For a More Progressively Evolving Society

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Farmer Faces Over 2 Years Jail, $10K Fines for Feeding Community

Guest article

Things are heating up in Baraboo, Wisconsin as a long awaited food rights trial approaches.  

Raw milk drinkers are outraged that Wisconsin DATCP is bringing criminal charges against a farmer who serves a private buying club.  Do citizens have a right to contract with a producer and grow food to their own standards? That is what is at stake in this case. – Kimberly Hartke, Publicist Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
Customers and Other Supporters to Attend Court with Farmer
Food rights activists from around North America will meet at the Sauk County Courthouse in this tiny town on May 20 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty.  Hershberger, whose trial begins that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land this husband and father in county jail for up to 30 months with fines of over $10,000…  
The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.  
DATCP has charged Hershberger with, among other things, operating a retail food establishment without a license.  Hershberger repeatedly rejects this, citing that he provides foods only to paid members in a private buying club and is not subject to state food regulations.  
Hershberger says:
There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers — this is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.  
A little more than a year ago, food rights activists from around the country stood in support of Hershberger at a pre-trial hearing.  They read and signed a “Declaration of Food Independence” that asserts inherent rights in food choice.  This month after the trial each day, many of the same food rights activists plus others will gather at the Al Ringling Theater across the street from the courthouse and hear presentations by leaders in the food rights movement.  Notable speakers include Virginia farmer Joel Salatin, Mountain Man show star Eustace Conway, and food rights organizer from Maine, Deborah Evans.  
Hershberger, and other farmers around the country, are facing state or federal charges against them for providing fresh foods to wanting individuals.  In recent months the FDA has conducted several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs that have resulted in farms shutting down and consumers without access to the food they depend on.  
Vernon has faced a lot of pre-hearings and postponements already.  Legal concerns are mounting.  Printable flyers and an account from his May 7th hearing appear here.  
This is a landmark precedent-setting case that could forever change food access rights.  In addition, did you know that a Wisconsin judge who declared that we have no inherent right to the healthy foods of our choice retired and went to work for Monsanto?  

Watch for more info and a recap on the battle:  
Information about farm raids:  
For additional information on raw milk:  
See Activist Posts’s running story:  
This article originally appeared here  
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Disinformation Works. In America “Truth has no Relevance. Only Agendas are Important”

