Check out this sad tale of corporate excess, farm style – what say we make this atrocious act viral and shame the bastards right out of there? An exec was insulted? Fuck them.
This stuff is beginning to pose some seriously nasty side effects, and it’s so unnecessary! If you’re not familiar with the concerns, here’s a little treatise by the National Institute of Health to catch you up.
Take a minute to head on over to this petition at Organic Consumers, and make your voice heard.
This is pretty huge – The Senate blocked passage of the DARK Act, which would have prevented states from being able to inform consumers about GMO’s in our food.
Keep those cards and letters coming, gang!
Hey – WAKE UP!
This is happening because we’re letting it. It’s time to shut this mess down. This is a food blog, but just as we get involved in political issues that impact our food, we must get involved in the bigger picture battles than threaten our very way of life – This political season is the biggest battle of our lives.
There are tens of thousands of visitors to this blog, each and every week. I see the stats, I know that those are real, live, thinking people, most of whom are Americans capable of voting and getting personally involved in the political process. To all those intelligent, creative, capable people I know here, I’m talking to you. For my non-American friends, please read this, and comment if you wish – I know many of you are far more familiar with this style of politics than I, and I welcome your thoughts. If you’re a supporter of Donald Drumpf or Rafael Cruz, then this probably isn’t for you; nonetheless, I welcome you’re input as well.
Now, to the party of the first part from the paragraph above. If each of us truly acted – not only voted, but began a concerted campaign to override the terrifying reality hurtling towards us, we can and will derail this shitstorm.
Step outside your comfort zone.
Get as passionate and involved as the enemy is. And have no doubt, they are the enemy. Drumpf and Cruz are smart, focused, driven people, backed by endless money and power. They are incredibly dangerous, and they’re attacking US – This is OUR country, and it’s being taken away before our eyes by a zealot and a sociopath, backed by the Koch brothers and the rest of the .05% that are trying to turn us into docile farm animals – They simply must be stopped. Got a revolution? That’s what it’s going to take, so strap on your words and let’s go kick some ass – Lets roll, people…
Speak with and to anyone and everyone about this. Challenge, prod, demand, cajole, do anything and everything necessary to make people understand.
If you’re not political, or even if you think you are, let me explain the keynote feature of this war that you simply must understand and act from – This is about sales, and nothing more – that’s what the enemy is doing – Selling a dismayingly sociopathic, dangerous line of horse shit that is swaying the masses hook, line, and sinker. They must be stopped.
Don’t think that everyone who is voting for these tools is stupid, either – That kind of elitist tripe won’t win a single battle. Sure, many of them are not the sharpest pencils in the box, but they’re more than capable of believing and acting, as we’re seeing every day. They can be swayed from this path. They must be swayed from this path, and we must do the guiding.
Those of us who have succeeded in the world of sales, (And believe me when I tell you that I’m one of the best salesmen you’ve ever met), you must know what it takes to succeed, so let me share.
We called it SWAT – Sales With Aggressive Tactics. That’s what it will take, so learn it well, learn it now, and deploy the tools anywhere and everywhere you can.
Here’s the bottom line tools you need.
1. You won’t convince anyone of anything with your words – You’ll do that with their words.
2. You can and should explain what’s real, but they need to say/nod/agree/believe it’s true. You do that by posing a position/offer/agreement as a question – When they respond with an agreement of their own, then you’ve sewn the seed.
3. You cannot and will not sell anything unless you offer something in exchange – This is a transaction, and your client needs to feel/sense/believe that they get something of value, something they want, in exchange for what you’re asking of them. What people want is relief from the horror show our government has become. They want to feel safe, cared for, listened to, believed. Here’s an exchange from the movie, The American President, that sums up our current situation perfectly,
– Lewis: People want leadership. And in the absence of genuine leadership, they will listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership, Mr. President. They’re so thirsty for it, they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.
– Sheperd: Lewis, we’ve had Presidents who were beloved, who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty, Lewis. They drink it because they don’t know the difference.
