Halloween Nation

SUBHEAD: Soon we will learn what kind of tensions are roiling between the FBI and the DOJ, and internally within each of these agencies.

By James Kunstler on 31 October 2016 for Kunstler.com  -

Image above: In July Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress on their investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. From (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-07-06/james-comey-loretta-lynch-to-appear-before-congress-over-clinton-emails).

What was with James Comey’s Friday letter to congress? It looks to me like the FBI Director had to go nuclear against his parent agency, the Department of Justice, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, his boss, in particular.

Why? Because the Attorney General refused to pursue the Clinton email case when more evidence turned up in the underage sexting case against Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillary’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin.

Over the weekend, the astounding news story broke that the FBI had not obtained a warrant to examine the emails on Weiner’s computer and other devices after three weeks of getting stonewalled by DOJ attorneys.

What does it mean when the Director of the FBI can’t get a warrant in a New York minute? It must mean that the DOJ is at war with the FBI. Watergate is looking like thin gruel compared to this fantastic Bouillabaisse of a presidential campaign fiasco.

One way you can tell is that The New York Times is playing down the story Monday morning. Columnist Paul Krugman calls the Comey letter “cryptic.” Krugman’s personal cryptograph insinuates that Comey is trying to squash an investigation of “Russian meddling in American elections.”

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid chimed in with a statement that “it has become clear that you [Comey] possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government.”

How’s that for stupid and ugly? It’s the Russian’s fault that Hillary finds herself in trouble again?

Earlier this week, lawyers at the DOJ attempted to quash a parallel investigation of the Clinton Foundation. They must be out of their minds to think that story will go away.

Isn’t it about time that a House or Senate committee subpoenaed Bill Clinton to testify under oath about his June airport meeting with Loretta Lynch. He doesn’t enjoy any special immunity in this case.

Speaking of immunity, when will we learn what kind of immunity Huma Abedin may have been granted in previous cycles of the email investigation?

Plenty of other Clinton campaign associates got immunity from prosecution earlier this year, rendering bales of evidence on their own laptops inadmissible in the email server case.

Things as yet unknown: Where is US Attorney (for the Southern District of New York) Preet Bharara in this case?

He works for the DOJ, but he is known to be an independent operator, and he must be already involved at least in the underage sexting case against Weiner, meaning he’s had access to an awful lot of collateral evidence from Weiner’s laptop, and must have obtained some kind of warrants of his own.

What appears to be unraveling is the AG Loretta Lynch’s effort to protect Hillary Clinton and now, in this Alfred Hitchcock movie of a presidential election, she’s trying to make it look like James Comey is stabbing Hillary in the shower.

(Film buffs note: in Hitchcock’s Psycho the character played by Janet Leigh made off with a bundle of money from her place of employment before Norman Bates worked his hoodoo on her at the motel.)

Trump, of course, is playing the escapade up in his usual idiotic way. It would be unfortunate if it ended up getting him elected — but how would it not be unfortunate for Hillary to wind up in the White House under a cloud of possible indictment?

She will be doing Chinese fire drills with a special prosecutor the whole time she is in office, tempted at every moment to start a war with the Russians to divert attention from her legal problems.

Soon we will learn what kind of tensions are roiling between the FBI and the DOJ, and internally within each of these agencies.

There are too many pissed off people there to prevent leakage, and probably plenty of email memoranda among the officials that would nicely lay out a trail of incrimination leading into the Attorney General’s office itself.

What a fine mess. And anybody who thinks that any of it might be resolved before November 8 will be disappointed. This story has so many legs, it looks like a Amazonian centipede compared to the lumbering cockroach that was Watergate.

The awful proceedings will grind on and on while the US economy and its vampire squid matrix of financial rackets implode in 2017 along with the European Union and global trade.

How do you like The Long Emergency now?


Is Deep State tanking Hillary?

SUBHEAD: These blast points on Clinton's campaign could only be done by the Deep State.

By Charles Hugh Smith on 31 October 2016 for Of Two Minds -

Image above: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with her entourage when the Deep State still embraced her. From (http://www.modicanews.com/hillary-clinton-is-bringing-an-armed-forces-entourage-to-nbcs-military-forum/).

The Deep State's most prescient elements must derail Hillary's campaign to clear a path to Trump's executive team.

Back in August, I asked Could the Deep State Be Sabotaging Hillary? I think we now have a definitive answer: "These blast points on Hillary's campaign... too accurate for the Mainstream Media. Only the forces of the Imperial Deep State are so precise."

The Mainstream Media is presenting the FBI investigation as a "lose-lose" situation for embattled FBI Director Comey. If Comey remained quiet until after the election, he would be accused of colluding with the Clinton campaign and its allies in the Department of Justice (sic).

But in going public, he stands accused by Democrats of "intervening in an election," i.e. raising doubts about Hillary's judgement and veracity days before Americans go to the polls.

Another narrative has Comey's hand forced by the threat of disgusted FBI agents leaking information that would show the FBI caved into political pressure from the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign to keep relevant material out of the public eye until after the election.

I submit another much more powerful dynamic is in play: the upper ranks of the Deep State now view Hillary as an unacceptable liability. The word came down to Comey to act whether he wanted to or not, i.e. take one for the good of the nation/Deep State/Imperial Project.

As a refresher: the Deep State is the unelected government (also called the invisible or shadow government) that is not as monolithic as generally assumed.

The neo-conservative globalists who want Hillary to continue pushing their agenda are the more visible camp, but another less visible but highly motivated camp realizes Hillary and her neo-con agenda would severely damage the nation's security and its global influence. It is this camp that is arranging for Hillary to lose.

The consensus view seems to be that the Establishment and the Deep State see Trump as a loose cannon who might upset the neo-con apple cart by refusing to toe the neo-con line.

This view overlooks the reality that significant segments of the Deep State view the neo-con strategy as an irredeemable failure.

To these elements of the Deep State, Hillary is a threat precisely because she embraces the failed neo-con strategy and those who cling to it. From this point of view, Hillary as president would be an unmitigated disaster for the Deep State and the nation/Imperial Project it governs.

Whatever else emerges from the emails being leaked or officially released, one conclusion is inescapable: Hillary's judgement is hopelessly flawed.

Combine her lack of judgement with her 24 years of accumulated baggage and her potential to push the neo-con agenda to the point of global disaster, and you get a potent need for the Deep State's most prescient elements to derail her campaign and clear a path to Trump's executive team.

Once this path is clear, the management of Trump's executive team can begin in earnest, a management process aimed at disengaging the nation and its global Empire from neo-con overreach.

If you think this scenario is "impossible," let's see how the election plays out before deciding what's "impossible" and what's inevitable.


War from Declining Hegemon

SUBHEAD: The Washington-Moscow confrontation in Alepo, Syria  portends to a huge conflagration.

By Chandra Muzaffar on 31 October 2016 for Counter Current - 

Image above: "Before and After". The Olympia Restaurant, which calls Aleppo home, has published old photos of Aleppo alongside newer photos captured in the same locations after the war began. For more see (http://petapixel.com/2016/08/02/26-photos-show-war-changed-syria/).

Is a war in the making — a Third World War?

If there is much talk about such a possibility, it is mainly because of the tensions between the United States and Russia.

Tensions between the two most powerful nuclear states in the world have never been this high since the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.
There are at least two flash points, one more dangerous than the other.

