Jun 1, 2013

Joel Salatin's pattern for carbon farming at Polyface Farm | Permaculture Magazine

Maddy Harland
Monday, 29th April 2013

Maddy meets Joel Salatin and hears how Polyface Farm has restored the soil, locked up carbon and makes a healthy profit for all its micro-enterprises. Salatin-style farming is cool!

Joel Salatin, dubbed by TIME magazine to be the world's most innovative farmer, hit town yesterday and Aranya, who wrote our bestseller, Permaculture Design Step By Step, and runs RegenAg in the UK, invited me along to a one-day seminar hosted at Cowdray Hall in Sussex to learn more. I have long wanted to meet Joel, having heard about his work from Rebecca Hosking and others and watched YouTubes about his methods. I wasn't disappointed.

Joel is a force of nature and he's pretty wild as a speaker! He loves performing and he is very polished. Dressed in a pair of Levis and a shirt with Polyface Inc embroidered on the front, he is guaranteed to entertain and he certainly doesn't need a microphone. He's loud.

The day started with some technical problems with the projector. This meant Joel gave a more impromptu introduction to Polyface Farm, the history of the valley in Virginia where it is based and how his family came to own the land. He enjoyed teasing a mainly British audience about a certain 'revolution' that got rid of British rule.

I love to hear stories of nature's abundance. When the first white settlers came over the mountains and down the valley, the landscape was a natural silvopasture with grass 12 feet tall and a bountiful variety of trees spaced widely apart. It was teaming with animals, insects, and birds. By the 1960s the top soil on Joel's farm has washed into Chesapeake Bay and when his family (who fled the Junta in Venezuela) bought the farm, the land was scarred with great welts of bare rock. From abundance to total degradation in two centuries... Joel described how his dad had to get old car tyres and fill them with concrete with tubes in the middle so they could prop up their electric fencing to contain the animals, the soil erosion was so severe.

Joel told us that in 1830s two significant events happened. The McCormick Reaper was patented, a horse-drawn farm implement to cut small grain crops and Charles Darwin set sail in the Beagle. These events signified the birth of three phenomena:
1) mechanization - suddenly we could plough way more land than before and then process the grain
2) Evolution – that life is no longer regarded as sacred
3) That there is no room for God in this reductionist, mechanistic world.

Joel is passionate about how we human beings can restore ecosystems and a powerful advocate of carbon farming. He told us that if we can intersect three kinds of ecosystems – forest, pasture and water – we can create maximum biodiversity. His family have done it at Polyface and entirely restored their soil whilst also locking up carbon in healthy pastures and forests and he wants to share their methods with the world. He also says that healthy pasture can lock up far more carbon than forests. We have at our feet one key soltuion to climate change.

He is concerned that the average age of farmers in the developing world is 60 years old and that within 15 years 40% of all farms are bound to change hands. He wants to seed a new generation of innovative 'lunatic' farmers, people who are willing to think outside the box. He loves farming and he doesn't want it to be viewed as a poor substitute for a career. In 1961 his small rocky farm couldn't even support one family when his dad bought it. Now it has deep soils and the original fram plus leased ones in the surrounding neighbourhood grosses $2 million a year and pays 22 salaries. All without a single bag of fertiliser.

His methods aren't for 150 acres or 15,000 acres. They can be applied anywhere. "If it is scalable up or down then it becomes an opportunity for small or large farmers." On Joel's farms there are a variety of micro-enterprises: pigs, poultry for the table and eggs, turkeys, beef, rabbits for meat, forestry, market gardening, a fabricator, farm tours, online store to retail produce direct to the customer, and now even a film maker who makes instructional videos. They fit together like a clever three-dimensional jigsaw.
Mob grazing land

In a nutshell, herbivores in the wild are packed together for protection from predators. They graze intensely and quickly over an area, manuring the ground and do not have the opportunity to selectively prune plants. They eat up all the biomass on offer. Ecologists have noted that once the herd moves on the ecology not only recovers but thrives. Mob grazing mimics the behaviour of the herd in the wild by containing animals on a piece of land and then moving them on before the pasture is overgrazed. There are various ways of doing this.
How grass grows

Joel explains why the grasses grow better in his analogy of the three ages of grass:

First there is 'diaper' grass that is overgrazed, short and slow growing.
Then there is 'teen' grass that is much faster growing
Lastly there is old folks grass that is tall and also slow growing.
Teen grass is the most efficient at converting solar energy to biomass. The role of the herbivore is to prune and restart the fast growth stage of grass when metabolic growth is at it height.

Perhaps the most critical thing about pasture is that healthy pasture locks up large amounts of carbon. Unlike forestry, we don't cut it down either, we just prune it with herbivores.

"Disturbance in life is the precursor of innovation and success," says Joel. He places 50 pigs on half an acre of paddock with two tons of feed. If the pigs weigh 100ibs they stay there for 8 days. If they weigh 200lbs he halves the time. The pigs rootle about and eat up insects. He calls it 'exercising the ecology' and afterwards the grasses regrow at a faster rate. Then he sends the pigs into the forest into 2 hectare areas. They once again grub up any brambles and saplings and eat the bugs that affect the trees and they leave their manure. The trees grow better, the pigs breathe in spores and then breath them our, spreading beneficial fungi in their wake and the income from the forest is raised.

Cows mob grazing at Polyface Farm: Image courtesy of http://regenag.com

Joel says one acre of healthy grass can sequester more carbon than 2000 grass fed cows can emit. He gives an equation for how you calculate how to mob graze, i.e. how much space to allow a herd and when to move them on:

Cows x days (calculated by the height of the grass) over
An acre (or hectare)

One cow means the equivalent to a full grown adult so if you are grazing heifers you need to work in equivalent weights. The days are calculated by the height of the grass and how long it would take the herd to eat it down but not overgraze it. The bigger the herd, the larger the paddock required. All paddocks have a moveable water supply, a mineral lick and a shade 'trailer (house on wheel). Research has shown that stockers gain 0.8lbs a day if shade is provided in a summer climate like Virginia. "If your cows seek shade then you need to provide it," says Joel. Shade cloths also prevent urine evaporation so nitrogen is capture in the soil. Joel has evolved designs for all this moveable kit. The only thing that doesn't move is the two perimeter fences. Electric fencing contains the herd at the front and the back of the strip. Joel says he has no problem moving the cows. They love being moved on to new sweet grass. All he has to do is take an electric fence down at one end and call his cows. This he does at 4 pm. Supper time!

Joel with a moveable chicken house

Next come the chickens three days later. The cows have left their valuable pats in the newly pruned pasture and insects have laid their eggs. Maggots are hatching out. The chickens spread out the pats to fertilise the grasses and they create eggs as a by-product. If you have seen conventional pasture you'll recognise those blooms of nitrogen where the grass is greener. Cows don't like grazing where they have left pats so this method cleans and sanitizes the pasture and it manures it too. Chickens leave their nitrogen too, especially where they perch.

Again, the chicken house is a simple moveable design for the warmer months and the chickens are mob foragers like the pigs, being contained within electric fencing and moved to fresh ground as soon as necessary. They are fed some grain as well.
Winter accommodation

In winter, hoop houses are used to accommodate pigs, chickens and rabbits. They are stacked. The pigs live at ground level, the chicks above them and the rabbits in cages at the side. Pigs like rabbit droppings. The hoop houses provide shelter and the animals leave behind a well weeded and manured environment. In spring the hoop house is planted with vegetables. Joel says by mixing the species it 'confuses' the pathogens. He also says that placing rabbits in moveable housing on one acre of pasture can generate $40,000 per annum. They have a foraged based diet and are selectively bred by his son who started his own enterprise aged nine.

Hoop house with summer veg

Cows are accommodated in simple barns. The deep litter is stacked high by the end of the season. In between layers of straw corn is spread and left to ferment. The hay mangers are designed to be raised so that the feed stays hygienic as are the water troughs. After the cows are put out to pasture in come the pigs. They forage for the fermented corn and turn the compacted bedding that can be up to four foot high. The anaerobic bedding becomes aerobic and composting starts. Then the compost is placed outside in piles. It is so hot rodents are deterred. At the end of the process it is bagged and sold. Another yield is possible.

Joel doesn't only stack animals in a hoop house or stack grazing regimes on a piece of land. He also stacks complimentary enterprises on the farm. He calls it 'stacked synergistic complimentary seasonal enterprises'! He got a shiitake mushroom grower farming mushrooms on the shady side under the eaves of his shed, farm tours for kids, food fairs as well as a delivery service direct to customers, all the sales from livestock and eggs.