4. This means that you’ve got homework to do – Instead of being merely disgusted by what you’re hearing and reading, you must become a student of the enemy – Jump on the Drumpf and Cruz websites, and read everything there – Memorize it, know it, do your due diligence on the background of key positions. With that in hand, study the truth and falsehoods and know them just as intimately. Then sit down and write out your battle plan – Design responses/offers/positions/repercussions/results that effectively counter the enemy’s position – Do this with exactly the same tools they use – The facts are that these people are liars and thieves, and they must be effectively exposed – Your responses, your positions, your weapons must be more desirable than theirs. That’s not hard, because the truth is out there – Just as people will believe the lie, they’ll believe the truth, if it’s sold to them properly.
5. That exchange needs to be confirmed, agreed to, bought by their own words and actions – Listen, if I do/say/show/explain this, will you buy it? Use your own passion and energy wisely, but use it. When you say something important, look your client in the eyes – If you’re saying something that you want to sell, and you ask that sales question, nod your head, and watch how they react – When they nod in agreement, you’ve sewn the seed. When you want to sell something they must not believe/buy/do, shake your head – When they mirror that head shake, you’ve sewn the seed. Remember – Ask the questions and get them to respond verbally – Any time thereafter that they backtrack, you gently remind them, “hey, hold on – you agreed with me, remember? You said ” ___________”, those were your words, right? You nodded your head when we were talking, right? Look, I’m not trying to sell you anything here – I’m listening to you and offering you exactly what you say you need and want, nothing more – that’s right, isn’t it? Don’t you agree with that?” And so it goes.
6. Finally, don’t assume the sale until it’s signed on the dotted line, done deal – You must follow every client’s progress right up to and including inking the deal – the right vote. That’s what the enemy is doing. You must keep the fire lit, be following up at an effective interval that doesn’t discomfort your client. You must make sure they do the deed.
Anything less is just words in the wind – bitching, moaning, worrying or flipping out won’t get it done.
Get focused, get active, get busy. If each and every one of you don’t take this to heart and act, we will lose, guaranteed.
This started as a simple share of a post. I’ve been editing it for the last hour. I’m liking where it’s at now. Take it, use it, share it.
Again, This political season is the biggest battle of our lives. Get involved, spread the word, and win this war. Lets take these people down. Let’s take back our country, now.
Read on, and if you’re a Whatcom County resident, let’s light this candle, big time!
‘My Facebook friends, We the Operators of the Whatcom Transportation Authority have a ring-side seat to a world of social hurt that has torn so many people down to struggles of personal survival. We see so many Armed Service veterans that have been left to their own devices to deal with crushing issues as a result of what the system demanded from them, and then left them to cope without assistance or resources; and they sleep under our bridges and self medicate without hope. We see so many just average people that for whom the American Dream has turned its’ back on as it has been redefined in the era of globalization and the American race to the bottom. We see families living in their cars on side streets, and they don’t look so very much different than you or I. There but for the grace of God go you or I. I see men that I have known for years; knew where they used to work — saw them ride the bus to the park on the weekend with a young family in tow, and now I see them with a back-pack between their knees on Holly Street at 7:00 in the morning. It is haunting to see it all this up close and very personal. And the weather has turned and winter is fast approaching and the misery in the rear-view mirror is about to be magnified by powers of ten.
We, the men and women of ATU Local 843 will make a gesture in response to the spirit of the holiday season and the onset of bad weather with practical assistance in it’s most basic form. We are raising a cache of warming clothes that we will deliver to the Opportunity Council for distribution. We are looking for warm clean socks, gloves, hats, coats, <<<<SLEEPING BAGS>>>>, blankets and like items, preferably not size specific. But we are just 190 folks and the need outnumbers us by powers of 10’s.
So I am throwing it out there —- we cannot accept cash, but if you feel moved to help us with this with warm socks, or a pair or gloves or whatever, you can just give it to a bus driver, and they will route it to me, and I will see it gets to where it is needed.