In Eastern Ukraine, Russian backed rebels will not surrender to the US supported regime in Kiev because they see US control over Ukraine as part of a much larger agenda to expand NATO power to the very borders of Russia. This has been happening for some years now.

But it is the Washington-Moscow confrontation in Alepo, Syria which portends to a huge conflagration. The US is protective of major militant groups such as Al-Nusra which has besieged Eastern Allepo  and is seeking to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government.

Washington has also set its sight on ‘regime change’ in Damascus ever since the latter’s determined resistance to Israeli occupation of the strategic Golan Heights in Syria from 1967 onwards.

The drive for regime change intensified with the US-Israeli quest for a “new Middle East” following the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. It became more pronounced in 2009 when Bashar al-Assad rejected a proposal to allow a gas pipe-line from Qatar to Europe to pass through his country, a pipe-line which would have reduced Europe’s dependence upon Russia for gas. Russia of course has been a long-standing ally of Syria.

Together with Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, it is helping the Syrian government to break the siege of Eastern Allepo and to defeat militants in other parts of Syria.

It is obvious that in both instances, in Ukraine and Syria, the US has not been able to achieve what it wants.

The US has also been stymied in Southeast Asia where its attempt to re-assert its power through its 2010 ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy has suffered a serious setback as a result of the decision of the new president  of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to pursue an independent foreign policy that no longer adheres blindly to US interests.

At the same time, China continues to expand and enhance its economic strength in Asia and the world through its One Belt One Road (OBOR) projects and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and via its leadership of BRICS.

China’s regional and global economic role is leading to its pronounced presence in security and military matters. As a result of all this, the US’s imperial power has clearly diminished. It is a hegemon in decline.

It is because it is not prepared to accept its decline that some US generals are threatening to demonstrate US’s military might.If a hegemon is a danger to humankind when it is at its pinnacle, it becomes an even greater threat to peace when its power is diminishing. Like a wounded tiger, it becomes even more furious and ferocious.

A new US president may be inclined to give vent to this frustration through an arrogant display of military power.

How can we check such wanton arrogance?  There will be elements in the elite stratum of US society itself who would be opposed to the US going to war.

We saw a bit of this in 2013 when those who were itching to launch military strikes against Syria based upon dubious “evidence” of the government’s use of chemical weapons were thwarted by others with a saner view of the consequences of war. It is also important to observe that none of the US’s major allies in Europe wants a war.

Burdened by severe challenges related to the economy and migration, the governments know that their citizens will reject any move towards war either on the borders of Russia or in Syria and West Asia.

This also suggests that a self-absorbed European citizenry may not have the enthusiasm to mobilise against an imminent war. Let us not forget that it was in European cities from London to Berlin that the biggest demonstrations against the war in Iraq took place in 2003. Anti-war protests will have to be initiated elsewhere this time.

Governments in Moscow and Beijing, in Tehran and Jakarta, in Pretoria and La Paz, should come out openly against war. They should encourage other governments in the Global South and the Global North to denounce any move towards a war that will engulf the whole of humanity.

Citizens all over the world should condemn war through a variety of strategies ranging from signature campaigns and letters to the media to public rallies and street demonstrations.

In this campaign against an imminent war, the media, both conventional and alternative, will have a huge role to play. It is unfortunate that well-known media outlets in the West have supported war in the past. It is time that they atone for their sins!

• Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Malaysia.


Navy says Depleted Uranium okay

SUBHEAD: It says its spent depleted uranium ordinance is not a problem laying in coastal waters.

By Dahr Jamail on 31 October 2016 for Truth Out -

Image above: Naval gunners inspect ammunition containing depleted uranium in a photo taken on November 1, 1987. Photo by US Navy. From original article.

Earlier this month, Truthout reported that the US Navy is knowingly introducing toxic metals and chemicals into the environment during its war game exercises.

Sheila Murray with the Navy Region Northwest's public affairs office, when asked what the Navy was doing to mitigate environmental contamination from the large numbers of Depleted Uranium (DU) rounds it left on the seabed off the Pacific Northwest Coast claimed current research "does not suggest short- or long-term effects" from the release of DU to the environment that could result in its uptake by marine organisms."

She also said that DU rounds "are extremely stable in sea water and pose no greater threat than any other metal."

In response to this, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist and winner of the 2015 Rachel Carson Prize environmental award for her work on DU and heavy metal contamination, told Truthout, "The US Navy representative's views exhibit an alarming level of amnesia."

She said this because Murray's statement has been one that has been recycled by the Navy for years. Reuters reported in January 2003 that the Navy confirmed its use of DU shells in arms tests off the Washington State coast, at which time the Navy claimed, "The DU rounds dissolve so slowly that they would not contribute to naturally occurring (radiation) levels ... and do not pose a significant risk."

Meanwhile, ample scientific reports -- including Savabieasfahani's own research -- demonstrate the deleterious health impacts caused by DU.

"When those bullets and bombs explode, dangerous nanoparticles of metals, including uranium nanoparticles, are released into the environment," she explained to Truthout. "Laboratory research has already established that exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of uranium has negative impacts on fish embryogenesis, and on the reproductive success of fish."

Naval documents show that as much as 34 tons of DU could be present on the seabed just 12 miles from the outer coast of Washington State.

Even more distressing, the Navy's own documents reveal that the extent of its use of DU off the coast of the US is far more pervasive than it admits to the public.

And results of a Freedom of Information Act filing provided to Truthout show that the Navy, which claims in its environmental impact statements it has not used DU since 2008, has actually shipped it from a Puget Sound munitions area as recently as 2011.

A Bogus Study
The Navy's public affairs officer, Murray, also told Truthout that a "recent study" of an area off the south coast of England that was used for test firing DU rounds "did not show presence of DU in sample of intertidal and ocean bottom sediments, seaweed, mussels, and locally caught lobster and scallops. (Toque, 2006)."

However, the study Murray cites -- and which the Navy consistently cites when arguing that DU is not harmful -- is heavily disputed.

Carol Van Strum, an Oregon-based environmental advocate who has researched DU for years, told Truthout that Murray's statement is "an out-and-out lie."

Van Strum, who has read the Toque study closely and knows it well, pointed out that, for starters, the study's author works for a British military contractor. She went on to point out two very serious flaws in the study.

"While the study relied on 'locally caught' lobster and scallops as samples for testing for depleted uranium, the samples were never 'caught' but rather bought in a local market, and thus could have come from anywhere," Van Strum explained. "Second, and most worrisome ... the actual study reports depleted uranium contamination in nearly all of the samples."

The Navy's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the matter claims "the survey results show no evidence of DU being present in any marine environmental sample collected in the year 2004."

But Van Strum called their claim "incontrovertibly false" because the study itself stated it had found DU contamination in the soil in many areas where the military was operating cannons, in the soil where ordnance had been fired, and in the soil, sea water and marine life where the ordnance they had fired had landed.

"The study's methodology would not pass muster for even a high school science project," Van Strum said.

Karen Sullivan, a retired endangered species biologist who co-founded the website West Coast Action Alliance that acts as a watchdog of Naval activities in the Pacific Northwest, questioned why the Navy would open itself up to accusations of bias by relying on only a single study done by someone who works for a group affiliated with the British military.

