3P-068 12 Local Ordinances for Food Security

In this episode we describe 12 local ordinances that towns could use to protect food production and community sovereignty. These include distinguishing between agribusiness and smallholder farms, enabling sustainable student swaps, authorizing Backyard Farmer and Kitchen Baker Markets, allowing free trade between neighbors, and networking with other towns reclaiming their producer rights. First among these pioneering towns is Sedgwick, Maine, whose Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance we discuss, including its revolutionary stance on secession.

We quote from Joel Salatin’s “Everything I Want to Do is Illegal,” and from Richard Holtz in “An Extra Pair of Hands” from the Half Moon Bay Patch. The aging of the farm population is discussed, and the inability of young farmers to make a living with the onerous regulations and exorbitant cost of land. We also elucidate ag and oil subsidies, and look at their effect on farmers both in this country and others.

Poems:

  • “Praise Song” by Barbara Crooker
  • “Groundhog Day” by Lynn Ungar
  • “Millennium Blessing” by Stephen Levine

Songs and/or Music Videos:

  • “Remaining Light” by God is an Astronaut
  • “Weather and Water” by Jedd Hughes
  • “We Can’t Make It Here” by James McMurtry

Included is an archive of the Sedgwick Local Food Ordinance and the powerpoint slides of the 12 Local Ordinances for Food Security, which I presented at Transition Santa Cruz’s “potluck with a purpose.” We also introduce the Urban Garden Share project of the Santa Cruz Local Food Working Group.

3P-067 Rhetorical Devisives or Two Half-Truths Don’t Make a Whole

In Rhetorical Devisives we demonstrate the importance of the Trivium education from ancient Greece: grammar, logic, and rhetoric, to learn how to think rather than what to think. Julian Assange is given as an example of someone who uses classical techniques to identify and rebut Ad Hominem and Lunatic Fringe attacks. We define blood libel from James Carroll’s book on anti-Semiticism in the Church, Constantine’s Sword, which shows how Sarah Palin twisted it into an opposite meaning.

We play an excerpt of Peace Revolution’s first podcast from the Trivium Education website. “Liberal” anti-conspiracist Chip Berlet is identified as a master of the fallacious argument. We show how he used Red Herring and Straw Man techniques to discredit investigations into the Federal Reserve, linking the videos “Zeitgeist” and “Loose Change” to the Tucson shooter.  We reference “Conversational Terrorism” on Sleight of Mind techniques that he uses in a 2002 Democracy Now debate with David Ray Griffin, like Weasel Wording, Moving the Goalpost, Heat-Seeking Question, and the Statistical Non Sequiter. We ask whether he’s single-handedly diverted the liberal press from the two most important questions to US citizens: whether our money supply is loaned to us at interest by private bankers, making them the real government, and whether that government killed 3000 of our citizens to instigate a war.

Poems:

  • “Let My Country Awake” by Rabindranath Tagore
  • “Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo
  • “To the New Year” by W.S. Merwin

Songs and/or Music Videos:

  • Cinematic Orchestra with “Child’s Song” from the Ma Fleur CD
  • Willie Nelson with “Peace Revolution”
  • Laura Gibson with “Where Have All Your Good Words Gone”

Informational Video:

  • Pop-up Fallacies analyzing Greenpeace ad that blames global warming on parents, not corporations.

Thank you to Patrice Caux for the referrals to sources in this episode. Also please view and comment on my first published article at Foreign Policy in Focus! “Peru Trade Deal Unravels

3P-066 Peru and the Free2Raid Agreement plus Bonus Interview

In Peru and the Free2Raid Agreement, we ask whether free trade between countries is really a free-to-raid deal between dictators and corporate investors. We give the history of the 2007 Peru FTA and show how Democrats, labor unions, churches, human rights organizations, and environmental groups were divided and conquered to pass it, and what its effects have been in the North and South.