Guest article

Have you ever wondered how the government’s misinformation gains traction?   
What I have noticed is that whenever a stunning episode occurs, such as 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing, most everyone whether on the right or left goes along with the government’s explanation, because they can hook their agenda to the government’s account.  
The leftwing likes the official stories of Muslims creating terrorist mayhem in America, because it proves their blowback theory and satisfies them that the dispossessed and oppressed can fight back against imperialism.  
The patriotic rightwing likes the official story, because it proves America is attacked for its goodness or because terrorists were allowed in by immigration authorities and nurtured by welfare, or because the government, which can’t do anything right, ignored plentiful warnings.  
Whatever the government says, no matter how problematical, the official story gets its traction from its compatibility with existing predispositions and agendas.  
In such a country, truth has no relevance.  Only agendas are important.  
A person can see this everywhere.  I could write volumes illustrating how agenda-driven writers across the spectrum will support the most improbable government stories despite the absence of any evidence simply because the government’s line can be used to support their agendas.  
For example, a conservative writer in the June issue of Chronicles uses the government’s story about the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to argue against immigration, amnesty for illegals, and political asylum for Muslims.  He writes:  “Even the most high-tech security systems imaginable will inevitably fail as they are overwhelmed by a flood of often hostile and dangerous immigrants.”  
The writer accepts all of the improbable government statements as proof that the brothers were guilty.  The wounded brother who was unable to respond to the boat owner who discovered him and had to be put on life support somehow managed to write a confession on the inside of the boat.  
As soon as the authorities have the brother locked up in a hospital on life support, “unnamed officials” and “authorities who remain anonymous” are planting the story in the media that the suspect is signing written confessions of his guilt while on life support.  No one has seen any of these written confessions.  But we know that they exist, because the government and media say so.  
The conservative writer knows that Dzhokhar is guilty because he is Muslim and a Chechen.  Therefore, it does not occur to the writer to wonder about the agenda of the unnamed sources who are busy at work creating belief in the brothers’ guilt.  This insures that no juror would dare vote for acquittal and have to explain it to family and friends.  Innocent until proven guilty in a court has been thrown out the window.  This should disturb the conservative writer, but doesn’t.  
The conservative writer sees Chechen ethnicity as an indication of guilt even though the brothers grew up in the US as normal Americans, because Chechens are “engaged in anti-Russian jihad.” But Chechens have no reason for hostility against the US.  As evidence indicates, Washington supports the Chechens in their conflict with Russia.  By supporting Chechen terrorism, Washington violates all of the laws that it ruthlessly applies to compassionate Americans who give donations to Palestinian charities that Washington alleges are run by Hamas, a Washington-declared terrorist organization.  
It doesn’t occur to the conservative writer that something is amiss when martial law is established over one of America’s main cities and its metropolitan area, 10,000 heavily armed troops are put on the streets with tanks, and citizens are ordered out of their homes with their hands over their heads, all of this just to search for one wounded 19-year old suspect.  Instead the writer blames the “surveillance state” on “the inevitable consequences of suicidal liberalism” which has embraced “the oldest sin in the world:  rebellion against authority.” The writer is so pleased to use the government’s story line as a way of indulging the conservative’s romance with authority and striking a blow at liberalism that he does not notice that he has lined up against the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence and rebelled against authority.  
I could just as easily have used a left-wing writer to illustrate the point that improbable explanations are acceptable if they fit with predispositions and can be employed in behalf of an agenda.  
Think about it.  Do you not think that it is extraordinary that the only investigations we have of such events as 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing are private investigations, such as this investigation of the backpacks: [1]  
There was no investigation of 9/11.  Indeed, the White House resisted any inquiry at all for one year despite the insistent demands from the 9/11 families.  NIST did not investigate anything.  NIST simply constructed a computer model that was consistent with the government’s story.  The 9/11 Commission simply sat and listened to the government’s explanation and wrote it down.  These are not investigations.  
The only investigations have come from a physicist who proved that WTC 7 came down at free fall and was thus the result of controlled demolition, from a team of scientists who examined dust from the WTC towers and found nano-thermite, from high-rise architects and structural engineers with decades of experience, and from first responders and firefighters who were in the towers and experienced explosions throughout the towers, even in the sub-basements.  
We have reached the point where evidence is no longer required.  The government’s statements suffice.  Only conspiracy kooks produce real evidence.  
In America, government statements have a unique authority.  This authority comes from the white hat that the US wore in World War II and in the subsequent Cold War.  It was easy to demonize Nazi Germany, Soviet Communism and Maoist China.  Even today when Russian publications interview me about the perilous state of civil liberty in the US and Washington’s endless illegal military attacks abroad, I sometimes receive reports that some Russians believe that it was an impostor who was interviewed, not the real Paul Craig Roberts.  
There are Russians who believe that it was President Reagan who brought freedom to Russia, and as I served in the Reagan administration these Russians associate me with their vision of America as a light unto the world.  Some Russians actually believe that Washington’s wars are truly wars of liberation.  
The same illusions reign among Chinese dissidents.  Chen Guangcheng is the Chinese dissident who sought refuge in the US Embassy in China.  Recently he was interviewed by the BBC World Service.  Chen Guangcheng believes that the US protects human rights while China suppresses human rights.  He complained to the BBC that in China police can arrest citizens and detain them for as long as six months without accounting for their detainment.  He thought that the US and UK should publicly protest this violation of due process, a human right.  Apparently, Chen Guangcheng is unaware that US citizens are subject to indefinite detention without due process and even to assassination without due process.  
The Chinese government allowed Chen Guangcheng safe passage to leave China and live in the US.  Chen Guangcheng is so dazzled by his illusions of America as a human rights beacon that it has never occurred to him that the oppressive, human rights-violating Chinese government gave him safe passage, but that Julian Assange, after being given political asylum by Ecuador is still confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington will not allow its UK puppet state to permit his safe passage to Ecuador.  
Perhaps Chen Guangcheng and the Chinese and Russian dissidents who are so enamored of the US could gain some needed perspective if they were to read US soldier Terry Holdbrooks’ book about the treatment given to the Guantanamo prisoners.  Holdbrooks was there on the scene, part of the process, and this is what he told RT:  “The torture and information extraction methods that we used certainly created a great deal of doubt and questions in my mind to whether or not this was my America.  But when I thought about what we were doing there and how we go about doing it, it did not seem like the America I signed up to defend.  It did not seem like the America I grew up in.  And that in itself was a very disillusioning experience.” [2]  
In a May 17 Wall Street article, Peggy Noonan wrote that President Obama has lost his patina of high-mindedness.  What did Obama do that brought this loss upon himself?  Is it because he sits in the Oval Office approving lists of US citizens to be assassinated without due process of law?  Is it because he detains US citizens indefinitely in violation of habeas corpus?  Is it because he has kept open the torture prison at Guantanamo?  Is it because he continued the war that the neoconservatives started, despite his promise to end it, and started new wars?  
Is it because he attacks with drones people in their homes, medical centers, and work places in countries with which the US is not at war?  Is it because his corrupt administration spies on American citizens without warrants and without cause?  
No.  It is none of these reasons.  In Noonan’s view these are not offenses for which presidents, even Democratic ones, lose their high-minded patina.  Obama can no longer be trusted, because the IRS hassled some conservative political activists.  
Noonan is a Republican, and what Obama did wrong was to use the IRS against some Republicans.  Apparently, it has not occurred to Noonan that if Obama–or any president–can use the IRS against opponents, he can use Homeland Security and the police state against them.  He can use indefinite detention against them.  He can use drones against them.  
All of these are much more drastic measures.  Why isn’t Peggy Noonan concerned?  
Because she thinks these measures will only be used against terrorists, just as the IRS is only supposed to be used against tax evaders.  
When a public and the commentators who inform it accept the collapse of the Constitution’s authority and the demise of their civil liberties, to complain about the IRS is pointless.  

