Volatility

November 27, 2012

Notes for Community Food Movement

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Food and Farms, Freedom, Peak Oil, Relocalization — Tags: — Russ @ 12:19 pm

>

In recent months persecuted raw milk farmers Vernon Hershberger and Alvin Schlangen have enjoyed courtroom victories which are in part the result of massive community support. That customers and friends are willing to give real support and engage in defiance of the system is key to a farmer’s being able to engage in civil disobedience and put up a fight in the first place.
 
But we can’t rely on the ad hoc flowering of such community cohesion. If such groups are going to spread and become exemplary of a broad Food Freedom movement, then such willingness to resist top-down attacks has to be placed within an affirmative Community Food context.
 
This movement must do all it can to spread the ideas:
 
To farmers – The switch away from commodity agriculture and toward local food is physically necessary (Peak Oil, soil exhaustion, general environmental exhaustion), and they’ll be economically and politically better off that way, and as part of such a movement.
 
To customers – Buying local food, learning cooking and food preservation, becoming food growers themselves, is necessary for our health, the key to rebuilding our local economies and redeeming our local self-rule, and necessary in light of the looming collapse of industrial ag.
 
To the public in general – Community Food is the core of rebuilding our local economies and regaining control of our politics and thereby our self-determination.
 
This affirmative basis will then be the strongest foundation for the civil disobedience of farmers and customers, and for communities to come together to support beleaguered farmers, in whatever way the system assaults them, from direct food police attacks to bank foreclosures to economic policies that harm local agriculture in general.
Advertisements

November 25, 2012

Some Draft Precepts

>

1. All sovereignty lies with the people, so it must rightfully stay at the ground level.
 
2. All power therefore can only be legitimately dispersed at the ground level.
 
3. The only legitimate governmental form can be local councils. (Which can federate upward, but with all real power and control remaining at the local/regional level.)
 
4. The natural boundaries are watersheds/foodsheds and similar geographical features.
 
5. By definition, wherever power has been concentrated up a hierarchy, we have tyranny. This is regardless of alleged benevolence (though such allegations are always lies in practice) or alleged electoral validation (the inertia of an already atomized and massified electorate doesn’t count as validation; and where did intact communities ever vote in a free, transparent election to surrender their sovereignty? and even if they did, this wouldn’t legitimize the power concentration but merely mean, as Rousseau said, that the people dissolve themselves as a people, leaving a legitimacy vacuum).
 
***
 
These are not only self-evidently true (the only alternative is straight might-makes-right), they’re also the implicit and sometimes explicit basis of all modern mass society and hierarchical power. These all claim ultimately to be based on the sovereignty of the people. I’m merely analyzing this proclaimed basis, which of course they don’t want anyone to analyze. I’m pointing out the fact that according to their proclaimed basis all these forms have zero legitimacy.
 
That’s in addition to their proven malevolence in practice.
 
And in addition to the fact that they don’t work at doing the things they claim they’ll do.
 
And in addition to the fact that they’re all 100% dependent on fossil fuels and shall collapse without them, leaving mass devastation and famine in their aftermath.
 
All this is toward the proposition that we need to organize for this ahead of time, that our organization needs to be on a basis in accord with nature, and that the political forms in accord with nature are the same which, according to existing political philosophy, are the only legitimate ones.
 
Politics, like everything else, is ultimately organic and must always return to this mean.

 
>

November 10, 2012

Left vs. Right

Filed under: Corporatism, Freedom, Globalization, Marx, Neo-feudalism, Peak Oil — Russ @ 5:08 am

>

Is this spectrum meaningful? Was it ever? On what basis?
 
In my search for a rigorous definition, a while ago I settled on: “Left” and “Right” are different factions arguing over how to divvy up the oil surplus and the general wealth of oil-driven industrialization. The distinction doesn’t seem to work very well for pre-oil periods. I’ve read a lot on Ancient Greece and Rome, for example, and find it difficult to read this dichotomy back into those times and places.
 
So the Left-Right thing is a feature of modernity. (The definition of “modern”: The unique period of ahistorically high energy consumption on account of the fossil fuel drawdown.) It has little validity for normal pre-oil history, and will likely have little for the post-oil resumption of normality. It follows that this distinction will also have little validity for the relocalization and Food Freedom movement, since these are on the vector of normal history. Sure enough, Food Freedom cuts across conventional Left-Right boundaries in rejecting both government and corporate hierarchies, rejecting the entire “public-private” dichotomy as fraudulent, rejecting all centralized false culture from country-based patriotism to liberal “multiculturalism”, while respecting the precedents of traditional community life including and especially the tribal cultures of indigenous peoples. Those are a few examples. I’d also say that the gathering global civil war between humanity and those who wish to force humanity to literally ingest nothing but poison is an eschatology vastly transcending and dwarfing all the picayune squabbles of “left” vs. “right”.
 
Speaking of which, Left vs. Right was also often an argument over how to divvy up the fruits of crime as well, since most Westerners of either ideological persuasion agreed in principle on the total exploitation of the non-Western world. 
 