We describe how Peru’s President Garcia came to power, and his uncanny parallel in the US. An Iowa farmer is quoted using Peru’s earthquake to promote the FTA, and we show how subsidized US corn has undermined food security. Evidence from “information terrorists” in Peru is cited about the economic impact on rural communities and depletion of water in the aquifers. We follow the USAID project of Peruvian asparagus and its impact on agro-export workers there and asparagus farmers in California, Washington, and Minnesota here. This episode ends with a question about whether we should have free trade between neighbors rather than nations, and if these should be called what they are: Subsidized Investor-Corporate Kleptocracy, or SICK.

Poems:

  • New Year Prayer by David Whyte
  • New Year’s Resolution by Philip Appleman

Songs and/or Music Videos

  • Improvisation 1 by Ballake Sossoko
  • It Is What It Is by John Trudell and Bad Dog
  • No No Keshagesh (greedy guts) by Buffy Saint Marie

Thank you to David Bayer of Peru and Howard Rosenberg of UC Berkeley for the wealth of resources provided to this show! To listen or view the multimedia transcript, plus cartoons, tables, photos, and footnotes, click here.

My daughter Veronica and I were also interviewed this week on the KZSC program Talkabout with guest host Kevin Spitzer. We discussed the UniverseCity, and the potential to have a network of microversities linked through low-power FM “stations for education.” Veronica talked about Food in the Hood, our bi-weekly neighborhood dinners that raise donations to global charities. Kevin compared Third Paradigm to a fledgling Amy Goodman, and gave insight to the community- and soul-building aspect of these endeavors. A new class in Glocal Economics was announced, and experiences in turkey-plucking were shared. If you’d like to hear this lively conversation, it’s archived here at radio4all.

3P-065 Who Rules the World?

In this 65th episode of Third Paradigm, we examine global wealth starting with the 50 richest people, who are one in 100 million, and the Bilderbergers, quoting from the radio show Unwelcome Guests. Then we go to the richest one in 100,000 people with an excerpt called Adjusted Income by Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket.  We discuss Michael Parenti’s distinction between a structuralist and a functionalist, and give a functionalist example with a chilling pair of videos called The Banker.

Then we engage in visual economics by plotting net assets by population: if one inch = $100,000, it would require 11 miles of paper to plot the Walton’s assets. The net assets of the middle class would fall into one square inch, with only 10% of the population. To one side, the other 90% of the population would stretch, with assets that barely register on the scale. On the other side, the privileged few would propel off the chart and into outer space.

Poems:

  • Part Two, X from Ranier Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus
  • A poem by Anna Akhmatova
  • A Native American story

Songs/Music Videos:

  • Moonflower by Keiko Matsui from Deep Blue
  • Stumbling through the Dark by The Jayhawks from Rainy Day Music

Informational Videos:

  • The Banker by 33rd Degree Films
  • The Banker from The Robin Hood Tax

To listen to the show or view the multimedia transcript, click here.

3P-064 Money as Theft, or Why We Need a Glocal Economy

In this episode, we look at money as created through debt, but actually backed by theft, by examining the exchange of labor that money purportedly represents. We question the high cost of housing and services vs. the low cost of food and goods.  Looking ahead, we develop 10 features that a successful turnaround plan would need to have, and we explain how a strategy to deal with hyperinflation is the opposite of a strategy for inflation.

We also tell the story of meeting Claudia Solerno, Venezuela’s Presidential Envoy on Climate Justice, at the Green Festival. We cite a study from Fast Food/Slow Food: the Cultural Economy of the Global Food System by Richard Wilk, and an article by economist Michael Hudson called “Krugman, China and the Role of Finance.” Finally, we end with holiday shopping tips from Fair Trade USA, a guide from Shop to Stop Slavery, Free2Work’s I-phone app, and Kyle Thiermann’s video, “Buy Local, Surf Global.”

Poems:

  • “Each of Us Has a Name” by Zelda
  • “For the Sleepwalkers” by Edward Hirsch
  • “Everything is Going to be All Right” by Derek Mahon

Songs/Music Videos

  • “Welcome, Ghosts” by Explosions in the Sky
  • “Before I Go” by John Hiatt
  • “Freedom Hangs Like Heaven” by Iron & Wine

To listen or view the multimedia transcript, click here.

