The love of wealth

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

love-of-wealthThe love of wealth is the root of all evil. This should really have been more the translation of the Bible and not simply “the love of money” alone. And the accumulation and the almost adoration of wealth also belongs into this.

This love of wealth is not, however, new. It has been with us ever since gold, silver, jewels and pearls we declared to be valuable, and then money was created. It is not only money but property, real estate and other property, and other wealth too and always has been since this trait emerged. We can even find this in nomadic peoples and cultures where a person's standing was and is determined and judged on the amount of cattle, goats, etc. he owns.

Today everyone almost wishes to participate in this stupidity of laying up treasures in the form of material wealth. It has also caused and wars and is still doing so to this very moment in time and “property crime”, that is to say theft, fraud, and such like, in its various forms.

It is one thing to steal, especially food and such like essentials because someone is hungry and needy and too poor but a totally different thing when this is in order to gain and advantage and to enrich oneself to the detriment of others.

The capitalists system appear almost though it is set up in such a way that theft, by other names, is the way that corporations make their profits. Whether that theft is from its workers by not paying them a proper wage or by fraud and by withholding taxes. Not forgotten also must be the theft of natural resources and the plunder of Mother Earth.

There are even some that believe that taxes is theft by the state from the people and corporations and, maybe, they are right but that is neither here nor there in this context.

Fact is that the capitalist system sees the accumulation of wealth as something to be aimed for regardless of what the cost to others and the environment and this accumulation is a love of wealth and everyone apparently wishes to partake in this illogical game. It has almost become a disease where no one even considers the consequences and everyone wants more and more and still more, never satisfied with what they already have and own.

People have come to believe that the more money and other wealth they own the happier they will be and every time that they think they have accumulated “enough” it still does not make them happy. So they pursue the next million and then the next. The next large care and the next. And on it goes. The accumulation of money and other wealth has become a cult with mammon the god and it does not for happiness make; rather the opposite and that for the “owner” of such wealth as well as for every other person.

And, in order to satisfy their desire for happiness through wealth, which is not attainable, many will go over dead bodies, literally and not just metaphorically. Wars are the cause of it as are many famines that are not caused by natural calamities and exploitation of man by man and exploitation of the Earth and all living things by man. All in the service of this god called mammon.

When we understand that wealth, that riches, do not actually make for happiness and that they only cause problems maybe, just maybe, things may change.

© 2014

The People Who Wouldn't Mind If the Pacific Northwest Were Its Own Country

The first thing we heard when we pulled into the Finney Farm was the clattering of drums, followed by a high-pitched howling noise.

Suddenly a wild pack of young girls came running out of the woods waving sticks in the air. The youngest, maybe two years old, had sticky berries smeared across her face. She was inexplicably waving a $5 bill in the air. The leader of the pack, maybe 13, suddenly noticed us and halted her group—who all promptly dropped their sticks.

“Oh, hi, I haven’t seen you yet, so I guess you’re new here,” she said. “Well, um, welcome to the farm. If you go way down the forest trail, past the big fallen tree, you’ll find a clearing that I think would be nice to set a tent up in. I dunno. You’ll figure it out.”

Then the pack took off howling back into the woods.

We were here for the Cascadia Rainingman Festival, held on Labor Day weekend at a gorgeous 100-plus acre organic farm in the foothills of the North Cascade mountain range in Washington State. Unless you follow the fringe politics of the Pacific Northwest, you’re probably wondering what Cascadia is, and that’s a tricky question, because self-described “Cascadians” hold all kinds of different beliefs. (The first of many workshops at the festival was titled “What is Cascadia?”)

Read more:

Honeybee antibiotics? Fresh honey ‘key’ to beating drug-resistant infections, scientists say

21.siSwedish scientists have detected 13 bacterial components in raw honey that they say are more effective than conventional antibiotics in fighting deadly wound infections, including MRSA. The bacterial blend has already been effectively tested on horses.