What are core Left principles? For me, for example, any meaningful distinction has to divide between pro- and anti-globalization. Is anti-globalization a left principle? Not historically – communism and liberalism have always been pro-globalization in principle. Industrial organic, “fair trade”, “sustainable development”, all are beloved of liberals and various motley radical chic-ists. While it can be argued that liberalism was always a “right”-tending ideology, to argue that industrial communism wasn’t “leftist” would seem bizarre. Certainly, there are anti-communist forms of socialism. But communism must surely be part of “the left”, if that term’s to have any historical meaning at all. But since it was pro-globalization, it also proves that “left-right” is not sufficient to humanity’s needs, since humanity needs to dissolve the globalist tyranny.
 
Is environmental stewardship a Left principle? It wasn’t for communism in practice. Indeed, for all the attempts of Monthly Review and others to reinvent Marx himself as caring about stewardship, this clearly wasn’t a mainstream element of his philosophy. But this stewardship principle is clearly part of humanity’s great need.
 
Those are just two examples of how “the Left” is insufficient for humanism, democracy, and freedom. That “the Right” hates those things was always self-evident.
 
So it’s pumping a dry well to keep framing things in terms of this obsolete, oil-dependent, and morally insufficient dichotomy. We seek a whole new politics which in many ways shall be old politics, but fertilized with the freedom and democracy ideology which was one of the two great gifts of modernity (the other was modern organic agroecological science).
 
Here’s some ways of expressing the only meaningful spectrum today:
 
Democracy vs. elitism.
 
Freedom vs. enclosure.
 
Natural abundance vs. artificial scarcity.
 
Democracy vs. corporatism.
 
Humanity vs. corporations.

>

November 9, 2012

Pollan is Mystified

>

Michael Pollan:
 
Q: Are there any positive advances that biotech has made recently in the food industry? Any on the horizon?
 
A: They’ve been on the ever-retreating horizon for a long time. I started writing about biotech in ’98 and I remember being told by executives at Monsanto that Roundup and Bt were just the first chapter in this wonderful story and within five years so many other interesting crops, crops that could withstand saline or salty soil or crops that could withstand drought or crops that might even be able to fertilize themselves with fixed nitrogen, crops with higher yields and for reasons that remain something of a mystery to me, those wonders have yet to appear. I don’t know why, whether they’re proving harder to engineer than expected might be one reason. Or they could tell you regulatory hurdles are standing in the way but in fact there are very few regulatory hurdles introduced in these crops.
 
Allow me to lift the veil of mystery for Mr Pollan:
 
G……M……Os……DON’T……WORK.
 
The fact is that only two things about GMOs ever sort-of worked for a little while: Herbicide tolerance and internal pesticide expression. As predicted by anyone who knows even the slightest bit about how nature works, the weeds and pests which Roundup and Bt expression were supposed to suppress quickly transformed themselves into Roundup-resistant superweeds and Bt-resistant superbugs. Roundup has totally collapsed. (Which is why the next generation of 2,4-D resistant GMOs is in the pipeline. This ever-escalating herbicide treadmill is an intended outcome of corporate/government policy. Otherwise the USDA would admit that herbicide tolerant GMOs don’t work and refuse to authorize any further commercialization of them.) Bt crops no longer work, and ever more toxic pesticides need to be sprayed on them.
 
In fact, we’re left with only two meager things that GMOs do as advertised: Bt crops do express Bt toxin, even though it no longer works. And glyphosate-resistant crops can have glyphosate sprayed upon them without killing them, which doesn’t help because glyphosate also doesn’t kill the weeds it was supposed to kill.
 
That’s all GMOs do.
 
And for that worthless performance, we’re willing to physically poison ourselves and economically and politically enslave ourselves? I think humanity better wake up and abolish GMOs, by whatever means necessary, while there’s still time.
 
But the fact that we’re not likely to do so with any help from liberal elitists is exemplified here: “I await those products and I would love to see this industry make a significant contribution to solving one of the world’s problems. But they’ve been promising that for a long time and have so far grossly under-delivered.”
 
Pollan doesn’t specify which “problems” he means. He knows perfectly well that the only problems with the world’s food are problems caused by corporatism, especially GMO corporatism, and that the only solution is the abolition of food corporatism. But as a good technocratic and pro-corporate elitist he can’t countenance real solutions.
 
Like all liberals, in the end he’s a triangulator in the total war of corporations vs. humanity. He wants to procure somewhat Better Policy within the corporate framework, but also wants to run interference on behalf of corporatism. In the end, when they’re finally forced to choose, most of them will side with Monsanto.

>

November 8, 2012

NOW Obama’s Going to do Good Stuff! (Michael Pollan version)

>

Here’s a good test of liberal Obama-worship, a prediction by Michael Pollan:
 
“I think we will stop subsidizing biofuels very soon, perhaps right after the election.”
 