This article originally appeared HERE.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array Capable of Removing 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans

Guest article

19-year-old Boyan Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. 

The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel.

The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel.

The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.

The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, Ocean Cleanup Array, Boyan Slat, pacific garbage patch, garbage patch, plastic fibres, plastic foodchain, plastic recycling, TED, gyres
At school, Boyan Slat launched a project that analyzed the size and amount of plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches. His final paper went on to win several prizes, including Best Technical Design 2012 at the Delft University of Technology. Boyan continued to develop his concept during the summer of 2012, and he revealed it several months later at TEDxDelft 2012.

Slat went on to found The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization which is responsible for the development of his proposed technologies. His ingenious solution could potentially save hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals annually, and reduce pollutants (including PCB and DDT) from building up in the food chain. It could also save millions per year, both in clean-up costs, lost tourism and damage to marine vessels.

The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, Ocean Cleanup Array, Boyan Slat, pacific garbage patch, garbage patch, plastic fibres, plastic foodchain, plastic recycling, TED, gyres,

It is estimated that the clean-up process would take about five years, and it could greatly increase awareness about the world’s plastic garbage patches. On his site Slat says, “One of the problems with preventive work is that there isn’t any imagery of these ‘garbage patches’, because the debris is dispersed over millions of square kilometres. By placing our arrays however, it will accumulate along the booms, making it suddenly possible to actually visualize the oceanic garbage patches. We need to stress the importance of recycling, and reducing our consumption of plastic packaging.  

