earth Lodge (video no longer available)

Dandelion Salad

redpharmacist

techniques, trials, and tribulations in the construction of a small ecological building in the cold climate of Canada in 2003.

Added: January 22, 2008

see

Maximum Leverage (videos; Derrick Jensen; Apr 07)

Earthship Biotecture on the Weather Channel (video)

Thought for food by Janet Surman

How to Vote in Primaries and Not Be an Idiot by David Swanson

Dandelion Salad

By David Swanson
After Downing Street
Dec. 10, 2007

A Short Instructions Manual

1. Virtually nobody votes in primaries (or caucuses) compared to general elections. Therefore, each individual primary vote is worth many times what it is in the general election. And, it’s more likely to be counted, since there’s typically less fraud and abuse of the system in primaries. So, if you vote in general elections, you pretty much have to vote in primaries in order to not be an idiot. Bring a few friends to vote too, and you’re practically a genius.

2. If you have to join a party that you don’t support in order to vote in a primary, you can always unjoin again immediately after the primary. In the meantime, maybe you’ll have helped to create a party you can support. You can even vote in a primary without planning to vote in the general election. If the 50% of Americans who don’t vote at all (or even a small fraction of them) voted in primaries, they would determine the candidates in the general elections, in which they might then choose to vote as well.

3. If there’s no candidate you like in a primary, you can write one in. A relatively very small amount of organizing can even lead to a victory for that candidate. (Or some signature gathering could place your candidate’s name on the ballot.)

4. If there is a good candidate on the ballot, then an extremely small amount of organizing can lead to a victory for that candidate. And something short of a victory can still mean some number of delegates for your candidate going to the party’s convention from your state, or momentum for your candidate in future states. Primaries, unlike general elections, are not winner-take-all. (You can even become a delegate for your candidate and get a trip to a convention out of this.)

5. In most presidential elections, the party’s nominee is decided before many states hold their primaries. So, for most people, the point of voting is not to choose the nominee. (And therefore almost nobody votes, opening the door to effective action by non-idiots.) The point is also not to “show support and loyalty” for a nominee already chosen (democracies have no need for such displays, which are best suited to another type of regime). Rather, the point is to elect as many delegates as possible for the candidate whose positions you most favor, so that those delegates can influence the party’s platform and the nominee’s positions at the convention, or even make your candidate the vice presidential nominee.

6. In early states, surprise underdog candidates can build momentum, and voting for such a candidate does not entail spoiling the primary for a mediocre candidate who you believe has a better chance of defeating the worst candidate. This is because it takes several states over a period of days or weeks for one candidate to lock down a victory. A surprising showing for an underdog candidate with dramatically distinct positions can put that candidate into the running in the minds of future voters, and can very quickly move the mediocre candidates to become better than mediocre, and therefore better able to compete in future states.

7. Swing voters almost do not exist. Fewer than 4% of voters in 2004 ever planned to vote for Kerry and switched to Bush or vice versa. So, appealing to one’s own base and turning those people out to vote is key to winning the general election. Therefore, Democrats who want to win the general election, for example, should nominate the most Democratic, not the most Republican, candidate in the primaries. (Republicans already know this.)

8. Pre-primary corporate polls that purport to tell us who is most “viable” and “electable” are primarily a product of corporate media coverage and spin, much of which is “coverage” of the previous polls. The way to determine which candidate is most viable begins by canceling your newspaper subscriptions and recycling your television.

9. In a democracy, the most electable candidate is the candidate whom the most people actually like. The most reliable gauge available to any of us of whom people will like is whom we ourselves personally and honestly most like. Therefore, there can be no distinction between whom you like and whom you consider “viable.” The candidate you most like, honestly, in your own considered private opinion, is the most viable candidate. And you can make that even more so if you lead by example. Don’t just vote, but campaign, promote, and contribute, as much and as early as you can. “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men [and women], — that is genius.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

10. The following are majority positions among Americans, and overwhelmingly majority positions among Democrats: end the occupation of Iraq, impeach the vice president, create single-payer not-for-profit universal health coverage, withdraw from corporate trade agreements like NAFTA, and slash the Pentagon budget in order to invest in diplomacy, foreign aid, education, jobs, and green energy. Only one candidate supports this platform. He came in third in MoveOn.org’s poll, and then second in Democrats.com’s, then first in Democracy for America’s, and most recently first in Progressive Democrats of America’s poll. These are polls done outside the corporate media, polls of progressive activists. His campaign is where the energy is, but it is energy that must resist the influence of the corporate media. Our country and our planet are in peril, and we have no viable alternative. Nobody else comes close. His name is Dennis Kucinich.

h/t: Dennis 4 President

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Caucus for Kucinich!

National and State PDFs for Kucinich for President campaigning

Caucus for Kucinich!

Learn how to caucus for Kucinich. I’d like to add that if your state has a primary election you still need to go to the Democratic Caucus for delegate selection, usually a week or two or three after the primary. Get involved. ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

DeborahMarchant

It’s Cool to Caucus!

Join the group on the Action Center for Dennis: Caucus for Kucinich!

Wondering what to do in your caucus state? If you live in one of the 2008 Democratic caucus states of Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Nebraska, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Washington and Wyoming, here is a group to learn about the best actions to take in getting Dennis’s supporters to their local caucus and what to do when we all get there!

Why go to your caucus? A better than expected showing on caucus night can boost a candidacy, while a poor performance can spell the end of a candidate’s hopes!

There are a variety of forum topics below, including information on the primaries. If you happen to be in a state with no caucus your brother and sister caucus states still need your help. Right now, Iowa needs us all to help get Dennis supporters to their caucus on January 3rd. In this group, you can find out how to help them do this in Iowa.

I welcome your input and I thank you for being here. And I hope that this group will help us create a good time at our caucuses, changing the way people think about politics!

Love, Deborah

see

National and State PDFs for Kucinich for President campaigning

The Careful Choreography Of The Caucus By Kent Garber

How to Vote in Primaries and Not Be an Idiot by David Swanson

Time to join your Dennis Kucinich Statewide Meetup group!

http://december152007.com/