Month: April 2008


Posted on Feith: Treasonous Jewish war criminal with more loyalty to Israel than to the United States.

I received Doug Feith’s recently released book ’War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn on the War on Terrorism’ from Amazon the other day and, whilst I haven’t begun to read it from cover to cover just yet, one of the first things I did do upon opening it was head straight for the index to look up what his explanation was for the role of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the lead up to the war against Iraq. To my surprise – though, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been in the least bit surprised – there was next to nothing except a blanket denial that the OSP played any role at all in the lies and formulation of so-called ‘intelligence’ that led directly to the invasion and destruction of Iraq. Feith writes:

“…a few weeks after 9/11. I asked members of my staff to review all the intelligence paper flow – to look it over and summarize it, and to help me devise counterterrorist strategy and policy recommendations for Rumsfeld. It was a standard request for policy staffers: Extracting strategic insights from intelligence is what policy personnel do every day.

This project evolved into the Policy Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG), which became legendary as the supposed Pentagon “covert intelligence group” that was alleged to have manipulated intelligence to mislead the President and the public into war in Iraq. I use the word “legendary” literally, because nearly everything said about the PCTEG has been a legend – that is, make believe. False assertions about the project have been grist for thousands of political speeches and news articles. The legend’s proponents usually cite as their sources current or former intelligence officials (usually anonymous) who had bureaucratic or policy disagreements with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, or me.” (p.116)

Feith then goes on to say that the PCTEG and the OSP were two entirely different entities and that Seymour Hersh had “garbled his reporting on the PCTEG” and that this has led to “many other writers, who think that reading the ‘The New Yorker’ is research, have mixed up the PCTEG with the OSP”. (pp.116-117)

This is a lie. The reality is that the PCTEG and the OSP was one and the same thing; the PCTEG simply morphed into the OSP. Virtually all of the officers that made up the PCTEG went on to serve with the OSP with two of them, David Wurmser and Michael Maloof, chasing the classic lies about the connections between ‘al Qaeda’ and Saddam Hussein, pushing this lie while serving with both the PCTEG and the OSP.

Apart from three paragraphs on pages 293-294 of his book that mentions the OSP completely sanitising it, readers are going to be very disappointed if they were expecting any real light to be shed on the activities of this office or Feith’s role in it.

Feith, it seems, has written 650 pages of pure lies – and I haven’t even read it yet – but, knowing what a lying toe-rag this warmongering monster is, you just know that you’re not going to be any wiser as a result of reading this lunatics work than you were before.

posted by Damian Lataan
Under no circumstances should you buy this book. Feith has enough blood money.

Also see:
Feith: We invaded Iraq because we were afraid they’d attack us

Douglas Feith – Jewish Warmonger

War Criminal Speaks Out

Douglas Feith knew there were no WMDs and that Iraq had no connection to 9/11. This man was one of the main architects in the 90s that designed the blueprint for going to war in Iraq. There is no way of getting around the fact that Douglas Feith commited treason and is guilty war crimes.

Douglas Feith – This would be the gentleman who is effectively in command along with Wolfowitz, of the War Department on 9/11. He was the Under Secretary of War for Policy and a dual citizen to the US and Israel. He has been investigated for spying on behalf of Israel and is a former member of PNAC (Project for New American Century).


How PNAC and OSP Created the War

PNAC’s papers were written by the same people who wrote Israeli policy papers who hold dual citizenship to Israel. The Iraq war and control over energy resources is outlined in Israel’s A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” which was written by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.

Eugenics and Environmentalism: From quality control to quantity control

Posted on

Old-Thinker News | April 30, 2008

By Daniel Taylor

Has eugenics faded away with time, or has the pseudo science morphed and cloaked itself under new auspices? Were some of the original founders of population control efforts themselves eugenicists? How and when did eugenicists shift from Galton era ideals to Malthusian population control? The history of eugenics is incredibly detailed and expansive, but there are certain issues that are not given as much attention as others. This article attempts to answer these questions and provide a wider perspective on these important issues.

From quality control to quantity control

While there are examples of eugenics still in practice in its pre WWII form, eugenicists were forced to scale back rhetoric and reframe their ideas in the post WWII world. Hitler’s actions embarrassed eugenicists in America enough for them to at least publicly change their ideas.

China currently has Galton-era eugenics laws on the books which only allow pre-approved couples to marry and have children. The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Maternal and Infant Health Care states that if the approved couples children are deemed to be inferior they are to be terminated. [1]

The United States was the first to enact eugenic sterilization laws in the state of Indiana in 1907. By the mid 1930’s, 34 states had passed mandatory sterilization laws. Many of the laws remained active as late as 1974. Eugenics officially ended, yet remained.

Dr. David C. Reardon has documented the shift to population control among eugenicists in chapter five of his work in progress, The Eugenics Connection: Shapers of Humanity. He writes regarding the earlier eugenic practices in the United States,

“During the early 1930’s, eugenics reached the height of its popularity in pre-World war II America. It was during this period, when their political power was greatest, that eugenicists and Neo-Malthusians became increasingly radical in their demands to eliminate the ‘unfit,’ whom they called a “race of chronic paupers, a race parasitic upon the community.” The eugenic weapons to be used in this ‘war between races’ were increasingly coercive and destructive. In 1932, at the Third International congress of Eugenics held in New York City, proposals were made to prevent the ‘further dilution of the American gene pool’ by those who possessed ‘inferior genes’ through segregation, sterilization, birth control, abortion and even infanticide.” [2]

Reardon then documents the discrediting of eugenics and the toning down of rhetoric coming from its supporters. One of the factors cited by Reardon which dampened enthusiasm was the targeting of upper classes for sterilization due to their financial dethroning as a result of the great depression. Reardon writes,

“Suddenly, many of those in the upper and middle-classes, who had previously judged hereditary ‘unfitness’ on the basis of economic poverty, now found themselves impoverished. These ‘new poor’ feared that the selection of the ‘unfit’ might be confused. Finding themselves labeled ‘the aristocracy of the unfit’ by eugenicists, they feared that they might be the ones to suffer from compulsory sterilization, not just the “truly unfit.” [3]

Frederick Henry Osborn (1889—1981)

James Lovelock, a prominent environmental activist, recently made headlines with his comments on what he calls imminent environmental calamity. Interestingly, Lovelock stated that the world faces an environmental crisis largely brought on by over-population in which he would like to see “the best of our species” survive. [4]

This brings us to the post WWII era of eugenics. Eugenicists who still held on to the discredited principles of eugenics now attached these ideas to environmentalism and population control in an attempt to carry on eugenics in a more veiled form. Malthusian population control was now emphasized.

The Rockefellers and the Osborns

An important point to be made when covering these issues is that the very same families who had previously funded and popularized eugenics in America prior to World War II shifted their resources into funding and promoting population reduction and control in the post WWII era.