I'll tell you about how Polyface Inc markets its produce, creates customer loyalty and structures these micro-enterprises tomorrow. One thing is for sure, Joel would succeed at anything he does. He understands patterns and accounting. He has huge energy. He is highly intelligent, a lateral thinker and he is utterly single minded. He also made me laugh. I don't know anyone in the world who makes farming more interesting.

With grateful thanks to the UK RegenAg team for organizing such brilliant events and to Cowdray Hall for their hospitality.
Further Resources

Rebecca Hosking on Farming for the Future - despite what the neighbours think

Read Tim Green on Bovine TB, badgers and permaculture perspective

Read Rebecca Hosking on How pigs can compost manure on a farm scale - saving you fuel and money

Watch Allan Savory on How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change

Watch John Lui on the full length feature: Green gold - how can we regenerate large-scale damaged ecosystems?

Aranya's book Permaculture Design Step by Step is available in the USA from Chelsea Green Publishers. You can see a great talk by Aranya about permaculture design here.

Joel Salatin's pattern for carbon farming at Polyface Farm | Permaculture Magazine

S. Korea Joins Japan Blocking Monsanto Modified Seed MON BC CZZ - Investors.com


Posted 05/31/2013
Shares of Monsanto (MON) dropped again Friday after South Korea joined Japan in suspending importation of genetically modified wheat sourced to the crop seed company.

The moves came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that it found genetically engineered wheat, never approved for sale and thought to have been shelved, growing on a farm in Oregon.

Korean millers, who imported about 2.4 million tons of wheat from the U.S. last year for food and animal feed, said they would suspend imports until testing of U.S. wheat determined whether any imported wheat contained the unapproved strain.

Thinkstock View Enlarged Image

Results of the tests are expected in the first week of June.

The Korean agriculture ministry said separately it plans to temporarily quarantine U.S. feed wheat.

Monsanto sells corn and other crop seeds and crop protection products. The wheat variety found on the Oregon farm was genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto's Roundup brand herbicides.

Japan earlier canceled plans to buy more wheat from the U.S. Other Asian countries said they're mulling similar moves.

Meanwhile, Monsanto plans to quit lobbying for acceptance of its genetically modified seed in Europe, where it's met with strong resistance. Everyone from French wine producers to German crop growers has objected to its modified seed.

European farmers are concerned that GM crops, once growing, may spread uncontrollably via pollen floating on the wind.

Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher told Reuters the company will withdraw from areas where its products don't receive strong support.

"We're going to sell the GM seeds only where they enjoy broad farmer support, broad political support and a functioning regulatory system," Helscher said. "As far as we're convinced this only applies to a few countries in Europe today, primarily Spain and Portugal."

In the U.S., many farmers have boosted profit per acre and use of the GM crop seeds has spread quickly, despite lingering concerns.

Last year, GM crops accounted for 88% of all corn in the U.S., 94% of cotton and 93% of soybeans, according to USDA figures. In Europe, they're estimated to account for less than 1% of crops.

Monsanto shares were down 3.2% in afternoon trading in the stock market today.

The company's stock price had risen 32% in the six months from mid-November to May 15, in sync with a market upturn. The St. Louis company has put up impressive numbers in recent quarters. Earnings per share rose 170% and 20% in the last two quarters, while sales rose 21% and 15%.

From mid-December to mid-May it traded mostly above both 50-day and 200-day averages, but it's now trading well below its 50-day line.

Among other large companies in the group, giant grain and fertilizer company Bunge (BG), with annual sales of roughly $63 billion, fell 2%.

Brazilian sugar producer Cosan Ltd. (CZZ) fell 3.9%, cooking oil recycler Darling International (DAR) fell fractionally and grains distributor The Andersons (ANDE) skidded 2.4%.
S. Korea Joins Japan Blocking Monsanto Modified Seed MON BC CZZ - Investors.com

Keystone XL: The Video President Obama Hopes You Won’t See – EcoWatch: Cutting Edge Environmental News Service

Bill McKibben

You need to see this: Former Obama administration green jobs adviser Van Jones just came out swinging against Keystone XL.

It’s one of the strongest statements yet about what is at stake in this fight—for the president, and for all of us.

Here’s the video:

Van doesn’t just raise the stakes, he debunks the outright myths that are leading our nation down a road to disaster. But who he is matters just as much as what he says.

Van is the first prominent former Obama official to take such a strong stand. A man who helped set environmental policy in the Obama White House is now making it clear that approving Keystone XL would be a horrific mistake. We should pay attention.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.

Keystone XL: The Video President Obama Hopes You Won’t See – EcoWatch: Cutting Edge Environmental News Service

May 31, 2013

Illinois illegally seizes Bees Resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup; Kills remaining Queens | Global Research

By Global Research News
Global Research, May 24, 2013

The Illinois Ag Dept. illegally seized privately owned bees from renowned naturalist, Terrence Ingram, without providing him with a search warrant and before the court hearing on the matter, reports Prairie Advocate News.

Behind the obvious violations of his Constitutional rights is Monsanto. Ingram was researching Roundup’s effects on bees, which he’s raised for 58 years. “They ruined 15 years of my research,” he told Prairie Advocate, by stealing most of his stock.

A certified letter from the Ag Dept.’s Apiary Inspection Supervisor, Steven D. Chard, stated:

“During a routine inspection of your honeybee colonies by … Inspectors Susan Kivikko and Eleanor Balson on October 23, 2011, the bacterial disease ‘American Foulbrood’ was detected in a number of colonies located behind your house…. Presence of the disease in some of your colonies was confirmed via test results from the USDA Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland that analyzed samples collected from your apiary….”

Ingram can prove his bees did not have foulbrood, and planned to do so at a hearing set in April, but the state seized his bees at the end of March. They have not returned them and no one at the Ag Dept. seems to know where his bees are.

The bees could have been destroyed, or they could have been turned over to Monsanto to ascertain why some of his bees are resistant to Roundup. Without the bees as evidence, Ingram simply cannot defend against the phony charges of foulbrood.

Worse, all his queens died after Kivikko and Balson “inspected” his property, outside of his presence and without a warrant.

Of note, Illinois beekeepers are going underground after Ingram’s experience and refuse to register their hives, in case the state tries to steal their private property on phony claims.

Published on May 2, 2012

The little town of Apple River in northeast Jo Daviess County, Illinois is the hometown of a big man - Terrence Ingram. Though not big in a physical sense, when it comes to saving the American Bald Eagle, there is hardly anyone in the United States held in higher regard than Ingram. His years of documented research and expertise regarding eagles and the work of the Eagle Nature Foundation, founded by Ingram, is in great part responsible for the bald eagle being removed from the "Threatened Species List " in the United States.

Unfortunately, it was not his knowledge of eagles that the Illinois Department of Agriculture sought when they paid an unannounced visit to his home in March. It was his bees.

In the March 21, 2012 issue, The Prairie Advocate published a news release from Ingram that reported the theft of $5000 of his bees and bee hives on March 14. Ingram said that before they left had left for their granddaughter's wedding in Texas, the hives had been cleaned and made ready for new spring swarms.

Gourmet Cooking for the Paleo Diet (part 1) - Meet the Chef - YouTube

Published on May 31, 2013

Longtime chef and caterer Pauli Halstead had drafted her cookbook "Cuisine for Whole Health" when her personal diet took a U-turn. Working with nutritionist Nora Gedgaudas, she removed gluten and sugar from her diet. In a few months, a lifetime of sugar addiction and depression was behind her. She revised her cookbook to become "Primal Cuisine: Cooking for the Paleo Diet." In our chat, she noted how the paleo diet reflects the foods we evolved with, especially animal protein and fats that our body and brain require. We discussed which foods are eliminated (primarily grains and vegetable seed oils), and which are emphasized (animal products). In part 2, Pauli takes us into the kitchen for a survey of good natural fats. She demonstrates how to make ghee (clarified butter), and her favorite dip. Episode 236. [theprimalcuisine.com]

Janaia's Journal: "Cooking Primal Cuisine with Chef Pauli Halstead", http://peakmoment.tv/journal/cooking-...

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Gourmet Cooking for the Paleo Diet (part 1) - Meet the Chef - YouTube

Market to Market May 31, 2013 (#3840) » Full Episode Video

Torrential rains soak the Midwest, pushing rivers and streams well beyond their banks. New crop futures prices rally as some farmers wonder if they’ll ever finish spring planting. And horticultural history buffs work to preserve America’s agricultural heritage by saving seed. Market analysis with John Roach. (27:44)

Market to Market May 31, 2013 (#3840) » Full Episode Video

Farming News, Market Prices & Agribusiness for Farmers | AgDay

AgDay Television The wheat market retreats on news of rogue biotech wheat, and the drought shows no signs of letting up in the southern Plains.