“Antibiotics are mostly one active substance, effective against only a narrow spectrum of bacteria. When used alive, these 13 lactic acid bacteria produce the right kind of antimicrobial compounds as needed, depending on the threat. It seems to have worked well for millions of years of protecting bees' health and honey against other harmful microorganisms,” said Tobias Olofsson, professor of Medical Microbiology at Lund University, and author of two studies that have been published in International Wound Journal this week.

The Lund scientists isolated 42 different pathogens in the open wounds of 22 patients – Pseudomonas aeruginosa and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) as well as MRSA – and treated them with the 13 lactic acid bacteria from honey. The results were “comparable” with antibiotics.

They may be even more effective against the growing number of drug-resistant strands of common infections, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say killed more than 23,000 people last year.

The one most likely to be targeted with honey bacteria, MRSA – which is carried by millions of healthy people with no symptoms – kills more than 11,000 people each year, with another 70,000 suffering serious illness.

Read more:

11 Nutritious Reasons to Eat Food Scraps

It’s not trash—it’s dinner!

Cauliflower and Broccoli stems and leavesFood waste is a hot topic nowadays. It was the focus of the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day 2013, and the USDA and EPA recently announced a joint partnership aiming to reduce waste at every level of our food supply chain.

As well it should be! Americans are guilty of tossing 40 percent of the food produced every day in this country. That staggering amount of food could feed every hungry person in this country. And while some of the waste can be pegged to farmers, grocery stores, and restaurants that produce, sell, and serve more food than we can consume, most of the waste happens in homes. People buy more than they can eat—and they toss out perfectly edible parts of food that they simply don’t know what to do with.

The former can be handled by better meal planning, for sure, but the latter requires a little know-how. You might not know that you can eat broccoli stems or beet greens, but that “trash” is just as nutritious, and sometimes more so, than the main part of the vegetable. So save money and nutrients by keeping these 11 food scraps out of the trash.

Read more:

Vegan eco-hiphop DJ raps about the OG lifestyle for food justice and sustainability

DJ CavemIn this case, OG stands for organic gardener, and Denver's DJ Cavem wants kids to grow their own greens, but "not the ones you roll."

Ietef Hotep Vita, also known as "DJ Cavem Moetavation," is a hiphop artist, educator, and vegan chef who's using his lyrical skills to lay down tracks about the OG lifestyle, in the hopes of convincing kids to be gardeners, not gangstas.

DJ Cavem's 2013 album The Produce Section is described as an eco-conscious curriculum, featuring tracks about healthy eating, urban organic farming, local food, holistic health, and community organizing, and is part of his strategy to bring awareness to healthy living and food justice issues, through “teachin’ HIP HOP history and how to grow greens.”

Read more:

Why would people hang their babies out the windows in cages?

A lot of people are having a giggle at these photos of baby cages that are making the rounds of the internet, sticking out of apartment windows in London in the twenties and thirties. We have written about them before in How to Add Some Space in your Apartment for the Little Ones. The question keeps coming up: why would people do such a thing? Or as Buzzfeed titled their post, WTF Is Going On With This 1930s Baby Cage Madness?

It's not madness at all, and people were not insane. The answer goes back to a book,The Care and Feeding of Children, first published in the 1890s by Dr. Luther Emmett Holt, which became the bible for child-rearing for decades. Dr. Holt prescribed "airing" of babies and children and keeping rooms very cool, sleeping with windows open unless it is below freezing. Airing the baby meant dressing her up and opening all the windows, even in winter, starting when the child was a month old. It sounds crazy, but here is an excerpt. His book is written as a Q and A:

Read more:

If You Want to Stop Wasting Water and Energy, Stop Wasting Food

We throw away 40 percent of our food, but new technology is helping cities and companies reduce that refuse before it hits the landfill.

We Americans worry constantly about how our appetites affect our waistlines, but we spend almost no time wondering how our food consumption affects our waste streams. In the United States, 40 percent of the food grown each year is discarded uneaten. That’s a significantly higher amount of waste than the global average, which runs around one bite of food thrown away for every two bites eaten.