Several prominent families are responsible for funding and promoting eugenics in America, namely the Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman, and Osborn families. Two families, the Rockefellers and the Osborns, are particularly significant. John D. Rockefeller Sr. contributed a large amount of money to build the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the early 1900’s, which housed the Eugenics Records Office from 1910-1944. Rockefeller influence also spread overseas to Germany, where the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry, and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Eugenics, Anthropology and Human Heredity resided. Much of the money used to run these facilities came from Rockefeller. [5] These institutes became centers for Nazi eugenics programs during the reign of Adolf Hitler.

The influence of the Rockefeller family continued in 1945 when John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated the land upon which the United Nations stands in New York City. The U.N. plays an important roll in population control, a subject which will be covered shortly. Watch the video below to see former New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani introduce a short documentary regarding Rockefeller’s influence in the founding of the U.N.

In 1952, John D. Rockefeller the 3rd, the oldest son of Rockefeller Jr., founded the Population Council. The organizations stated goal is to seek “…better understanding of problems relating to population.” [6] The first president of the Council was Frederick Henry Osborn, who was appointed by John D. Rockefeller himself. Osborn was a prominent eugenicist who helped found the American Eugenics Society, now called The Society for the Study of Social Biology. Osborn headed the AES from 1946-1952, when he began to place greater emphasis on population control, signaling the shift of post WWII eugenicists. [7] Osborn wrote in his 1968 book The Future of Human Heredity that “Eugenic goals are most likely to be attained under another name than eugenics.”

Frederick Henry Osborn’s nephew, Henry Fairfield Osborn, carried on the banner of population control. His 1948 book Our Plundered Planet covers many of the issues that environmentalists are concerned with today. Osborn states in the book that over-population will destroy the planet and that drastic measures must be taken to curtail population growth. He takes a moment to reflect on the savage nature of his outlined proposal, but states that it will have to be done. He writes,

“Of course, as we all know, these are momentous days and many things can happen to check population growth, even including the devastating use of atomic bombs in a new war. It is difficult to adjust one’s mind to the possibility that the present negotiations between nations could fail to prevent such a savage denial of the right to human existence, and that the problem of the pressure of increasing populations – perhaps the greatest problem facing humanity today – cannot be solved in a way that is consistent with humanity.” [8]

Steven C. Rockefeller, a fourth generation member of the family, has remained dedicated to the family’s history of philanthropy and promotion of population control. He played a central role in the writing of the United Nations Earth Charter, and chaired the Earth Charter International Drafting Committee from 1997 to 2000. He is currently a member of the Earth Charter Commission. [9] Echoing past writings of Osborn and others, he stated in an interview at Tilburg University in the Netherlands that,

“Third, the Earth Charter recognizes that the dramatic rise in human population is putting great pressure on the resilience of ecological systems and has overburdened social and economic systems.” [10]

The Earth Charter itself says, “An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global security are threatened. These trends are perilous but not inevitable.”

Others involved in the post WWII shift

Before we look at recent examples of population reduction being funded and carried out, there are other prominent individuals who played an important role in this shift from eugenics to population control.

Frank Notestein was one of the most prominent individuals who made the study of population an institutional practice. His bio summarizes his numerous memberships, which include the American Eugenics Society.

“He was a member of the American Eugenics Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Statistical Institute, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, the Population Association of America, and the Century Association.” [11]

Notestein also served as president of John D. Rockefeller’s Population Council after Frederick Osborn stepped down. He was also the first director of the United Nations Population Division from 1946-1948. In a 1969 paper written by Notestein titled The Problem of Population Control, he outlines a strategy to depopulate target populations. Notestein admits that economic modernization would “…bring the birthrate down automatically.” However, he goes on to state that more drastic measures must be taken because in his opinion this method would not be fast enough. He writes,

“Given existing preferences in family size, governments must go beyond voluntary family planning. To achieve zero rate of population growth governments will have to do more than cajole; they will have to coerce.”

“…to impose more drastic changes on a large scale implies many risks, not least to the regime that undertakes them. The price for this type of population control may well be the institution of a totalitarian regime.” [12]

Another individual, Guy Irving Burch, who wrote for Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review publication, also played a key role. Burch’s 1947 book Human Breeding and Survival combines the ideas of both eugenics and population control. He writes,

“It appears what the United Nations needs to do is to recommend to all nations that adoption of laws which will… actually lead to the sterilization of all persons who are inadequate, either biologically or socially, and encourage the voluntary sterilization of normal persons who have had their share of children.”

Burch described plans for attaining “peace goals” and national security objectives through population control. Similar arguments and proposals are made in Henry Kissinger’s later 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200, which was influenced by the 1944 Royal Commission on Population. Burch states that, “… if we are willing to keep the focus on undesirable parentage… then sterilization can play a rather large part in the attainment of the peace goals…”

Richard C. Reardon writes again in his Eugenics Connection work in progress regarding Burch, pointing out the shift from Galton era eugenics to Malthusian population control,

“The ideas of Galton were becoming unpopular, so the ideas of Malthus needed to be stressed. If the public could be made to believe in the need for quantity control, they would again accept its logical extension – quality control. So in 1940, while serving as director of his Population Reference Bureau and the editor of its Population Bulletin, Burch helped found another “population” front for eugenicists – the Population Association of America.” [13]

Population reduction operations today

In 1989 research was conducted by the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi India on the use of ‘carriers’ such as Tetanus Toxoid and Diphtheria to bypass the immune system and deliver the female hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). The research paper was carried in the Oxford University Press in 1990 and was titled “Bypass by an alternate ‘carrier’ of acquired unresponsiveness to hCG upon repeated immunization with tetanus-conjugated vaccine.” [1]

While hCG is required to maintain pregnancy, the injection of hCG bound to Tetanus Toxoid triggers an auto-immune response, thus causing sterilization. The NII research cited above used four women as test subjects – who had been surgically sterilized prior to the experiment – and found that multiple doses of the Tetanus Toxoid hCG carrier vaccine was required in order to achieve the desired results. The research also found that if an alternate carrier such as Diphtheria was used as a booster in combination with Tetanus the sterilization vaccine would be more effective.

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Population Council are listed in the document as giving grants for the research.

Henry Kissinger’s 1974 National Security Memorandum 200 document cites “Injectable contraceptives for women” as a possible method of population reduction and control. Depopulation, as stated in the document, should be pursued because it would be in the “…economic interests of the United States.”

“Wherever a lessening of population pressures… can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.”