The Hell Tour 2013 – The Most Demanding Six Weeks Of Any Racers Life - OneDirt.com

The few brave competitors that attempt to make every event in the 2013 UMP Summer Nationals (The Hell Tour), will be faced with a daunting task of competing in 31 events over the span of 39 days. Think about that, in less than six weeks they will compete in almost the same number of events that the NASCAR Sprint Cup series holds from February to November!

Cicada Time-Lapse Video By Samuel Orr Makes Insects Look Beautiful

A screenshot from time-lapse photographer Samuel Orr's film about cicadas shows a box turtle in Indiana about to have a six-legged snack.

A good piece of art makes you appreciate what it means to be alive, and Indiana-based cinematographer Samuel Orr'sspectacular short film about cicadas doesjust that.

In order to make the video, Orr, a 42-year-old natural history filmmaker and time-lapse photographer, told The Huffington Post he's spent the past six years filming more than 200 hours of cicadas in various stages of their life cycles in a handful of midwestern states.

The effect is nothing short of amazing.

By using a series of still photos to piece together time-lapse sequences of the cicadas shedding their shells, Orr shows the oddly beautiful but ultimately tragic lives of cicadas, which live for up to 17 years underground in order to spend a brief six weeks in the open air before perishing. The footage is set to powerful music by composer Dexter Britain.

As The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal points out, to watch the cicadas' wings unfurl (around the 2:20-minute mark) is to see one of the glories of evolution.

Orr, who filmed through a microscope to get some of the close-up shots, hopes to make an hour-long documentary with his footage; the video above is just a preview. (He's started a Kickstarter page to raise $20,000 for the project.)

Full Text Link: Cicada Time-Lapse Video By Samuel Orr Makes Insects Look Beautiful

Food - What's going on in West Virginia? - YouTube

Published on May 31, 2013

Anthony Flaccavento, Organic Farmer, joins Thom Hartmann. In this age of food monopolization - there are alternatives. Just a few hundred miles from the nation's capital - in West Virginia - the market for locally grown - organic food is booming. The Mountain State's experiment in small-scale agriculture is so successful that some officials are now saying that it could become a model for the rest of Appalachia - and even the rest of the country

Food - What's going on in West Virginia? - YouTube

Rogue strain of genetically modified Monsanto wheat found in US field 'poses no risk to Australia' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Authorities say a rogue strain of genetically modified wheat causing alarm in the United States poses little risk in Australia.

The strain of wheat, developed by biotech giant Monsanto a decade ago, was resistant to some herbicides but was never approved for sale or consumption.

The strain was thought to have been eliminated after test trials ended in 2005, but it was found growing in a field in Oregon late last month.

Even after weeks of investigation, experts are baffled as to how the seed survived for years after Monsanto had ceased all field tests of the product.

It was found in a field growing a different type of wheat than Monsanto's strain, far from areas used for field tests.

Key points
Mysterious strain of GM wheat found growing in US field.
Experts are baffled as to how it survived after test trials ended.
Officials say it poses no threat to human health.
But the discovery has still sparked alarm.
Major buyer Japan has cancelled plans to buy US wheat.
The European Union is stepping up testing of imported wheat.

But Australian authorities say it poses little risk here.

US officials are investigating, but say the strain poses no threat to human health.

Australia does not import wheat for human consumption from the US.

Australia's Gene Technology Regulator says there has been no commercial release of genetically modified wheat locally, and strict conditions are imposed on crop trials.

Genetically modified crops cannot be grown legally in the United States unless the government approves them after a review to ensure they pose no threat to the environment or to people.

Monsanto says there is "considerable reason" to believe the presence of its product is "very limited."

Despite this, it has caused alarm and sparked protests in America and beyond.

Consumers, environmental activists and farmers have expressed concern over the possible risk of cross-contaminating natural products with genetically altered foods.

Major buyer Japan has cancelled plans to buy US wheat, while the European Union is stepping up testing of imported wheat.

Rogue strain of genetically modified Monsanto wheat found in US field 'poses no risk to Australia' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

May 30, 2013

US farmers may stop planting GMOs after poor yields | Institute for Responsible Technology |

Robyn Vinter
Some US farmers are considering returning to conventional seed after increased pest resistance and crop failures meant GM crops saw smaller yields globally than their non-GM counterparts.

Farmers in the USA pay about an extra $100 per acre for GM seed, and many are questioning whether they will continue to see benefits from using GMs.

"It's all about cost benefit analysis," said economist Dan Basse, president of American agricultural research company AgResource.

"Farmers are paying extra for the technology but have seen yields which are no better than 10 years ago. They're starting to wonder why they're spending extra money on the technology."

One of the biggest problems the USA has seen with GM seed is resistance. While it was expected to be 40 years before resistance began to develop pests such as corn rootworm have formed a resistance to GM crops in as few as 14 years.

"Farmers are paying extra for the technology but have seen yields which are no better than 10 years ago."
Dan Basse

"Some of these bugs will eat the plant and it will make them sick, but not kill them. It starts off in pockets of the country but then becomes more widespread.

"We're looking at going back to cultivation to control it," said Mr Basse. "I now use insecticides again."

One of the issues if farmers do move back towards non-GMs will be the availability of seed, he said, as around 87% of US farmers plant genetically modified seed.

The top performing countries by crop yield last year were in Asia, in particular China, where farmers do not use GM seed.

Source Links:
US farmers may stop planting GMOs after poor yields | Institute for Responsible Technology
View original article on Farmers Weekly

They want you to be ignorant...this is not an accident.... — with Anup K Chakravarty.



If you are behind on planting this season, maybe you could ask to borrow this guy's tractor! - Tractor Racing - "Volvo Terror" - YouTube

Volvo terror with b21et engine from Volvo 240 turbo first test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAYXP... builder named Rickard Nilsson filmmaker named Mikael Karlsson swe news http://www.svt.se/wd?widgetId=23991&a...

Goodreads | Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture by John E. Ikerd - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

With the decline of family farms and rural communities and the rise of corporate farming and the resulting environmental degradation, American agriculture is in crisis. But this crisis offers the opportunity to rethink agriculture in sustainable terms. Here one of the most eloquent and influential proponents of sustainable agriculture explains what this means. These engagi...more

Great book and author!  Monte

Goodreads | Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture by John E. Ikerd - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

Bruce Friedrich: USDA Inspector General: Food Safety and Humane Slaughter Laws Ignored With Impunity

Two weeks ago, the USDA's Office of the Inspector General released a report that, once again, proves that our food system is broken: First, FSIS doesn't meaningfully attempt to stop repeat violations of food safety laws. Second, it has allowed a 15-year-old pilot program with faster slaughter and fewer inspectors to proceed without review. Third, it all but ignores its humane slaughter mandate. Remarkably, unless you read Food Safety News or the agricultural media, you will have missed this extremely damning report.

First, FSIS' food safety oversight system in pig slaughterhouses is completely broken. Out of 44,128 identified violations of food safety laws at 616 slaughterhouses over four years, there were just 28 plant suspensions, all brief. Over these same four years, FSIS didn't reach enforcement stage 5 or 6 even once. OIG offers some stomach-turning examples of illegal activity that warranted but did not receive suspension, including:

At a South Carolina slaughterhouse, FSIS issued more than 800 violations, including fourteen for egregious violations like "fecal contamination on a hog after the final trim," almost 100 "for exposed or possibly adulterated products that had 'grease smears' or 'black colored liquid substance' on processed meat," and 43 for "pest control problems, such as cockroaches on the kill floor." This plant was not suspended even once.

At a Nebraska slaughterhouse, FSIS issued more than 600 violations, which included 50 repeat violations for "contaminated carcasses that included 'fecal material which was yellow [and] fibrous' on the carcass." FSIS never even reached enforcement stage three, notice of intended enforcement, let alone suspension.

At an Illinois slaughterhouse, FSIS issued more than 500 violations, including 26 repeat violations for "fecal matter and running abscesses on carcasses." Yes, FSIS found fecal matter and running abscesses on carcasses 26 times. Nevertheless, FSIS never even got to stage three on its 6-stage plan.