"Why would the Navy rely on such a flawed and obviously biased study to 'prove' that DU in seawater poses no threat greater than any other metal?" Sullivan, who worked at the US Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 15 years and who is an expert in the bureaucratic procedures the Navy is supposed to be following, asked in an interview with Truthout. "Probably because the enormous body of properly conducted and unbiased science completely refutes it."

Van Strum went on to point out additional significant problems with the study, including the almost laughable procurement and use of the samples.

"For starters, the entire sampling of marine organisms consisted of a bucket of mussels, 0.9 kg of shelled scallops, and three lobsters," Van Strum explained.

"In a section straight out of Monty Python, named 'Seafood purchase methodology,' the author reports with a straight face that the three lobsters and the scallops were bought in a shop in Kirkcudbright, 'and boiled within a day of purchase'."

Yet even in what was obviously a bogus sample, both uranium and DU were found.

"Not even truly creative data contortions support the [Navy's] 'no evidence of DU' conclusion," Van Strum said.

"For example, all uranium found in the shelled, cooked mussels was attributed by legerdemain [sleight of hand] to bits of uranium-contaminated sediment or shell that 'may have accidentally contaminated' the meat.

And even after the high level of uranium in one of three lobsters was reduced 81 percent -- applying a completely unreferenced and phenomenally high dry/wet weight ratio -- the level was still twice the mean for all of the UK, at which point the author simply concludes that 'such a low concentration is not deemed significant'."

Additionally, a 2007 Naval Budget Proposal, shows a gun being upgraded to fire 25mm DU rounds (see page 32).  According to the proposal, there were over 100 guns of this type for that year. These facts beg the question: How could the Navy possibly be "phasing out" DU, as it claims to be doing?

Human Health Impacts of DU "Quite Relevant" to Naval Exercises
"Navy exercises in the waters of the Pacific Northwest will release contaminants into the marine environment, with an undeniable potential to harm human health," Savabieasfahani said, noting that this would apply even to low-level amounts of DU being introduced into the oceans. "It is long established that explosives can contaminate soil, sediment and water and thereby impact environmental and human health."

She explained that the human and environmental impacts of the Navy's use of DU in past exercises is "quite relevant," and cited a report that showed how DU exposure has been linked to lower cognitive ability in adults.

"This leads us to expect much worse impacts on growing children, newborns and infants -- to say nothing of unborn babies," Savabieasfahani added.

"Furthermore, epidemiological evidence is also consistent with an increased risk of birth defects in the children of people exposed to DU."

She also heavily emphasized the fact that the internalization of uranium in any form will result in both chemical and radiation exposure.

"Once inside a living body, DU and uranium's effects are virtually the same," Savabieasfahani explained. "This is a point worth repeating."

Moreover, Savabieasfahani emphasized that it's dangerous to guesstimate "safe" levels of DU, whether or not it reaches levels determined to be "toxic."

"Our knowledge of the human health impacts of DU is consistent with laboratory studies of other mammals," she said. "DU exposure affects neurogenesis during prenatal and postnatal brain development by disrupting patterns of cell proliferation and cell death. Even sub-toxic levels of DU have been shown to alter brain function."

She also took issue with Murray's argument, which Savabieasfahani described as, essentially, "the solution to pollution is dilution." This is the nuclear industry's default argument about radiation and other forms of pollution, and has been for decades, despite the fact that this logic was "decisively rejected" more than 40 years ago.

Savabieasfahani pointed out that even Richard Nixon's EPA administrator, William Ruckelshaus, rejected the dilution argument in a 1972 Congressional testimony regarding the Clean Water Act.

Savabieasfahani noted that any upcoming Naval exercises that introduce heavy metals and other pollutants, regardless of whether they use DU, will increase the environmental "background burden" of DU and other pollutants.

"Increasing that burden is simply irresponsible," Savabieasfahani said. "Seabed pollutants have already found their way into our bodies. Those pollutants will continue to impact the most vulnerable populations -- infants, newborns and growing children -- most profoundly, and their imprint will be found in the baby teeth of our children."

Other Instances of DU
Problems with DU in the Pacific Northwest are not limited to the Navy.

At Washington's Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as well as the Yakima Training Center, there has not been any cleanup of contaminated areas or disposal of dangerous rounds, despite confirmed reports of contamination in nearby areas. I

t is also worth noting that, while no direct link has been proven, the lung cancer rate for Pierce County, Washington, where Lewis-McChord Base is located, is among the highest in the entire state.

Truthout asked Sullivan to comment on this. She pointed out that rather than cleaning up these areas, the US Army requested a "master permit" from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) "to leave in place -- laying on the surface -- all the DU munitions and bombs it has ever fired, since 1960, at nearly 20 bases throughout the United States."

That permit was granted in March. It includes Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where, according to Sullivan, 750 pounds of pure DU are lying on open grounds, in fragments and inhalable dust. This is significant: DU dust tends to blow around and leach into groundwater, contaminating both soil and drinking water.

According to the permit, 12,566 pounds of DU fragments and dust remain, lying out in the open, across military bases throughout the US.

Furthermore, a March 2016 "Safety Report" by the NRC shows that the commission never required the Army to collect and dispose of DU debris. It also noted that the Army asked to not be required to disclose the qualifications of each base's Garrison Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) any time there was a change in personnel, "for privacy and administrative burden reasons."

The NRC agreed to forego that requirement. This means that the NRC will not know the qualifications of each base's RSO unless it specifically asks for it, so it is possible that an RSO may not even be qualified as a radiation safety expert.

All of these factors add up to an extremely disconcerting situation, given that a recent independent study states clearly, "The annual dose limit for the population can be exceeded within a few years from DU deposition for soil inhalation."

Sullivan is concerned that, while the Army takes at least some precautions towards preventing troop exposure, "actual public health is given short shrift."

"For what it's worth, the phrase 'public health' is mentioned only once in the entire Safety Report, in reference to a regulation," Sullivan said. "The phrase 'public dose' is mentioned 10 times."

Lastly, to screen for groundwater contamination, the Army has proposed to sample some wells near its bases. However, the NRC noted, "The Army states that the DU concentration in groundwater coming from soil depends on several factors, which they have not measured for any RCA (Radiation Controlled Area)."

Sullivan expressed grave concern over the fact that the Army has not measured for radiation in these areas.

"Then how would they know?" she asked. "Perhaps it's a way to justify the perennial statement the public has come to expect from so-called 'public processes' that always end in false platitudes like the one the Army delivered: They concluded that groundwater or any other contamination is 'not significant'."

While it remains unclear if DU is still being used by the Navy or Army, what is clear is that they are not sufficiently cleaning up the DU they have already introduced into the environment, nor are they taking steps to mitigate its potential harm to their own soldiers, the general population, and the environment.

• Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.
His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with William Rivers Pitt, is available now on Amazon.


Long Term Egg Storage

SUBHEAD: There are a number of techniques for keeping eggs edible for months without refrigeration.

By Brian Kaller on 25 October 2016 for Restoring Mayberry -

Image above: A variety of jarred pickled eggs. They can be kept for long periods. From (https://www.reference.com/food/basic-recipe-pickled-eggs-bb99f4e9c9bcce2a).

No matter what else you have in your kitchen, you probably have eggs. Whether you boil or fry them for breakfast, brush them over meat, whisk them into egg-drop soup, bake them into pastries, eggs provide one of the simplest and yet most versatile of foods, prized the world over as a rich source of easy protein.