On November 4, 1996 the publication Vaccine Weekly carried an article titled “Study Suggests Women Were Injected with Contaminated Tetanus Vaccine.” The article details an investigation that was carried out by the Philippine Medical Association into the discovery of hCG in tetanus vaccines. While the article brands the vaccine as being “contaminated”, the Rockefeller funded research cited above indicates that this is not a case of contamination. As reported,

“Have women in the Philippines, and possibly elsewhere, surreptitiously been used as guinea pigs in an international anti-fertility campaign?

A medical study in the Philippines suggested that may well be the case. A study conducted by the Philippine Medical Association on behalf of the Philippine Department of Health revealed that almost 20 percent of the tetanus vaccine sampled positive for the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), according to Human Life International.

Vaccines containing the hormone immunize women not only against tetanus but also against pregnancy by inducing the body’s immune system to attack the hormone needed to bring an unborn child to term.” [2]

Thailand is ripe with stories of miscarriages and sterilization. According to the local population of the Akha, pregnant women are forced to receive a tetanus vaccine in order to get ID cards for their children. The vaccine often results with violent miscarriages. In the video below, Matthew McDaniel, a human rights activist who has been working with the Akha people of Thailand, speaks with two Akha women about the forced Tetanus vaccine and the resulting miscarriages.

The current world-wide focus on global warming takes us to another angle of present day population control operations. China has boasted that their family planning policies have cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 1.3 billion tons, thus cutting their impact on supposed man-made global warming. [3]

China’s often brutal population control policies have been supported by the Rockefeller enterprise. The Washington Post reported on October 12, 2000 that the Rockefeller Foundation had donated two million dollars to upgrade a Chinese drug factory that produces the abortion drug RU-486. The Washington Post reports,

“RU-486 has been a key ingredient in China’s population control strategy for years. Of the estimated 10 million abortions performed annually in China, about half are carried out with RU-486, said Gao Ersheng, director of the Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research.” [4]

Ted Turner recently made headlines when he stated that “voluntary” one child policies should be adopted worldwide to slow population growth. “…we`ve got to stabilize population. On a voluntary basis, everybody in the world has got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it,” stated Turner. [5]

In Australia proposals have been made to tax parents who have more than one child. As CNS news reported,

“Having babies is bad for the planet, and parents of more than two children should be charged a birth levy and annual tax to offset the “greenhouse gases” their child will be responsible for over his or her lifetime.

At the same time, those who use and prescribe contraceptives and sterilization procedures should earn tax relief for such greenhouse friendly services” that help to keep the population size down.” [6]

In a 1994 presentation before the Business Council for the United Nations, David Rockefeller, son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., took time to talk about over-population as a threat to the environment. Rockefeller also said that “…unrestrained economic growth poses further threats to our environment.”

Watch Rockefeller’s presentation:

What you have read here is a collection of a few of the major points in an expansive history. Population control today – and the corresponding environmental movements – grew out of the post WWII shift from eugenics to Malthusian programs. The line connecting eugenicists to population control is unmistakable. Population reduction is being used by the elite as a weapon of war against competition, as an assurance of continued domination.


From quality control to quantity control

[1] Law of the People’s Republic of China on Maternal and Infant Health Care.

[2] Reardon, David C. The Eugenics Connection: Shapers of Humanity. Available in PDF here

[3] Ibid.

[4] “We’re all doomed! 40 years from global catastrophe – and there’s NOTHING we can do about it, says climate change expert” Daily Mail. By Sarah Sands. March 22, 2008. Available here.

[5] “The horrifying roots of Nazi Eugenics” History News Network. By Edwin Black. Nov. 24, 2003. Available here

[6] Population Council FAQ.

[7] Wikipedia. American Eugenics Society.

[8] Osborn, Fairfield. Our Plundered Planet. Little Brown and Company, Boston; 1st edition, 1948. p. 41.

[9] Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Steven C. Rockefeller.

[10] Steven Rockefeller: The Earth Charter. Interview by Patricia Morales.

[11] Princeton University Library. Frank W. Notestein.

[12] Ed. Hauser, Philip Morris. The Population Dilemma. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1969. pages 145 – 166

[13] Ibid. 2.

Population reduction operations today

[1] A copy of this document can be obtained at the Oxford Journal website here:

[2] “Study Suggests Women Were Injected with Contaminated Tetanus Vaccine” Vaccine Weekly. Nov. 4, 1996.

[3] “‘One-child’ policy aids climate change battle: China” AFP. March 11, 2008. Available here

[4] “Chinese To Make RU-486 For U.S.” Washington Post. By Philip P. Pan. October 11, 2000. Available here

[5] “Ted Turner Pushes One-Child Policy In PBS Interview”. NewsBusters. By Tim Graham. April 5, 2008. Available here

[6] “‘Tax Parents for Children’s Carbon Emissions'”. By Patrick Goodenough. December 10, 2007. Available here

The Most Heavily Spied-On Country in the World

Posted on

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No, surprisingly, it’s not America; it’s Britain. Britain has the highest ratio of CCTV cameras per head of population in the world – bar none. No other country spies on its citizens in every way more than the UK. Not just with mere cameras, but every other intrusive device the latest technology can deliver.

CCTV has been a fact of life for the British since the early 1970s, but those early, crude, black & white installations were largely confined to plush department stores and sensitive government buildings. Their blurry pictures delivered little more than disputable evidence of possible wrong-doing.

However, technology marches ever onwards, and the spy-camera toll in Britain rose substantially in the 1980s under the great Jew-admirer (according to the London Times) Margaret Thatcher. But it only entered into its really stratospheric growth phase following the election of an even bigger Jew-lover, Tony Blair, as Prime Minister of that hell-bound country in 1997.

Blair originally arose as a genuine ‘man of the people’ with over-archingly decent values. He stuck his neck on the block, took huge risks, and delivered peace to Northern Ireland (for which all credit is due). However, a short time later, his early peaceable inclinations were to suffer a sudden reversal, as they do for everyone, it seems, when they get too chummy with members of the Tribe of Satan.

Blair was unusually heavily drawn (even by politicians’ standards) to the lure of power and wealth. No one could have predicted a metamorphosis of this magnitude from such a squeaky-clean provenance. Notwithstanding his former innocence, he sold-out totally to Zionism and flogged his country to a Federal Europe in exchange for the glory of becoming the first ever President of Europe. Though yet to be ‘crowned’, that was the deal this traitor was offered, and greedily accepted.

It was Blair who sold Britain out to the interests of the New World Order program. It was Blair who took the Jews’ 30 pieces of silver and delivered a once great country into the claws of evil foreigners – just the same as George Bush has in America. And herein lies the key to understanding the blanket coverage of spy-cameras in Britain today. THEY (the British government) claim it’s all about ‘protecting the public’ (ever heard that before? – clue: Bush and Cheney).