Second, fifteen years ago USDA approved a "pilot program" to speed slaughter lines and reduce inspector numbers in some plants, but it never bothered to see how the program is working. Remarkably, the slaughterhouse with the most violations was such a plant, "with nearly 50 percent more [violations] than the plant with the next highest number." One of these plants doesn't even require manual inspection of viscera, a requirement at the other 615 pig slaughter plants, because "some signs of disease and contamination can be detected only through a manual inspection. Examples include ... parasites within the intestine, and inflamed or degenerated organs that are unusually sticky to the touch or excessively firm."

Third, even top FSIS personnel don't understand what the Humane Slaughter Act requires of them. Decisions are "inconsistent, lenient, and endorsed by district officials." OIG officials visited just 30 plants, each for no more than 30 minutes, and yet they still witnessed multiple instances of animals regaining consciousness after "stunning," for which the inspector-in-charge chose not to issue a report (as was legally required). "If this occurred when our audit team and FSIS officials were present, we are concerned that this might be more prevalent when the plants and inspectors are not being observed." The OIG also reviewed violation reports for these 30 plants and found that of the 158 violations, there were 10 egregious violations that did not result in suspension, as is legally required. As just two examples:

At an Indiana slaughterhouse, a worker shot a pig through the head with a captive bolt, which "lodged in the hog's skull. The hog remained conscious and aware while the plant sent for another gun, which was about 2 minutes away. The second gun also appeared to misfire causing the hog to squeal, but it remained conscious and aware. The hog then managed to dislodge the first gun from its skull. Ultimately, a portable electric stunner had to be used to successfully render the hog unconscious. Following this incident, FSIS cited another violation for a hog regaining consciousness on the rail. The plant was not suspended for either egregious incident."

At a Pennsylvania slaughterhouse, "a hog that had been stunned and bled regained consciousness. The hog was able to right its head, make noise, kick, and splash water in reaction to being placed in a scalding tank." Yes, this poor animal was placed, throat slit open but conscious, into scalding hot water. "The inspector only issued an NR. The plant was not suspended."

Additionally, OIG interviewed 39 inspectors at the 30 plants they visited; one-third said they would not even issue a noncompliance report if they witnessed a conscious animal on the bleed rail (which legally requires suspension). OIG noted that similar inspector confusion regarding their basic legal obligations was clear in reports from GAO and OIG in 2010 and 2008, yet nothing has been done to rectify the situation.

Every year according to the CDC, there are tens of millions of cases of food poisoning, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths. The agency charged with reducing these numbers is doing, according to its Office of the Inspector General, a pathetically bad job.

Every year, roughly 150 million cattle and pigs are slaughtered in our nation's slaughterhouses, and the one measly law that attempts to ensure some small decrease in their abuse is all-but-ignored by the agency charged with enforcing it. Even their top personnel don't understand what it says.

Want to stop eating contaminated food and take a stand for compassion at the same time? Please consider eliminating meat from your diet.

FULL TEXT LINK: Bruce Friedrich: USDA Inspector General: Food Safety and Humane Slaughter Laws Ignored With Impunity


"American Meat," a feature documentary about a grass-roots revolution in sustainable farming -- starring Virginia's own Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farms -- explains how America arrived at its current industrial system, and shows you the feedlots and confinement houses, not through hidden cameras but through the eyes of the farmers who live and work there. The story shifts to the burgeoning movement of farmers, chefs and everyday folks, influenced by Salatin's ideas, who might just change everything about the way meat reaches the American table.

May 29, 2013

GMO lose Europe – victory for environmental organisations | Investigative Reporting Denmark

Monsanto will halt production of genetically modified corn in all of Europe, except Spain, Portugal and Czech republic. The agribusiness multinational states not to spend any more money on trials, development, marketing, court cases or anything else to get GM corn accepted in Europe.

FULL STORY: GMO lose Europe – victory for environmental organisations | Investigative Reporting Denmark

YES!!!  Monte

Is the Monsanto protest the next Salt March? | Metta Center Metta Center

Posted on May 26, 2013
by stephanie
By Michael Nagler and Stephanie Van Hook

When a people is faced with a destructive system that has been insidiously putting its tendrils down in many sectors of society, steadily taking over its institutions, it can seem all but impossible to dislodge that evil; but it always seems that a system like that will have some vulnerability, some leverage point that an aroused people can ferret out and be rid of the evil.

The question is, has the Monsanto Corporation become that leverage point by attacking which we could be on our way to the crumbling of the entire system of militarism, racism, greed, and violence that we loathe. Could 2 million person worldwide, May 25th’s march against Monsanto be our Salt March? And our answer is, yes; if we choose to use it as such.

We are aiming high here. Monsanto is a giant corporation; it has a firm grip on many elements of our government. It has created an internal system, including the personnel it attracts and holds, of an insensitivity to life and nature that is unparalleled even in our insensitive age. That is their strength. It is also their vulnerability.

Gandhi, with his insight and his passion, saw that with the simple mechanism of the salt tax the British Raj had a chokehold on the life of India, particularly its impoverished millions.Vandana Shiva has rightly named her movement in India against the corporate giant a “seed Satyagraha” to emphasize the parallel with Gandhi’s pivotal campaign. (“Let the seed be exhaustless, let it never get exhausted, let it bring forth seed next year” are the words of a Indian peasant prayer). In the case of Monsanto, of course, we have a subtler situation than that tackled by the Salt Satyagraha; Monsanto’s employees do not come from another country and wear a different-colored skin. Still, it is as dangerous and as offensive as the British attempt to commoditize salt to the extent that Indians were not allowed to harvest it from their own seashores.

We would like to offer some suggestions for seizing the opportunity presented by the widespread revulsion against this one corporation’s practices to not only humanize some of those practices but turn the tide of corporatization and de-democratization of which they have become an emblem.

However the present march turns out, we should consider it a step on a long journey – and plan that journey. A great deal of what Gandhi would have called “Constructive Programme” – education, community building, long-term efforts like organic and community-based farming to replace the old system (the center of our town, Petaluma, has a GMO-free seed bank that used to be an old-paradigm money bank) – and the beginnings of a robust, diverse, and smart resistance movement represented by, among other things, the present march. We need to plan how to continue the steady pulse of constructive alternatives while escalating, as needed, the resistance.

Interestingly enough, the Salt Satyagraha did not actually “succeed” in changing the salt laws, but that was all right because it was only a step in a long strategic journey. If Gandhi did not have a strategy India might still be a colony even if the Satyagraha was a success! We who are being colonized internally by Monsanto (and other corporations) need to build on the present momentum, deliberately. We’re not marching against Monsanto, really; we’re marching for the protection of life against literally poisonous commercialization. That will take time, and we need to think through that time beforehand; how will we, for example, choose whether to emphasize construction or resistance?

The destructive, cruel Monsanto practices did not put down roots overnight, and they did not spring up without steady watering. This toxicity of Roundup flourished in a toxic culture that separated us from one another and the rest of life and we must nourish a culture of deep, inclusive respect for all of us so such cruelty cannot creep through the cracks again. Strategically speaking, let’s not reinvent the wheel. Study the victories – and failures – of movements that have taken place around the world; there are groups committed to nonviolence (like Occupy DC, among many others) who are already on the move against one or another aspect of this problem with whom we can strategize and otherwise join our creative energies.

Learning from this past, and in some cases recent experiences, we should not let our events devolve into a struggle with the police and state security apparatus: they are not the enemy, and in any case we cannot overcome them on their terms. Invite a local peace team when you’re planning a public event.

Let’s not think this is going to be easy even with all of this planning; but it is going to be possible. Monsanto et al have gone too far, entrapped as they are by their own corporate logic: patenting seeds?! This is offensive at such a deep level that with some respectful, reasoned arguments and effective imagery backed by creative passion and relentless dedication that insanity can be exposed for what it is – even to many who are now drawing a salary from Monsanto.

People will undoubtedly ask us, why are you doing this? That’s the opportunity we are waiting for. Explain that we believe life – all life – is worth more than profits; we are doing this because modern conditions have robbed us of the awareness that we are all in this together, as ML King said, in “a single garment of destiny” –we and the planet that nourished us as it can go on nourishing if not treated with such callous disregard. We will be planting seeds in the minds of such questioners far more potent than the engineered monstrosities of Monsanto.

Is the Monsanto protest the next Salt March? | Metta Center Metta Center

Monsanto Modified Wheat Unapproved by USDA Found in Oregon Field

MAY 29, 2013
By: Bloomberg

USDA is investigating a report of genetically modified wheat, which that wasn’t approved for use, in Oregon this month, raising questions of how the Monsanto Co. product got into a farmer’s field.