If you raise your own chickens, moreover, you have a ready source of eggs, as well as fertilizer and comedy relief. Hens convert your leftovers into your next breakfast, keep your garden free of pests and mow your lawn for free.

Other animals can do some of these things, but not many of us have the time, space or will to manage a suburban herd of sheep or swine, or to slaughter them in the garage. Hens, however, require little space or maintenance, and turn any home into a homestead.

They lay eggs seasonally, however, speeding up in summer and slowing in winter. You could give them more indoor light or Vitamin D supplements, but they cost money and interfere with the chickens’ natural cycle – and saving money and being all-natural are two of the most popular reasons for keeping backyard chickens in the first place.

Another way would be to collect the extra eggs in summer and preserve them through the winter. Eggs can be preserved in several ways; one, well-known to pub patrons here, is to pickle them.

A typical recipe involves hard-boiling eggs and removing the shells, and then creating a pickling solution of cider vinegar, small amounts of salt, sugar, herbs and spices. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for five minutes and pour over the eggs – they should keep for at least a few months.

You can also soak the eggs in a solution of sodium silicate, known as isinglass or water-glass. One popular recipe from a century ago recommended dissolving sodium silicate in boiling water, to about the consistency of a syrup (or about 1 part silicate to 3 parts water).

The eggs -- as fresh as possible, and thoroughly clean -- should be immersed in the solution in such manner that every part of each egg is covered with the liquid, then removed and let dry. If the solution is kept near the boiling temperature, the preservative effect was said to be much more certain and to last longer.

Perhaps the best and longest-lasting way, however, is to preserve eggs in limewater. No recipe could be simpler; take fresh raw eggs in the shell, set them gently in a jar, and pour in a simple lukewarm mix of tap water and lime powder. I’ve done this with our eggs, and they lasted for up to a year and remained edible.

“Lime” here means neither the citrus fruit nor the tree, but refers to calcium hydroxide, a white powder derived from limestone. For at least 7,000 years humans burned limestone in kilns to create the dangerous and caustic “quicklime” (Calcium oxide), and hydrated that to create lime powder (calcium hydroxide).

Sumerians and Romans used it as a cement, while farmers mixed it with water to create whitewash, tanners used it to remove hair from hides, gardeners to repel slugs and snails, printers to bleach paper.

Perhaps most importantly, farmers here in Ireland spread lime over their boggy fields to “sweeten” the acid soil and increase crop production as much as four-fold. For hundreds of years until the mid-20th century, lime supported a vast and vital network of village industry in this part of the world-- County Cork alone was said to contain an amazing 23,000 kilns, or one every 80 acres.

In his 1915 monograph “Lime-water for the preservation of eggs,” Frank Shutt describes a series of egg preservation experiments at an experimental farm in Ottawa, which found lime-water to be “superior to all other methods” – how, he didn’t say.

When I first tried to preserve eggs in lime-water, I simply mixed equal parts lime and water – which did no harm, but most of the lime simply settled to the bottom.

It turned out a fraction as much lime would have sufficed – Shutt says that water saturates with lime at 700 parts water to one part lime, but adds that “owing to impurities in commercial lime, it is well to use more than is called for.” In any case, if you use more lime than is necessary to saturate in water, the rest simply condenses out.

Since exposure to air causes more lime to condense over time, some articles recommend keeping the container sealed, either in a Kilner jar or by pouring a layer of oil over the top. I kept mine in an ordinary mayonnaise jar, and they kept fine for a year.

Eggs kept this way do come out with their whites darkened slightly, and with a faint “musty” smell like old clothes. It does not, however, have the unpleasant smell of a rotten egg – believe me, you won’t mistake one for the other.

The difference can perhaps be compared to that of rehydrated milk vs. fresh milk – not inedible, just slightly different than expected. As Shutt puts it, nothing “can entirely arrest that ‘stale’ flavour common in all but strictly fresh laid eggs.”

I’m not aware of an upper limit on how long eggs could be kept this way – I kept mine a year, with no ill effects beyond the stale smell – but I would not recommend going longer than several months to be on the safe side. Several months, however, still allows the homesteader to continue harvesting eggs through the winter.

Shutt recommends keeping the water at a cool temperature – 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit, or five degrees Centigrade, to help the preservation.

That’s the temperature of a refrigerator, but a cellar or underground storage container would probably be fine. I kept mine at room temperature during an Irish year, where the temperature ranges from freezing (32F, 0C) in winter to lukewarm (75F, 25C) in summer, with no ill effects.

Some old texts say to boil the lime-water, dissolving as much of the lime as you can and letting it cool before immersing the eggs; that might be slightly preferable simply to maximise the amount of lime dissolved or to sterilise the water, but I tried it both ways and noticed no difference in quality.

Some old recipes recommend adding salt to the eggs, but I tried it with and without salt and found that it didn’t make a difference, and neither did Shutt a century ago. Still other 19th-century recipes mixed the lime with salt-peter and even borax, but I would not try those until I had confirmed their safety.

Experiments like this might seem pointless when we have refrigerators, freezers and a convenience store down the road.

Many of us, though, like being able to do things ourselves, with simple ingredients, for a lot less money than processed food at the store would cost. Money and electricity, moreover, are less certain than they used to be; I know many friends who have lost jobs, or whose power now goes out regularly.

Here in Europe we know people whose governments have collapsed or gone bankrupt, or been torn by civil war. These scenarios are not as apocalyptic as most people imagine -- crises are rare, and even in a crisis life goes on – but they happen occasionally, in an emergency our local village would benefit from someone who knows how to do things the old-fashioned way.

See also a website page with several recipes for pickling eggs


Inside the Invisible Government

SUBHEAD: Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood.

By John Pilger on 29 October 2016 for Counter Currents -

Image above: Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that claimed would hold anthrax, in his presentation to the UN in February 2003, ahead of the Iraq invasion. Photograph by Timothy A Clary. From (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/dec/06/media-failure-iraq-war-climate-change).

The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda.

The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions.

In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade – behavior then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, “Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!”

Bernays’ influence extended far beyond advertising. His greatest success was his role in convincing the American public to join the slaughter of the First World War. The secret, he said, was “engineering the consent” of people in order to “control and regiment [them] according to our will without their knowing about it”.

He described this as “the true ruling power in our society” and called it an “invisible government”.

Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged.

Imagine two cities.

Both are under siege by the forces of the government of that country. Both cities are occupied by fanatics, who commit terrible atrocities, such as beheading people.

But there is a vital difference. In one siege, the government soldiers are described as liberators by Western reporters embedded with them, who enthusiastically report their battles and air strikes. There are front page pictures of these heroic soldiers giving a V-sign for victory. There is scant mention of civilian casualties.

In the second city – in another country nearby – almost exactly the same is happening. Government forces are laying siege to a city controlled by the same breed of fanatics.

The difference is that these fanatics are supported, supplied and armed by “us” – by the United States and Britain. They even have a media center that is funded by Britain and America.

Another difference is that the government soldiers laying siege to this city are the bad guys, condemned for assaulting and bombing the city – which is exactly what the good soldiers do in the first city.

Confusing? Not really. Such is the basic double standard that is the essence of propaganda. I am referring, of course, to the current siege of the city of Mosul by the government forces of Iraq, who are backed by the United States and Britain and to the siege of Aleppo by the government forces of Syria, backed by Russia. One is good; the other is bad.

