Monday, September 2, 2013

The story of the Spanish teacher who tried to instill discipline in two spoiled senior girls at Oak Hills High School

by Arthur E. Foster 

When I was in ninth grade I attended a small preparatory junior high/ high school called Oak Hill. The small private school was located three businesses away from the corner of Sepulveda Blvd, and Plummer streets. For the first two years I was there, the school was comprised mostly of one main building, which at one point clearly had been a private house. At some point this became a small private school. Later, Oak Hill High School changed ownership, becoming North Hills Preparatory.

One day, I was in my Spanish class patiently listening to my teacher Mr Mejohas. Senor Mejohas was a respectful and serious man. Fairly skinny, he dressed rather formally even on hot days he wore a long sleeved shirt, or a jacket. He seemed to take his job, the task of teaching a few kids elementary Spanish, very seriously.

Clearly, he was raised in a culture where they honored their elders. Which was not the case at our school in Los Angeles's “beautiful” San Fernando Valley, especially with two particular girls.

From Senor Mejohas' behavior it was clear to me that he was raised in a standard sort of Hispanic family where the children are respectful of their elders. He seemed surprised that spoiled teen girls in the next class would disrupt the wisdom he was trying to impart on his class.

When the class across the small hall became so loud they were disrupting Mr Mejohas lesson he would walk across the hall to restore discipline. I only became aware of the problem when Senor Mejohas became flustered, and stopped the lesson to go discuss this with the French teacher who taught the class, but the French teacher seemed to have left them for a short while on their own.

They were very loud.

Mr Mejohas reported the unruly girls to the principle of the school, Mrs Boyle. Who had been teaching English the year before. Mrs Boyle was the young mother who just the year before had her young son Chris in a crib in the corner of her classroom.

While Mrs Boyle was a kind, understanding lady, and she wanted to do right to all her students, and, of course, be fair with the teachers now under her. She knew she could not have one of her classes disrupted by any of the students under her authority. She took the girls into the office, and corrected their behavior.

I was not present so I can only imagine what went on in that meeting. I can only report that those girls never again made so much noise during our class.

A couple of weeks went by. The two girls Andy Issa, and Paige Duckwald were the popular type of girls, more interested in clothes, and boys, than their studies. They were three grades older than myself. Growing up with two, sometimes three older sisters in the house, I was used to such distraction, and them being so loud did not bother me, as it had Senor Mejohas.

Evidently, the two girls Andy Issa, and Paige Duckwald had some time to “stew,” and I have to assume that Mr Mejohas getting the best of them must have been a “burn” for them.

Then one day after lunch a big fuss erupted in the school parking lot. The word around campus was that questionable magazines were found in Mr Mejohas' car. He had to leave his class to go defend himself before the principle of our school.

Long after this incident took place, I learned the girls planted those magazines in his unlocked car, and made it look as if they were his, and that he did not have a thing for slutty teen white girls in skimpy clothing.

There is much I realize I never knew, and will never know. Senor Mejohas did not lose his job over this, but he was obviously deeply troubled.

This is just one of the many stories about how cruel, and selfish rich girls can be. These two girls showed no concern for anything but their own comfort and fashionable appearance.

I strongly doubt either girl took a moment to consider what losing his job would do to Senor Mejohas, or his family. He was a good teacher, respectful of everyone with whom he came in contact, exacting, but strongly committed to doing his job.

I do understand completely not liking another person. But making up stories to try to get a person unjustly fired is wrong.

I don't know what happened to the girls after they graduated. Senor Mejohas left at the end of the year, probably because of this incident. I know the incident hurt Senor Mejohas and the girls suffered no punishment for an offense far worse than talking loudly. The girls showed no integrity. Senor did.

But I would like to know. If you know Senor or the girls, please contact me.

I thank you for taking the time to read this. May peace be with you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Were National Parks the 'One Good Thing?” Think again.

Lose Your Illusions No. 1

Today we think of government and corporations as big and impersonal. But then, and now, the people who run things are relatively small in number, a club. The Club follows its own rules, rules from a book nearly a century old, which mandate two standards of behavior, kindness, honesty and concern for Club members, real people, and an entirely different set of rules for ordinary Americans. Normally members of the Club do not discuss the difference in standards. But one member of their club did so, with stunning candor.