A farmer attempting to kill wheat with the company’s Roundup herbicide found several plants resisted the weed-killer and notified Oregon State University, said Michael Firko, acting deputy administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Scientists found the wheat was field-tested from 1998 to 2005 and deemed safe for consumption before Monsanto pulled the product from the regulatory approval process.

"We are taking this very seriously," Firko said. "We have a very active investigation going on in several states in the western U.S."

Government investigators are tracking the origin of the plants and consulting with trade partners to assure them the exposure is limited and poses no threat to human health, he said.

Monsanto of St. Louis is the world’s biggest seed producer. The company halted plans to develop modified wheat in May 2004 after the Canadian Wheat Board, the world’s largest grain seller, said its 10 biggest red spring-wheat importers, including Japan, the U.K. and Malaysia, wouldn’t accept modified varieties. Italy’s biggest miller, Grandi Molini Italiani, was among buyers in Europe and Asia that refused to import modified wheat amid consumer unease over eating such products.

There are no genetically engineered wheat varieties approved for general planting, USDA said.
Monsanto Modified Wheat Unapproved by USDA Found in Oregon Field

How I Got Hooked on Weeds—and Why You Should, Too | Mother Jones

—By Tom Philpott
Wed May. 29, 2013
Weed it and reap: a salad of lamb's quarters, purslane, and parsley, all from Austin's Boggy Creek Farm. Tom Philpott

When I moved to a small organic farm in 2004, I quickly got hooked on weeds (note plural). First, there would be salads of chickweed—a grassy-tasting plant that popped up just after the ground thawed in spring. Next, from the marshy banks of a creek, tender, peppery watercress would sprout. Soon after, dandelion greens would proliferate, adding a bitter note to those spring weed salads. And then, along an old wood road up the forested mountainside, would come a flush of stinging nettle—we'd harvest the leaves with gloves, boil their sting away, and add them to pastas and pizzas. Finally, by high summer, my favorite weeds of all would emerge from plowed fields: a high-rising, spinach-related green called lamb's quarters, and a low-slung, creeping plant called purslane, with its succulent, lemony leaves.

We never found much of a market for these delicacies (save for the watercress, which chefs loved). But they became staples of the farmhouse kitchen, supplements to the cultivated greens that went mainly to the farmers market and to our CSA shareholders. Now that I spend most of my time off the farm and in a city, one of the things I miss most is easy access to these flavorful wild foods.

Turns out, the void I'm feeling may be more than aesthetic. According to an op-ed by Jo Robinson in the Sunday New York Times, wild edible plants tend to be loaded with phytonutrients, "the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia."

And most cultivated crops—even celebrated healthy foods like spinach and blueberries—are pale copies of their wild progenitors in phytochemical terms, Robinson shows, adding some eye-popping infographics for emphasis. She is not talking about the small but significant decline in nutrient density since the industrialization of agriculture half a century ago; but rather a steep drop in phytonutrients that began when we "stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers." Robinson writes:

Each fruit and vegetable in our stores has a unique history of nutrient loss, I’ve discovered, but there are two common themes. Throughout the ages, our farming ancestors have chosen the least bitter plants to grow in their gardens. It is now known that many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste. Second, early farmers favored plants that were relatively low in fiber and high in sugar, starch and oil. These energy-dense plants were pleasurable to eat and provided the calories needed to fuel a strenuous lifestyle. The more palatable our fruits and vegetables became, however, the less advantageous they were for our health.

I would push back against the inverse relationship Robinson posits between palatability and nutrition. I imagine that we've lost a lot of flavor in the ages-old quest to breed for sweetness—and in the last 100 years or so, we've definitely lost still more by breeding for portability and shelf life. I would argue that flavor has declined along with nutrient density. There's no Puritanical trade-off here. Few people would choose modern supermarket tomatoes bred to last for weeks post-harvest over old varieties bred to taste good when eaten quickly.
What we can do is start seeking out varieties of fruits and vegetables that haven't been bred to be insipidly sweet.

That caveat aside, what do we do with Robinson's message about the loss of phytonutrients? Obviously, we can't all suddenly become hunter-gatherers, stalking city parks for hidden bounty (though a fellow who calls himself "Wildman"will take you on a foraging tour of Manhattan's Central Park). Nor can we all live on small organic farms surrounded by woodlands.

But what we can do is start seeking out varieties of fruits and vegetables that haven't been bred to be insipidly sweet or high-yielding. Robinson suggests arugula as an example—it was a Mediterranean weed until very recently. Arugula is "very similar to its wild ancestor," she notes, and "rich in cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates and higher in antioxidant activity than many green lettuces." Robinson also points to herbs, which she calls "wild plants incognito." That is, they much more closely resemble their wild antecedents than do, say, modern apples or tomatoes or corn. She adds: "We've long valued them for their intense flavors and aroma, which is why they've not been given a flavor makeover. Because we've left them well enough alone, their phytonutrient content has remained intact." Robinson's paean to herbs reminded me of my love for parsley, and how I've come to shower it on every meal, and even give it the starring role in a salad.

But here's the thing about arugula and fresh herbs: They're fantastic when you can get them recently picked, but dull when you find them in in little plastic bags shipped cross-country. And if Robinson is right that "many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste," I wonder if phytonutrient content doesn't degrade along with flavor on those long trips.

That got me to thinking that one of the unsung benefits of the explosion of farmers markets and CSAs over the past 20 years is that it's giving more and more people access to vegetables bred for things besides just sweetness, shelf life, and portability. We might not sell much in the way of lamb's quarters at Maverick Farms (the North Carolina farm I'm involved with), but we can never grow enough of our famously spicy arugula to satisfy demand. And like many farms that sell to neighboring communities, we favor tomato varieties that balance sweetness with acidity—and may well deliver an extra jolt of phytonutrients because of it.

And small farms can deliver actual weeds, too. Just last weekend, at the Saturday farmstand of Austin's wonderful Boggy Creek Farm, I found nestled in the back a display featuring just-picked bunches of lamb's quarters and purslane. So I finally got my fix of weeds right here in the city—ever since, I've been making salads combining those two wild edibles with some parsley I also picked up at Boggy.

And the first thing I did after reading Robinson's Sunday Times piece? I emailed it to Maverick Farms' manager, adding that it might be high time to try marketing our weeds again.
How I Got Hooked on Weeds—and Why You Should, Too | Mother Jones

Recipes Lambsquarter

High in protein!!!  Monte

Recipes Lambsquarter Spread - YouTube

NOAM CHOMSKY — ‘Everyday Anarchist’: The Modern Success Interview | Modern Success

By Michael S. Wilson

Everyone knows what one looks like. They’ve got the leather boots. Maybe some chains. Trench-coats. They wait in dark alleys with perfectly-spherical bombs. A lot of ‘em like to spike up their hair, or shave the side of their head, or do weird things like that to their appearance. You know what I mean. Everyone knows.

That’s what an anarchist looks like.

But the man I’m talking to today, albeit by voice-over-internet, I’m fairly certain doesn’t have a shaved head. No Mohawk that I’m aware of. He doesn’t carry any bombs. Especially not behind any dark alleys wearing a trench-coat. In fact, when he was young he tended to wear a nerdy short-sleeved shirt and necktie and those glasses with the Buddy Holly rims. And the few times I’ve had the opportunity to hear him speak in person, he seemed very … average. Almost disappointingly so. He was more the mild-mannered Clark Kent than the brazen Superman. His manner of speaking is almost mesmerizingly professorial — he rarely changes his cadence or pitch, except perhaps to deliver a satirical remark, and then only using pause, not inflection. His thoughts often fly into contingent — though important or descriptive — fields, before returning to the point. One must use every brain cell to follow his speaking at times since it is so full of starts, pauses, back-tracks, codas, and re-referencing. This is not due to lack of confidence on his part, but because, I think, of all the ideas coming into his mind at once.

If you are absolutely not familiar with who Noam Chomsky is, you are not alone. He almost never appears in the mainstream media, due to factors which should become clear as the interview progresses. Yet his intellectual stature is undeniable:

The New Yorker has … termed Chomsky “one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century”, while the New York Times has him as “arguably the most important intellectual alive.” But judged by the range, influence and novelty of his ideas, many argue that Chomsky is, in fact, the owner of one of the greatest minds in the history of our species. There is barely a domain of human understanding that has not been touched in some way by his thought. In the half-century since the 1960s, reverberations from his work have shaken the foundations of cognitive science, epistemology, media studies, psychobiology, computer science (to name but a few). Alongside Marx and Shakespeare, he ranks among the ten most-quoted writers in history. — Matt Kenard, Financial Times

I remember how shocked people were when I told them I was going to interview M. I. T. Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky. I remember how shocked I was when he agreed to a brief interview. But I also know Professor Chomsky to be a very down-to-earth man, very approachable, someone who seems to draw from a vast pool of inner strength to be able to speak not only to large crowds in Universities around the world, but also to respond to endless individual emails and letters, while continuing with all his other work of research. (He is said to read an average of twelve scholarly journals per week, among dozens of other periodicals and newspapers.) With all the work the man generates, one begins to wonder if Noam Chomsky, now at the youthful age of eighty-four, wasn’t cloned at some point.