What is seldom reported is that both cities would not be occupied by fanatics and ravaged by war if Britain and the United States had not invaded Iraq in 2003. That criminal enterprise was launched on lies strikingly similar to the propaganda that now distorts our understanding of the civil war in Syria.

Without this drumbeat of propaganda dressed up as news, the monstrous ISIS and Al-Qaida and al-Nusra and the rest of the jihadist gang might not exist, and the people of Syria might not be fighting for their lives today.

Some may remember in 2003 a succession of BBC reporters turning to the camera and telling us that Blair was “vindicated” for what turned out to be the crime of the century. The US television networks produced the same validation for George W. Bush. Fox News brought on Henry Kissinger to effuse over Colin Powell’s fabrications.

The same year, soon after the invasion, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned American investigative journalist. I asked him, “What would have happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what turned out to be crude propaganda?”

He replied that if journalists had done their job, “there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war in Iraq”.

It was a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question — Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer and journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous.

In other words, had journalists done their job, had they challenged and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today, and there would be no ISIS and no siege of Aleppo or Mosul.

There would have been no atrocity on the London Underground on 7th July 2005. There would have been no flight of millions of refugees; there would be no miserable camps.

When the terrorist atrocity happened in Paris last November, President Francoise Hollande immediately sent planes to bomb Syria – and more terrorism followed, predictably, the product of Hollande’s bombast about France being “at war” and “showing no mercy”.

That state violence and jihadist violence feed off each other is the truth that no national leader has the courage to speak.

“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”

The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.

The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an “agreement” that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.

As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.

From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics – the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.

Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: “We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked.”

The West’s medieval client, Saudi Arabia – to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars’ worth of arms – is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are malnourished.

Look on YouTube and you will see the kind of massive bombs – “our” bombs – that the Saudis use against dirt-poor villages, and against weddings, and funerals.

The explosions look like small atomic bombs. The bomb aimers in Saudi Arabia work side-by-side with British officers. This fact is not on the evening news.

Propaganda is most effective when our consent is engineered by those with a fine education – Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia — and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post.

These organizations are known as the liberal media. They present themselves as enlightened, progressive tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-LGBT.
And they love war.

While they speak up for feminism, they support rapacious wars that deny the rights of countless women, including the right to life.

In 2011, Libya, then a modern state, was destroyed on the pretext that Muammar Gaddafi was about to commit genocide on his own people. That was the incessant news; and there was no evidence. It was a lie.

In fact, Britain, Europe and the United States wanted what they like to call “regime change” in Libya, the biggest oil producer in Africa. Gaddafi’s influence in the continent and, above all, his independence were intolerable.

So he was murdered with a knife in his rear by fanatics, backed by America, Britain and France.

Hillary Clinton cheered his gruesome death for the camera, declaring, “We came, we saw, he died!”
The destruction of Libya was a media triumph. As the war drums were beaten, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian: “Though the risks are very real, the case for intervention remains strong.”

Intervention — what a polite, benign, Guardian word, whose real meaning, for Libya, was death and destruction.

According to its own records, NATO launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads.

Look at the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. The UNICEF report on the children killed says, “most [of them] under the age of ten”.
As a direct consequence, Sirte became the capital of ISIS.

Ukraine is another media triumph. Respectable liberal newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, and mainstream broadcasters such as the BBC, NBC, CBS, CNN have played a critical role in conditioning their viewers to accept a new and dangerous cold war.

All have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia when, in fact, the coup in Ukraine in 2014 was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and NATO.

This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington’s military intimidation of Russia is not news; it is suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war. Once again, the Ruskies are coming to get us, led by another Stalin, whom The Economist depicts as the devil.

The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The fascists who engineered the coup in Kiev are the same breed that backed the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Of all the scares about the rise of fascist anti-Semitism in Europe, no leader ever mentions the fascists in Ukraine – except Vladimir Putin, but he does not count.

Many in the Western media have worked hard to present the ethnic Russian-speaking population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, as agents of Moscow, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

There is almost the joie d’esprit of a class reunion of warmongers.

The drum-beaters of the Washington Post inciting war with Russia are the very same editorial writers who published the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

To most of us, the American presidential campaign is a media freak show, in which Donald Trump is the arch villain.

But Trump is loathed by those with power in the United States for reasons that have little to do with his obnoxious behavior and opinions. To the invisible government in Washington, the unpredictable Trump is an obstacle to America’s design for the 21st century.

This is to maintain the dominance of the United States and to subjugate Russia, and, if possible, China.

To the militarists in Washington, the real problem with Trump is that, in his lucid moments, he seems not to want a war with Russia; he wants to talk with the Russian president, not fight him; he says he wants to talk with the president of China.

In the first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump promised not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into a conflict. He said, “I would certainly not do first strike. Once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over.” That was not news.

Did he really mean it? Who knows? He often contradicts himself. But what is clear is that Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House.

The CIA wants him beaten. The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat to the rulers of the world – unlike Clinton who has left no doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China.

Clinton has the form, as she often boasts. Indeed, her record is proven. As a senator, she backed the bloodbath in Iraq. When she ran against Obama in 2008, she threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran. As Secretary of State, she colluded in the destruction of governments in Libya and Honduras and set in train the baiting of China.

She has now pledged to support a No Fly Zone in Syria — a direct provocation for war with Russia. Clinton may well become the most dangerous president of the United States in my lifetime –a distinction for which the competition is fierce.

Without a shred of evidence, she has accused Russia of supporting Trump and hacking her emails. Released by WikiLeaks, these emails tell us that what Clinton says in private, in speeches to the rich and powerful, is the opposite of what she says in public.

That is why silencing and threatening Julian Assange is so important. As the editor of WikiLeaks, Assange knows the truth. And let me assure those who are concerned, he is well, and WikiLeaks is operating on all cylinders.

Today, the greatest build-up of American-led forces since World War Two is under way – in the Caucasus and eastern Europe, on the border with Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, where China is the target.

Keep that in mind when the presidential election circus reaches its finale on November 8th, If the winner is Clinton, a Greek chorus of witless commentators will celebrate her coronation as a great step forward for women.

 None will mention Clinton’s victims: the women of Syria, the women of Iraq, the women of Libya. None will mention the civil defense drills being conducted in Russia. None will recall Edward Bernays’ “torches of freedom”.

George Bush’s press spokesman once called the media “complicit enablers”.

Coming from a senior official in an administration whose lies, enabled by the media, caused such suffering, that description is a warning from history.

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media:
“Before every major aggression, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the propaganda system, it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”

This is adapted from an address to the Sheffield Festival of Words, Sheffield, England.  

• John Pilger is an Australian journalist and documentary maker, based in London. He has twice won Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award, and his documentaries have received academy awards in Britain and the US


Throw Huma under the bus

SUBHEAD: The thumbscrews put on Huma this morning by the campaign must be hurting.

By Raul Ilargi Meijer on 29 October 2016 for Island Breath -

Image above: Huma and Anthony on their wedding day in Huntington, Long Island on 10 July 2010. From (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens-rep-anthony-weiner-marries-huma-abedin-president-bill-clinton-presiding-article-1.466359).

There is so much in innuendo and guesses and biased opinion floating around on this ‘morning after’ the Comey bombshell that the only option we have is to read and watch a ton of stuff and see what sticks. One thing that definitely should stick was published late last night by Paul Sperry for the New York Post.