Obama, of course, has been aggressively pro-ethanol so far.
 
Pollan’s a typical case. He spent eight Bush years calling for bottom-up food relocalization and warning against technocratic control of our food, including faith in the central government. As soon as Obama came along, Pollan performed a 180 degree flip-flop. Suddenly the future of the food movement depended on begging elites for Better Policy. This included support for the Food Control Act, whereby Pollan mystically believes that giving far more power to the Monsanto-adjunct FDA will, by magic, make it less pro-Monsanto. Someone with common sense might be forgiven for suspecting that it’ll merely help the FDA further Big Ag’s interest even more aggressively, but then we’re not initiates of the liberal cargo cult.
 
At least Pollan supported the Right to Know initiative, so he’s a somewhat less pure liberal elitist than the scum mentioned in this piece, who opposed the initiative simply because as a good “process” liberal he “distrusts” filthy peasant ballot initiatives as such.

 
>

November 7, 2012

Can There Be A January 1905?

>

A core trait of liberals and reformists is to genuflect before power, always looking and begging upward for Better Policy to trickle down from Better Elites. Liberals are basically elitists with some vague hopes for more “progressive” practices on the part of the power structure. They basically dream of benevolent despotism, and fantasize that this benevolence exists in intent, somewhere up there. This benevolence is somehow, mysteriously, prevented from realizing itself. The already classical example is the fundamentalist cult of Obama’s Good Intentions which he mysteriously cannot act upon.
 
Since a cult can’t get by on mystery alone and needs a more tangible explanation, the mystery is sometimes explained in terms of how those nasty Republicans thwart Obama. Of course this doesn’t explain why Obama couldn’t do what he wanted for two years of a veritable one-party dictatorship, when the Dems held both houses of Congress. Nor does it explain how the benevolence has been unable to trickle down through the executive branch bureaucracies, over which the president has vast unilateral power. But then, in the end, it’s all still a mystery.
 
I used the “progressive” cult of Obama as a prime example, but we see the same phenomenon everywhere hierarchies and middle classes exist. Middle class liberals and reformists look upward and dream of Better Elites, like cargo cultists worshipping an airplane high overhead.
 
This is an example of how the petty bourgeois mindset is simply an adaptation of the original peasant mindset, just as the modern professionalized and suburbanized petty bourgeoisie is a temporary offshoot of the peasantry. The basic mindset remains the same, and today’s technocratic worship, “if only Obama knew…”, is the same notion as the that of the Russian peasant who sighed, “if only the tsar knew…if only those nasty ministers and officials wouldn’t keep thwarting his benevolent will.”
 
On Bloody Sunday, January 1905, the tsar’s troops fired on a peaceful procession coming to the Winter Palace to present a reverent petition, killing and wounding as many as a thousand people. This instantly broke the spell. It was a mortal blow to the cult of the tsar’s benevolence. Never again would it be taken for granted among any significant portion of the Russian people that the tsar was an essentially well-meaning would-be benefactor who was being misinformed and disobeyed by subordinates. While this change of basic mindset didn’t permanently turn the Russian people into revolutionaries, and the 1905 revolution ended up fizzling out, it was still a permanent change, and a significant milestone on the road to 1917.
 
I wonder now, when we strive for a change in the basic mindset toward corporatism, let alone for a real movement to abolish it, is there any possible event which could strike off the blinders once and for all? We saw the way open police brutality temporarily boosted support for Occupy, but also the way this increased support was more of a mood than a basic shift in the state of mind. Conversely, we see how a historically unprecedented wave of Monsanto-driven farmer suicides in India, upwards of 300,000 by now, for all intents and purposes a mass murder campaign, means very little to Western liberals. So we cannot rely on moral sense to demonstrate to any significant number of middle class Westerners the difference between good and evil. If anything’s to do it, it will be something visceral and horrific, right before their eyes.
 
But by now, can any action, any crime, rise to the level of clarity for such willfully blind masses? Is a sea change in mindset still possible for masses still living within the intact corporate civilization? Or has corporate Gleichschaltung, “coordination” and indoctrination, reached such a terminal point that nothing large-scale will happen until the system starts collapsing of its own diseased weight?

 
>

November 6, 2012

Draft Notes for A Raw Milk Presentation

>

[This is a first draft, and will use tinkering, maybe some shuffling, and a source list for the evidence.]
 
[[1. Introduction and Plan – Raw Milk as an Economic and Health Imperative.]] 
 
*[Open with one’s personal story], and it’s very important to me that I feed my family healthy, nutritious food. I also want as much as possible to buy and eat locally, because this helps me really know my food, my farmer, and helps rebuild the local economy and community.
 
*I want to include cow’s milk in their diet, but I was suspicious of pasteurized industrial milk. I’d heard that pasteurization destroys many of the beneficial parts of the milk and may have bad health effects. I was also suspicious of the fact that raw milk has been criminalized in many states like New Jersey and is the subject of federal persecution, even though almost all food outbreaks are caused by the very same corporate Big Agriculture system the government does all it can to force upon us. I decided that as a citizen I needed to research this for myself. This presentation sums up what I learned.
 