I look forward to a better and more prosperous America, but we all do what we can where we live. Thank you, and Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Kwanza or whatever. The need respects no boundary’s of race, creed, or gender, and we all could use all the help we can get. Mark Lowry’
It’s a lovely, heartfelt gesture; we’re in!
So, a couple weeks ago, I didn’t post, because, as luck and joy would have it, I was 1600 miles from home, at my other home for a few precious days. Formally known as The Luthier Community Gathering, this is an annual event held in the north woods of Minnesota. Hosted by Grant Goltz and Christy Hohman at their incredibly eclectic and homey spread, this is several days of companionship, renewed and new friendships, music, incredible house made beer and ale, and of course, food.
Over the years, I’ve become the official Chef de Gathering, and it is a joy of joys to do. Over the three days of the main event, we feed somewhere around 30 to 40 folks for dinner, and maybe 12 to 20 for breakfasts and lunches. While some folks bring a little of this and a little of that, Chris and I provide the mainstays, (and usually Monica, who couldn’t make the trip this year due to a new job). And rank has its privilege – I get my own incredibly cozy Chef apartment, and an incredible kitchen to work from.
For such a big crowd, the process is incredibly easy. At some point, we’ll touch base and decide on theme, main ingredients, etc – it rarely takes more than a couple minutes. I say, “Hey Chris, what are we gonna build?” She fires off some options, inspiration takes hold, and off we go.
The real joy comes not only from feeding good friends in a great kitchen, but in the gathering of ingredients. Grant and Christy run a Community Supported Agriculture, (CSA), operation on their spread, so the variety and scope of produce is truly stunning, as you can see. So, picking ingredients means just that; heading out on the trail with basket in hand, and coming back with the bounty.
This year marked the first truly amazing mushroom harvest, from logs inoculated and set up last season – Shiitakes, an almost embarrassing wealth of gorgeous, just picked beauties – I put them in everything I could think of, (and I did say ‘almost’).
Our mutual friends, John and Lissa Sumption, have a working CSA close by, (King’s Gardens), so literally anything we don’t have right on hand can be had with a phone call. During my visit, Mark, the very talented local butcher, stopped by and dropped off some goodies, for which he took produce in barter. The results speak for themselves.
Our recent piece on apples contains several of the recipes we did this year. Here’s the recipe for smoked Guacamole – It’s become a must-do for the event ever since we debuted it seven or eight years ago.
The Annual Gathering is open to any and all who love music, good friends, and good food. Here’s a video and a song that pretty well sums up the vibe. It’s held in August every year. This year, a dear friend from my wildfire fighting days, Nancy Swenson, made the trip out – First time we’d seen each other in thirty four years!
Just say NO to Nestle!
Any CEO of a food-based multinational corporation who says, and I quote, “The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution,” needs to go away. Arrogant oligarchs like this only exist if we let them.
I stopped buying anything from Barilla after their CEO made his Neanderthal comments about gays. I’m now done with Nestle.
Here’s a petition, courtesy of my friend Joy Tataryn – sign it, pass it on, shut the bastards down.
Many of you know that I spent about 20 years in public service, pretty much evenly split between firefighting and law enforcement. I’ve been debating saying something about this storm we’re in, and now I guess I will. It should go without saying that these are my thoughts, not gospel, but I’ll say it anyway.
There are definitely problems with our system. Injustice is certainly primary among them. Frankly, I see a lot of signs that lead me to believe that we’re probably not much of a democracy anymore. Our world is, in many ways, controlled by the 1% super-rich, politically motivated. Government is tacitly run by these poeple, and to a slightly lesser degree, big business in general. The buck speaks far louder than our protests. These people as a population are not at all like the rest of us. What we face every day means little or nothing to the majority of that minority. They live above law, justice, and the ills that beset the rest of the world. Even if they do good, like a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, being a billionaire means they have no idea about what day to day living is about. They fear literally none of the things we do, simply because they never deal with them.