Watch Boyan Slat's TED Talk 

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

PROUT’s Rational Banking System

PROUTist Economics

guest article


By Trond Overland

Modern banking emerged during the Italian Renaissance.  The idea behind it was ancient:  To make money out of lending money.  

The present situation

Today the money lender has become the master of all trades; giant banks control everything under the sun.  Do they work in the interests of the people?  The answer is a resounding "No!"  
The main reason for the continuing recessions and depressions all over the world today is that vast deposits of money are not being released to those who require resources.  In the words of P.R. Sarkar, “the intrinsic demonic greed of banks has been allowed to jeopardize the life of common people.”(1)  
“Banks must not allow unwise administrators or governments to print monetary notes indiscriminately without reserving the proportionate amount of bullion in their treasuries.  It destroys the very life of society.  It leads to widespread inflation, which in turn jeopardizes internal trade and commerce as well as foreign trade and barter.  Even if there is abundant production in a country, the common people do not benefit from it.  The rich become richer and get more scope to continue their merciless exploitation.”(2)  

PROUT’s Proposals

Basically, money is a means of exchange.  For instance, if you have something that I require I may spend money in order to get it from you.  
I could also offer you something other than money that may be of interest to you.  Exchange of something other than money, such as goods and services, is called barter trade.  
A micro-economic example of barter trade:  I paint your house, you do my accounts.
A macro-economic example:  Bangladesh exchanges jute and hide exports for food imports.  
It may be noted here that barter trade excels under certain conditions.  On one hand, barter between countries works best at present between industrially underdeveloped – financially poor – countries with a large surplus of raw materials.  As they have no means to invest in refining industries under the present global exploitative regime, they should exchange raw materials in order to procure minimum necessities.  
On the other hand, the exchange of services between private persons would work very well where no government tax is levied on private income.  The abolition of income tax will to a great extent remove the problem of black money and bring about a welcome moral change in the population.  
Global capitalism does not encourage barter trade but wants to retain all trade within its exploitative speculative dollar-based paradigm.  PROUT encourages both types of purchase – using money or by barter – wherever they may serve people’s needs.(3)  

Money value increases with mobility

Money is not meant for piling up purchasing capacity but for paying expenses.  Spending money is the natural thing to do; accumulation is unnatural to the point where it becomes a mental disease.  Macro-economically, the accumulation of money is a dangerous socio-economic course to the point where it leads to large-scale depression; where we are today.  
The more money changes hands, the greater is its economic value.  The value of money increases with its mobility.  The motivation of PROUT’s banking system is therefore to keep money rolling.  
Apart from seeing to it that money is kept in circulation, banks should not act on their own behalf and turn into huge profit-making machines.  They should instead serve their community and remain directly associated with particular productive local endeavors.  

An economy of the people, not of banks

This is a natural idea:  Whenever people join in some productive effort they will soon need somewhere to deposit their earnings, a place where they can administer their common economy.  If no suitable means for deposit exists, the natural thing for them to do would be to form a cooperative bank themselves.  
People may need to borrow, as well, for both individual and collective needs.  PROUT’s cooperative banks will serve as both savings and lending institutions.  A cooperative bank may take a large loan from another bank or the government to purchase modern equipment and construct dams, barrages and shift or lift irrigation facilities to increase production, etc.(4)  
Under PROUT the banking system will have to be managed by cooperatives.(5) Only the government-controlled central or federal bank should have a greater reach by way of guaranteeing the currency.  
In conclusion, the mission of banks under PROUT is to keep money in motion and not become stagnant pools of personal wealth.  PROUT’s banks are non-profit cooperative organizations where ideally the balance is zero after all expenses are met.  