*I learned a lot about the economics of the food system, about food safety, and how the government and the corporate media turn ideas about food safety upside down, in order to further the brutal economics of corporate food system, and to suppress our attempts to learn about our food and to find healthy alternatives to the unhealthy system. There are many ways to analyze this subject. Today I’ll discuss as it relates to raw milk.
 
*Under pressure from the industrial dairy system and systematic government policy, tens of thousands of small dairies have been destroyed since the mid 20th century. New Jersey used to have thousands of dairies which marketed locally, such as the renowned Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm in Plainsboro. Now only a handful remain, none of them marketing to the community. They’re all just cogs in the globalized corporate dairy system. This is one example of how the corporate assault has gutted our local economies, rendering us dependent upon an alien system, degrading our quality of life, driving up our cost of living, and making us and our children sick. In light of energy supply crunches, the escalating price of energy and food, the way the industrial system poisons us, and all the evils of our dependency upon the corporate system, we need to rebuild our local and regional economies.
 
*The most important part of this is restoring the food economy to its natural local and regional character. A revived network of small dairies serving local and regional markets is a key part of the economic rebuilding. Reviving the traditional raw milk economy can be the road to rebuilding our own dairies.
 
*This is also a key battleground, in substance and symbol, in our fight for Food Freedom, for freedom against corporate domination and government tyranny in general.
 
*Raw milk is legal to buy from farms in 26 states. Various kinds of retail sales are legal in 10 states. The result is that a few states have regular legal sales, others allow sales from the farm, others explicitly or implicitly allow cow shares. This is where the customers are part-owners of the cow, and the farmer is just a manager. There’s never any significant safety issue with raw milk in these states. The record proves that raw milk is wholesome and safe. Since it’s legal to buy in many states, it should be legal to buy in all states.
 
*Although there’s no safety reason why milk should be criminalized, for economic and political reasons it’s currently illegal in New Jersey. In 2011 a bill to partially decriminalize it had majority support and was voted out of the Assembly with a huge majority. That’s why a Senate committee let it die on the vine without bringing it up for a vote. The same bill was reintroduced in 2012*************************
 
*Why was raw milk outlawed in New Jersey and many other states, and why is it the target of a federal government assault? In spite of government and media lies, it’s not a food safety issue. As we’ll see, the evidence proves this to be a lie. I just gave the real reason – the goal of government pasteurization mandates and its attacks on alternative milk economies is the same as its goal for Big Ag in general and its general attack on all alternative food economies. It’s to enforce total corporate domination of the food supply and destroy all Food Freedom, which means crushing all human freedom.
 
*In New Jersey, this artificial barrier is why more and more people are traveling to New York and Pennsylvania to get milk, instead of buying it at our choice of New Jersey dairies, thereby helping to rebuild our farming economy and keeping our dollars in our local economies. They’re doing it because they know that raw milk is a safe, nutritious whole food, that it contains a natural mix of nutrients and beneficial bacteria, and that pasteurized milk is nutritionally sterile, causes or exacerbates many illnesses, and is likely to contain harmful bacteria.
 
[[2. Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized – Health Facts.]]
 
*Raw milk is a wholesome, beneficial, nutritious, safe food. Like any whole food, it has the right natural balance of proteins, fats, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and micro-organic communities.
 
*Raw milk has the perfect balance of protein to fat, by natural design. It’s rich in healthful Omega-3 fats and in the fatty acid CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent cancer fighter.
 
*Raw milk has more nutrients than pasteurized. It has high levels of whole vitamin A, the B-complex, D, and E. These are all degraded or destroyed in pasteurization. Today’s factory farm cows are crammed full of hormones and drugs to maximize production, which dilutes the milk’s nutritional content. Pasteurization then further destroys what’s there. That’s why pasteurized milk has to be “enriched” with synthetic versions of these vitamins. These synthetics are potentially harmful, as in the case of synthetic vitamin D which has been linked to heart disease.
 
*Raw milk is great for the digestive tract. Its proteins, fats, and lactose are easily digested. Beneficial micro-organisms help with this. Meanwhile, pasteurization kills these micro-organisms and changes the molecular structure of many proteins, fats, enzymes, and nutrients in the milk, rendering many indigestible, others digested in potentially harmful forms. Its lactose is indigestible to more and more people.
 
*Raw milk is also has its vitamins and minerals in an easily digestible form. Calcium and phosphorus absorption are highest with raw milk. The whole vitamins A and D in butterfat are needed for the assimilation of calcium and protein. Milk’s beneficial bacteria help with the uptake.
 
*These beneficial bacteria also help to enhance the immune system, as a recent study demonstrated. [AMISH] Beneficial micro-organisms contribute over 70% or our protective immunity. By natural design, raw milk is one of the main sources of those natural immunofactors.
 