The truth is that it’s nothing of the sort. The government of Britain (AKA ‘Airstrip One’ according to George Orwell in ‘Nineteen-Eighty-Four’) has gotten so deeply in hock with the NWO’s proponents that it’s become paranoid and deeply fearful of its OWN people. The cameras are NOTHING to do with protecting the PUBLIC – they are ALL about protecting a treasonous government FROM the PUBLIC.

Blair and his clones suffer paranoia with very good reason. They are all too well aware that they have delivered the country into the talons of the agents of One World Government and that if the British people were to become aware of this fact, they would rise up and chop off the heads of these traitors for all the unspeakable injustice and cruelty they have suffered as a consequence of this treacherous betrayal.

So it’s down to the mass media, with all its distractions, to take the eyes of the people off the ball for just a short while longer, whereupon Britain will become just another precinct of the Jews’ universal domain – as will the US and eventually, the entire world.

What are the enemy spies in Britain looking and listening out for? “Hey, Bill, you’ll never guess what! I’ve just found out those treasonous bastards in Parliament that have been lauding it over us for so long have been taking their instructions from a foreign power! And it’s been going on for decades! That’s why our culture is being wantonly destroyed! All those seemingly crazy rumors we’ve been reading about on the Internet lately turn out to be true!”

This is what all the spying (for that is what it is) in Britain in all its forms is REALLY all about: protecting and advancing the NWO Program.

New Legislation in the Emerging Surveillance State

Posted on

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 by: Barbara L. Minton

(NaturalNews) A new measure, if it becomes law, will result in more government surveillance of innocent Americans without warrants, according to Congressman Ron Paul in his weekly column “Texas Straight Talk”. Last month, the House amended the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to expand the government’s ability to monitor our private communications.

Some opponents claim that the only controversial part of this legislation is its grant of immunity to telecommunications companies. But a deeper look into the bill reveals much more about which to be wary.

In the House version, Title II, Section 801, immunity from prosecution of civil legal action is extended to people and companies including any provider of an electronic communication service, any provider of a remote computing service, “any other communication service provider who has access to wire or electronic communications”, any “parent, subsidiary, affiliate, successor, or assignee” of such company”, any “officer, employee, or agent” of such company, and any “landlord, custodian, or other person who may be authorized or required to furnish assistance”.

According to Congressman Paul, the Senate version will go even further by granting retroactive immunity to such entities that may have broken the law in the past.

This new FISA bill will allow the federal government to compel many more types of companies and individuals to grant the government access to our communications without a warrant. Although there are provisions in the legislation designed to protect Americans from surveillance without warrant, they contain many loopholes and ambiguities. They are not a blanket prohibition against listening in on all American citizens without a warrant.

We are being told that this power to listen in on communications is legal and only targeted at terrorists. But if what these companies are being compelled to do is legal, questions Paul, why is it necessary to grant them immunity? If their past activities were legal and proper, why is it necessary to grant them retroactive immunity?

History reveals that one in every 100 citizens was an informer for the dreaded secret police in communist East Germany. They volunteered or were compelled by their government to spy on their customers, neighbors, families and friends. When Americans think of the evils of totalitarianism, it is this sort of spy network that comes to mind. Yet, with the modern technology currently in place, what once required tens of thousands of informants can now be achieved by a few companies, coerced by the government to allow it to listen in on our communications. This type of surveillance is against the principles America has always held dear.

“We should remember that former New York governor Eliot Spitzer was brought down by a provision of the PATRIOT Act that required enhanced bank monitoring of certain types of financial transactions. Yet we were told that the PATRIOT Act was needed to catch terrorists, not philanderers. The extraordinary power the government has granted itself to look into our private lives can be used for many purposes unrelated to fighting terrorism. We can even see how expanded federal government surveillance power might be used to do away with political rivals,” says Paul.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires the government to have a warrant when it wants to look into the private affairs of individuals. Our continuing freedom as a society now depends on our ability to defend this right, as well as all of the rights granted to us by the Constitution.

A Peaceful Solution – Ralph Buckley

Posted on

Re: Willie Nelson – A Peaceful Solution

Added: April 30, 2008
A peaceful solution…
For more info check out Willie Nelson’s Web site:

Written By Willie & Amy Nelson

This is a very cool project…and I definitely wanted to be a part of it…in 1 way or another. I am very thankful to have been asked.
*Thank U 2 ParadiseEarth1…his actually was the 1st version of ‘Peaceful Solution’ that I listened 2….it’s the one that has stuck with me the most.

…..Lately I’ve been leaving the mics set up so I can pick up the guitar and hit the record button & ‘see what happens’… 2 B honest…during the 1st 5-10 minutes of these jams, I’m keenly aware of being recorded, as if I’m being prejudged on my imperfections – way back there in the subconscious…it makes it difficult to let go…but sooner or later I’m able to spread my wings….(this is especially apparent in regard to my lyrical improvs) but really most of it is booshwa’…but every once in a while something kinda cool happens….(kinda like life)
…’peaceful solution’ is one of these improvs…I tried to add some overdubs to disguise some of my ‘cosmic burps’….

I died a mineral and became a plant; I died a plant and rose an animal; I died an animal and I was a man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? Yet once more I shall die as a man, to soar With blessed angels; even from angelhood I must pass on … When I have sacrificed my angel soul, I shall become that which no mind conceived. (Rumi – a Persian Mystic)

2012 Consciousness Awakening (Cd available now)

“Consciousness Awakening” (video on u2b)…

The Oil We Eat

Posted on Updated on

An essay by Richard Manning, author of Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization, from Harper’s Magazine Feb 2004. It’s lengthy, but well worth the read.

The Oil We Eat (from Harper’s)

Following the food chain back to Iraq

The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly.


The journalist’s rule says: follow the money. This rule, however, is not really axiomatic but derivative, in that money, as even our vice president will tell you, is really a way of tracking energy. We’ll follow the energy.

We learn as children that there is no free lunch, that you don’t get something from nothing, that what goes up must come down, and so on. The scientific version of these verities is only slightly more complex. As James Prescott Joule discovered in the nineteenth century, there is only so much energy. You can change it from motion to heat, from heat to light, but there will never be more of it and there will never be less of it. The conservation of energy is not an option, it is a fact. This is the first law of thermodynamics.

Special as we humans are, we get no exemptions from the rules. All animals eat plants or eat animals that eat plants. This is the food chain, and pulling it is the unique ability of plants to turn sunlight into stored energy in the form of carbohydrates, the basic fuel of all animals.
Solar-powered photosynthesis is the only way to make this fuel. There is no alternative to plant energy, just as there is no alternative to oxygen. The results of taking away our plant energy may not be as sudden as cutting off oxygen, but they are as sure.