The Gold Standard

Financial circumstances are changing fast.  For instance, the last vestiges of the gold standard were thrown out by the Nixon administration some 40 years ago, and the gold standard has been ridiculed ever since.  The reason for this undue mudslinging is that pinning a currency to gold (“gold standard”) does not allow for free speculation.  
Today, as the global speculative system is in chaos and about to end in catastrophe, the gold standard is staged to make a return.  The price of gold has already risen phenomenally.  This proves that people in general accept gold as a basic guarantee for financial stability.  
PROUT supports the gold standard.  The main role of the central bank should be to guarantee the currency in measures of physical gold held by that bank.  Central banks must be ready to pay citizens the amount of gold represented by the currency.  This is the proper hedge against large-scale inflation.  The gold-standard protects against speculative bubbles.  


The gold standard is more a question of psychology than physicality.  People view gold as the most precious commonly available thing.  
In the same way, the entire field of socio-economy is about physicality as well as psychology.  For instance, the present financial system is ridden by greed.  From a collective perspective the problem of unbridled greed is first a physical one, then a psychological one.  
First society has to find ways and means to stop and control the disease in a physical way.  Thereafter, when no one suffers anymore at the hands of greedy exploiters, society will be free to think about how to cure their mental disease.  
No one should be oppressed or suppressed.  Everybody should be allowed to realize their potentialities and attain their goals in life and thereby learn to utilize all sorts of resources to a maximum.  
At present the world of banking is dominated by all-devouring colossuses that crave to be fed by public money first thing in the morning (by way of “quantitative easing”) in order to continue their existence as masters of global trade.  
In contrast, PROUT’s banking system presents a rational human approach to supplying money wherever and whenever it is needed and required.  
The mission of PROUT as a whole is to pave the way for a society where people can express their true self.  Only a socio-economic system that allows and supports people’s all-round needs, interests and dreams can be termed as truly progressive.  


(1) “Keep Money Rolling – Excerpt B”, P.R. Sarkar, 1986.  Published in PROUT in a Nutshell Volume 3, and in Proutist Economics.  Ananda Marga Publications.  Web:
(2) “Economic Dynamics”, P.R. Sarkar.  Published in A Few Problems Solved Part 9, in PROUT in a Nutshell Part 13, and in Proutist Economics.  Ananda Marga Publications.  Web:
(3) “Trade for Regional Self-Reliance”, Dr. Michael Towsey.  Web:
“Cooperative Production – Excerpt B”, P.R. Sarkar.  Published in PROUT in a Nutshell Part 14 and inProutist Economics.
(4) “Some Specialities of PROUT’s Economic System”, P.R. Sarkar.  Published in A Few Problems SolvedPart 9, PROUT in a Nutshell Volume 3, and in Proutist Economics.  Ananda Marga Publications.  Web:
(5) “Economic Dynamics”, op.cit.  
Copyright The author 2012  

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PLU Codes Do Not Indicate Genetically Modified Produce

There's an image floating around the Internet that motivated us to share this posting with you.  We feel compelled to rectify this mistake and keep you truthfully informed.  
This image may have circulated before the standard has been set.  