He scores a solid and massive point that looks as damning for the FBI itself (or at least the superiors), as it does for Hillary Clinton. It is, in that regard, perhaps telling that one of the alleged reasons whispered for FBI director Jim Comey to come forward on Friday is that he feared details of the probe would otherwise be leaked to the press.

Sperry’s point: the emails that are at the center of Friday’s announcement that Hillary Clinton ‘s entire email server investigation will be re-opened -whether formally or not is moot-, were obtained by seizing devices from Anthony Weiner in relation him sexting to a 15-year old girl.
And seizing devices was exactly what was never done in Hillary’s case, though “agents assigned to that case knew Abedin hoarded classified emails on her electronic devices.” They were seized neither from Hillary nor from her closest aide Huma Abedin, who now probably- and probably rightly- fears that she may be thrown under the bus at the first convenient moment.

Hillary doesn’t appear to know what exactly is on the Weiner/Abedin device, but her staff is undoubtedly preparing a defense based on Hillary denying she knew anything about what emails Huma kept and/or sent. Such a defense may well be useless, depending on the contents of the mails. But by now it’s full blown panic danger control in the campaign.

While at the FBI the mood may now be that a second consecutive investigation that would end in a second consecutive ‘dismissal’ would be unacceptable to -a lot of- agents. Something Comey is undoubtedly painfully aware of. His ‘own people’ may have given him an ultimatum: either you do it right this time, or we will.

A few bits from Paul Sperry’s piece:
On page 3 of their 11-page report, the agents detail how they showed Abedin a classified paper on Pakistan sent from a State Department source which she, in turn, inexplicably forwarded to her personal Yahoo email account — an obviously unclassified, unencrypted, unsecured and unauthorized system. The breach of security was not an isolated event but a common practice with Abedin.
This is one of those things that Hillary will likely try to plead innocence on. Not that that should be good enough: the server, illegal as it may have been, was still her responsibility. That either she herself or Abedin would play fast and loose with the confidentiality and classification of the material involved, on top of using a server whose very existence played fast and loose with the law, is the kind of thing that disqualifies her from public office, let alone the presidency.

Hillary’s ‘defense’ has been ‘I made a mistake’, and that was enough for her, for Comey, and for the entire American media. It’s still hard to believe. And it certainly doesn’t look like it will be enough a second time. Just imagine what some FBI agents must have thought when they found out, and when Comey subsequently decided to hush the case.
“She routinely forwarded emails from her state.gov account to either her clintonemail.com or her yahoo.com account,” the agents wrote. Why? “So she could print them” at home and not at her State Department office. Abedin contended that she “would typically print the documents without reading them” and “was unaware of the classification.” Uh-huh.
The FBI also pointed out that “the only person at DoS (Department of State) to receive an email account on the (clintonemail.com) domain was Abedin.” “Multiple State employees” told the FBI that they considered emailing Abedin “the equivalent of e-mailing Clinton.” Another close Clinton aide told the FBI that “Abedin may have kept emails that Clinton did not.”
The phrase “the equivalent of e-mailing Clinton” says a lot about how closely the two worked together. And that in turn says something about the odds that Huma acted alone, without Hillary knowing.
In her April interview with the FBI, Abedin incredulously maintained that she “did not know that Clinton had a private server until about a year and a half ago, when it became public knowledge.” [..] .. another witness told agents that he and another Clinton aide with computer skills built the new server system “at the recommendation of Huma Abedin,” who first broached the idea of an off-the-grid email server as early as the “fall (of) 2008.”
So if you believe Abedin, she didn’t know the private clintonemail.com server that hosted her huma@clintonemail.com account even existed until she heard about it in the news. Comey was a believer; he didn’t even bother to call her back for further questioning. Case closed.
Yes, Huma knew the server existed, long before she admitted knowing it. That’s a bold faced lie. But wait, didn’t she get immunity? Apparently perhaps not officially (?!), but FBI agents seriously suspect she did:
During research, FBI assets and federal law enforcement sources concluded the only way Abedin could have walked away from the probe without criminal charges was because her legal team struck a secret immunity deal with Justice. “She has a deal in place or (FBI Director James) Comey and (Attorney General Loretta) Lynch let her just walk out the door,” a FBI source said.
Wait a minute! Anybody seen Loretta Lynch lately? Did she know Comey would make his announcement Friday? She’s his boss…

If Huma knew the server existed when she said she did not know, it’s 99% sure Anthony Weiner knew it, too. Which is important in more than one way. They shared at least one device, which means he had access to classified material. That in itself is highly illegal. And in the -year long- first stage of the probe, FBI agents knew this, or could have suspected it, and asked Huma for details. Apparently, that didn’t happen.

Perhaps even more important, Weiner is a huge and obvious risk as a blackmail target. For all we know, he may have already provided classified files to parties threatening to go public with photos he sent exposing his weiner to underage girls.

Was the clinton email server hacked? So far the word is there’s no proof of that, but… Did Huma delete and/or bleach-bit information on her devices the same way Hillary did? We can’t know, because despite Huma’s obvious untruths, these devices were not seized for the earlier investigation.

Why? We can only guess. But to quote Hillary from last night (albeit on a slightly different topic): “your guess is as good as mine, and that’s not good enough”.

What we do know is that, obviously, there is still enough material left for the FBI to re-open the case. They may have found as many as tens of thousands of mails belonging to Huma (well, actually, to the US government) on Weiner’s laptop.
[..] Abedin’s role in this caper begs for fresh scrutiny. Making false statements to a federal agent is a felony. So is mishandling classified information. By forwarding classified emails to her personal email account and printing them out at home, Abedin appears to have violated a Classified Information NonDisclosure Agreement she signed at the State Department on Jan. 30, 2009, in which she agreed to keep all classified material under the control of the US government.
Classified emails sent to an unprotected server and printed out at home. How dumb exactly is Huma Abedin? And how dumb does all this make Hillary?
Let’s see if Comey puts the screws to Abedin and leverages her for information on her boss. If he agrees to cut another immunity deal, we’ll know the fix is still in.
Will the media propaganda caravan now turn on Hillary to save its face? I would predict perhaps not immediately, since they bet a lot on their horse. But give it a few days and they may conclude it’s high time to cut their losses. And so may a lot of other parties involved.

The thumbscrews put on Huma this morning by the campaign must be hurting. Can she cut another immunity deal or will she end up under the bus?

Priorities and what's really important

SUBHEAD: Knowing about and acting against over consumption, ecocide, and world war are at the top of the list for me.

By Juan Wilson on 29 October 2016 for Island Breath -

Image above: An illustration of what some see as America. An obese American gorges on fast food in the middle of an oil field during a war. It is labeled "Made by USA and NATO" and can be found almost exclusively on Russian language websites. In this case from an English language site (http://bread-circuses-today.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-silence-of-american-hawks-about.html).

If you read this website regularly you probably have seen a lot of articles recently about the fight against the North Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). You might also have noted a lot of concentration on military strife around the world that might lead to wider war as well as articles on environmental degradation.

Needless to say those are import subjects, but were never meant to be the center of our conversation. We hope first to be talking about positive subjects. IslandBreath.org's front page states.
There will be focus on...
Peace • Environment • Justice • Regionalism • Activism • Culture

In the relation to...
Industrialism • Militarism • Corporatism • Collapse • Peak Oil • Climate Change
Those words were written years ago, and I hope we can get back to more  of a focus on  peace, environment, justice, regionalism, activism and culture. But priorities being what they are (things that are regarded as more important than other thing), I think we all need to focus on a few vital issues.

