The Nation-State Has Got to Go, or Everybody Permaculture!

I’ve been meditating on this idea of the nation-state for a while. A gentleman that came to our Massachusetts Zeitgeist Day event in Cambridge last March commented that unless we get rid of the idea of nation-states, we will never have peace on the planet. I completely agree, and I wanted to just write a post about it as it’s been on my mind. It’s especially pertinent now, as it seems war with Syria (and whatever slippery-slope conflicts emerge from that) might be inevitable.

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Nothing on TV?: Thursday, June 6

Lee Camp, Moment of Clarity #238
Youtube description: Opening your eyes to the influences controlling our behaviors takes many steps. This is the first one. It’s perhaps the key to everything.

Breaking Free, Episode 1

http://breakingfree.tv/episode/tree-tops-to-roof-tops/

The World According to Monsanto
If you know nothing or next to nothing about Monsanto, this is the film to watch. It’s staggering.

Youtube description: There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

O Soupy on Holdy

My last post where I mentioned I had a big announcement was a little preemptive. I assumed, which always makes an ass out of me, but oh well. The announcement was going to be about a social endeavor I want to start based on the workings of a gift economy. I had entered a contest called Start Something That Matters, sponsored by GOODIS and TOMS Shoes, where you could win $50,000 to start your social endeavor. I got all sorts of excited and made a video about the pay-what-you-can soup business I want to start and entered. And waited. And the day the contest was supposed to start (last Friday), I got an email telling me I hadn’t made it to the voting round.

BOOOOOOOO.

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The Gift Economy in Action

I have an exciting post for tomorrow, and this will serve as the teaser. I found this amazing story of enacting the gift economy today on Facebook, and it made me cry.

This was a graduation speech given at a Silicon Vally private high school by Nipun Mehta. An excerpt:

The First Key Is To Give 

In the movie Wall Street — which originally came out well before you guys were born — there’s a character named Gordon Gekko whose credo in life reads: Greed is good.  When I was about your age, Silicon Valley was in the seductive grip of the dot-com boom. It was a time when it was easy to believe that Greed was Good. But a small group of us had a different hypothesis:

*Maybe* greed is good, but Generosity is better.

We tested that hypothesis. When I started ServiceSpace, our first project was to build websites for nonprofits at no charge. We ended up building and gifting away thousands of sites, but that wasn’t our main goal. Our real purpose was to practice generosity.

In the early days, the media was pretty sure we had a hidden agenda. “We’re doing this just to practice giving with no strings attached,” we said. The few who actually believed us didn’t think we could sustain it. The thing is — we did. A decade later, when our work started attracting millions of viewers, entrepreneurs told us that we’d be crazy to not slap on ads or try to monetize our services.  The thing is — we didn’t.  We probably *were* a bit crazy. And when we started Karma Kitchen, people really thought “No way!”  It was a restaurant where your check always read zero, with this note: “Your meal is paid for by someone before you, and now it’s your chance to pay it forward.”  The thing is — 25 thousand meals later, the chain continues in several cities around the globe.

I encourage you to check out the links in his speech above, and to go read the whole thing. He is inspiring and it couldn’t have been better timing for what I am announcing tomorrow!

Peace and love!

 

March Against Monsanto

Hubs and I went to the March Against Monsanto in downtown Boston yesterday. It was a decent turnout even tho the weather felt more like October. I hate this company and I hate that somehow they have managed to completely fool our government into thinking their products are necessary and safe. Really, the only things we can do at this point is grow our own food, buy organic, continue to demand labeling and banning these weirdo crops with things like pesticides spliced into their genes.

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