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.
- “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.
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.
- 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.
Sovereignty: Presents Wikipedia’s imperialist definition of sovereignty. Quotes David Cobb and David Korten on the current disaster of corporate sovereignty. Questions whether the state and federal government can both be simultaneously sovereign. Defines the key to sovereignty as the right to do no wrong. Discusses a plan for a confederacy of counties and an incremental Jubilee through gradual relocalization of taxes. Prioritizes use of reclaimed taxes to fund the right to do no harm and to restore foreign communities that we’ve deprived of their sovereignty. Also talks about roosters that find their crow and the need for an Urban Slaughter Support Group.
- Yuan Mei, “Writing What I’ve Seen”
- Thomas Centolella, “Veiw #45”
Songs and/or Music Videos:
- Bobby Torres Ensemble, “On Burnside”
- Chris Pierce, “Keep On Keeping On,” concert video
- Derby, “If Ever There’s a Reason,” super-cute video
- Interview with Scott James, founder of Fair Trade Sports, who talks about child labor in sports balls and his Newmanesque business model that donates all profits to charities.
People are Animals Too: Questions the religion of vegetarianism. Differentiates between the evils of industrial meat production, illustrated by the movie Food, Inc., and the joys of animal husbandry, as detailed in the book, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. Reports on interview with Novella Carpenter and with Elise Pearlstein, co- producer of Food, Inc. Discusses two films from the Ironweed film club called Asparagus: Stalking the Good Life, and A Growing Season. Updates the resistance news from the Honduran coup. Critiques an article by Daniel Brook in Tikkun magazine called “The Planet-Saving Mitzvah: Why Jews Should Consider Vegetarianism.”
- Wendall Barry, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front”
Songs and/or Music Videos:
- Paul Taylor, “Set Me Free”
- Dana Lyons, “Cows With Guns” and “Berries Overgrown”
- Robert Kenner, “Food, Inc.”
The Comedy of the Commons: Takes a critical look at the Tragedy of the Commons. Elaborates the true tragedy of the monopoly, which has been taken to new heights by the global land grab in response to food insecurity. Examines how the usurping of land for oil, gas, logging, and mining has led to the massacre in the Amazon, due to the US-Peru Free2Raid Agreement. Introduces Presidents Correa and Morales UN sideshow on dismantling the International Center for Settlement of Investor Disputes. Elucidates the US position that favors democracy but backs paramilitary groups and secession to control resources. Reports on breaking news with the military coup in Honduras and the popular support that has not been deterred. Talks about the 225 cardboard pigs delivered by Avaaz to the WHO, representing 225,000 petitioners demanding an investigation of the swine flu link to factory farms. With the possibility of State Park closures in CA, develops a plan to turn Wilder Ranch into a working eco-ranch with heritage chickens, heirloom pigs, and a dual-purpose dairy.
Songs and/or Music Videos:
- Bruce Cockburn, “If a Tree Falls in the Forest”
- David Rovics, “The Commons”
- India Arie, “A Beautiful Day”
- “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”
Was the Constitution an Act of Treason?: Reviews the context in which the Articles of Confederation were replaced with the Constitution – how it was done and who benefited. Presents the warnings of the “anti Federalists:” Patrick Henry, Brutus, and Federalist Farmer. Makes a case that the “Founding Fathers” destroyed the people’s government in order to perpetuate slavery, extort taxes in gold and gain possession of citizens’ land. Reads the poem “Earth Your Dancing Place” by May Swensen. Reports on the sovereignty news: Dow Chemical’s NAFTA suit against Quebec for banning lawn pesticides, Zaproot’s videoblog, “Who Owns the Rain?” Brasscheck TV’s “Facts to counter swine flu hysteria,” and GRAIN.org’s “A food system that kills: swine flu is the meat industry’s latest plague.” Music by Ani de Franco, Tom Waits, The Iguanas, Explosions in the Sky.
The Food and Community Resurrection: Reports on a revolutionary uprising called the Grow Food Party Crew. They dig, they plant, they play, they dance. Ties it into a recent act of Santa Cruz insurgency – the day that commerce stood still. Also reads poems by Hafiz, Nanao Sakaki, and Li-Young Lee. Develops the Permaculture concept into a way to save the world from your own backyard. Introduces a new program called Food in the ‘Hood. Reminisces about the Church of the Holy Snowball. Music by Mutumu, Russian Circles, Brett Dennen, Crowded House, David Rovics.
Includes a bonus track by Abby Young, recipient of the first Santa Cruz Grow Food Party Crew. She interviews UCSC apprentices who volunteered at her Grow Food Party last June. They talk about their reasons for being in the program and their hopes for the future, and what community gardening is all about.
The Nature of Reality: Reads a poem by Steve Kowit called Notice and Kurt Vonnegut’s Last Rites of the Bokononist Faith, set to the music of Bill Laswell. Sends a last will and text-message, and looks at the Lenten digital abstinence of texting-free Fridays. On a truly somber topic, discusses Mark Danner’s Voices from the Black Sites. Examines the book Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age, including essays on Transition Towns, Urban Homesteading, Sumarian Economics, and Twitter Telepathy. Relates a little-known connection between Sting and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Music by R.E.M., David Gray, Sting, Bill Laswell.
Featured guests: Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Cracking Open the Head, 2012: the Return of Quetzalcoatl, and Toward 2012.
Local notes: gives details on Santa Cruz County farms presented to Transition SC’s Local Food Working Group by Rebecca Thistlethwaite of TLC Ranch. These include the amount of ag subsidies, decline in land used for farming, primary crops and livestock, and percentage of organic farms.
Love ‘Em & Eat ‘Em: This episode of Third Paradigm includes an interview with the author Nicolette Hahn Niman from her appearance at Capitola Book Cafe. She’s the author of Righteous Porkchop and the environmental lawyer who led the charge against factory livestock farming under Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. She organized a national reform movement against inhumane animal confinement, industrial breeding, and the devastating pollution caused by manure lagoons. She interviewed ranchers using the best of practices, including Bill Niman of Niman Ranch. The vegetarian East Coast lawyer fell in love with the West Coast cattle rancher, and became a rancher herself.
Reads four poems about farming by Wendall Barry, Miguel De Unamuno, and William Stafford. It explores the parallels between Big Ag extremists and vegan animal liberationists. We research a hopeful history and a dismal past and a hopeful future for backyard chickens. Also introduces a program called “Food in the ‘Hood” being started on the Santa Cruz Westside.