The push back on the War Hawks, especially Hillary Clinton and the NeoCons and NeoLiberals who see a need to engage Russia and China in proxy wars throughout the Middle East, North Africa and soon the South China Sea.

many of America's hidden governing agents in and out of government are in sync with hawk Hillery Clinton advocating among other things:
  • Pushing NATO missile sites and war games into Eastern Europe. 
  • Overthrowing the Ukraine government with a regime unfriendly to Russia.
  • Threatening a no-fly zone in Syria leading to shooting Russian jets.
  • Getting into a shooting war in Yemen with partner Saudi Arabia to engage Iran.
These activities are raising the likelihood of starting another world war... This one with electromagnetic-pulse weapons and nuclear bombs as icing on the cake.

The struggle by indigenous people to succeed in pushing back corporate, government and military invasion of their land for resources, development, and strategic advantage.

Recently we republished an article (http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2016/10/wildlife-loss-of-58-since-1970.html) that noted that since 1970 almost 60% of all wildlife has perished on planet Earth. The wilder less developed places on Earth are where many of the indigenous people live and they are on the front line of climate destruction.

This is through resource extraction (shale oil, natural gas, coal, timber, etc.) waste disposal (mountaintop removal, radioactive waste, fracking pools) and fossil fuel transport (pipelines, freight trains, long haul tanker trucks).

The Standing Ridge Sioux tribe's battle against the the North Dakota Access Pipeline is such a struggle. Besides those that have joined the Sioux in standing in the way of those construction bulldozers there is no one else between us and the ecological destruction of mining the shale oil, burning the oil and ultimately the spilling of the oil from the failure of the pipeline.

Defend the Arctic, the Amazon, the Congo and the non-gmo Breadbasket.
Over consumption is more than an activity that can lead to being overweight and be buried in crappy consumer products with short life cycles. It is a desired means to continue "growth" for our economy. And growth is life for those that depend on it (like mold and cancer).

Forth the most part we are totally dependent on and addicted to the distribution of mass produced crappy food, products, clothing and tools. "Demand Destruction" is not on the agenda. We continue to drive to Walmart, Costco, Home Depot and McDonalds. This is literally eating the planet Earth alive and most of us see no way nor have the will to stop.

Advertising, our mass media and culture celebrate consumption and promote self-denial. A steady state low consumption world economy in balance with resource replacement and recycling seems unobtainable - but will come about regardless - with or without humans.

Keep on keepin' on! So we keep pounding on these priorities on this site while we try and get further of the grid for dependence for food, water, energy and entertainment.

I don't think the System can hold much longer. An adjustment to uncountable debt approaches. The universal availability of gmo high fructose corn syrup, gmo soybean, and gmo animal feed will fail. The fossil fuel driven nation wide telecommunication and electric power grid will begin failing and we will begin to find our way home. The sooner the better. 

We hope we can get back to publishing more "How To", "Do it yourself", "Home Recipes", "Sustainability" and "Permaculture" articles...  Maybe that will be with a typewriter and mimeograph machine (yes we have two Royal typewriters and an A. B. Dick mimeograph machine in storage).

 In the meantime read us here trying to fight for PEACE, WILDERNESS, SUSTAINABILITY!

Full armed force on NoDPL

SUBHEAD: Militarized "police" attack on DAPL resistance camp with wide variety of weapons.

By Juan Gonzales on 28 October 2016 for Democracy Now! -

Image above: Helmeted armed police with batons backed up by military outfitted army and armored vehicles face Native Americans and others defending the land from pipeline construction. Still from video below by Unicorn Riot.

We go to Standing Rock, North Dakota, for an update on how hundreds of police with military equipment raided a resistance camp Thursday that was established by Native American water protectors in the path of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline.

More than 100 officers in riot gear with automatic rifles lined up across a highway, flanked by multiple MRAPs, an LRAD sound cannon, Humvees driven by National Guardsmen, an armored police truck and a bulldozer.

Water protectors say police deployed tear gas, mace, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades and bean bag rounds against the Native Americans and shot rubber bullets at their horses.

"We learned a lot about the relationship of North Dakota to Native people," says Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth. "I was standing next to a group of teenagers that were maced in the face. … I was shot in the face by a bean bag round."

Image above: Masked armed "police" in military attire with shotguns and mace face women protestors of Dakota Access Pipeline construction. Still from video below by Unicorn Riot.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to North Dakota, where on Thursday hundreds of police with military equipment raided a resistance camp established by Native American water protectors in the path of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and members of hundreds of other tribes from across the Americas.

On Thursday afternoon, over a hundred officers in riot gear with automatic rifles lined up across North Dakota's Highway 1806, flanked by multiple MRAPs -- that's mine-resistant ambush protected military vehicles -- sound cannon, Humvees driven by National Guardsmen, an armored police truck and a bulldozer.

Water protectors say that police deployed tear gas, mace, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades and bean bag rounds against the Native Americans and shot rubber bullets at their horses. This is a video shot by Unicorn Riot, followed by a Facebook Live video from Sacheen Seitcham of the West Coast Women Warriors Media Cooperative.
SACHEEN SEITCHAM: They've been pepper-spraying. They've maced. They've tasered. They've thrown percussion bombs and smoke grenades at us. All for water. Over 300 pigs. We are protecting the water. They're protecting oil. That's what's happening.
AMY GOODMAN: Water protectors set up a blockade of the highway using cars, tires, fire in order to try to protect their camp, parts of which were demolished by police. Four people locked themselves to a truck parked in the middle of the highway in order to stop the police advance. Elders also led prayer ceremonies in front of the police line. Some were arrested in the middle of prayer. In total, more than 100 people were arrested.

Ahead of the police raid, the Federal Aviation Administration also issued a temporary no-fly zone for the airspace above the resistance camps for all aircraft except for those used by law enforcement. Police appeared to be evicting the frontline camp in order to clear the way for the Dakota Access pipeline company to continue construction.

Company cranes and bulldozers were active Thursday just behind the police line on the site of the sacred burial ground where Dakota Access security guards unleashed dogs on Native Americans on September 3rd. We're going to turn to Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network, this clip from the front line.
DALLAS GOLDTOOTH: This is at the front line of the Dakota Access pipeline fight right here. And we are about one -- about two miles from the river to the west here -- or east, sorry. And to the west, right over this hill, Dakota Access is doing construction, trying to get to this road right here. So there is a police line on top of the hill here with Dakota Access workers and police protecting the workers.
AMY GOODMAN: That's Dallas Goldtooth. And before that, you hear the LRAD, the long-range acoustic device.
For more, we're joined by Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth.
Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Tara. Explain what took place yesterday. I mean, the video and the photos that we have of the military hardware arrayed against the protesters.

TARA HOUSKA: Yesterday we saw that -- you know, we saw -- we learned a lot about the relationship of people to fossil fuels. We learned a lot about the relationship of North Dakota to Native people. And we learned a lot about America and where we stand.

Yesterday, we saw folks being maced. I was standing right next to a group of teenagers that were all maced in the face, maced right -- like all kinds of people.

