Amish farmers avoided the draft during WWII, even choosing to face jail time over going to war because they didn’t believe in combat, and now they are taking up a different fight altogether – peacefully – by studying plant immunology in order to grow healthy organic produce without pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals that biotech companies are lavishing on crops like cheap perfume on an uncouth lady.
Samuel Zook, an Amish farmer recently explained to a reporter:
“If you really stop and think about it, though, when we go out spraying our crops with pesticides, that’s really what we’re doing. It’s chemical warfare, bottom line.”
Zook should know what its like to try to grow without pesticides and still get rid of pests that would ravish his crops. He owns a 66-acre farm that was once riddled with fungus and other plant-killing insects that he could scarcely eradicate. The 39-year old farmer talked at length about trying to run a homestead that had been in his family for five generations, and how miserably he was failing. He became disillusioned with the Big Ag methods promoted as ‘agriculture’ when they are nothing more than war on the natural world. His frustration led him to the writings of an 18-year old Amish farmer from Ohio, named John Kempf.
This young upstart is the founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a consulting firm the farmer established in 2006 to promote science-intensive organic agriculture. That’s right – it wasn’t just going to be an inconclusive guessing game about what to grow and how to grow it – his achievements would make any pro-GMO agriculturalist or biotech scientists eat their genetically modified words.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she isn’t running for president. At this rate, however, she may have to.
The Massachusetts Democrat has become the brightest ideological and rhetorical light in a party whose prospects are dimmed by—to use a word Jimmy Carter never uttered—malaise. Her weekend swing through Colorado, Minnesota and Iowa to rally the faithful displayed something no other potential contender for the 2016 presidential nomination, including Hillary Clinton, seems able to present: a message.
“We can go through the list over and over, but at the end of every line is this: Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” she said Friday in Englewood, Colo. “I will tell you we can whimper about it, we can whine about it or we can fight back. I’m here with [Sen.] Mark Udall so we can fight back.”
Warren was making her second visit to the state in two months because Udall’s re-election race against Republican Cory Gardner is what Dan Rather used to call “tight as a tick.” If Democrats are to keep their majority in the Senate, the party’s base must break with form and turn out in large numbers for a midterm election. Voters won’t do this unless somebody gives them a reason.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the creation of a 30-member expeditionary medical support team to be able to provide emergency help in the event of an Ebola crisis in the United States, a Pentagon spokesman said on Sunday.
The team of five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers could respond on short notice to help civilian medical professionals, a statement from Rear Admiral John Kirby said.
Three cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in the United States, prompting widespread concern about the potential spread of the virus. A Liberian man fell ill while on a trip to Dallas, Texas, and died on Oct. 8. Two nurses who treated him contracted the disease.
Kirby called the team “an added, prudent measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases.” He said it would consist of critical care nurses, doctors trained in infectious diseases and trainers in infectious disease protocols.
HUGE SUNSPOT: If you have a solar telescope, point it at the sun. A huge sunspot is turning toward Earth. Philippe Tosi of Nîmes, France, took this picture of AR2192 on Oct. 18th:
An inset picture of Earth shows the scale of the sunspot. All by tself, the primary dark core could swallow a planet twice as wide as our own.
Big sunspots pose a threat for strong flares, and this behemoth is no exception. Last week, while it was still on the farside of the sun, AR2192 unleashed several potent blasts including this massive CME. Now it is crackling with C-class flares that could herald something stronger: NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of M-class flares and a 5% chance of X-flares in the next 24 hours.
Central to George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a totalitarian society was a government so powerful that it not only dominated all of the major institutions in a society, but it also was quite adept at making invisible its inner workings of power. This is what some have called a shadow government, deep state, dual state or corporate state. (1) In the deep state, politics becomes the domain of the ultra-wealthy, the powerful few who run powerful financial services, big corporations and the imperious elite of the defense industries and other components of the military-industrial complex. Corporate interests such as ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies, megabanks such as Bank of America, and defense industries such as Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are powerful lobbying groups and as such have control of the major seats of political power and the commanding institutions necessary to insure that the deeply anti-democratic state rules in the interests of the few while exploiting and repressing the many.
Henry A. Giroux @ TRUTHDIG