That said, the injustices we face are far broader than the media would have you believe, and no media facet is free of that truth, not NPR, BBC, or Al Jazira, or U.S. News & World Report. The media is absolutely, with no question, guided by the same tenet I outlined above. The buck speaks loudest. They report what pays them, in income, listeners, readers, watchers. The sooner we as a people stop listening to and depending on popular media to get a grasp on what’s happening, the sooner we can affect a solution. Media as an unbiased vehicle for the reporting of events is broken, perhaps irrevocably in its current form. It exists predominantly as a voice for the money and power behind any given perspective represented. The sooner we admit and accept that, the sooner we can start fixing things.
Our government, all three branches, legislative, judicial, and executive, is broken. It is bloated, ineffective, and out of control. Like the stock market in the summer of 1929, this government reflects only itself; it has almost nothing to do with us. The kind of people who are drawn to this form of service are not like us. Oh, there are a few good eggs, certainly. I know several who have and do serve faithfully, with the best intent, and do an admirable job; they are, unfortunately, very much a minority. Look at the blatant politics of the Federal judicial branch and tell me what you see. I see a reflection of those One Percenters I spoke of, again, with a few notable exceptions. Look at the Federal Legislative branch. About 47% of the members of both the senate and house are millionaires; is that what your neighborhood looks like? And what about the things our government does for us. Yes, Social Security and Medicaid takes a good bite out of the annual budget, and frankly, I think that’s as it should be, (call me a socialist if you like, but I prefer Agrarian Anarchist). About 1% of the annual federal budget goes to education. About 2% goes toward science and research. Infrastructural upkeep gets about 3%. Virtually all forms of non-military international aid get another 1%. On the other side of things, the military gets 19%. I also have friends serving, past and present, and that’s not at all a condemnation of the job done by folks like us. It is, however, a very telling emphasis, is it not?
Plato noted that, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” While ‘inferior’ might seem a harsh term, the ethics, morals, and general decorum we see displayed in government these days would indicate that he’s still not far off the mark. William Tecumseh Sherman famously said, “If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.” That can be seen either as a derivation of the adage that the nature of the job dictates that those most qualified to serve would not, or possibly that the man knew his place in the scheme of things and chose to remain there. Would that more of our current ‘leaders’ had been so wise…
What are we to think of the latest wave of bad behaviors by cops, protestors, prosecutors, governors, and the like? The government representatives among that list are reflecting what I wrote above. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that’s a fact. The media is helping to paint all cops as murderers and psychopaths, all protestors as rabid looters, all prosecutors as crooked, and all governors as ineffective. All of that is, quite frankly, crap. Especially among the cops and the protestors, I can assure you that most are frustrated, scared, basically decent human beings. The fringes are not the whole cloth; if you hear anything I’ve written, hear that. I have friends on facebook, people I like and admire, painting all cops as sadistic killers mindlessly ruling a police state. Frankly, every single one of those folks that have posted some picture or quote or statement to that effect have just about zero idea of what actually being in such a position entails. For the record, I personally do not like what I have seen and heard about the two cops currently in the klieg lights; I don’t trust either of them, and I don’t believe them, and I don’t defend their behavior. I do not care for the management or tactics of either department either; I think they’re genuinely abhorrent. That said, none of you, not one that I have seen fomenting this rabid attack on the nature and behavior of all cops, has even a remote clue about what it is like to genuinely fight for your life. Three times in my career, an unarmed man or men went for my gun. On one occasion, a guy much bigger than me was literally picking me up off the ground by yanking on the grip of my weapon, trying to get it out of the holster; thank God for dependable retention. I did not shoot anyone in those instances, but believe me, the thought was definitely on my mind, and if I could have, I probably would have. I’d tell you that, were you in that situation, you well might have too. You people don’t seem to understand one very important truth: you pay cops and firefighters to deal with the shit that you can’t deal with. What you run from in terror, we run toward, to figure out, in the heat of the moment, what the hell is going on, and what we need to do to stop it. If you screw up at work, something bad happens; when we do, people die, sometimes for all the wrong reasons; it’s the wrong reasons that need to be addressed. The old adage that either of those jobs is 99% boredom and 1% Holy Shit is absolutely true. And after we’ve dealt with that 1% as the fallible humans we are, you endlessly dissect, critique, condemn, and castigate without a second thought. Armchair quarterbacks are always right…
So, back to those two cops; I don’t like them or trust them, but I can sure understand how things get out of hand. It’s not right, at all, but then again, neither are all the rest of us humans a fair share of the time. The system, just like our government, is badly bent, and needs straightening. If and when it does get fixed, keep in mind that you’ll still need people to do those jobs.