Scientists have a name for the total amount of plant mass created by Earth in a given year, the total budget for life. They call it the planet’s “primary productivity.” There have been two efforts to figure out how that productivity is spent, one by a group at Stanford University, the other an independent accounting by the biologist Stuart Pimm. Both conclude that we humans, a single species among millions, consume about 40 percent of Earth’s primary productivity, 40 percent of all there is. This simple number may explain why the current extinction rate is 1,000 times that which existed before human domination of the planet. We 6 billion have simply stolen the food, the rich among us a lot more than others.

Energy cannot be created or canceled, but it can be concentrated. This is the larger and profoundly explanatory context of a national-security memo George Kennan wrote in 1948 as the head of a State Department planning committee, ostensibly about Asian policy but really about how the United States was to deal with its newfound role as the dominant force on Earth. “We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population,” Kennan wrote. “In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.”

“The day is not far off,” Kennan concluded, “when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.”

If you follow the energy, eventually you will end up in a field somewhere. Humans engage in a dizzying array of artifice and industry. Nonetheless, more than two thirds of humanity’s cut of primary productivity results from agriculture, two thirds of which in turn consists of three plants: rice, wheat, and corn. In the 10,000 years since humans domesticated these grains, their status has remained undiminished, most likely because they are able to store solar energy in uniquely dense, transportable bundles of carbohydrates. They are to the plant world what a barrel of refined oil is to the hydrocarbon world. Indeed, aside from hydrocarbons they are the
most concentrated form of true wealth–sun energy–to be found on the planet.

As Kennan recognized, however, the maintenance of such a concentration of wealth often requires violent action. Agriculture is a recent human experiment. For most of human history, we lived by gathering or killing a broad variety of nature’s offerings. Why humans might have traded this approach for the complexities of agriculture is an interesting and long-debated question, especially because the skeletal evidence clearly indicates that early farmers were more poorly nourished, more disease-ridden and deformed, than their hunter-gatherer contemporaries.

Farming did not improve most lives. The evidence that best points to the answer, I think, lies in the difference between early agricultural villages and their pre-agricultural counterparts–the presence not just of grain but of granaries and, more tellingly, of just a few houses significantly larger and more ornate than all the others attached to those granaries. Agriculture was not so much about food as it was about the accumulation of wealth. It benefited some humans, and those people have been in charge ever since.

Domestication was also a radical change in the distribution of wealth within the plant world. Plants can spend their solar income in several ways. The dominant and prudent strategy is to allocate most of it to building roots, stem, bark–a conservative portfolio of investments that
allows the plant to better gather energy and survive the downturn years. Further, by living in diverse stands (a given chunk of native prairie contains maybe 200 species of plants), these perennials provide services for one another, such as retaining water, protecting one another from wind, and fixing free nitrogen from the air to use as fertilizer. Diversity allows a system to “sponsor its own fertility,” to use visionary agronomist Wes Jackson’s phrase. This is the plant world’s norm.

There is a very narrow group of annuals, however, that grow in patches of a single species and store almost all of their income as seed, a tight bundle of carbohydrates easily exploited by seed eaters such as ourselves. Under normal circumstances, this eggs-in-one-basket strategy is a dumb idea for a plant. But not during catastrophes such as floods, fires, and volcanic eruptions. Such catastrophes strip established plant communities and create opportunities for wind-scattered entrepreneurial seed bearers. It is no accident that no matter where agriculture sprouted on the globe, it always happened near rivers. You might assume, as many have, that this is because the plants needed the water or nutrients. Mostly this is not true. They needed the power of flooding, which scoured landscapes and stripped out competitors. Nor is it an accident, I think, that agriculture arose independently and simultaneously around the globe just as the last ice age ended, a time of enormous upheaval when glacial melt let loose sea-size lakes to create tidal waves of erosion. It was a time of catastrophe.

Corn, rice, and wheat are especially adapted to catastrophe. It is their niche. In the natural scheme of things, a catastrophe would create a blank slate, bare soil, that was good for them. Then, under normal circumstances, succession would quickly close that niche. The annuals
would colonize. Their roots would stabilize the soil, accumulate organic matter, provide cover. Eventually the catastrophic niche would close. Farming is the process of ripping that niche open again and again. It is an annual artificial catastrophe, and it requires the equivalent of three
or four tons of TNT per acre for a modern American farm. Iowa’s fields require the energy of 4,000 Nagasaki bombs every year.

Iowa is almost all fields now. Little prairie remains, and if you can find what Iowans call a “postage stamp” remnant of some, it most likely will abut a cornfield. This allows an observation. Walk from the prairie to the field, and you probably will step down about six feet, as if the land had been stolen from beneath you. Settlers’ accounts of the prairie conquest mention a sound, a series of pops, like pistol shots, the sound of stout grass roots breaking before a moldboard plow. A robbery was in progress.

When we say the soil is rich, it is not a metaphor. It is as rich in energy as an oil well. A prairie converts that energy to flowers and roots and stems, which in turn pass back into the ground as dead organic matter. The layers of topsoil build up into a rich repository of energy, a bank. A
farm field appropriates that energy, puts it into seeds we can eat. Much of the energy moves from the earth to the rings of fat around our necks and waists. And much of the energy is simply wasted, a trail of dollars billowing from the burglar’s satchel.

I’ve already mentioned that we humans take 40 percent of the globe’s primary productivity every year. You might have assumed we and our livestock eat our way through that volume, but this is not the case. Part of that total–almost a third of it–is the potential plant mass lost when forests are cleared for farming or when tropical rain forests are cut for grazing or when plows destroy the deep mat of prairie roots that held the whole business together, triggering erosion. The Dust Bowl was no accident of nature. A functioning grassland prairie produces more biomass each year than does even the most technologically advanced wheat field. The problem is, it’s mostly a form of grass and grass roots that humans can’t eat. So we replace the prairie with our own preferred grass, wheat. Never mind that we feed most of our grain to livestock, and that livestock is perfectly content to eat native grass. And never mind that there likely were more bison produced naturally on the Great Plains before farming than all of beef farming raises in the same area today. Our ancestors found it preferable to pluck the energy from the ground and when it ran out move on.

Today we do the same, only now when the vault is empty we fill it again with new energy in the form of oil-rich fertilizers. Oil is annual primary productivity stored as hydrocarbons, a trust fund of sorts, built up over many thousands of years. On average, it takes 5.5 gallons of fossil energy to restore a year’s worth of lost fertility to an acre of eroded land–in 1997 we burned through more than 400 years’ worth of ancient fossilized productivity, most of it from someplace else. Even as the earth beneath Iowa shrinks, it is being globalized.