Edward L. Bernays said this about his use of propaganda, which he had deftly repackaged as public relations. “(The) American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on.
o what do you do? It's going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think.”

Bernays clients were, for the most part, the large industrialists who wanted to sell product which Americans were resistant to buying. Using this simple plan of execution Bernays changed our diet, introducing a hearty breakfast with bacon as a nutritional improvement, persuaded women to smoke, and accustomed us to accepting his carefully selected 'experts' instead of thinking for ourselves. He viewed manipulation of opinion as both the road to riches and a fascinating intellectual challenge.

Edward Bernays, the brother-in-law of Sigmund Freud, viewed ordinary Americans as 'a herd,' needing guidance from an enlightened elite. Such guidance was provided by appealing to what he identified as 'need for security,' 'self-preservation', 'aggression,' or ' sex.'

Bernays can be viewed as an early Leo Strauss, who instead of creating a 'philosophy,' cherry picked 'expert' opinions without associating himself with any specific institution. The outcome is the same, in either case.

Mark Crispin Miller, a respected writer, sent out this video by Glenn Beck on Bernays recently. Ordinarily, this is not a film this writer would have encountered.

Edward Benarys and Robert Sterling Yard operated using the same standards. Robert Sterling Yard designed the PR campaign which sold Americans on National Parks as resorts.

Beginning in 1915, the campaign persuaded Americans lands held in perpetuity for them should be used to build high end hotels, following the elite model of Europe. A practiced public relations expert, Yard, paid partially by government and partially by the new Park Director, Stephen T. Mather, produced a book, also issued as a series of small booklets, on the National Parks. Other members of the Club, for instance the head of the National Geographic, also assisted.

As you leaf through the The National Parks Portfolio, all six editions, photographs of resort hotels resembling those found in Europe far outnumber photos of camp grounds. The building of roads and travel by automobile are strongly encouraged. Feeding the wildlife made the Parks seem like an outdoor zoo without bars.

The materials read like promotion for a time-share. They were aimed at ordinary Americans who knew little or nothing about the raging debate, only recently stilled by the death of John Muir in 1914, on conservation (orderly use of natural resources) and preservation (wilderness kept in its natural state).

The appointed head of Parks, Stephen Mather sold the plan using rhetoric glowing with superlatives, asserting the idea the public should view these wilderness areas as their personal 'resorts,' where they could encounter the world of nature while expecting the comforts of home. It was Mather's proven ability as an adman along with his wealth, which moved Franklin K. Lane to appoint him.

The original notion for National holdings of land was to reserve some limited land in perpetuity, as it was before Europeans arrived and such practices as hydrological mining and clear cutting of forests had remade the landscape of much of California, and North America. Not Conservation, but Preservation.

If the America had been a nation of people managing their own destiny and making their own decisions the issue would have been presented to the American people directly. Instead, Americans were presented with a public relations campaign, resulting in passage of the Organic Act in 1916, establishing a separate body to manage the Parks. Previously management was shared between three agencies.

The Club

The Club was not large, then or now. When you dig into the details, personal relationships pop up like mushrooms. It was a small, exclusive, club, very much as Bernays' quote indicates. The policy on Parks originated with Stephen Mather, who, with the help of his friends molded opinion and controlled what Americans believed.

Who Was Stephen T. Mather?

Stephen Tyng Mather was a descendant of Cotton Mather, the Puritan minister involved in the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials. The Mather family later relocated to Connecticut. Stephen's father, Joseph W. Mather, suggested his son for a job with Pacific Coast Borax Company, for whom Joseph ran the New York office, in 1893. Stephen Mather had been working as a reporter for the New York Sun since soon after his graduation from UC Berkeley in 1887.

Robert Sterling Yard stood up as Best Man for Stephen T. Mather's wedding on October 12, 1893. The two were friends of long standing.

Mather was hired as advertising manager for Pacific Coast Borax Company, first in New York, and then at the main branch in Chicago. Mather, a talented writer and adept at enticing public interest by positioning products, proposed adoption of the theme, “20-Mule Team,” which dramatically increased company sales, and ran the ad campaign. In Chicago he met the man who would be his partner in Sterling Borax, Thomas Thorkildsen.