And then there’s the race card. I personally believe that we are all one; differences are skin deep and no more. None of that means that I don’t have biases; I do, as we all do. America has a race problem, without a doubt. It is blatant at times, sometimes subtle, but always there, and always a problem. I’m a WASP, so my forbearers stormed this country and took it by force, (you don’t need to read Gun, Germs & Steel to better understand that, but it can’t hurt). White Americans, regardless of our personal stripe, are colored with the bloody cloth of that past. There is no glib, snappy answer to solve that problem. I’ll go so far as to say that, at root cause, race issues among humans are likely not solvable. That statement is predicated on my belief that Robin Dunbar is likely correct; a hundred and some social relationships is the limit for us. Whether its Shiite versus Sunni, Dinka against Nuer, or Czechs and Bosnians, give a group of humans enough members and they’ll find a way to be at each others throats. Religion, politics, skin tone, language, food, land, anything and everything will be a bone of contention; it’s in our nature. I suppose one could infer from that synopsis that we’ve not come very far from our primal roots, and I’d say that’s absolutely true.
I’ve heard folks say this reminds them of ’64 in the south, or the Arab Spring. I personally hope that it is that kind of moment in history, because God knows we need it. I decry the events that lead us here, but sometimes, that’s what it takes to wake up a people and a nation. And since I’m on a roll, I’ll ask, where is religion in all this? In the 60s, the Protestant faiths were exactly that, protesting what was going on, an exhorting their flocks to get involved in making changes. Remember the Berrigan brothers? Where are our modern incarnations? The fact is that American religion has been through roughly two decades of a concerted attack by hard core right wing politics. Just as they did with governance, the rabid right attacked church after church, dividing and conquering, until at this point of critical need, the voice of faith is heard only dimly, a shadow of its former self.
Now the question becomes, what are we gonna do about it? Are you willing to wake up, step out of your routine, find ways to constructively and effectively change what’s broken? If not, I’ll politely invite you to clam up. If so, then right on; let’s light this candle, because it sure is past time.
It is indeed, and we can all play a part.
Hunger is pandemic throughout our world, and right here in the U.S. is no exception. In fact, your home town is likely no exception.
Granted, we should all do our part year round, but this is as good a time to start, share, or emphasize as any.
I don’t generally like being told what charity or effort needs my help, but in something as basic and pervasive as this, I think we can all make an exception. Here are some ideas for all of us.
1. Volunteer at a local food bank or shelter. None of these institutions is swimming in personnel, and all of them rely on volunteers too some degree.
2. Volunteers to deliver for Meals on Wheels. It’s a great program and a wonderful opportunity to help.
3. Donate from your garden. Fall is a significant harvest season. If you or someone you know has fresh produce to spare, donate to an area food bank. Fresh produce is almost always the hardest thing for them to find on a consistent basis, so next planting cycle, plant a row or two specifically to donate from.
4. Organize a neighborhood/area/school/town food drive. If your local haunt doesn’t have such services, I’d almost guarantee there’s a need; maybe you’re the one to make it happen. If they do have services, they’ll never say no to a well organized food drive.
Heard this great story on NPR the other day, about some folks in Minnesota doing things right. These folks had a truck at an event where there were a whole bunch of food trucks, but there’s was a bit different. Rather than selling food, they were accepting it, and then getting to folks who really needed it. A reverse food truck – Brilliant!
I think we need one of these in every town big enough to support food trucks. Talk about community outreach!