As a result, food waste is the single largest source of refuse heading for American landfills. Once buried in a landfill, discarded food decomposes anaerobically and creates methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

And of course, growing all that food just to throw it out wastes water. According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. wastes 50 cubic kilometers of irrigation water each year growing food that’s never eaten. That’s about one-fifth the total output of the Ohio River where it flows into the Mississippi. And growing that uneaten food also means wasted fossil fuel and pesticides: About 300 million barrels of oil globally go into growing, transporting, and preparing discarded food each year.

Read more:

How to Build a Cold Frame

/images/backyard-gardening/Opener1.jpgCold frames allow you to start plants early in spring and keep them out longer in fall, extended your planting and harvesting dates.

An inexpensive foray into greenhouse gardening, a cold frame is practical for starting plants six to eight weeks earlier in the spring growing season and for hardening off seedlings. Cold frames can also be used, however, to protect plants from the upcoming fall frost.

Basically, a cold frame is a box set on the ground and topped with glass or plastic. Although mechanized models with thermostatically controlled atmospheres and sash that automatically open and close are available, you can easily build a basic cold frame from materials you most likely have around the house.

The back of the frame should be about twice as tall as the front so the lid slopes to a favorable angle for capturing sun rays. Build the frame tall enough to accommodate the maximum height of the plants before they are removed. The frame can be made of brick, block, plastic, wood or just about any material you have on hand. It should be built to keep drafts out and soil in.

Read more:

‘We need to ask who should be allowed to create money’

Ben Dyson talks about the progress made by Positive Money in sparking the debate about monetary reform over the past four years

4550761104_17bd3f3af9_oThe last six months have been full of breakthroughs for the movement to democratise money. Since 2010 we’ve been working to raise awareness of the fact that the same banks that caused the financial crisis currently create 97% of the money in our economy and decide where that money goes.

One of the early challenges was simply getting people to believe that banks create money. Even the UK Treasury would reply to letters from members of the public with the line: “Banks have no authority to create money, digital or otherwise.” But this argument was settled in March 2014 when the Bank of England released the paper Money Creation in the Modern Economy, in which they explained that “the majority of money in the modern economy is created by commercial banks making loans.” This confirmation from the Bank of England has already led some university lecturers to update their teaching on money and banking, and means that the debate can move on to the crucial issue of who should be allowed to create money.

The Positive Money movement continues to grow online and offline, with more than 30,000 followers on Facebook and 30 local groups around the UK (15 new groups have been set up this year alone). These local groups host film screenings, reading groups and run stalls at festivals. In addition, our members have been contacting MPs, local councillors, like-minded grassroots societies and the media to raise awareness of the fundamental problems with money. Internationally, there are now groups in 21 different countries, with Swiss group MoMo launching a petition that aims to get 100,000 signatures calling for a referendum on monetary reform.

Read more:

Localism and the Internet

By Ajax Greene:

Many “buy local” campaigns are very welcoming of the local chain store on the corner, but are anti-internet. This makes no sense to us.

Let me be totally clear: Localism loves the internet — when the sellers are locally owned and independent. Just because we are pro-retail does not mean we support large chain stores. And being pro-internet does not mean we support shopping at publicly traded mega sites like Amazon.

In fact, Re>Think Local has several criteria we use for screening members:

  • Do the business owners who have a controlling interest (greater than 50% of ownership) live in Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Columbia or Ulster County?
  • Is your business registered in the state of New York, with no corporate or national headquarters outside of the previously noted Mid Hudson Valley Region?
  • Do you have full autonomy to make your own independent decisions regarding your unique business and its purchasing, operations and distribution, as well as the name and look of your business?
  • Do you pay all your own marketing, rent and other business expenses without assistance from, or payment to, a corporate headquarters?

Why are these questions important? It all has to do in part with how money circulates. As a recent study Re>Think Local conducted here in the Hudson Valley shows, locally owned businesses circulate a dollar 3 times more than a non-local business, and this includes internet businesses.

Read more: