Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Goodwill laptop

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I bought a mac powerbook for $50. at http://shopgoodwill.com
It came from a gov't. subcontractor in Wash., DC
It's in perfect shape, just a minor crack near the power plug.

It had been thoroughly tested by the folks at Goodwill.

I always recommend http://shopgoodwill.com before eBay.

It's easy to navigate; it's more secure; most items are WAY cheaper;
shipping is a SET fee & nobody hides profits that way; ALL the money
goes to charity; they're prompt and they're honest.

You may not find what you're looking for the first time. But they have
an excellent, internal search engine, also easy to navigate. If you
return several times, even in one week, you'll probably find it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What about alternative transpo?

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what about alternative transpo?

Group: news:alt.discuss.talk.science Date: Sat, Jan 27, 2007, 1:09am From: (Rogi Riverstone)

I've lived in the burbs; in small, rural towns; in Los Angeles and lotsa stuff in between.

I have an electric bicycle (good for up to 2 hrs, if I pedal, too, before recharge -- and I bought a solar-powered battery charger for it) and a 49cc gas powered scooter (apx. 100 mile per gallon). I pull a bicycle trailer behind them. I can bring home a 50 lb sack of goat feed and a bale of hay. Or a week's worth of groceries.

I grow a lot of my own food. I'm raising the goats in a suburban backyard for milk. I also have chickens, ducks and a huge vegie garden. I dumpster dive.

I shop thriftstores, flea markets and yard sales. I also online shop for used merchandise at eBay, but my preferred site is http://shopgoodwill.com I bought my g/f a mac laptop there for fifty dollars! Online shopping is DELIVERED!

My g/f & I recently purchased a HUGE moving truck for five thousand bucks. It gets ten miles to the gallon. We only use it for major hauls and emergency trips. Otherwise, she uses a standard bicycle and I use my motorized bikes. But, on long trips, we drive the truck with the bikes packed inside. When we get to the city we're going to, we park the truck and ride the bikes.We spend less than fifty dollars a month in gas on BUSY months.

We don't NEED cars!

I could haul two children in my bike trailer -- it's what it was designed for -- and put another in a kiddy seat on my back wheel. I have saddle bags on front and back tires for tools, purses, extra bungie cords, etc.I can carry an adult human in that trailer. I used to carry my pit bull in his dog kennel on it. Hell, I could haul my GOATS, if I had to!

No: insurance, license, big repair bills...We bypass most traffic jams, cuz we can get on the sidewalks or ride around barracades. We have weatherproof clothing for all seasons.

Personal passenger cars are unnecessary, for the most part. Before we got the truck (which we drive less than once a week), if we had a long trip, we'd either take a bus (we took one to Mexico, recently) or we rent a car.We've each lived like this for about twenty years now. And we have more of our income to spend on more important things.

How to make peat planter pots?

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My buddy, Ronny, is contemplating peat pot designs. My reply follows, to which R W added the suggestion of window screening, which I whole heartedly endorse.

I think the compression idea is a good one.I'm thinking you could line a flower pot with fine-mesh chicken wire, orrabbit fencing (if you can find some that's not too stiff to shape).Then, line it all with the peat. Then, shove another flower pot inside,to shape it.I'd turn the whole thing upside down and weight it with like bricks,concrete blocks, rocks...and leave it someplace sunny and dry for a fewweeks.I wouldn't use glue, per se. I'd mix in something sticky, like sugarsyrup or eggs beaten in water. That'd bind it.Mixing some paper pulp in would help, too.With my paper pulp, I mix in cheap, white flour, a little carpenter'sglue, and latex paint. Holds up for years!

Hillbilly Housewife

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I wish I'd written this!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Winter Blahs

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winter blahs


I live outdoors a lot, even when it's freezing and windy. I have my
chickens, ducks and goats. I ride a 49cc scooter and an electric
bicycle. I have tons of weather-appropriate clothing. Albuquerque is hot
and bright in the summer and can be pretty cold in the winter.
I do more indoor stuff in the winter, true. But it's stuff that cheers
me up: webpage stuff, cooking, going through my archives (I'm an ametuer
museum archivist, kind of) for memories about which I write. I have my
cats, who are indoors when my grouchy neighbor next door is home (she
hates everything, and cats jump walls.)