Six thousand years before sodbusters broke up Iowa, their Caucasian blood ancestors broke up the Hungarian plain, an area just northwest of the Caucasus Mountains. Archaeologists call this tribe the LBK, short for linearbandkeramik, the German word that describes the distinctive pottery remnants that mark their occupation of Europe. Anthropologists call them the wheat-beef people, a name that better connects those ancients along the Danube to my fellow Montanans on the Upper Missouri River. These proto-Europeans had a full set of domesticated plants and animals, but wheat and beef dominated. All the domesticates came from an area along what is now the Iraq-Syria-Turkey border at the edges of the Zagros Mountains. This is the center of domestication for the Western world’s main crops and live stock, ground zero of catastrophic agriculture.

Two other types of catastrophic agriculture evolved at roughly the same time, one centered on rice in what is now China and India and one centered on corn and potatoes in Central and South America. Rice, though, is tropical and its expansion depends on water, so it developed only in floodplains, estuaries, and swamps. Corn agriculture was every bit as voracious as wheat; the Aztecs could be as brutal and imperialistic as Romans or Brits, but the corn cultures collapsed with the onslaught of Spanish conquest. Corn itself simply joined the wheat-beef people’s coalition. Wheat was the empire builder; its bare botanical facts dictated the motion and violence that we know as imperialism.

The wheat-beef people swept across the western European plains in less than 300 years, a conquest some archaeologists refer to as a “blitzkrieg.” A different race of humans, the Cro-Magnons–hunter-gatherers, not farmers–lived on those plains at the time. Their cave art at places such as Lascaux testifies to their sophistication and profound connection to wildlife. They probably did most of their hunting and gathering in uplands and river bottoms, places the wheat farmers didn’t need, suggesting the possibility of coexistence. That’s not what happened, however. Both genetic and linguistic evidence say that the farmers killed the hunters.
The Basque people are probably the lone remnant descendants of Cro-Magnons, the only trace.

Hunter-gatherer archaeological sites of the period contain spear points that originally belonged to the farmers, and we can guess they weren’t trade goods. One group of anthropologists concludes, “The evidence from the western extension of the LBK leaves little room for any other
conclusion but that LBK-Mesolithic interactions were at best chilly and at worst hostile.” The world’s surviving Blackfeet, Assiniboine Sioux, Inca, and Maori probably have the best idea of the nature of these interactions.

Wheat is temperate and prefers plowed-up grasslands. The globe has a limited stock of temperate grasslands, just as it has a limited stock of all other biomes. On average, about 10 percent of all other biomes remain in something like their native state today. Only 1 percent of temperate grasslands remains undestroyed. Wheat takes what it needs.

The supply of temperate grasslands lies in what are today the United States, Canada, the South American pampas, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and the Asiatic extension of the European plain into the sub-Siberian steppes. This area largely describes the First World, the developed world. Temperate grasslands make up not only the habitat of wheat and beef but also the globe’s islands of Caucasians, of European surnames and languages. In 2000 the countries of the temperate grasslands, the neo-Europes, accounted for about 80 percent of all wheat exports in the world, and about 86 percent of all com. That is to say, the
neo-Europes drive the world’s agriculture. The dominance does not stop with grain. These countries, plus the mothership–Europe accounted for three fourths of all agricultural exports of all crops in the world in 1999.

Plato wrote of his country’s farmlands:

What now remains of the formerly rich land is like the skeleton of a sick man. …Formerly, many of the mountains were arable, The plains that were full of rich soil are now marshes. Hills that were once covered with forests and produced abundant pasture now produce only food for bees. Once the land was enriched by yearly rains, which were not lost, as they are now, by flowing from the bare land into the sea. The soil was deep, it absorbed and kept the water in loamy soil, and the water that soaked into the hills fed springs and running streams everywhere. Now the abandoned shrines at spots where formerly there were springs attest that our description of the land is true.

Plato’s lament is rooted in wheat agriculture, which depleted his country’s soil and subsequently caused the series of declines that pushed centers of civilization to Rome, Turkey, and western Europe. By the fifth century, though, wheat’s strategy of depleting and moving on ran up against the Atlantic Ocean. Fenced-in wheat agriculture is like rice agriculture. It balances its equations with famine. In the millennium between 500 and 1500, Britain suffered a major “corrective” famine about every ten years; there were seventy-five in France during the same period. The incidence, however, dropped sharply when colonization brought an influx of new food to Europe.

The new lands had an even greater effect on the colonists themselves. Thomas Jefferson, after enduring a lecture on the rustic nature by his hosts at a dinner party in Paris, pointed out that all of the Americans present were a good head taller than all of the French. Indeed, colonists
in all of the neo-Europes enjoyed greater stature and longevity, as well as a lower infant-mortality rate–all indicators of the better nutrition afforded by the onetime spend down of the accumulated capital of virgin soil.

The precolonial famines of Europe raised the question: What would happen when the planet’s supply of arable land ran out? We have a clear answer. In about 1960 expansion hit its limits and the supply of unfarmed, arable lands came to an end. There was nothing left to plow. What happened was grain yields tripled.

The accepted term for this strange turn of events is the green revolution, though it would be more properly labeled the amber revolution, because it applied exclusively to grain–wheat, rice, and corn. Plant breeders tinkered with the architecture of these three grains so that they could be hypercharged with irrigation water and chemical fertilizers, especially nitrogen. This innovation meshed nicely with the increased “efficiency” of the industrialized factory-farm system. With the possible exception of the domestication of wheat, the green revolution is the worst thing that has ever happened to the planet.

For openers, it disrupted long-standing patterns of rural life worldwide, moving a lot of no-longer-needed people off the land and into the world’s most severe poverty. The experience in population control in the developing world is by now clear: It is not that people make more people so much as it is that they make more poor people. In the forty-year period beginning about 1960, the world’s population doubled, adding virtually the entire increase of 3 billion to the world’s poorest classes, the most fecund classes. The way in which the green revolution raised that grain contributed hugely to the population boom, and it is the weight of the population that leaves humanity in its present untenable position.

Discussion of these, the most poor, however, is largely irrelevant to the American situation. We say we have poor people here, but almost no one in this country lives on less than one dollar a day, the global benchmark for poverty. It marks off a class of about 1.3 billion people, the hard core of the larger group of 2 billion chronically malnourished people–that is, one third of humanity. We may forget about them, as most Americans do.

More relevant here are the methods of the green revolution, which added orders of magnitude to the devastation. By mining the iron for tractors, drilling the new oil to fuel them and to make nitrogen fertilizers, and by taking the water that rain and rivers had meant for other lands, farming had extended its boundaries, its dominion, to lands that were not farmable. At the same time, it extended its boundaries across time, tapping fossil energy, stripping past assets.