3P-063 Connecting the DOTS: Deepening Our Thinking on Sovereignty

This episode recaps a week of Connecting the DOTS – our new UniverseCity blog that responds to Democracy Now. It features Percy Schmeiser’s “Principles of Food and Agriculture,” and a rebuttal to Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel that quotes James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me. We suggest that, along with germs, natives hadn’t built up an immunity to religions without honor.

The next section, entitled “Shadow Wars and Guerilla Presidents,” looks at Arundhati Roy in India, the new President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and the printer bomb that warrants drone attacks and hunter-killer teams in Yemen. Spencer Ackerman’s Wired article on “The Shadow War in Yemen” is quoted. The concluding piece, called “What’s Your Breaking Point?” poses Ralph Nader’s question of what would cause Democrats to walk away from the party. His reference to a moral compass is explored in light of foreign policy, and we call for a resurgence of the nonbinding referendum.

Poems:

  • “Soul Food” – #2 of the Tao te Ching by Ursula K. Le Guin from The Way and the Power of the Way
  • “By Contrast” – #2 of the Tao te Ching by Tereza Coraggio
  • “II,16″ by Ranier Maria Rilke from The Book of Hours translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

Songs:

  • “Isolate” by Moby from the Wait for Me CD
  • “Mothers of the Disappeared” by U2 from Joshua Tree
  • “Instant Karma” by U2 from Amnesty International’s tribute album of the same name

To view the multimedia transcript or listen to the show, click here.

3P-062 Education and Its Discontents

In this special 2-hour feature, Third Paradigm hosts the 10th anniversary episode of Unwelcome Guests. This show looks forward and backwards at whether schools at the university, secondary, and elementary levels are serving the greater good of society or the greater wealth of CEO’s. In celebration of 520 episodes, this show begins by reading Lyn Gerry’s introduction to the very first edition of Unwelcome Guests. It announces the many new features of the UnwelcomeGuests.net website, including show summaries, topic and speaker indexes, embedded audio player, interactive wiki design, and “collaboratory” studio: all provided through the altruistic largesse of Robin Upton. In the second hour, an alternative media forum called the UniverseCity is cited, with an invitation to listeners to join.

We start by looking at the current state of college financing through excerpts from “The Student Loan Scam” and “Wossamotta U.” Then Ben Manski from Unwelcome Guests #345 looks at college costs a generation ago, and how corporatization has accompanied the rise in tuition. This episode was called “Dumbed Down, Buttoned Down, or Locked Down – Throwaway People in a Disposable Culture.” The first hour ends with a reading from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig.

In the second hour, Ken MacDermottRoe of History Counts interviews John Taylor Gatto in his episode,  “Dumbing Us Down.” Then Kenneth Dowst of New World Notes plays the conclusion of one of John Taylor Gatto’s talks, followed by an excerpt from Jonathon Kozol, who observes the same phenomenon but reaches a different solution. Data is presented from Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi’s book “The Two-Income Trap.”

Notable Quote: Keep in mind, this scheme was never intended…to be destructive, just the reverse. By converting Americans into specialized economic and social functions, into incompletely human human beings, this nation eventually achieved the most reliable domestic market in the world. The human mutilations of schooling are a trade0off for this prosperity. Comfort and security are achieved at the price of personal sovereignty and wholeness. That’s what makes extended childhood a paradox – give it up and people will enter a zone of great turbulence, since most people don’t have a clue what to do to make a living or how to entertain themselves. And the resolution of that turbulence nobody can predict.

Well-schooled people have a low threshold of boredom; they need constant novelty to feel alive. With only the flimsiest inner life, they must stay in touch with official voices…The cannot sit still without their minds wandering off to some commercial world or to the stock market…Well-schooled people must be poorly-trained in history, philosophy, economics, literature, poetry, music, art, theology, and anything known to develop a personal inner life… [It converts] spirits designed for independence into whiny, greedy, bored children who define themselves by what they consume…When you next find yourself appalled by infantile and irresponsible behavior that you see all around you, think of school as its forge and try to get rid of it.