Myself, I actually was almost shot in the face by bean bag round. It ricocheted off a truck right next to my head. These police were actively trying to hurt people, pushing them back to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. They were defending monetary interests as human beings were being physically hurt. You know, I saw -- I saw, right in front of me, a group of police officers pull a protester forward and begin beating him over the head with sticks.

There's video of it that you can see. I mean, this was an all-out war that was waged on indigenous protectors that were doing nothing more than peacefully assembling. There was no fires, there was nothing like that, until the police began their violent attack on us.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Tara, where was this incident in -- for instance, in relationship to the September 3rd dog attacks at the tribal burial site?

TARA HOUSKA: When Dakota Access jumped ahead over 20 miles to destroy the site that had just been identified by the tribe the day before as a sacred place, that happened on September 3rd. That's also the anniversary of the Whitestone Hill massacre.

That was the exact place the day that Dakota Access was basically constructing its pipeline, right in the background, as literally hundreds and hundreds of people came to stand and pray and bring all of their energy forward to stop this from happening.

And it was right at that site where Native American men, women and children had been attacked by private security, by dogs and mace and all the same things that we saw yesterday -- this incredible escalated violence against people that were doing nothing more than trying to stop the destruction of sacred sites right in front of their eyes.

AMY GOODMAN: Tara, you saw rifles aimed directly at people, police aiming those rifles?

TARA HOUSKA: Yes, there were police walking around everywhere with assault rifles. Directly across from us, there was actually a policeman holding his rifle trained on us, directly on us. Bean bag rifle assault -- bean bag non-lethal weapons were also aimed at us. Every time we put our hands up, they'd put them down.

As soon as our hands came down, they would aim back at us. Police officers were smiling at us as they were doing these things.

There were police officers filming this, laughing, as they -- as human beings were being attacked, being maced. I mean, it was a nightmarish scene.

And it should be a shame to the federal government, it should be a shame to the American people, that this is happening within U.S. borders to indigenous people and to our allies, to all people that are trying to protect water. Yesterday was a really shameful moment for this country and where we stand.

AMY GOODMAN: And the number of people you estimate were arrested, Tara?

TARA HOUSKA: I saw dozens of people being arrested. I mean, they were just pulling people out and arresting them. You know, I saw -- I actually had to get pulled back from a group that -- I mean, the police were pushing forward and just grabbing people at will.

We had a number of lockdowns, like that were right in front of us in this truck in the middle of the road, that was used to attempt to blockade these police from advancing forward. There were five people, actually, that were locked to that.

They attempted to construct a tipi in the middle, right behind people that were praying and singing. And they -- there were folks that locked down to that tipi, or attempted to. The police ripped that tipi down and ripped those people out. It was -- it was a really horrible scene yesterday.

Video above: Unicorn Riot film of standoff between military "police" and NoDAPL protestors. From (https://vimeo.com/189264404).

Video above: More of Unicorn Riot film of standoff between military "police" and NoDAPL protestors. From (https://vimeo.com/189249968).

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL reclaim new frontline 10/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: How far will North Dakota go? 10/23/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodman "riot" charge dropped 10/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodwin to face "Riot Charge" 10/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Shutdown of all tar sand pipelines 10/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why Standing Rock is test for Oabama 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why we are Singing for Water 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Labor's Dakota Access Pipeline Crisis 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Firm for Standing Rock 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Contact bankers behind DAPL 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL demo at Enbridge Inc 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Militarized Police raid NoDAPL 9/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop funding of Dakota Access Pipeline 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: UN experts to US, "Stop DAPL Now!" 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: No DAPL solidarity grows 9/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: This is how we should be living 9/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: 'Natural Capital' replacing 'Nature' 9/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Big Difference at Standing Rock 9/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Jill Stein joins Standing Rock Sioux 9/10/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Pipeline temporarily halted 9/6/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Native Americans attacked with dogs 9/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Mni Wiconi! Water is Life! 9/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Sioux can stop the Pipeline 8/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Officials cut water to Sioux 8/23/16 


Wildlife loss of 58% since 1970

SUBHEAD: Absent radical system change, world faces two-thirds wildlife loss by 2020.

By Nadia Prupius on 27 October 2016 for Common Dreams -

Image above: Mountain gorillas are threatened with extinction as they have been reduced to two isolated populations in Central Africa. From (http://www.nature.com/news/mountain-gorillas-stuck-in-genetic-bottleneck-1.17277).

We are at a decisive moment in time when we can seize the solutions to steer our food, energy, and finance systems in a more sustainable direction'
Global populations of wild animals could be down by two-thirds by 2020 without reform to food and energy systems, according to a devastating new report out Thursday.

The analysis by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London finds that animal populations dropped 58 percent between 1970 and 2012. Without radical action, the world could witness a decline of 67 percent by 2020.

The annual Living Planet Index is the most comprehensive study to date, the organizations said. Since the mid-twentieth century, use of natural resources has gone up dramatically, harming biodiversity and other critical ecosystems.

And now, as scientists suggest we've entered into a new geological epoch created by human activity—the Anthropocene—the report states that we are endangering the natural systems we rely upon, and are faced with a "dual challenge" to keep the earth habitable for animals and people.

"Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate," said Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International. "This is not just about the wonderful species we all love; biodiversity forms the foundation of healthy forests, rivers, and oceans. Take away species, and these ecosystems will collapse along with the clean air, water, food, and climate services that they provide us."

"We have the tools to fix this problem and we need to start using them now if we are serious about preserving a living planet for our own survival and prosperity," Lambertini said.

The top threats to species identified in the report—fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, from gorillas to salamanders—are directly linked to human activity. That includes habitat loss and over-exploitation of wildlife, both of which are in part a result of global food production for a booming population. The report notes that agriculture takes up about one-third of the Earth's territory and accounts for 70 percent of water use.

The Guardian also summarizes other findings:
Pollution is also a significant problem with, for example, killer whales and dolphins in European seas being seriously harmed by long-lived industrial pollutants. Vultures in south-east Asia have been decimated over the last 20 years, dying after eating the carcasses of cattle dosed with an anti-inflammatory drug. Amphibians have suffered one of the greatest declines of all animals due to a fungal disease thought to be spread around the world by the trade in frogs and newts.
But the report also offers some auspicious statistics, such as the measures small-scale farmers in developing countries are taking to protect their regional lakes and other biodiversity hotspots. And it notes that some species, such as the tiger and the giant panda, are starting to recover, suggesting that drastic action would make a significant impact.

The researchers hope the report will serve as a global wake-up call on conservation.

"Human behavior continues to drive the decline of wildlife populations globally, with particular impact in freshwater habitats. Importantly however, these are declines, they are not yet extinctions—and this should be a wake-up call to marshal efforts to promote the recovery of these populations," said Professor Ken Norris, director of science at the zoological society.

The report outlines some of the most necessary systemic changes that need to occur to prevent the massive species damage: expanding the global network of protected places; creating legal and policy frameworks that support equitable access to food, water, and energy; divesting from fossil fuels and redirecting financial flows to conservation and ecosystem management; producing and consuming more sustainable goods; and, in particular, transitioning into a resilient food system that does not rely on factory farms and agriculture.

Lambertini said, "No matter how you add it up, the math does not look good. The more we continue to exceed Earth's limits, the more damage we do to our own future. We are at a decisive moment in time when we can seize the solutions to steer our food, energy, and finance systems in a more sustainable direction."