*Another new study [CALIFORNIA] provides further reinforcement for the fact that the control of harmful bacteria is a function of natural balances of micro-organisms. In a symbiotic microbial environment, as with raw milk, beneficial micro-organisms compete with potentially harmful ones and secrete antimicrobial factors against them. By natural design, raw milk contains antibodies against potentially harmful bacteria.
 
*Raw milk is a key part of the diet that’s best for dental health. In the 1930s, studies by Dr. Weston Price established that where tribes had cuisines based on raw milk, the people were healthy and had near-perfect teeth. Meanwhile cavities and other dental problems are associated with processed foods including pasteurized milk.
 
*The nutritional, molecular, and microbial distortion and destruction caused by pasteurization creates a kind of food which is hard to digest and contains many potentially harmful adulterants. This is why pasteurized milk is associated with causing or aggravating a long list of diseases and other ailments, while switching to raw milk leads to the alleviation or complete cessation of these illnesses. Such studies as [********], as well as the testimony of millions of raw milk drinkers, attests to this. In general, most diseases are directly or indirectly associated with the industrial food system, and their cure or alleviation is associated with switching to a traditional diet of healthy whole foods. The case is especially clear with natural raw milk vs. pasteurized industrial milk.
 
*Food allergies are a clear-cut disease of industrial food. They’ve especially skyrocketed in recent decades. Pasteurized milk is the #1 most allergenic food in America. Studies have documented how milk allergies cause nasal congestion, asthma and other chest infections, skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhea, and many other digestive and other problems. For many of these sufferers who would otherwise have to give up milk completely, switching to raw milk cures the illness.
 
*Pasteurized milk is the cause of lactose intolerance, an ailment so common as to be practically endemic to our society. The reason for lactose intolerance is that pasteurization destroys lactase, an enzyme necessary for the digestion of lactose.
 
*Pasteurized milk is associated with arthritis, while raw milk is associated with its remission[, especially rheumatoid arthritis in children].
 
*Rates of autism have also skyrocketed, and here too there’s a clear link with diet, and with pasteurized milk in particular. Pasteurization destroys many enyzmes in the milk necessary for its proper digestion and renders the key protein casein indigestible. The milk is then digested in such a way that naturally occurring opiods and other factors which would normally be broken down are instead directly assimilated. This aggravates autism symptoms. But many parents of autistic children testify that switching to raw milk has greatly alleviated their children’s symptoms.
 
*Infants show reduced growth and health on pasteurized milk vs. raw breast milk.
 
*Those are some of the most important examples. A partial list of the ailments where the same pasteurized vs. raw milk dynamic has been observed includes multiple sclerosis, Attention Deficit Disorder, prostate and urinary tract problems, obesity, diabetes, thyroid conditions, osteoperosis, and kidney disease. 
 
[[3. Food Safety and CAFOs.]]
 
*What about the safety issue? The government and the mainstream media claim that raw milk is unsafe. But the numbers don’t bear this out. In fact, the numbers show the opposite. Dairy products in general are responsible for far fewer acute outbreaks than meats or salad greens. And pasteurized milk has caused far more outbreaks than raw milk.
 
*There have been few illnesses attributed to raw milk. Those which have been are often attributed through a fraudulent epidemiology which performs extensive tests only where the patient has ingested raw milk, and which assumes the raw milk as the cause, but which doesn’t bother with the tests or with further inquiry into the cause where the patient did not drink raw milk. It’s easy to see how under such a procedure raw milk’s outbreak record will be falsely inflated and will be inflated relative to all other foods. 
 
*The Centers for Disease Control itself counts 422,000 cases of illness from pasteurized milk since 1973, including 20 deaths (80 counting miscarriages). in the most recent fatal case, in 2007 three people died in Massachusetts from listeria-contaminated pasteurized milk. This is compared to 1100 cases and zero deaths from raw milk. All salmonella outbreaks from milk in recent decades were from pasteurized milk. Both in absolute numbers and compared to the proportion of people drinking pasteurized vs. raw milk, these data demonstrate that industrial pasteurized milk is not the “safe food” the government claims it to be, and is far less safe than raw milk.
 
 
*These numbers involve acute outbreaks of food-related illness. When we get to chronic illness we get into a whole new realm of difference between harmful industrial foods like pasteurized milk and healthful whole foods like raw milk.
 
*Industrial milk is produced in factory farms, or CAFOs, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. That name’s more honest than “farms”, hmm? Thousands of animals are packed into small enclosures under horrific and filthy conditions where they can be most “efficiently” fed synthetic food, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and have their products harvested.
 
*CAFOs are cesspools of germs and filth. The animals are permanently sick. The system requires massive injections of antibiotics and other drugs just to keep the animals alive and producing. Dairy cows also receive antibiotics and hormones to boost their milk production. This use of antibiotics is reckless and against medical science. The milk is produced under such filthy and germ-infested conditions that it’s badly contaminated. It’s laden with the residues of all the chemicals injected and force-fed into the animal. On account of the stress on the animal’s system, as much as 30% of CAFO milk is pus. That’s what an open sore a factory-farmed dairy cow is.
 