– John Taylor Gatto

3P-061 Wossamotta U

Wossamotta U was the alma mater of Bullwinkle, an early teacher of the social innuendo. This episode examines the university as the self-perpetuating goal of education. We review the NY Times article “Placing the Blame as Students Are Mired in Debt,” the Washington Examiner article, “Higher Education’s Bubble is About to Burst,” and the eye-opening new book by Anya Kamenetz, DIY U. From her book, we cite statistics on drop-out rates, question the cost/benefit ratio, and take a jaundiced look at college from “The Economics of Education and the Education of an Economist.”

But from the last episode, we reconsider our conclusions from a Pew Center survey showing Republicans are happier than Democrats. And we ask, who funds the Pew Center anyway? We hypothesize that it’s the same group that’s grooming Presidential candidates, as John Perkins reveals they do for economic hit men. We end with a new educational paradigm, that compares apples to apples to measure the success of schooling.

Poems:

  • “When the Shoe Fits” by Chuang Tsu
  • “Straight Talk from Fox” by Mary Oliver

Songs and/or Music Videos

  • “A Day Without Rain” and “Tempus Vernum” by Enya
  • “Same Old, Same Old” by Chumbawumba
  • “Someday” by Brett Dennen

Excerpt

  • Question related to California’s Budget Crisis and Cabrillo College

To listen or view the multimedia transcript, click here!

3P-060 The Bipolar Bipartisan

The Bipolar Bipartisan looks at bipartisanship as a compromise between two confusions. We examine critical thinking and how it’s been bred out, generation by generation. This leaves us vulnerable to being defeated through our own unexamined contradictions. We also look at that strange hybrid of capitalism and socialism, the consumer democracy. And we explore how Republicans and Democrats differ on a survey of happiness.

We also discuss Obama’s first-strike nuclear option towards Iran as a “spare the nuclear rod and spoil the colony” policy, and quote IPS and Diane Rehm on the topic. We puzzle over the apparent contradiction in the assassination order of the US-born Muslim cleric in Yemen. We compare the capitalist creed cited by pilot Joseph Stack to the socialist creed, both of which Ivan Illich would critique as part of the war on subsistence. We end with Bruce Gagnon and a clip from one of his lectures stating where both Republicans and Democrats agree.

Poems:

  • “Begin” by Rumi
  • “Half-Life” by Stephen Levine
  • “Love Letters” by Ikkyu
  • “Act Serious” by Tukaram

Songs and/or Music Videos:

  • “Up All Night” by The Grails
  • Peter Gabriel’s cover of Paul Simon’s “Boy in the Bubble”
  • Peter Gabriel’s cover of Talking Heads’ “Listening Wind”

Audio Clip and Chart

  • Ken Dowst’s New World Notes, “Bruce Gagnon on Endless War and the Economy”
  • Pew Research Center’s “Life Priorities by Party”

To listen or view the multimedia transcript, click here!

3P-059 Two Things Are Certain: Debt and Taxes

This episode looks at national debts as sneaky taxes, and why protectionism should be one of the most holy words in our vocabulary. Asks, if we owe on loans without our consent, are we really free? Referencing the radio series Wizards of Money by “Smithy,” does an in-depth analysis of FICA, the tax that pays for Social Security and Medicare.

Demonstrates how FICA made the income tax less progressive, and why those who can’t afford their own insurance are paying the most to extend the lives of seniors. Proposes an alternative that would provide free reproductive, pre-natal, and pre-school healthcare, so the right to life doesn’t end at birth.

Finally, compares the budget of the Roman Empire in 150 CE and the 21st century US Empire, including the most expensive provinces for each: Judea and Egypt. Updates the parable of the talents to the modern terminology of IMF loans and corporate kickbacks.

Poems:

  • “No More Cliches” by Octavio Paz
  • “ The Tao of the Trial” by Marilyn Nelson

Songs:

  • “Everything Has an End, Even Sadness” by Kaki King
  • “Money” by Monty Python
  • “The Taxman” by the Beatles

Videos:

  • “The Money Programme” with Eric Idle of Monty Python
  • “Journeys with George,” a video-montage by Monica Guerra using footage from Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary of the same name

To listen or view the transcript, click here.