We rent movies from an online service. I'm learning to make my own, for
the local, cable access station. I'll be posting short ones at myspace,
google, youtube, blogger. We go to local theatre productions. We go to
the dollar movie plex, and stop at the Goodwill clearance center
afterward (we recently bought a laser jet printer and a scanner, both
working great, for ten bucks each there.)

I'm also a volunteer at the local, community radio station. I work in
Albuquerque Radio Theatre. Occassionally, I get paid for half hour,
independent productions. I do everything from our home computers, burn
it to disc and take it to the station. It's nice, kind of like webtv: I
can sit in my jammies and do broadcasting!

I love the holiday parties; I cook extravegant and
impressively-presented goodies for potlucks and gatherings. I also
experiment more in winter with cuisines I don't know all that well:
Eastern European, Thai, African, etc.
After holidays, I start cleaning out the kitchen for the early harvests
that'll come from my spring garden. I plant seed to start in window

I go to thrift stores and shop http://shopgoodwill.com in the winter. In
the summer, I'll go to yard sales and the flea market.
Winter's when I do most of my online posting, as I have more time to
read what people are thinking and respond to it. Summers, I'm running
around the yard with tools and stuff. My shoes are too dirty to come
indoors & I don't have time to flop in front of the TV.

I connect with people I love and we catch up on what's going on in our

Winters are just as nourishing as warm weather, for me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


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Ronny lives in an old house in Eastern Texas. He loves to describe how he fusses over the place, the things he scavanges for it and all the work he does. Right now, he's working on a large, back room. But it's really cold there, too, and sleeting. So he asked, in my newsgroup yesterday, if he should work or not. I ended up replying with my own chores.

"Rogi Riverstone"
Wed, 17 Jan 2007 19:31:51 -0700

I'm sorry, Ronny, I didn't see this 'till almost seven thirty, tonight
I know. Weather here's been pretty miserable, too. 'course, I'm not
far from you, either. I've still got snow ice in my back yard. It
about 2 feet, three weeks ago, and it's still lingering. My duck ponds
get so frozen, the ducks literally skate on em in the mornings!
I had to go out and shore up my goat shed. I wedged bedding hay into
chinks the wind blew through. I also installed some red light bulbs, to
keep the chickens & goats warmer at nite. I have 7 chickens, huddled
around one, red floodlight bulb tonight. Goats seem comfy on their new
beds of straw with a lamp on them.
I hate working in the cold. I get all stove up and can barely waddle
around out there.
A neighborhood restaurant closed last week. They threw what the didn't
sell at their moving sale in the trash. Tomorrow's trash day. So, I
my goats and pulled my kid's wagon down the alley to scavange. Mostly,
wanted the 5 foot tall, silk-leaf ficus tree they'd thrown out. But I
got some other junk, too.
Brought it all home and fixed the tree with a splint on one broken
branch. Fluffed out the leaves and have it standing in my driveway,
other baskets & containers I use for planters. They all have dried &
silk flowers in them for winter. Come spring, they'll be full of herbs,
flowers and some small vegies.
Today, I washed the Dish Mountain in the sink. I also continued my war
with Microsoft about not being able to post in alt.discuss
I called Oasis DSL. We're getting DSL hooked up here. We have 5
computers in the house, along with my webtv. So, I'll be able to use
landline for webtv and my g/f can use internet on PC at the same time.
And we could both b on PC internet on 2 computers at the same time.
I can't remember what else I did today. Mostly puttering, as I recall.
It's good to have you back in my ng!
Your house sounds like fun!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Burning Man tickets on sale tomorrow!

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We're not buying ours, just yet, especially after reading THIS! Yipes!