Thorkildsen, younger slightly than Mather, was a first generation American, the son of a Norwegian lumberjack from Wisconsin. Both Mather and Thorkildsen were skilled with sales. Thorkildsen reported to Mather as his superior. It was reported Thorkildsen suggested the two men share funds skimmed from their employer. These is no evidence Mather mentioned this proposal to Smith. Smith discovered Thorkildsen backdating orders in 1898 and fired him.

Mather and Thorkildsen then joined in a covert partnership. Mather continued working for Smith and so had access to his employer's customer base while the two established a company, Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company, of which Mather was president, in California. Mather, using his salary, provided funding, as Thorkildsen worked to establish Borax holdings in Ventura County, CA.

In 1902 Mather suffered an psychological break-down and was institutionalized for a period of time. Smith refused to continue his salary, of which, Mather complained. Soon Mather ended his employment and began publicly working with Thorkildsen in California, their company became profitable around 1905 and its name changed to Sterling Borax. In 1911 Sterling Borax was sold to Pacific Coast Borax for what today would be $500,000,000. Mather and Thorkildsen shared the profits and also received salaries from Smith for ten years.

No mention of the impact this scheme had on Smith's company was found but Smith's company was bankrupted soon afterward. Francis Marion Smith started again and recovered his wealth, spending much of it on charities.

Later, the Mather and Thorkildsen justify their behavior toward Smith for various reasons.

For the purpose of writing this article I contacted three long time, respected businessmen, their careers in stock brokering, sales, and mining, and outlined the actions of Mather and his partner without using their names. Each man condemned their actions as unethical and possibly legally actionable.

According to an article, 'Borax King' Cleaned Up, but Died Washed Up,"  published in the Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2000, written by Cecilia Rasmussen, Thorkildsen used physical threats to discourage competition and engaged in outrageous personal behavior which scandalized Hollywood. The two men remained friends and Thorkildsen was introduced to Mather's other friends and associates as he became involved in government.

The Park Service Public Relations Campaign

The National Park Campaign began in 1915 but the forces which determined its form were in motion much earlier. The appointment of Franklin K. Lane, as Secretary of the Interior, was a political pay-off by incoming President Woodrow Wilson, made to ensure Wilson's election. The Hetch-Hetchy would become the water supply for San Francisco, spending its crystal waters to start the flow of profits from lands awaiting subdivision around the city, according to Gray Brechin in his book, “Imperial San Francisco,” page 110.

Mather was offered the position of Director for the National Parks by Lane in early 1914. Despite traditions to the contrary, Lane was not previously acquainted with Mather personally and no letter was written by Mather resulting in the appointment. The recommendation came through a mutual friend, Adolph Miller, formerly a professor at UC Berkeley who accepted an appointment suggested by Lane in the Wilson Administration.

Horace Albright is admitted to the Club
Horace Albright, then newly graduated from UC Berkeley, had been working for Miller at the time Miller accepted the position as Assistant Secretary of the Interior. Miller invited Albright to come with him to DC as his assistant. When Miller moved on to a position as Governor for the Federal Reserve System the next year Albright remained at the Department of the Interior. Lane suggested Albright to Mather as an able assistant, in his position as Director for the Parks.

Initially, Albright hesitated. He was engaged to be married to woman living in San Francisco and planned to return and start a law practice.. Mather's proposal to him changed this. Albright reported in “Creating the National Park System – The Missing Years,” feeling elated at being part of the vision Mather enunciated while reluctant to delay his marriage. He agreed to stay on for a year, the term Mather set as his own time limit for the work.

Albright had been raised in Bishop, California and had hardly left there until beginning college at UC Berkeley in 1908. His parents were hard working and used every opportunity to enlarge the opportunities for education available to their children, but lacked the resources to support Horace in college. Albright worked to pay his living expenses and educational costs himself and luxuries were few. His relationship with Mather, who was always prepared to pay for incidental luxuries, enlarged his experience, showing him a very different world. Mather augmented Albright's government pay, a practice legal until 1919.

Mather could be the soul of generosity, awakening in those who knew him strong feelings of obligation and loyalty. His expenditures included a club house for the Park Rangers in Yosemite in 1924, which advanced his popularity enormously with a group not usually provided with such perks.

The first time Mather met Grace, Albright's fiancee, she and Albright were his guests for dinner at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Albright reported, “In one hand he (Mather) had a corsage of roses and, in the other, a small box. He handed both to Grace and laughingly said, "I don't know how Horace could ever have been lucky enough to get you. I wasn't around at that time, but I wish you all the happiness in the world." Inside the little velvet box was a small Tiffany brooch, silver with a diamond in the center.”