*The residues of the antibiotics are in the milk, and this reckless and unmedical use of antibiotics generates antibiotic resistant bacteria which are also in the milk. Pasteurization doesn’t always kill all of these harmful CAFO bacteria. We then drink these antibiotic-resistant microbes, which can transfer their resistance to other microbes in our bodies. This makes it less likely that antibiotics will work if we get sick from bacteria. That’s how CAFOs are a public health ticking time bomb for all of us. Drinking pasteurized milk may render us more vulnerable on the level of our individual health.
 
*CAFOs are cesspools, where animal products including milk are produced in a filthy manner. The milk is full of CAFO germs, fecal particles, drug residues, pus, and other pollutants. The industrial system then uses pasteurization as a panacea.
 
*Raw milk dairies are by their very nature small and for local and regional distribution. In spite of government and media lies, raw milk dairies are far more clean and safe than those for pasteurized milk. Proper inspection can confirm this. (Incidentally, the government makes almost no effort to inspect CAFOs. What would there by to inspect anyway? It’s government policy to allow industrial milk to be produced under cesspool conditions.) 
 
*Pasteurization as a practice is part of the false ideology that proper sanitation and safety measures means total sterilization. In truth sterilization of food is impossible, unnatural, and unhealthy. In truth natural whole foods include communities of micro-organisms where beneficial and neutral microbes tend to keep naturally harmful ones in check. [CALIFORNIA study] But quasi-sterility, as is temporarily generated by pasteurization, is a monoculture, and monocultures are always bad for biodiversity and favorable to vermin and pathogens. Pasteurized milk, even if the pasteurization does initially kill all the bacteria, becomes over time a favorable environment for harmful bacteria to return and proliferate, while the organic bacteria communities in raw milk tend to maintain their bacterial balance over time. That’s why raw milk sours over time, while pasteurized milk rots.
 
*The facts, contrary to the sterilization ideology and pasteurization practice, are that we depend upon beneficial bacteria and that it’s not possible to destroy only harmful bacteria. The fact is that imbalances of harmful bacteria are rare in nature but common in CAFOs, and that an imbalance can infect an entire commingled industrial batch. Pasteurization was a response to this need of industrial milk production and corporate distribution systems. It has nothing to do with the inherent safety of natural milk or of local production and distribution.
 
*Pasteurization is a scorched earth tactic in the form of scorched milk. It’s the equivalent of wiping out a whole ecosystem to get rid of one intermittent pest, which wouldn’t be a pest if you worked in harmony with that ecosystem instead of against it.  
 
*The CAFO system incubates the MAP bacteria, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, which causes Johnes’ disease in cattle and Crohn’s disease in humans. In addition to its faulty record in eradicating other harmful bacteria, pasteurization often does not kill the MAP bacteria, according to [European studies] which found that 5-20% of pasteurized milk contains this potentially harmful bacteria. The surge in Crohn’s disease has occurred in the age of filthy factory farm production and the pasteurization necessary to make this filthy milk consumable by humans.
 
*We already discussed the vast array of chronic diseases which are caused or aggravated by consumption of pasteurized milk, but which are alleviated or not affected by consuming raw milk.
 
*The CDC counts 5000 deaths per year from food-borne disease. This does not include deaths from MRSA, Crohn’s, cancer linked to pesticides, diabetes or asthma linked to diet, Mad Cow disease, all the chronic diseases caused by the factory farm cesspool and GMOs. Then we must add the chronic diseases and acute afflictions of the industrial food system in general – heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, many cancers, high blood pressure, obesity and its related maladies.
 
*All this proves once and for all that the government lies when it claims to care about food safety at all. No one who cares about food safety would build a planned economy around commodity grains and “food” processed from them. No one who cares about food safety would have commercialized GMOs with zero safety testing. No one who cares about food safety would allow the practice of nonmedical antibiotic use. No one who cares about food safety would be doing anything but fighting to abolish all these. Anyone who’s involved in these policies, or supports them, has zero credibility to then turn around and claim to be concerned about raw milk.
 
*And then we see the government’s overwhelming record of neglect, lassitude, cover-ups, and obstruction where it comes to outbreaks caused by big corporations like Wright Eggs, or Cargill, or Taco Bell, or Westco Peanuts.
 
[[4. The Real Political Import and Conclusion.]]
 
*The government’s real interest is not food safety, or serving the public in any way. The government’s real interest is Big Dairy’s interest. That’s why the government imposed industrial pasteurization in the first place, and why it wants to outlaw raw milk. As I mentioned earlier, pasteurization was never a response to a naturally occurring safety problem, but a special response to the special problems generated by the industrialization of milk. It has nothing to do with the needs or issues of natural milk production or the natural economy of milk.
 
*This is a microcosm of how all government policy has the solitary goal of further centralizing, further consolidating, further concentrating the corporate food system, increasing corporate profits, and maximizing corporate enclosure and domination of food and of everything else.
 