Whatever the case, I had the pleasure of interviewing him as I sat in Memorial Union and he in his university office in Boston. So many things have been written about, and discussed by, Professor Chomsky, it was a challenge to think of anything new to ask him: like the grandparent you can’t think of what to get for Christmas because they already have everything.

So I chose to be a bit selfish and ask him what I’ve always wanted to ask him. As an out-spoken, actual, live-and-breathing anarchist, I wanted to know how he could align himself with such a controversial and marginal position.

MODERN SUCCESS: You are, among many other things, a self-described anarchist — an anarcho-syndicalist, specifically. Most people think of anarchists as disenfranchised punks throwing rocks at store windows, or masked men tossing ball-shaped bombs at fat industrialists. Is this an accurate view? What is anarchy to you?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, anarchism is, in my view, basically a kind of tendency in human thought which shows up in different forms in different circumstances, and has some leading characteristics. Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy. It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified. It assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them. Their authority is not self-justifying. They have to give a reason for it, a justification. And if they can’t justify that authority and power and control, which is the usual case, then the authority ought to be dismantled and replaced by something more free and just. And, as I understand it, anarchy is just that tendency. It takes different forms at different times.

Anarcho-syndicalism is a particular variety of anarchism which was concerned primarily, though not solely, but primarily with control over work, over the work place, over production. It took for granted that working people ought to control their own work, its conditions, [that] they ought to control the enterprises in which they work, along with communities, so they should be associated with one another in free associations, and … democracy of that kind should be the foundational elements of a more general free society. And then, you know, ideas are worked out about how exactly that should manifest itself, but I think that is the core of anarcho-syndicalist thinking. I mean it’s not at all the general image that you described — people running around the streets, you know, breaking store windows — but [anarcho-syndicalism] is a conception of a very organized society, but organized from below by direct participation at every level, with as little control and domination as is feasible, maybe none.

MS: With the apparent ongoing demise of the capitalist state, many people are looking at other ways to be successful, to run their lives, and I’m wondering what you would say anarchy and syndicalism have to offer, things that others ideas — say, for example, state-run socialism — have failed to offer? Why should we choose anarchy, as opposed to, say, libertarianism?

NC: Well what’s called libertarian in the United States, which is a special U. S. phenomenon, it doesn’t really exist anywhere else — a little bit in England — permits a very high level of authority and domination but in the hands of private power: so private power should be unleashed to do whatever it likes. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society. Actually that has been believed in the past. Adam Smith for example, one of his main arguments for markets was the claim that under conditions of perfect liberty, markets would lead to perfect equality. Well, we don’t have to talk about that! That kind of —

MS: It seems to be a continuing contention today …

NC: Yes, and so well that kind of libertarianism, in my view, in the current world, is just a call for some of the worst kinds of tyranny, namely unaccountable private tyranny. Anarchism is quite different from that. It calls for an elimination to tyranny, all kinds of tyranny. Including the kind of tyranny that’s internal to private power concentrations. So why should we prefer it? Well I think because freedom is better than subordination. It’s better to be free than to be a slave. Its’ better to be able to make your own decisions than to have someone else make decisions and force you to observe them. I mean, I don’t think you really need an argument for that. It seems like … transparent.

The thing you need an argument for, and should give an argument for, is, How can we best proceed in that direction? And there are lots of ways within the current society. One way, incidentally, is through use of the state, to the extent that it is democratically controlled. I mean in the long run, anarchists would like to see the state eliminated. But it exists, alongside of private power, and the state is, at least to a certain extent, under public influence and control — could be much more so. And it provides devices to constrain the much more dangerous forces of private power. Rules for safety and health in the workplace for example. Or insuring that people have decent health care, let’s say. Many other things like that. They’re not going to come about through private power. Quite the contrary. But they can come about through the use of the state system under limited democratic control … to carry forward reformist measures. I think those are fine things to do. they should be looking forward to something much more, much beyond, — namely actual, much larger-scale democratization. And that’s possible to not only think about, but to work on. So one of the leading anarchist thinkers, Bakunin in the 19th cent, pointed out that it’s quite possible to build the institutions of a future society within the present one. And he was thinking about far more autocratic societies than ours. And that’s being done. So for example, worker- and community- controlled enterprises are germs of a future society within the present one. And those not only can be developed, but are being developed. There’s some important work on this by Gar Alperovitz who’s involved in the enterprise systems around the Cleveland area which are worker and community controlled. There’s a lot of theoretical discussion of how it might work out, from various sources. Some of the most worked out ideas are in what’s called the “parecon” — participatory economics — literature and discussions. And there are others. These are at the planning and thinking level. And at the practical implementation level, there are steps that can be taken, while also pressing to overcome the worst … the major harms … caused by … concentration of private power through the use of state system, as long as the current system exists. So there’s no shortage of means to pursue.

As for state socialism, depends what one means by the term. If it’s tyranny of the Bolshevik variety (and its descendants), we need not tarry on it. If it’s a more expanded social democratic state, then the comments above apply. If something else, then what? Will it place decision-making in the hands of working people and communities, or in hands of some authority? If the latter, then — once again — freedom is better than subjugation, and the latter carries a very heavy burden of justification.

MS: Many people know you because of your and Edward Herman’s development of the Propaganda Model. Could you briefly describe that model and why it might be important to the students at the UW-Madison?

NC: Well first look back a bit — a little historical framework — back in the late 19th-, early 20th century, a good deal of freedom had been won in some societies. At the peak of this were in fact the United States and Britain. By no means free societies, but by comparative standards quite advanced in this respect. In fact so advanced, that power systems — state and private — began to recognize that things were getting to a point where they can’t control the population by force as easily as before, so they are going to have to turn to other means of control. And the other means of control are control of beliefs and attitudes. And out of that grew the public relations industry, which in those days described itself honestly as an industry of propaganda.

The guru of the PR industry, Edward Bernays — incidentally, not a reactionary, but a Wilson-Roosevelt-Kennedy liberal — the maiden handbook of the PR industry which he wrote back in the 1920s was called Propaganda. And in it he described, correctly, the goal of the industry. He said our goal is to insure that the “intelligent minority” — and of course anyone who writes about these things is part of that intelligent minority by definition, by stipulation, so we, the intelligent minority, are the only people capable of running things, and there’s that great population out there, the “unwashed masses,” who, if they’re left alone will just get into trouble: so we have to, as he put it, “engineer their consent,” figure out ways to insure they consent to our rule and domination. And that’s the goal of the PR industry. And it works in many ways. It’s primary commitment is commercial advertising. In fact, Bernays made his name right at that time — late 20s — by running an advertising campaign to convince women to smoke cigarettes: women weren’t smoking cigarettes, this big group of people who the tobacco industry isn’t able to kill, so we’ve got to do something about that. And he very successfully ran campaigns that induced women to smoke cigarettes: that would be, in modern terms, the cool thing to do, you know, that’s the way you get to be a modern, liberated woman. It was very successful —

MS: Is there a correlation between that campaign and what’s happening with the big oil industry right now and climate change?

NC: These are just a few examples. These are the origins of what became a huge industry of controlling attitudes and opinions. Now the oil industry today, and in fact the business world generally, are engaged in comparable campaigns to try to undermine efforts to deal with a problem that’s even greater than the mass murder that was caused by the tobacco industry; and it was mass murder. We are facing a threat, a serious threat, of catastrophic climate change. And it’s no joke. And [the oil industry is] trying to impede measures to deal with it for their own short-term profit interests. And that includes not only the petroleum industry, but the American Chamber of Commerce — the leading business lobby — and others, who’ve stated quite openly that they’re conducting … they don’t call it propaganda … but what would amount to propaganda campaigns to convince people that there’s no real danger and we shouldn’t really do much about it, and that we should concentrate on really important things like the deficit and economic growth — what they call ‘growth’ — and not worry about the fact that the human species is marching over a cliff which could be something like [human] species destruction; or at least the destruction of the possibility of a decent life for huge numbers of people. And there are many other correlations.