Mather said, when accepting the job, he wanted Albright as his assistant to, “keep him out of jail.” Mather, it turned out, was not entirely joking.

Mather brought the same values and ethics to government he had demonstrated in business. His style was autocratic and impulsive. He personally decided on a corporate monopoly to run each Park. This approach was adopted in opposition of advice from such men as Fred Harvey of Fred Harvey Company, whose experience with serving the public began in 1875 with service run in conjunction with railroads across America. Harvey advised against absolute monopolies.

Mather persisted, causing a series of disasters within the Parks, starting with Yosemite.

Mather ignored the causes of problems existing in the National Parks. Many of these were the result of government mis-management. For instance, in Yosemite Mather complained concessionaires, such as David Curry of Camp Curry, had inadequate septic systems. But concessionaires could not finance expensive capital improvements without an assurance their loans could be repaid and these had been withheld for decades. Those in charge, including Mather, ignored repeated requests for licenses to do business longer than one year, granted only at the beginning of the year.

Mather consistently abused the power entrusted to him, causing harm to people engaged in doing business within the Parks. He evidenced strong likes and dislikes, which appear to have driven his actions.

In 1915 Mather unilaterally gave the concession in Yosemite to J. Desmond, who started a corporation in which Mather and his friends covertly invested. Mather granted a twenty-year exclusive concession and also allowed the sale of liquor, forbidden to all other concessionaires, to ensure Desmond every possible avenue for success.

Desmond had no experience in running hotels or providing food services to the public. The corporation went bankrupt and Desmond departed to be replaced by A. B. C. Dahrmann, who as president of the next incarnation of the original Desmond interests, was quoted by the Stockton Record in 1924 as saying, ”The California Sierra is one of greatest undeveloped resources in the golden state.”

At the beginning of 1917 complaints and problems were increasing. At the close of a conference in January Mather suffered an 'emotional break-down' and was institutionalized for a year and a half in a posh facility, described by Albright, “It was a lovely large home, tucked into green lawns and lush forested land.” The next chapters describe Albright's efforts to ensure Mather is not subject to any pressure or problems.

Mather was not fired. Instead, his assistant, Horace Albright and others covered for him. The breakdown and his financial involvement with Desmond was admitted in Albright's book, “Creating the National Park Service – The Missing Years,” available for reading online. Albright knew what had happened and suppressed the facts. See Chapter 17.

Mather suffered another break-down in 1922, according to Park correspondence. Again, Albright and others cover for him.

Mather's business background and emotional instability should have raised questions on his suitability for any position within government. Mather was, however, a member of the Club, wealthy and connected. Therefore his interests and well being were a priority in the bifurcated system then being established.

While rhetoric was used routinely to deceive, as proven so thoroughly by Edward Bernays, examining the actions of individuals reliably reveals the truth.

How did the Club view ordinary Americans?

The Club operated on the view Americans, 'the 'herd,' were to be managed with lies. These events illustrate the world view, reflected in the propaganda used by Yard and later by Benarys, on behalf of both government and corporations, reinforcing the ugly truth of the quote from Bernays cited earlier, “So what do you do? It's going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think.”

The subtext is this: The only people whose property and well being matter are members of the Club. Albright's behavior illustrates the degree to which he had adopted Club attitudes and beliefs.

As these events unfolded Mather received enormous attention and concern as his emotional condition becomes impossible to ignore. This reflected in Albright's book and in correspondence within the Park Service. At the same time, the well being of those viewed as “just ordinary Americans,” was ignored, as in the case of those concessionaires such as Curry who objected to the theft of their years of time invested, the train of arbitrary demands issued by Mather and disregard of the conditions created by government mis-management.

Albright's comments, and lack thereof, at the time of David Curry's untimely death in April of 1916 and further justifications of behavior by Mather, which Albright later realizes pointed to his emotional instability, further illustrate the point. See Creating the National Park System – The Missing Years,” Chapter 8. and Chapter 13.

Horace M. Albright had been, not surprisingly, seduced by the privileges of power and was now a member of the Club.