*In response to this joint corporate-government onslaught, the people are rising with a new movement to take back our Food Freedom and rebuild our local economies. The raw milk movement is part of this. As with every other aspect of the local food movement, its dual goal is healthy food instead of the toxic food of the industrial system, and healthy local economies instead of the toxic and tyrannical corporate economy.
 
*This is the real reason for the government’s assault on raw milk. This is a microcosm of and template for the government’s assault on all alternative food production. As we speak, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act is planned to be the centerpiece coordinating legislation for the total domination of food. It’s meant to use the “food safety” scam we’ve been highlighting here to impose upon the produce sector the same level of corporate concentration and government control as already exists in the meat sector. As we’ve seen with meats, the government policy does not make the food more safe, instead makes it less safe, but does serve to bring it more firmly under the control of a handful of big corporations. This is the federal government’s one and only imperative where it comes to all food policy.
 
*Raw milk isn’t an isolated food issue, but is in many ways the most typical food issue of all. It perfectly crystallizes all the aspects of Food Freedom against corporate totalitarianism; and real nutrition, health, and safety against the toxic opposites of these being forced upon us by the industrial food system. On the broader level Food Freedom crystallizes all the aspects of nature vs. corporate industrialism, individual and community freedom vs. tyrannical government, prosperity based on productive local economies vs. the stagnation, sterility, dependency, and despair of the corporate global economy being imposed upon us by government policy.
 
*Raw milk is a wonderful food. It’s good for us. It’s a delicious, nutritious whole food. It helps build our immune system. It helps cure or alleviate many of the diseases caused by industrial food. It’s economically and politically beneficial. It’s part of the social movement toward getting to know farmers and real food, and becoming producers of such food ourselves. It’s good for us, body and soul.
 
*So the fight for raw milk freedom is the fight for our individual liberty and health. It’s the fight for Food Freedom. Beyond this it’s part of the fight for human freedom itself. 
 
 
—————————
 
*STUFF ON RM OUTBREAKS, RECALLS, SLANDERS – FOR SUPPLEMENT – The government does not publicize these systemic figures. It does try to turn each alleged raw milk incident into a three ring circus. But alleged raw milk outbreaks are seldom well documented, often simply invented by the fraudulent epidemiology we discussed earlier. And in many cases the government retracts its initial allegations, as in the case of some illnesses in California in 2006 which were initially blamed on Organic Pastures Dairy, but which turned out to have nothing to do with raw milk.
 
*(insert somewhere?) They’re literal cesspools when you include the vast manure lagoons which spread out from any big CAFO, toxifying the entire landscape and atmosphere. 
 
>

November 4, 2012

Storm

>

I’m back online after five days being knocked off. Two of them without power. Many of my friends are doing far worse. Just a few miles away, the latest company estimates that they’ll get power back by the 11th are improvements on previous estimates.
 
I didn’t miss being online much. As with a previous forced break, I quickly got used to no internet and found it relaxing and productive. The exception was having no e-mail. Ironically, I came back on to find few messages and no one to whom to write, since everyone I know is still offline.
 
Nevertheless, on the whole we did OK. I was at my friend’s farm yesterday (where I grew corn and edamame this year) to help clean up (my third attempt to get through; my attempt on Tuesday was especially interesting and, in hindsight, dangerous). Except for a belfry knocked off the barn, things are in pretty good shape there. No flooding, unlike after Irene a year ago. The community garden looks great, like nothing happened.
 
The gas lines are extraordinary, but a foretaste of what will become more ordinary. The whole thing’s a microcosm of Peak Oil in general. The increasing complexity of the system renders its temporary crippling in the case of each new blow ever more devastating and prolonged. I’m reminded forcefully of how just a year ago the fleeting blizzard wreaked similar havoc. Today’s havoc is far worse. But I think of how in the decades I’ve lived here stuff like this never happened. It’s now getting to be a regular event. I wrote last year how the Olduvai Theory of Peak Oil predicts exactly these phenomena. I think I’ll repost it today.
 
So far I’ve been lucky with the gas. I filled up on Thursday with only a short line to wait. Since then the backups at the handful of stations open have become mind-boggling. (Thursday the radio said only 20% of NJ stations were open. The proportion around here is far less.) A big part of the tension and anguish is how few people understand what’s happening with fossil fuels and the limits to complexity. In a crisis people need a way to understand what’s happening. I’ve heard some wild stuff, and of course the standard government-will-save-us (“Obama-will-save-us”, depending on the speaker) nonsense about strategic oil reserves and buying oil from more “countries”. The truth would serve people better. Part of the movement’s job is to spread the truth.
 
Speaking of which, the Food Freedom movement needs a new Internet profile. The existing sites and blogs are insufficient, ad hoc, and have mostly a reformist pro-government tone. Don’t get me started on the NGO-Monsanto complex who want the Food Control Act to become aggressively effective. I feel combined despair and contempt when I see how supporters of the Right to Know initiative in California have let themselves be thrown onto the defensive. (One of the few e-mails I had was from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, parroting the craven defensive line.)
 
