Invasive Species (responding to earlier discussion)… reading Sandor Katz’ very important book, The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved (sent my way by De — thanks again and again), it turns out that the one most feared hereabouts, chickweed, turns out to be edible, highly nutritious (a vitamin pack), and medicinal.
Native plants… I understand the sense of urgency in potecting many native plants from extinction (we are in the middle of an unprecedented period of species extinctions), and the urge to resist the instabilities created by the appropriation of time and space that happens in the ecological dimension of globalized, (late) financial capitalism… ie, rapid (and often thoughtless) introduction of non-native species (snakehead, eg). Without becoming a panglossian who minimizes the inherent dangers in all this travel-related eco-turbulence, we will go into the future with the ecosystem we have; and a lot of that will include the re-self-organization of systems with the inclusion of “non-native” species. We will have starlings in North America from now on. If we are to exercise our responsibilities in this process without over-stepping our role, it seems we should begin by rebuilding the basic components of ecosystems when and where we can (infrastructure), then engage in a kind of developmental dialogue with whatever comes along to “use” that infrastructure. I always come back to soil these days, soil as a basic ecosystem that is, and to the best way I have seen to appropriate time in an alliance with nature: vermiculture. (And Audrey, keep rescuing the pawpaws… if people only knew how excellent this native fruit really is!!!)
Garden notes… it is beginning to rain sugar-snaps (a sweet snap-pea that tastes good directly from the vine, eat them whole, shell and all). One day we had little white flowers, and less than a week later, they are coming in as fast as I can pick them. They are also nitrogen-fixers, so they are very good for the soil and for companion planting. A few bush beans are here, and we have some three-alarm radishes. After reading how radish greens spice up other greens, I tossed some into a greens medley that was 80% turnip greens (the are growing back atop fattening turnips already), mixed with kale, baby spinach, and parsley. I collected so many greens that after I cooked them (with a neckbone and some immature red onions, greens and all), there was so much that I ate this stuff two and three times a day for three days (with help from the family), until I feared hypervitaminosis. Today I have a mix of sugar snaps, green beans, and green onion that will be lightly sauteed in butter and salted to taste. Also, another batch of radishes… roots and greens.
The Leak… early last week, the media echo chamber let us know again and again and again and again that ONE (curiously) declassified intelligence document suggested that “al Qaeda” (once a non-organization that the Bush administration abracadabra-ed into a self-fulfilling hyper-prophecy of many al Qaedas) had “plans to target the US” (whateverthafuk that means)… out of millions of classified documents, we are presented with ONE… declassified by the administration for the express purpose of allowing the media to broadcast summaries of its content…. at precisely the time when even Clinton and Obama feel compelled (more on this opportunism further down) to cast symbolic votes against further funding for this increasingly unpopular war. Analog: out of millions of mercury-contaminated fish, I select one that shows no mercury contamination (with no reference to its source); and the media highlights that there is a fish without mercury contamination (allowing the impression between the lines to be that mercury contamination is not a problem). There is no reference by CNN, by MSNBC, by ABC, by Fox, by NPR or by any other monopolists of the airwaves, to the STORY QUESTION… which is obviously, “Why did the government release this report of one fish that was NOT contaminated by mercury? and who are these con-artists trying to shit?” …or… “What is the validity of any claim that is based on a single one-in-millions sample?”
Clinton and Obama… both voted against the war funding bill, but only when they knew the Senate had 80 out of a 100 already behind the bill (as did Dodd, Edwards, and Richardson). Biden, who has a snowball’s chance in hell of being nominated, voted YES. This is about as cynical as it gets; and if it works (which it may), it demonstrates exactly how straight-jacketed is the collective psyche of America by the culture of disembedded, linear superficiality. Here is an unsolicited and totally reckless prognostication on Democrats and the American preoccupation with Presidential politics (and political dynasties, it seems)… and here’s hoping I am terribly wrong: The Democrats are facing the inheritance of an economic crisis that will likely come into full flower after this changing of the Executive guard. They are totally beholden to the exact same interests, albeit in different magnitudes and a few exceptions — like tort lawyers and unions, as Republicans. The further integration of military spending into an increasingly hollowed out domestic industrial economy, the reality of emerging anti-imperialism in Latin America and a developing Asian Bloc, will not push the Democrats into disengagement of the military in Southwest Asia. Disruptions to American international power, as well, as latent domestic disruptions, will argue mathematically for exactly what the Iraq invasion was supposed to accomplish — the installation of a permanent and substantial American military presence in and around the oil-and-gas patch. Once the body politic is thoroughly demoralized by its inability to exercise even a whiff of popular sovereignty over its own government (after the Dems crush the liberal antiwar movement’s dreams by continuing the war), the Republicans — in disarray — will be facing a split in their ranks that will re-order them into the “populists” who (against the will of the corporate Party) will embrace anti-Latin@ xenophobia as their new organizing principle. Faced with a deepening economic crisis, by 2012, the Democrats will be unseated massively by a re-invented Republican Party of Xenophobia (a protofascist formation). (There seem to be good reasons now for thinking about left and libertarian political alliances on several issues.)
Suburban Generalists… if any world is divided in some sense between generalist-types and bureaucrat-types (bureaucratic operatives as well as bureaucracy-dependent); and the bureaucracy begins to unravel along with the efficacy of our highly reified “middle class” division of labor… then Exurban Women can acquire general craft skills (especially building and planting skills) as a collective political strategy. Suburban women generalists! To put women-in-general into positions of relative power in a future that will require a lot of local, practical design strategies to cope with major economic dislocations. Not in order to learn how to do what men do now with building skills, but how to design local systems that cooperate with nature, a la permaculture. The time will come when this approach to building-and-design is no longer a choice. Knowledge will then be power. The power to build, to plant, and to teach.
Why the “middle class, the middle class, the middle class”? Whatever we call them, they (especially the “white” middle class) are right now the most dangerous single class of people anywhere in the world. They are avaricious (trained to be so), impulsive, obsessive, and perilously fearful. If they are ceded to the right in any future crisis, they will become reactionary as hell. Nobody on the left is speaking to them; partly because this stratum is so alienated, so incredibly indoctrinated, and fearful in the face of uncertainty that they are nearly brain-dead in those places that can still recognize patterns. But Lou Dobbs is speaking to them, and so are about five other white male so-called news announcers; and all of them are whipping up xenophobia against “illegals” with the same vim as property-hungry inquisitors going after “witches.”
And Speaking of Immigration… how the Republicans are falling back from that petard-blast. Every member of their class except for the political demagogue knows full well that an immediate and broad enforcement of immigration law — especially the vicious summary uprooting of families being promoted by anti-Latin@ reaction — would not only be an economic body blow to domestic capital (esp agribiz); the dumping of around 20 million (by some counts) displaced persons (majority from Mexico) would destabilize the US’s fragile puppets there. US diplomats once suggested — on an impulse, I suppose — to Mao Zedong that the Chinese government allow people leave China freely to live elsewhere. Mao asked if 30 million were too many… and the subject never came up again. Too bad the Big Media have never looked at the demographics of immigration and the stability of political regimes. Doesn’t seem over-intellectualized, and it does seem important. Which is why we get zippo analysis from the media; they are now actively and intentionally collaborating with the xenophobic right… which has followers from both parties.
That’s all for now.Â Waste Stream Engineers, Arise!