Let’s put a rumor to rest.  No, the 5-digit PLU codes on produce do not tell you what is genetically modified or natural.  This urban legend has circulated long enough, even on the best of websites.  It’s time to take it down.  
The 4-digit PLU codes on the sometimes-pain-in-the-neck labels glued to apples, for example, tell the checkout lady which is a small Fuji (4129) and which is a Honeycrisp (3283).  She’ll know what to charge you and the inventory elves will know what’s what.  If there’s a 5-digit code starting with 9, then it’s organic.  
These numbers, organized by the Produce Marketing Association, have nothing to do with you.  According to Kathy Means, Association Vice President of Public Relations and Government Affairs, this is an optional convention for retailers and their supplier and is not designed as a communication tool for customers.  If you want to know which items are organic, look for the word Organic; and stop squinting at tiny codes.  
GMO codes are hypothetical
Those that run PLU-universe figured that someday some retailer might want to distinguish between a GMO and a non-GMO for price or inventory purposes.  So they created a convention of 5 digits starting with an 8, just in case it catches on.  But it hasn’t.  No one uses that number 8 as far as we can tell.  And why would they?  Most Americans say they would avoid GMOs if they were labeled.  
Some seed companies don’t even want gardeners to know which seed is genetically modified.  One company that sells zucchini seeds outfitted with virus genes announced that they would refuse to sell seed packets in Vermont, since the state legislature requires GM seeds to be labeled.  
Shopping Guide helps you avoid GMOs
Where does that leave you—if you happen to be one of those finicky eaters who values your immune and reproductive systems, and don’t want your kids to end up with the organ damage common among GMO-fed lab animals?  
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.  Go to and peruse the long lists of non-GMO and GMO brands by category.  Download a two-page version, order the pocket guide, or even equip your iPhone with the new app “ShopNoGMO”.  
Although a list of non-GMO brands won’t help you figure out if your produce is genetically modified, the great news is that there are only 4 GMO veggies or fruits at this point:  papaya, but only from Hawaii and no where else; some zucchini and yellow squash, and some corn on the cob.  For these, unless it says organic or boasts a non-GMO sign in the store, eating them is a gamble.  It could be GMO.  
If you’re not sure if GMOs are bad for you, we’ve got you covered there too.  Visit, and read, listen, or watch, and find out why more and more doctors and medical organizations are prescribing non-GMO diets to all patients.   

This article originally appeared HERE.  

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Senator Warren Demands to Know Why Criminal Bankers Aren’t Being Locked Up

Fascism: n. the incestuous fornication between government and companies in jackalsome mockery of the public of whom they rape, pillage, and cannibalize.  

By Stephen C. Webster via Raw Story 

In a letter (PDF) sent to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Attorney General Eric Holder and SEC Chair Mary Jo White on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) demanded to know why the government keeps accepting financial settlements from criminal bankers when they could instead be taken to trial, convicted and locked up.  

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) grills banking regulators. Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.

In six short paragraphs, Warren requested that each institution turn over copies of any internal research “on the trade-offs to the public” between letting big financial firms pay a fine and walk “without admission of guilt” versus moving forward with full-scale prosecutions.  
The letter was sent as a follow-up to a similar question she asked of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Feb. 14.  Warren noted that the OCC replied last week denying the existence of any such research.  In her letter sent Tuesday, she went on to add:  
…I believe very strongly that if a regulator reveals itself to be unwilling to take large financial institutions all the way to trial — either because it is too timid or because it lacks resources — the regulator has a lot less leverage in settlement negotiations and will be forced to settle on terms that are much more favorable to the wrongdoer.
The consequence can be insufficient compensation to those who are harmed by illegal activity and inadequate deterrence of future violations.  If large financial institutions can break the law and accumulate millions in profits and, if they get caught, settle by paying out of those profits, they do not have much incentive to follow the law.  
“The problem is the banks have overwhelming confidence that law enforcement is not taking this seriously,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said last Monday, appearing on MSNBC.  “They have overwhelming confidence that whatever the rules are, they won’t be followed up on.”
Five years on from a financial crisis that nearly froze the flow of credit in the United States and sparked a multi-trillion dollar bailing-out of the global financial industry, few American bankers and big finance executives have faced criminal charges.  
There is, however, one notable exception:  Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff, who defrauded mainly wealthy clients to the tune of $64.8 billion.  He said from jail in 2011 that many of his former colleagues on Wall Street engage in criminal insider trading on a regular basis, much like he did.  

“It’s unbelievable, Goldman … no one has any criminal convictions,” Madoff told New York Magazine earlier that year.  “The whole new regulatory reform is a joke.  The whole government is a Ponzi scheme.”  
Photo:  Screenshot via YouTube.