In fact quite generally, commercial advertising is fundamentally an effort to undermine markets. We should recognize that. If you’ve taken an economics course, you know that markets are supposed to be based on informed consumers making rational choices. You take a look at the first ad you see on television and ask yourself … is that it’s purpose? No it’s not. It’s to create uninformed consumers making irrational choices. And these same institutions run political campaigns. It’s pretty much the same: you have to undermine democracy by trying to get uninformed people to make irrational choices. And so this is only one aspect of the PR industry. What Herman and I were discussing was another aspect of the whole propaganda system that developed roughly at that period, and that’s “manufacture of consent,” as it was called, [consent] to the decisions of our political leaders, or the leaders of the private economy, to try to insure that people have the right beliefs and don’t try to comprehend the way decisions are being made that may not only harm them, but harm many others. That’s propaganda in the normal sense. And so we were talking about mass media, and the intellectual community of the world in general, which is to a large extent dedicated to this. Not that people see themselves as propagandists, but … that they are themselves deeply indoctrinated into the principles of the system, which prevent them from perceiving many things that are really right on the surface, [things] that would be subversive to power if understood. We give plenty of examples there and there’s plenty more you can mention up to the present moment, crucial ones in fact. That’s a large part of a general system of indoctrination and control that runs parallel to controlling attitudes and … consumeristic commitments, and other devices to control people.

You mentioned students before. Well one of the main problems for students today — a huge problem — is sky-rocketing tuitions. Why do we have tuitions that are completely out-of-line with other countries, even with our own history? In the 1950s the United States was a much poorer country than it is today, and yet higher education was … pretty much free, or low fees or no fees for huge numbers of people. There hasn’t been an economic change that’s made it necessary, now, to have very high tuitions, far more than when we were a poor country. And to drive the point home even more clearly, if we look just across the borders, Mexico is a poor country yet has a good educational system with free tuition. There was an effort by the Mexican state to raise tuition, maybe some 15 years ago or so, and there was a national student strike which had a lot of popular support, and the government backed down. Now that’s just happened recently in Quebec, on our other border. Go across the ocean: Germany is a rich country. Free tuition. Finland has the highest-ranked education system in the world. Free … virtually free. So I don’t think you can give an argument that there are economic necessities behind the incredibly high increase in tuition. I think these are social and economic decisions made by the people who set policy. And [these hikes] are part of, in my view, part of a backlash that developed in the 1970s against the liberatory tendencies of the 1960s. Students became much freer, more open, they were pressing for opposition to the war, for civil rights, women’s rights … and the country just got too free. In fact, liberal intellectuals condemned this, called it a “crisis of democracy:” we’ve got to have more moderation of democracy. They called, literally, for more commitment to indoctrination of the young, their phrase … we have to make sure that the institutions responsible for the indoctrination of the young do their work, so we don’t have all this freedom and independence. And many developments took place after that. I don’t think we have enough direct documentation to prove causal relations, but you can see what happened. One of the things that happened was controlling students — in fact, controlling students for the rest of their lives, by simply trapping them in debt. That’s a very effective technique of control and indoctrination. And I suspect — I can’t prove — but I suspect that that’s a large part of the reason behind [high tuitions]. Many other parallel things happened. The whole economy changed in significant ways to concentrate power, to undermine workers’ rights and freedom. In fact the economist who chaired the Federal Reserve around the Clinton years, Alan Greenspan — St. Alan as he was called then, the great genius of the economics profession who was running the economy, highly honored — he testified proudly before congress that the basis for the great economy that he was running was what he called “growing worker insecurity.” If workers are more insecure, they won’t do things, like asking for better wages and better benefits. And that’s healthy for the economy from a certain point of view, a point of view that says workers ought to be oppressed and controlled, and that wealth ought to be concentrated in a very few pockets. So yeah, that’s a healthy economy, and we need growing worker insecurity, and we need growing student insecurity, for similar reasons. I think all of these things line up together as part of a general reaction — a bipartisan reaction, incidentally — against liberatory tendencies which manifested themselves in the 60s and have continued since.

MS: With the few remaining minutes we have left, I’m wondering if you could leave the students with one thing you’d like to say to them about how they can be successful in the future.

NC: There are plenty of problems in the world today, and students face a number of them, including the ones I mentioned — the joblessness, insecurity and so on. Yet on the other hand, there has been progress. In a lot of respects things are a lot more free and advanced than they were … not many years ago. So many things that were really matters of struggle, in fact even some barely even mentionable, say, in the 1960s, are now … partially resolved. Things like women’s rights. Gay rights. Opposition to aggression. Concern for the environment — which is nowhere near where it ought to be, but far beyond the 1960s. These victories for freedom didn’t come from gifts from above. They came from people struggling under conditions that are harsher than they are now. There is state repression now. But it doesn’t begin to compare with, say, Cointelpro in the 1960s. People that don’t know about that ought to read and think to find out. And that leaves lots of opportunities. Students, you know, are relatively privileged as compared with the rest of the population. They are also in a period of their lives where they are relatively free. Well that provides for all sorts of opportunities. In the past, such opportunities have been taken by students who have often been in the forefront of progressive change, and they have many more opportunities now. It’s never going to be easy. There’s going to be repression. There’s going to be backlash. But that’s the way society moves forward.
To read more about Chomsky’s ideas, there are literally hundreds of places to do so. He has written dozens of books about American military imperialism, the hegemony of the poor, the advertising and PR industry and their connection to news media in particular, and … The list goes on. Most of his books can be found in Madison at Rainbow Bookstore. To search through subjects about which he has written, you can visit his website atChomsky.info, where you will find thousands of articles, interviews, and outside news commentary on Chomsky. My personal favorite introduction to Chomsky is the film, Manufacturing Consent: Chomsky and the Media, still considered one of the top-ten documentaries of all time.

NOAM CHOMSKY — ‘Everyday Anarchist’: The Modern Success Interview | Modern Success

Stop investing in carbon intense industries

Broadcast: 23/05/2013

Reporter: Tony Jones

Author and environmental activist Bill McKibben, who is about to tour Australia, discusses his campaign to get organisations to stop investing in companies that make money from industries that have high carbon emissions.

Lateline - 23/05/2013: Stop investing in carbon intense industries


May 28, 2013

Surfing the Waves of Change - becoming more Resilient in these changing times

http://www.resilience.cultivate.ie - Surfing the Waves of Change is an animation exploring the idea of community resilience using the metaphor of a surfer to explain how communities can make themselves more resilient in these changing times. This project is supported by The Carnegie UK Trust, Comhar Media Fund and Trocaire.

Our farming practices need to become more resilient in these changing times of weather and resource depletion.  We need to stop fighting nature and instead work with nature.... Monte

Animation By: Ben McDonald http://www.vincebenedict.ie/
Music and soundtrack by: Conor Mc Manamly
Surfing the Waves of Change - YouTube

Related Link: http://permaculturenews.org/2013/05/28/reading-the-landscape-surfing-and-permaculture/

March Against Monsanto Coverage On CNN May 28, 2013 Full Segment - YouTube

March Against Monsanto Coverage On CNN May 28, 2013 Full Segment - YouTube

The Monsanto 71 - 'Sellout' senators shame themselves by siding with Monsanto on GMO labeling bill

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) The U.S. Senate recently had an opportunity to vote on a farm bill amendment that would have supported the rights of states to mandate GMO labeling laws. The amendment, S.AMDT.965, was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders with the aim "...to permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient."

This amendment quickly separated the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, on which U.S. senators believe in the rights of the people vs. the domination of corporations like Monsanto. Astonishingly, it also revealed that the two darling senators of the liberty movement -- Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz -- were willing to sell out the people and vote in favor of Monsanto. (They both voted against the amendment to allow states to set GMO labeling laws.)

In all, seventy-one U.S. Senators, both democrats and republicans, voted against that amendment, selling out the American people to the interests of Monsanto. Many said they did so because they didn't want food labeling to be fragmented state by state. Food labeling is an issue the FDA should tackle, they explained. Yet the FDA is just another corporate sellout, we all know.

Waiting around for the FDA to mandate GMO labeling is as foolish as waiting around for the Democratic party to endorse the Bill of Rights and follow the Constitution. Or waiting around for Republicans to endorse gay marriage of illegal immigrants on food stamps. It ain't gonna happen, folks. The FDA has long sold out to corporate interests, and it is involved in making sure the American people have no real clue what they're eating.