The right response to corporate lies is to redouble the offensive, repeat and escalate the aggressive charges, and throw the lies back in their face, blaming them for everything that happens. This the only thing that works, and it’s also the truth.
 
So the Community Food/Food Relocalization movement, and the broader Food Sovereignty movement, need a new forum dedicated to vigorous discussion of true principles and the strategy, tactics, and operational goals that follow from these. 

 
>

Olduvai One Year Later

Filed under: Peak Oil, Relocalization, Tower of Babel — Russ @ 7:03 am

>

(Reposted from one year ago. Links are in the original.)
 
I haven’t read Richard Duncan’s Olduvai theory in a long time, but over the last few days I’ve been thinking about it a lot. It’s a Peak Oil theory which forecasts a pretty rapid collapse of civilization. One of its novel features is the prediction that blackouts of increasing frequency and length will plague technological societies. When we see these occurring, that should be taken as a milestone along the road to collapse. The proximate cause of this or that blackout isn’t what’s important according to the theory. The point is that as fossil fuels becomes harder and more expensive to extract, energy harder and more expensive to deliver, the likelihood of any particular event causing a blackout will increase, and the likelihood of that blackout being severe in range and duration will increase.
 
This is an anecdotal post along the lines of my previous one on Hurricane Irene. Last weekend the region experienced a snowstorm. I’ll grant that it was unseasonal and unexpected until a few days before, and the snow was pretty thick, but there wasn’t that much of it, and rapidly warming temperatures quickly melted most of it in most places. Yet it’s left many places without power entering the sixth day now. It’s simply astounding how the “greatest civilization on earth” looks utterly incompetent to even keep its lights on the moment a few flakes fall and a little wind blows. Based on what I’m told by people I know who lost power, they can’t get accurate information when they talk to the utilities, only optimistic timetables whose deadlines come and go. One town seems able to restore electricity by the street, seemingly at random, but has a long way to go to get everyone up. The main impression one gets of the “authorities” is of desperate, confused struggle. I say again, we got one snowfall over c. 12 hours, with nothing but beautiful weather since then.
 
Nor should repair efforts be much hindered by traffic, since the roads ought to be less traveled considering how many other systems were shut down. Many corporate schools remained closed, mostly on account of lack of power, for days. My nephew only finally went back to school on Wednesday, and with a delayed opening on that day. (Meanwhile, my friend’s home-schooled children didn’t miss a single day, even though they too still have no electricity. They’ve also endured the electricity loss with little trouble, while others I know, corporatized types, had to flee their houses as refugees to sleep on couches.)
 
Meanwhile I saw several towns which looked like disaster zones. Traffic lights out, clearly insufficient police to direct traffic at major intersections, traffic snarling at those intersections, the back roads filled with cars trying to avoid these snarls, and topping it all, major emergency roadwork, detours, and “Local Traffic Only” signs everywhere you looked. We couldn’t figure out what it was all about, but it must have had something to do with the storm. A little snow, and everything looks like an anthill kicked over.
 
I know this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. I recall sneers and complaints about how people were becoming prone to panic over a little snow as early as the 90s. But as I recall, that was mostly just the psychological aspect. As my friend commented the other day, they jam the stores to stock up on bottled water, and not because they think the taps will run dry, but because they can’t conceive drinking tap water for a few days. We’ve long seen this psychological decadence.
 
But this menagerie of blackouts and incipient infrastructure collapse does look more recent to me. I grew up used to big snowstorms in suburban areas, and it doesn’t seem like it used to be this way, that a lesser storm has such crippling effects.
 
So it was while surveying all this that I thought of Olduvai again. It does seem like more and more this extremely top-heavy tower is unstable, tottering, and finding it harder and harder to right itself given the slightest breeze.
 
Of course, we’re talking mostly about the infrastructure and neighborhoods of the 99%. No doubt anything the “public authorities” needed to do for the 1% was done crisply, well ahead of time. Looking at my friend’s generator, it occurred to me for the first time that for someone from a suburb to feel the need to buy a generator is a form of covert privatization. One is implicitly conceding that one has to go to a private market to actually obtain a service one’s public taxes already paid for. The list, of course, could be multiplied forever, starting with her needing to home school in the first place. Here again we see what I’ve written about many times before, how the taxes on the 99 are merely extortions by the 1.
 
I’m not saying I’ve changed my mind and become a believer in the fast crash scenario. I still think it’ll be a tortured process taking decades. But this confirms my existing prediction of a weaker form of the thesis, that degradation will be much faster in some areas than others, and that lumpensuburbia and its desperate corporatism-hangers-on will be especially vulnerable.
 
Meanwhile, as I’ve alluded to here, those of us who are already trying to build lives outside the system are already giving some proof of principle, that we’re better off physically and psychologically.

>