The common assumption these days is that we muster our weapons to secure oil, not food. There’s a little joke in this. Ever since we ran out of arable land, food is oil. Every single calorie we eat is backed by at least a calorie of oil, more like ten. In 1940 the average farm in the United States produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil energy it used. By 1974 (the last year in which anyone looked closely at this issue), that ratio was 1:1. And this understates the problem, because at the same time that there is more oil in our food there
is less oil in our oil. A couple of generations ago we spent a lot less energy drilling, pumping, and distributing than we do now. In the 1940s we got about 100 barrels of oil back for every barrel of oil we spent getting it. Today each barrel invested in the process returns only ten, a
calculation that no doubt fails to include the fuel burned by the Hummers and Blackhawks we use to maintain access to the oil in Iraq.

David Pimentel, an expert on food and energy at Cornell University, has estimated that if all of the world ate the way the United States eats, humanity would exhaust all known global fossil-fuel reserves in just over seven years. Pimentel has his detractors. Some have accused him of being off on other calculations by as much as 30 percent. Fine. Make it ten years.

Fertilizer makes a pretty fine bomb right off the shelf, a chemistry lesson Timothy McVeigh taught at Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995–not a small matter, in that the green revolution has made nitrogen fertilizers ubiquitous in some of the more violent and
desperate corners of the world. Still, there is more to contemplate in nitrogen’s less sensational chemistry.

The chemophobia of modem times excludes fear of the simple elements of chemistry’s periodic table. We circulate petitions, hold hearings, launch websites, and buy and sell legislators in regard to polysyllabic organic compounds–polychlorinated biphenyls, polyvinyls, DDT, 2-4d, that sort of thing–not simple carbon or nitrogen. Not that agriculture’s use of the more ornate chemistry is benign–an infant born in a rural, wheat-producing county in the United States has about twice the chance of suffering birth defects as one born in a rural place that doesn’t produce wheat, an effect researchers blame on chlorophenoxy herbicides. Focusing on pesticide pollution, though, misses the worst of the pollutants. Forget the polysyllabic organics. It is nitrogen-the wellspring of fertility relied upon by every Eden-obsessed backyard gardener and suburban groundskeeper–that we should fear most.

Those who model our planet as an organism do so on the basis that the earth appears to breathe–it thrives by converting a short list of basic elements from one compound into the next, just as our own bodies cycle oxygen into carbon dioxide and plants cycle carbon dioxide into oxygen. In fact, two of the planet’s most fundamental humors are oxygen and carbon
dioxide. Another is nitrogen.

Nitrogen can be released from its “fixed” state as a solid in the soil by natural processes that allow it to circulate freely in the atmosphere. This also can be done artificially. Indeed, humans now contribute more nitrogen to the nitrogen cycle than the planet itself does. That is, humans have doubled the amount of nitrogen in play.

This has led to an imbalance. It is easier to create nitrogen fertilizer than it is to apply it evenly to fields. When farmers dump nitrogen on a crop, much is wasted. It runs into the water and soil, where it either reacts chemically with its surroundings to form new compounds or flows off
to fertilize something else, somewhere else.

That chemical reaction, called acidification, is noxious and contributes significantly to acid rain. One of the compounds produced by acidification is nitrous oxide, which aggravates the greenhouse effect. Green growing things normally offset global warming by sucking up carbon dioxide, but nitrogen on farm fields plus methane from decomposing vegetation make every farmed acre, like every acre of Los Angeles freeway, a net contributor to global warming. Fertilization is equally worrisome. Rainfall and irrigation water inevitably washes the nitrogen from fields to creeks and streams, which flows into rivers, which floods into the ocean. This explains why the Mississippi River, which drains the nation’s Corn Belt, is an environmental catastrophe. The nitrogen fertilizes artificially large blooms of algae that in growing suck all the oxygen from the water, a condition biologists call anoxia, which means “oxygen-depleted.” Here there’s no need to calculate long-term effects, because life in such places has no long term: everything dies immediately. The Mississippi River’s heavily fertilized effluvia has created a dead
zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey.

America’s biggest crop, grain corn, is completely unpalatable. It is raw material for an industry that manufactures food substitutes. Likewise, you can’t eat unprocessed wheat. You certainly can’t eat hay. You can eat unprocessed soybeans, but mostly we don’t. These four crops cover 82 percent of American cropland. Agriculture in this country is not about food; it’s about commodities that require the outlay of still more energy to become food.

About two thirds of U.S. grain corn is labeled “processed,” meaning it is milled and otherwise refined for food or industrial uses. More than 45 percent of that becomes sugar, especially high-fructose corn sweeteners, the keystone ingredient in three quarters of all processed foods, especially soft drinks, the food of America’s poor and working classes. It is not a coincidence that the American pandemic of obesity tracks rather nicely with the fivefold increase in corn-syrup production since Archer Daniels Midland developed a high-fructose version of the stuff in the early seventies. Nor is it a coincidence that the plague selects the poor, who eat the most processed food.

It began with the industrialization of Victorian England. The empire was then flush with sugar from plantations in the colonies. Meantime the cities were flush with factory workers. There was no good way to feed them. And thus was born the afternoon tea break, the tea consisting
primarily of warm water and sugar. If the workers were well off, they could also afford bread with heavily sugared jam–sugar-powered industrialization. There was a 500 percent increase in per capita sugar consumption in Britain between 1860 and 1890, around the time when the
life expectancy of a male factory worker was seventeen years. By the end of the century the average Brit was getting about one sixth of his total nutrition from sugar, exactly the same percentage Americans get today–double what nutritionists recommend.

There is another energy matter to consider here, though. The grinding, milling, wetting, drying, and baking of a breakfast cereal requires about four calories of energy for every calorie of food energy it produces. A two-pound bag of breakfast cereal burns the energy of a half-gallon of
gasoline in its making. All together the food-processing industry in the United States uses about ten calories of fossil-fuel energy for every calorie of food energy it produces.

That number does not include the fuel used in transporting the food from the factory to a store near you, or the fuel used by millions of people driving to thousands of super discount stores on the edge of town, where the land is cheap. It appears, however, that the corn cycle is about to come full circle. If a bipartisan coalition of farm-state lawmakers has their way–and it appears they will–we will soon buy gasoline containing twice as much fuel alcohol as it does now. Fuel alcohol already ranks second as a use for processed corn in the United States, just behind corn sweeteners. According to one set of calculations, we spend more calories of fossil-fuel energy making ethanol than we gain from it. The Department of Agriculture says the ratio is closer to a gallon and a quart of ethanol for every gallon of fossil fuel we invest. The USDA calls this a bargain, because gasohol is a “clean fuel.” This claim to cleanness is in dispute
at the tailpipe level, and it certainly ignores the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, pesticide pollution, and the haze of global gases gathering over every farm field. Nor does this claim cover clean conscience; some still might be unsettled knowing that our SUVs’ demands for fuel compete with the poor’s demand for grain.