In the interests of full disclosure, now nearly a century after these events took place, a full examination of the records is called for. While writing this article this writer attempted to access the Superintendent's Reports for Yosemite from 1916 – 1926. The reports from 1906 – 1915 are clearly available and complete and in our files. Those from 1916 – 1926, covering the years when Mather and Albright's management most demands examination, are fragmented. Parts of monthly reports appear to have been eliminated. This report, purported to cover years 1923 – 1925, inclusive, deviating in form from all other reports was requested.. Upon examining it this writer discovered a report spanning 1923 – 1925 which included less than 11 pages, all photographs, for three years of activity. SEE REPORT RECEIVED

A request for correction was made. SEE REQUEST AND RESPONSE

The request was also sent to Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Department of the Interior. A Freedom of Information Act demand will now be filed.

According to George A. Gonzalez in his book, “Corporate Power and the Environment,” published Rowman and Littlefield, 2001, Albright received gifts from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., beginning in 1926. Gonzalez also reports Albright's home in Washington D. C. was partially funded by a gift from David Rockefeller as Albright continued up the ladder of success after Albright left government service, moving on to work in the matrix connecting corporations and government, unfailingly courteous and kind to those who had assisted him.

According to the Albright's daughter and co-author, Marian Albright Schenck, writing in the Introduction to the book, “Creating the National Parks, The Missing Years,” Albright reviewed every letter and document and considered destroying materials while in the process of its writing. In the end the story of years 1917 – 1919 is told in a form while the reader takes away the sense much remains unsaid. Albright's acts in covering for Mather, during this period and later, bring illustrate how in a short period of time an individual can accept the idea a small elite can rightfully abuse power. His later history only raises the level of probability Albright's concerns were also for his own position as an attorney in the employ of government engaged in a cover-up.

Co-author Marian Albright Schenck wrote,"My father worshiped Mather and wanted to do nothing to damage his name." While her sentiments are understandable, she after all, grew up as a member of the Club through her father, evasion of the facts is not acceptable. Americans have a right to know.

A baronial system displaced a representative Republic, beginning in the first decade of the Twentieth Century. Inherently hierarchical, it was comprised of corporate interests and the more elevated levels of government. Those involved believed they were justified in deceiving the American people, acting out the openly enunciated beliefs expressed by Benarys, and slightly earlier, by Robert Sterling Yard. These self-identified interests in government and corporate America began to install gatekeepers, and routinely limit what Americans could know. Spin and propaganda displaced open dialog and disclosure of facts as the standard.

The bifurcated system which confronts us today was being solidified in outline and attitudes in the first and second decades of the Twentieth Century, its pattern perpetuated by the very different treatment accorded 'members of the Club' and 'ordinary Americans.'

Today, Americans face proposals the Parks be sold to pay for the profligate behavior of those same Club members. As millions suffer foreclosure and Main Streets ask in vain for help, banks and other corporate interests, other Club members, receive the sympathy and open support of Congress. The term, 'Barons of Industry,' is not a phrase, but a correct assessment of the system which was once America.

It started much earlier than you imagined and in the places you most trusted.

Debunking the excuses: Lose Your Illusions, No. 2 – Coming Soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No. 3 Build a business with integrity as you stop the use of pesticides.

As the Meltdown continues to impact American jobs, lost both to outsourcing and to the death of American enterprise, more Americans live in daily fear of what is to come. Even as pundits and others in positions of influence promise us the long fall from hope is about to turn, continuing their cries of “recovery is beginning,”and “the market needed correction,” the truth stares us baldly in the face.

We are witnessing not correction but events which will change the world as we know it forever. The tsunami of monetary and economic shock waves are only now beginning to hit.
Americans need work right now, not later. All of us need good health and fewer chemicals in 

Our choices matter and choices made today will impact children unborn. Now, as never before you can act to broaden and illuminate a real path to survival and prosperity. America began as a collection of small towns where people managed their own business. It can be so again and so avoid what government and corporations have wrought.

Over the next six months I'm going to be writing about small businesses you can start for yourself which turn off the corporate spigot, moving you and your community into the New Economy. These are ventures which can generate income for you and turn off the flow of money to Greed Corporations.  Many have concluded relocalizing is our only alternative today. 

  There is more than one reason we need to return to community.  Keep this one in mind. 

Big government and Big Business have proven to be unworkable tools for human organization for many reasons. One reason is the presence of psychopathic individuals who, lacking conscience, will do anything to achieve their goals. Once viewed as a problem solvable by traditional therapy, today psychopathy is viewed very differently. Examining the patterns, now obvious, in corporations and government, such experts as Dr. Robert Hare, who originated the first tests for identifying psychopathic behavior, have concluded the behavior is not limited to those truly without conscience. The behavior is readily adopted by those in contact with psychopaths, who observe and emulate 'winning' behavior. This can be corporate, as discussed in his book, “Snakes in Suits,” or in government.

This explains why those in positions of power are willing to lie, cheat, steal and kill with no show of conscience and why we need to turn off the spigots of profit for Greed Corporations.

Business which transitions use of services and products from Grid Products, such as pesticides and chemicals, to sustainable alternatives of all kinds, are essential to relocalizing and bridging the present meltdown. Starting such businesses promotes the rebuilding of local commerce, community organizations, and local economy.
In communities we work, live, and get to know who we can trust. It is there we must restore the means to manage our common needs and interests, building a firm foundation for new prosperity.

We have a lot to work with.

Stephen Tvedten will be on his way to China this week, invited by business there to partner with them to produce an entirely organic pest control product which will be used in China to produce vegetables and other produce to be sold widely in China, Europe, and the United States. Using Tvedten's patents and knowledge, they know they can build market shares which will produce a substantial income stream. For his participation Tvedten will personally receive 15%. For Stephen the money is not the motive.

Stephen Tvedten's mission for the last many years has been to provide, for free to Americans, the same basic Intelligent Pest Management (R) information and several non-patented formulas (he will now travel to China to formulate and field test organic pesticides now providing for profit to China Qinghai General Health Bio-Science Co., LLC, savvy innovators who want to stop the damage presently being done to the environment in China.

Stephen incorporated his effort, which is called, Get Set, Intelligent Pest Management  (R) . He provides all the professional information you need to start the same business for the US in his book, downloadable for free, on the Internet

Why would Stephen be willing to give away ideas which could make him wealthy? For him the goal is building a healthy world for his grandchildren. Stephen owned a prosperous extermination business when his unborn son and uncle died of causes he realized were exposure to the toxic chemicals he, himself, had introduced to their lives. Desperately ill himself, he sought treatment and recovered.

Afterward he gave away the business and set himself to finding alternatives so his tragic losses would not happen to others. All profits are not counted in money.

Many tens of thousands of people have used Stephen's Intelligent Pest Management (R) to solve their own pest control problems today.

On Stephen's site you see this posted.

The Best Control 2 is a reference manual based on exhaustive research in the field of nontoxic pest control or IPM. This guide will teach you how to implement nontoxic alternatives to pesticides safely and easily by yourself. This information is provided as a free resource to encourage the spread of safe alternatives to chemical poisons, and thus reduce contamination to ourselves and pollution to our environment."

When you are moved to action any one of us can do much more than we imagined possible.
Stephen made it his life's work to find those other courses. You can start your own business using the information Stephen freely provides.

By so doing you begin the process of solving problems without toxic chemicals today in routine use. Children will grow up healthier and our communities will be improved in many ways. Our water will be cleaner and if enough of us take up this work the oceans will stop becoming dumping grounds for chemicals which are killing the life there and coming back to us in the food we take from those same oceans.

Instead of just protesting you make a business of cleaning up our world.

Your costs will be lower than companies which handle the problem with chemical killers from such corporations as Dow Chemicals. Now, when you are wondering how you are going to survive, you can begin building a new America.

Organic, sustainable solutions do not need to cost us more and the list of opportunities is long.
In Florida, where termites cause multiple needs for tenting homes, there is a solution to now existing structures which are now being tented as often as once a year because of termite infestions.  Hank Albarelli, author of "A Terrible Mistake - The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments," said he would do that - if he had the time.  

For restaurants, which are struggling to end infestations of cockroaches, it is in the book.

The book is over 2000 pages long and the number of solutions to specific problems is enormous – more are added all the time. Stephen tells you when he updates the book, if you ask, and so you know when something is added. Stephen is partnering with America Goes Home, a not for profit, in putting up a directory so you will be able to list yourself as providing Intelligent Pest Management (R) Services. Steve received queries for this service regularly. Others are providing instructions to starting your own business and building out into your community and those will soon be available on the America Goes Home site.

Stephen Tvedten's tragedy and work has made this possible. By adding value to his work thousands of Americans can act out their convictions while supporting their families.