But we're going, I hope.

Tue, 16 Jan 2007 10:36:12 -0800
"Andie Grace" jackrabbitspeaks

Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 11, Issue #6
January 16, 2007
(Unsubscribe info at the bottom...)
Off we go..tickets to Burning Man 2007 go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday,
January 16) at 10 AM PST at http://tickets.burningman.com .
A note to online ticket buyers: to use our online ticket buying system
you will need to have your browser's cookies turned on and have
javascript enabled. This is standard for most browsers these days, but
if you want to double check yours prior to the big day use the "check
your cookies and javascript here" button at the bottom of
http://tickets.burningman.com . Also, we recommend using browsers other
than Internet Explorer 7 which has known issues with how it handles
cookies - we wouldn't want anything to hinder your experience!
Should you find yourself with questions or in need of support while
getting your tickets online, please visit
http://tickets.burningman.com/contact and browse through the pull-down
menu of topics to see if your question is answered there.
A Note from Our Tech Department about Ticket Launch
The date that Burning Man tickets go on sale is always a big day around
here. Participants who have bought tickets on the first day of sales in
the past may recall that things didn't go as smoothly as we all would
have liked. Since we moved the sale of the lowest priced tickets from
mail order lottery with a money order to the internet, a variety of
technical challenges have been encountered. These challenges, created
the overwhelming initial demand, have made that day a test of our
collective character - ticket buyers, our ticket partner, and our
This past winter, as we evaluated our plans for the coming year and
beyond, we faced a difficult decision: Do we switch to the services of
some other vendor who may be able to handle the initial load, but may
not be prepared to support our unique event operations and who would
probably charge higher fees? After much deliberation, remembering that
relationships and collaborative efforts should be valued over
commodified transactions, and also that we have a robust community of
highly skilled and knowledgeable technical volunteers who could be
to help, we knew we had to try it one more time, Burning Man style.
Since that time, the Burning Man organization and many members of our
technical staff and volunteer teams have been collaborating with In
Ticketing to improve the technology supporting the ticket launch. A
systems administration brainstorming session took place in March and
entire technical process, from queuing application and database design
to the specifics of managed server solutions, was discussed. Provisions
were put in place for sharing and review of design documentation, the
execution of volume load test scenarios, and other important
In addition to providing feedback and review of the newly designed
system and architecture, this fall, members of the Burning Man 'sys
admin' team contributed significantly to the volume load testing
As we prepare for the ticket launch, there are still some variables
are out of our hands. And it's also impossible to completely predict
buying behaviors of thousands of Burners as they eagerly participate in
a financial transaction via computer. Should you feel it's necessary to
get your tickets on the first day, please keep in mind that many other
like-minded burners have been similarly inspired, and that this project
has already been a successful collaboration which will hopefully
the community at large.
We're all looking forward to Wednesday!
Your Burning Man Tech & Ticketing Teams
==================ADMIN ON AND OFF THE JRS====================
Email us or questions@ any time with questions.
PLEASE NOTE: Post requests cannot be guaranteed. The JRS is sent
sporadically, and sometimes compiled many many days before it is sent,
so there may be some lag time between your submission and your post
appearing. We cannot post every request, and we can't guarantee a JRS
will go out in time to cover your event. To improve your chances:
SEND TO jackrabbitspeaks@burningman.com. JUST HITTING REPLY WILL CAUSE
go out if you just reply to this email. Please type "POST REQUEST"
in your subject line to make it past the SPAM.
For questions: questions@burningman.com
Old rabbits: http://www.burningman.com/blackrockcity_yearround/jrs/
On and off this ride:SUBSCRIBE:
UNSUBSCRIBE: bman-announce-unsubscribe@burningman.com
If you are trying to unsub and it doesn't work, please send us an email
and give us as much information as possible. Are you sending from a
different address? You'll get an email to which you must respond to
complete the request.
Andie Grace, Actiongrl
Office of the Jack Rabbit
bman-announce mailing list

Peace Talks: Ralph Bunch

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Just finished transcribing this for Paul http://paulingles.com for his Peace Talks radio show.

INGLES: Ralph Bunch, an outstanding athlete and scholar in school at UCLA (suma cum laude, phi beta capa) delivers the class valedictory address at his graduation. Even in his twenties, the words in his speech, which he called, “The Fourth Dimension of Personality,” seemed to hold what will drive him, throughout his entire life. Let me read a little bit of this. It says:

“Man learns and knows. But he does not do as well as he knows. This is his weakness. The future peace and harmony of this world is contingent upon the ability of the world – yours and mine – to affect a remedy.”

This is really a signpost for the rest of his days, wasn’t it?

URQUHART: Absolutely. Just to go back a bit, he was headed for the usual kinds of employments: what passed for an education for young, Black men in Los Angeles, in 1919 – 20. His grandmother, who was virtually illiterate, had insisted that he not have that kind of education, that he go into the serious kinds of subjects that white boys went into. In Ralph’s case that was very much politics -- international politics -- and political science.

Once that field had been opened up to him, he realized the extraordinary gap between knowledge and actual performance, particularly in the political and diplomatic world. In that speech you just quoted, he really outlines, for himself, what he was going to do. This is interesting, because what he was set to do was to become an academic. He was an academic, basically, all his life. It is one of the reasons why he was so successful in the U.S., because he had a very powerful, analytical mind and he was fired by a passion for justice, and a passion for trying to resolve problems from which many human beings suffered. He made it a rule that there was no human problem, which was not susceptible to some kind of improvement, no matter how long it took. This is one of the reasons why he was such a good negotiator. It is an extraordinary thing to see a young man, who’d come afire (as he had, already) sketch out – almost unknowingly – the course he was going to take.

INGLES: In the documentary, you talk about the importance of “drafting,” in peace negotiations, or in drawing up the League of Nations’ charter. It’s something you said Bunch was good at, throughout his career. Could you elaborate on this and suggest what Bunch could do so well that is still crucial for negotiations of all kinds today?

URQUHART: My vision of Ralph – who I spent more hours with, in my entire life, than anybody else – is of him, hunched over a legal-sized pad and a whole supply of pencils, and writing in a whole number of things. Mostly, it was formulas, to try to get ‘round problems that had come up during the day. He was a great perfectionist. As I said, he was an academic. Ralph’s great genius was to be able to listen, all day, to two or three or whatever it was sides to a conflict and then, in the night, to write up a form of words which they could all accept. This means you could move forward. The great, classic example of this was the Armistice Agreements between Israel and her five, Arab neighbors, which he drafted and for which he got agreement in 1949. This was one of the reasons why he was so good at negotiations. He could intuit, in his own mind, the problems, the fears and the difficulties of the people with whom he dealt – not least, the kind of reception they were going to get when they got back home, if they’d given away too much. He could get all that working, with the objections they had made to some previous proposal and he could reformulate that proposal in a way that would give everybody just enough leeway to get through. It’s something that very few people can do. To do it, you have to have, first of all, an enormously acute, analytical mind and, secondly, a very great capacity for understanding the difficulties of other people.

INGLES: What you’re talking about is a capacity for empathy.

URQUHART: Absolutely. One of the generals whom Ralph employed in the Middle East once said that Ralph had the kindest eyes that he’d ever seen. I think it was true. He was a person who really had an unusual appreciation and liking for his fellow human beings. Curiously enough, it is not necessarily a very common quality. He really cared about the whole idea of helping people in trouble. Those are the people he was interested in. He was surprisingly little interested in very important people, celebrities, that kind of thing. He didn’t mind about them, at all. He was deeply interested in the lives of ordinary people and how he could improve them. That gave him a very great motivation for getting on with these extremely difficult subjects.

INGLES: Did he also have a skill for being present and, I assume, an extraordinary skill for listening?

URQUHART: He was an incredibly good listener. In fact, I think it was Moshe Dian – who was, at that time, an up-and-coming general in the Israeli Army – who once described, during the Armistice Agreements that Bunch would sit there, for hours, just looking at the person who was speaking, absolutely unmoving, and you could, somehow, see this knowledge, being received into some central area of his brain and being filed accurately, so that he could pull it out later on.

INGLES: Ralph Bunch, Jr., what do you think was at the core of his conflict resolution philosophy, which made him successful?

BUNCH: He was a tireless worker. As a family, we didn’t see him very much. He was a good father, but he wasn’t home a lot. He was an excellent listener on both sides to a conflict. He knew how to relax people with humor. Only after studying about it, thinking about it, for quite some time was he able to find compromises that seemed to appeal to both parties. He’d never believe that fighting it out was a solution. He started out with a bias against armed conflict. Through humor, and long hours, he was able to assure the parties that they were going to get the semblance of a fair shake on both sides of it.

INGLES: How do you recall him, communicating the message of nonviolence, tolerance and conflict resolution to you and your sisters? Was there something conscious, that you can recall, about conversations that the family would have in those times?

BUNCH: I think it’s more living in the ‘40s and ‘50s. I don’t think we appreciated an America – we look back on it now and say, “God, that was a great time!” It was a great time for our country, after the war. We were heroes, obviously. We had a strong economy. It was just very clear; he didn’t think fighting was the solution to anything. What we all learned, after the Second World War, was, “this is not the way forward. There has to be a better solution.” That’s what he believed in and, hopefully, that’s what the United Nations did. And, hopefully, it can recreate itself in a way that the world will look to it for conflict resolution, as opposed to what’s happening to us today.

INGLES: Ralph Bunch faced conflict over race relations and over warring countries, throughout his career. He confronted all of those directly. He earned his reputation as a peacemaker and a skilled negotiator. I wonder if some of the overriding principles that he followed, and techniques that he applied, individuals can pick up on in everyday life.

COVINGTON: I think one of the most important things, as Ralph Junior has said is that Ralph Bunch – and, I think, everyone else who is a good peacemaker and negotiator – begins by being a good listener. Beyond being a good listener, they are genuinely interested in the well being of other people and other groups. That’s something that I certainly see in what’s missing in a lot of what’s going on in the current situation: when you have people who are only concerned about themselves, or their particular party or country, and not as much concerned about the well being of the world. Then, you’re always going to have problems. It’s difficult to make peace, if you’re not genuinely concerned about the people you’re trying to make peace with.

INGLES: Your work is, often, on a smaller scale. What about the application of those principles?

COVINGTON: Same thing. I find that, when I go into a conflict situation, I try to go into it, looking at it as though what I’m going to do is not only important to the people with whom I’m working – the people who are in conflict – but it’s important to me. I feel that everything we do is the ripple in a pond. If we’ve got a small disagreement over here, it causes ripples and more ripples. Pretty soon, you end up with a tidal wave. But if you can begin to smooth out those ripples, you end up with a peaceful body of water. I feel we are all, very much, intertwined: far more than we know.

INGLES: Bill, I’m interested in your personal journey of discovery with this project, the documentary on Ralph Bunch. A statement that I read, in an interview that you gave, admitted that you, as an African American, didn’t know as much about Ralph Bunch as you felt you should have known, when you began this process.

GRAVES: That’s quite true. I really didn’t have too high of an opinion about Ralph Bunch, because I really didn’t know anything about him.

INGLES: If you didn’t have too high an opinion of him that must have been based on some undercurrent about him and his history right?

GRAVES: Yes, that’s quite true. I felt, like so many people that I knew at the time, that he wasn’t really a very effective person. He was just involved with a whole lot of white people who were not interested in the Black experience. It came to pass – as I did this research on him –that I came to realize that he was a very powerful thinker, a very complicated individual, who was a master in conflict resolution. Once he got into the United Nations organizations – and even before that – he chanced to become involved in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, working closely with Eleanor Roosevelt, and getting the Declaration accepted – endorsed – by the United Nations, which is no small fete.