Green eaters, especially vegetarians, advocate eating low on the food chain, a simple matter of energy flow. Eating a carrot gives the diner all that carrot’s energy, but feeding carrots to a chicken, then eating the chicken, reduces the energy by a factor of ten. The chicken wastes some energy, stores some as feathers, bones, and other inedibles, and uses most of it just to live long enough to be eaten. As a rough rule of thumb, that factor of ten applies to each level up the food chain, which is why some fish, such as tuna, can be a horror in all of this. Tuna is a secondary predator, meaning it not only doesn’t eat plants but eats other fish that themselves eat other fish, adding a zero to the multiplier each notch up, easily a hundred times, more like a thousand times less efficient than eating a plant.

This is fine as far as it goes, but the vegetarian’s case can break down on some details. On the moral issues, vegetarians claim their habits are kinder to animals, though it is difficult to see how wiping out 99 percent of wildlife’s habitat, as farming has done in Iowa, is a kindness. In
rural Michigan, for example, the potato farmers have a peculiar tactic for dealing with the predations of whitetail deer. They gut-shoot them with small-bore rifles, in hopes the deer will limp off to the woods and die where they won’t stink up the potato fields.

Animal rights aside, vegetarians can lose the edge in the energy argument by eating processed food, with its ten calories of fossil energy for every calorie of food energy produced. The question, then, is: Does eating processed food such as soy burger or soy milk cancel the energy benefits of vegetarianism, which is to say, can I eat my lamb chops in peace? Maybe. If I’ve done my due diligence, I will have found out that the particular lamb I am eating was both local and grass-fed, two factors that of course greatly reduce the embedded energy in a meal. I know of ranches here in Montana, for instance, where sheep eat native grass under closely
controlled circumstances–no farming, no plows, no corn, no nitrogen. Assets have not been stripped. I can’t eat the grass directly. This can go on. There are little niches like this in the system. Each person’s individual charge is to find such niches.

Chances are, though, any meat eater will come out on the short end of this argument, especially in the United States. Take the case of beef. Cattle are grazers, so in theory could live like the grass-fed lamb. Some cattle cultures–those of South America and Mexico, for example–have perfected wonderful cuisines based on grass-fed beef. This is not our habit in the United States, and it is simply a matter of habit. Eighty percent of the grain the United States produces goes to livestock. Seventy-eight percent of all of our beef comes from feed lots, where the cattle eat grain, mostly corn and wheat. So do most of our hogs and chickens. The cattle spend their adult lives packed shoulder to shoulder in a space not much bigger than their bodies, up to their knees in shit, being stuffed with grain and a constant stream of antibiotics to prevent the disease this sort of confinement invariably engenders. The manure is rich in nitrogen and once provided a farm’s fertilizer. The feedlots, however, are now far removed from farm fields, so it is simply not “efficient” to haul it to cornfields. It is waste. It exhales methane, a global-warming gas. It pollutes streams. It takes thirty-five calories of fossil fuel to make a calorie of beef this way; sixty-eight to make one calorie of pork.

Still, these livestock do something we can’t. They convert grain’s carbohydrates to high-quality protein. All well and good, except that per capita protein production in the United States is about double what an average adult needs per day. Excess cannot be stored as protein in the
human body but is simply converted to fat. This is the end result of a factory-farm system that appears as a living, continental-scale monument to Rube Goldberg, a black-mass remake of the loaves-and-fishes miracle. Prairie’s productivity is lost for grain, grain’s productivity is lost in
livestock, livestock’s protein is lost to human fat–all federally subsidized for about $15 billion a year, two thirds of which goes directly to only two crops, corn and wheat.

This explains why the energy expert David Pimentel is so worried that the rest of the world will adopt America’s methods. He should be, because the rest of the world is. Mexico now feeds 45 percent of its grain to livestock, up from 5 percent in 1960. Egypt went from 3 percent to 31
percent in the same period, and China, with a sixth of the world’s population, has gone from 8 percent to 26 percent. All of these places have poor people who could use the grain, but they can’t afford it.

I live among elk and have learned to respect them. One moonlit night during the dead of last winter, I looked out my bedroom window to see about twenty of them grazing a plot of grass the size of a living room. Just that small patch among acres of other species of native prairie
grass. Why that species and only that species of grass that night in the worst of winter when the threat to their survival was the greatest? What magic nutrient did this species alone contain? What does a wild animal know that we don’t? I think we need this knowledge.

Food is politics. That being the case, I voted twice in 2002. The day after Election Day, in a truly dismal mood, I climbed the mountain behind my house and found a small herd of elk grazing native grasses in the morning sunlight. My respect for these creatures over the years has become great enough that on that morning I did not hesitate but went straight to my job, which was to rack a shell and drop one cow elk, my household’s annual protein supply. I voted with my weapon of choice–an act not all that uncommon in this world, largely, I think, as a result of the way we grow food. I can see why it is catching on. Such a vote has a certain satisfying heft and finality about it. My particular bit of violence, though, is more satisfying, I think, than the rest of the globe’s ordinary political mayhem. I used a rifle to opt out of an insane system. I killed, but then so did you when you bought that package of burger, even when you bought that package of tofu burger. I killed, then the rest of those elk went on, as did the grasses, the birds, the trees, the coyotes, mountain lions, and bugs, the fundamental productivity of an intact natural system, all of it went on.

Power Surge: Force Protection with Extreme Prejudice

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Written by Chris Floyd
Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The picture above shows a two-year-old child killed when American forces fired rockets into a heavily populated area of Baghdad’s Sadr City. Pentagon spokesmen said the operation was “force protection;” U.S. forces had come under sniper fire from the neighborhood.

No doubt this is true; when you invade a country for no reason, drive it into ruination, chaos and civil war, then continue to occupy it year after year, why then, sometimes the natives will get restless and fire back at you. In such situations, the best method of “force protection” is not to call in airstrikes and missile attacks on crowded civilian neighborhoods and kill two-year-old children — but to REMOVE your forces from the invaded land altogether, and stop using them to perpetuate a war crime that has already caused the death of a million innocent people.

Yet the plain, common-sense logic of this proposition continues to elude our military and political leaders — including the two “progressive” presidential candidates — and all of the “serious” analysts of public policy as well.

So for years to come, we will continue to see pictures such as the one above — for which As’ad AbuKhalil, the “Angry Arab,” provides an apt caption:

What? This two-year child? Well, he was killed in US bombing on Sadr city but there is evidence that he was one of the commanders of the Mahdi Army.

But here we must disagree with the esteemed professor; surely the child was an Iranian belligerent, a Quds Force officer, committing acts of war against the United States at Tehran’s order. Surely now we should put our new “Attack Plan” against Iran into action, before any more of these two-year-old evildoers who hate us for our freedoms can try to destroy our shining city on the hill.