71 senators betray the people and sell out to MonsantoThe only way to get GMOs labeled is to get it done state by state, and these 71 U.S. Senators have now thrown down the gauntlet, stating they believe states have no right to mandate GMO labeling at the local level!

Keep that in mind the next time Rand Paul or Ted Cruz talks about "liberty and justice" Where was their justice on the issue of GMO labeling? How does keeping people in the dark on what they're eating create a more free society?

For God's sake, what does it take to get somebody in Washington D.C. to consistently and unswervingly vote on the side of liberty and freedom every single time? (Bring back Ron Paul!)

The "Monsanto 71"Today, Natural News publishes the list of these 71 U.S. senators, and we will re-publish this list several times leading up to the 2014 elections. Our goal is to make sure these senators change their position on GMO labeling or lose their seats if they don't change.

Yes, it is true that many of these senators have done commendable work on other issues. Sen. Grassley, for example, has a solid track record of investigating the FDA and blowing the whistle on other federal fiascos.

But there is no excuse for betraying the American people on this issue. There is no excuse for selling out to Monsanto and the GMO industry. Don't the American people deserve to know what they are eating? Don't moms of autistic children deserve to have accurate food labels so they can avoid bt toxinwhen shopping for their kids?

And my message to the Monsanto 71 is that you'd better rethink your positions very carefully(especially Cruz, Paul and Grassley). Your vote puts you on the wrong side of history... and the wrong side of public opinion. We expect better of you. We expect you to be champions for the People, not puppets for Monsanto.

Sure, for senators like McCain and McCaskill, we expect them to be sellouts. Their souls are already slated to rot in Hell for their conscious commitment to evil. But for those who offer real hope for liberty -- like Cruz and Ryan -- we expect you to do better!

If you continue to disappoint us on this issue, we will fight like mad to remove you from office at the next voting opportunity. And for me personally, as the editor of Natural News, there are only two issues that really determine our endorsements for the next election: GMO labeling and Second Amendment. We the People want our food labeled and our rifles protected. We want the freedom that comes from government getting out of our private lives but the accountability that comes from government forcing large corporations to at least tell the truth about what's in the food they're selling us.

Yes, government has a role in a free society: Protect liberties from tyranny and protect consumersfrom corporate deceptions. Regardless of party affiliation, Senators who endorse GMO labeling while protecting the Bill of Rights will receive support from Natural News. Those who do not will be publicly shamed for selling out.

Here's the list of the Monsanto 71:

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cowan (D-MA)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lee (R-UT)
Levin (D-MI)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Moran (R-KS)
Nelson (D-FL)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/040523_Monsanto_71_farm_bill_Senators.html#ixzz2Uc4bRg8H

The Monsanto 71 - 'Sellout' senators shame themselves by siding with Monsanto on GMO labeling bill

Extensive List of Politicians Paid Off by Monsanto | NationofChange

Published: Tuesday 28 May 2013

Keep in mind these are the figures we know, which means that behind the scenes expect these numbers to multiply extensively.

Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter. As long as you can help Monsanto slide its icy tentacles into the food chain, then there’s some financial tip available to you. Thankfully, many such ties can be exposed through some data digging, and thanks to diligent readers who send comprehensive news tips and other researchers out there, we now have an extensive list of politicians getting paid cold hard cash from GMO juggernaut Monsanto.

Keep in mind these are the figures we know, which means that behind the scenes expect these numbers to multiply extensively. But what is most amazing is that these politicians just don’t care that you know they’re receiving thousands of dollars from Monsanto! They sweep it under the carpet, but they are openly taking money from this corporation that has been caught running ‘slave-like’ rings and disregarding public health. We’re talking about a corporation that primarily aided in the creation of Agent Orange — the Vietnam-era chemical weapon that killed over 400,000 people and led to 500,000 plus birth defects.

Looking at these figures, over $260,000 was openly pumped into the House, and $122,000 was pumped into the Senate. And again, this is openly. I’m speculating, but I would imagine the real number to easily be in the millions. Can you imagine how much they must pay these politicians to shoot down GMO labeling bills that 90 plus percent of the entire country wants?

Monsanto paid Senator Roy Blunt to ‘help write’ the Monsanto Protection Act that grants Monsanto immunity from federal courts? Roy’s cash payment is not included in this list, however RT reports he received $64,250 towards his campaign from the company. Surely they expected nothing in return.

Politicians Paid By MonsantoHouse of Representatives:

Total paid by Monsanto to Democrats: $72,000Total paid by Monsanto to Republicans: $190,500

Barrow, John (D-GA) $2,500

Bishop, Sanford (D-GA) $5,000

Boehner, John (R-OH) $10,000

Braley, Bruce (D-IA) $5,000

Camp, Dave (R-MI) $5,000

Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $10,000

Clay, William L Jr (D-MO)$10,000

Cleaver, Emanuel (D-MO) $5,000

Conaway, Mike (R-TX) $2,000

Courtney, Joe (D-CT) $4,500

Crawford, Rick (R-AR) $2,500

Fincher, Steve (R-TN) $8,000

Gardner, Cory (R-CO) $7,500

Goodlatte, Bob (R-VA) $4,500

Graves, Sam (R-MO) $5,000

Griffin, Tim (R-AR) $1,000

Guthrie, Brett (R-KY) $1,000

Hanabusa, Colleen (D-HI)$5,000

Hannemann, Mufi (D-HI) $1,000

Hartzler, Vicky (R-MO) $3,000

Holden, Tim (D-PA) $1,000

Huelskamp, Tim (R-KS) $2,500

Hultgren, Randy (R-IL) $2,500

Jenkins, Lynn (R-KS) $2,500

Johnson, Timothy (R-IL) $3,000

King, Steven A (R-IA) $2,500

Kingston, Jack (R-GA) $7,000

Kinzinger, Adam (R-IL) $3,500

Kissell, Larry (D-NC) $5,000

Labrador, Raul (R-ID) $2,000

LaMalfa, Doug (R-CA) $1,000

Landry, Jeff (R-LA) $1,000

Latham, Tom (R-IA) $10,000

Loebsack, David (D-IA) $5,000

Long, Billy (R-MO) $2,500

Lucas, Frank D (R-OK) $10,000

Luetkemeyer, Blaine (R-MO)$5,000

Lungren, Dan (R-CA) $1,000

McIntyre, Mike (D-NC) $1,000

Neugebauer, Randy (R-TX)$1,000

Noem, Kristi (R-SD) $1,000

Nunes, Devin (R-CA) $3,500

Owens, Bill (D-NY) $2,000

Peterson, Collin (D-MN) $10,000

Rogers, Hal (R-KY) $7,500

Rokita, Todd (R-IN) $5,000

Roskam, Peter (R-IL) $1,000

Schilling, Bobby (R-IL) $3,000

Schock, Aaron (R-IL) $5,000

Shimkus, John M (R-IL) $5,000

Simpson, Mike (R-ID) $10,000

Smith, Adrian (R-NE) $5,000

Stutzman, Marlin (R-IN) $5,000

Thompson, Bennie G (D-MS)$10,000

Thompson, Glenn (R-PA) $1,000

Upton, Fred (R-MI) $5,000

Valadao, David (R-CA) $2,500

Wagner, Ann L (R-MO) $10,000

Walden, Greg (R-OR) $1,000

Walorski, Jackie (R-IN) $2,500

Womack, Steve (R-AR) $1,000


Total paid by Monsanto to Democrats: $37,500Total paid by Monsanto to Republicans: $85,000

Akin, Todd (R-MO) $3,500

Baucus, Max (D-MT) $1,000

Berg, Rick (R-ND) $10,000

Blunt, Roy (R-MO) $10,000

Boozman, John (R-AR) $5,000

Casey, Bob (D-PA) $2,500

Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) $5,000

Fischer, Deb (R-NE) $5,000

Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)$1,000

Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) $2,000

Hirono, Mazie K (D-HI) $1,000

Johanns, Mike (R-NE) $1,000

Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) $5,000

Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $1,000

McCaskill, Claire (D-MO)$5,000

McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $10,000

Moran, Jerry (R-KS) $2,500

Nelson, Ben (D-NE) $13,000

Rehberg, Denny (R-MT) $2,000

Risch, James E (R-ID) $3,500

Roberts, Pat (R-KS) $9,000

Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) $8,000

Thompson, Tommy G (R-WI)$5,000

Wicker, Roger (R-MS) $1,000

Wilson, Heather A (R-NM)$2,500

FULL ARTICLE LINK: Extensive List of Politicians Paid Off by Monsanto | NationofChange