INGLES: He ended up going to Harvard for graduate school. Your documentary points out that Black civil rights leaders had their eyes on him, even when he was only about twenty-five years old, as a future leader.

GRAVES: In an interesting and curious way, he is a kind of a precursor to Barack Obama. Barack Obama is the closest thing, I think, to Ralph Bunch, as far as I’m concerned. Ralph Bunch was very much involved in these various initiatives. The thing that really bothered him all along, throughout his career – particularly in the early part of his career – was simply the fact that America, the American creed, was something that, even though it had all these lofty words that talked about freedom, democracy and liberty for all, the Bill of Rights and so on, he really thought that was all just so much air, small talk. He knew that it was important to put teeth in those words. “Freedom” and “Liberty for All” had to be words that were more than words. They had to be reality.

$75 for GOAT FOOD?!!!

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$75 for GOAT FOOD?!!!

Well, part of the problem with Willy's willy has been diet. I've been
letting them eat a diet of almost exclusively grain. Grain feed has too
many minerals in it, which forms urinary tract stones.
So, since our big truck is in the shop, my neighbor got her pickup and
she drove me & her sister to the feed store, mostly for the adventure.
I bought: 4 alfalfas, 4 bedding straws & 3 bales of timothy grass.
The goats had a ball, helping me move it from the front to backyard. We
just threw it over the wall when we got back, and it was in a pile
five feet tall. They'd run beside me and jump up on the pile. I'd grab
bale or 2 on my cart to haul it into the back yard and they'd race
around with me.
I "flaked" a few bales of the alfalfa onto the ground and Willy jumped
and pranced all over it. He and Nilly would get into head butting
over it, over me, and over who was going to torture the rooster.
The rooster's name is Fido. When he was a chick, Rachel & I thought he
was a hen. But he's all rooster, now. He's a little bit in love with
I rescued him from the more macho roosters, when he was young. He
learned to follow me around the yard, like a puppy.
Now, he has a love-me/hate-me attitude toward me. He does the Rooster
Dance around me: trying to seduce me, so I'll have sex with him (which
won't.) He still follows me all over the yard. Sometimes, though, he
jumps me. He comes at me, claws first, and smacks me in the ankles.
Nilly won't tolerate that. Whenever he tries to charge me, if she sees
him, she'll attack him with her horns.
So, today, the goats were playing socker with Fido, whenever he got too
There are several hundred pounds of feed and bedding out there now, and
the goats are leaping and jumping, running, climbing and eating their
hearts out.
The chickens are scratching and nibbling in the alfalfa flakes.
I had to change all my clothes, it made me so itchy.
Just made lunch of Ranch Style beans with jalepenos, quesidillas and
burritos. So, we're fed and happy, too.
Rachel's geeking out, installing software on some of our computers. I'm
vegging, watching my soaps & surfin the web.
Willy's going to be ok. He finished the last of his penicillin
injections yesterday. Poor guy. I hated shooting him in the butt.
He's still not peeing great, but he's peeing. He's playful. He's
He's not complaining.
A few, more days -- especially eating that good food -- and he'll be
alright again.

Ms Pumpkin Head

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This is Ma, my girlfriend. I bought her a neoprene ski mask for xmas, so she'd be able to protect her face from cold, while riding her bike. It's below freezing today. Normally, she doesn't like me to post pix of her online. But, under such circumstances, why the hell not?

Friday, January 12, 2007

philosophy ng

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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 21:26:08 -0700


When the U.S.A. has finally squandered all its resources, when it
becomes so environmentally degraded that the wealthy move
the people of this country will change their song.

By then, of course, the damage will be irreversable. So the tune will
quite shrill with regret.

Until then, as long as there's a Mall Wart open somewhere, they'll drag
themselves --on their knees, if they must-- to their own exploitations.