Given the state of the economy and the need to remove toxic influences this may be the most important work any of us could take up.

Rebuilding community today is a one step at a time journey. Refocus local. See the wonders humanity has created. Envision the world as you would have it be and get started.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Earth Day – March 20th, 2010 - Integrity will set you free

At the stroke of a moment, the 40th Annual UN Peace Bell Ceremony will take place. This is the Real Earth Day, Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 1:32 p.m. EDT (Equinox). The mission and vision statement for the real Earth Day was not some sappy after school program, with tee-shirt, but a challenge to live our principles with lives framed with integrity. Peace, Justice, and Care of the Earth.

Those who planned it and participated were life long proponents for clean water, clean air and transparency. The issue was not political in 1970, both Republicans and Democrats were involved.

If you thought Earth Day was in April you swallowed a corporate lie perpetrated that 1970 with the blatant use of the same name by a group of corporate hires. Read the story here. All of us need to be more discerning. Lies are destroying everything we built. Read The Wrong Kind of Green, in The Nation, just yesterday.

Some few have known and tried to warn us. We did not listen until our own ox was gored.

Today is the direct result of that lie and all the lies, the manipulation, and the lack of conscience by a relatively few. Today you see the outcome of unbridled appetite and greed, a lack of conscience and integrity, by those same few. Most of us, the overwhelming majority, do the right thing most of the time.

Together we, the many, can change direction. Integrity and discernment is all we need. Uncounted people today are drawing on their own integrity as they fight for you, even when you do not know it.

Today an elderly man is sitting in solitary confinement in the Los Angeles Jail because his integrity makes it impossible for him to say the words which would immediately release him. In his mind is justice for all of us. He will die for his integrity, for you.

Prominent anti-trust attorney Richard I. Fine was sentenced to coercive confinement in the L.A. Central Men’s Jail for an indefinite period of time to silence him. He has now been sixty days in solitary confinement and has been in jail for over a year. Fine was handcuffed and shackled, lead away to jail from the court house, on March 4, 2009. Judge David P. Yaffe gave the order. The court wants him silenced on their ongoing schemes to use the court system for their own profit. They have been attempting to coerce Fine into submission, but failed. Richard Fine is determined to reform the justice system.

Don't expect the media to cover Fine's heroic challenge of corruption. Taking over the media, converting it into an extension of corporate PR, was an early strategy, now reaching its fruition. Journalists should have been the first to see this and take a stand. Their own standards mandate it.

They failed to exercise integrity.

If we want change we need to do it ourselves and begin by understanding the entirety of the problem we face.

Our world is melting around our ears, caused by this same lack of integrity, installed as the operational formula in our institutions. Integrity is the tool which helps us survive and prosper – if it is used. Integrity includes a refusal to accept lies as truth and so profit from lies. Integrity is an insistence on knowing, not accepting assurances without all the facts.

The awakening of our common humanity challenged generations past to see what was possible and never settle for less. Yet even as we have stretched, innovated and labored, reaching for the vision which is America, we have harbored a devil within. Today the full realization of psychopaths as individuals without conscience, incapable of integrity, is sinking in.

We reject gluttony, sexual deviancy, self-indulgence. These attributes along with the lies and manipulation which simulates emotion, characterize psychopaths. Yet who have we trusted to lead us?

Turn your eyes to those occupying positions of trust in government and corporations. These are occupied by all too many who will do anything to get what they want. Psychopaths are drawn to the nexus of power, they can be charismatic and will tell you whatever you want to hear to achieve their ends. They simulate emotions along with mouthing words of honor to deceive as a matter of routine.

Today experts believe many of our institutions are psychopathic in operation. Dr. Robert Hare, psychologist and world renowned expert in psychopathy, originated testing for psychopathy, common in criminals. Testing is now routinely used for applicants in various service professions such as firefighters, operators of nuclear power plants, police officers and teachers.

While lecturing to a convention of cops in Newfoundland, Hare posed another application for testing, as reported in Fast Company Magazine by Alan Deutschman , “Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?” The screen suddenly transitioned from faces of sex offenders and Mafia Hit Men to, “top executives from WorldCom, which had just declared bankruptcy, and Enron.” Hare continued, “Why wouldn't we want to screen them?

Dr. Robert Hare coined the word, “corporate psychopathic,” and has since written the book, “Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work,” Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.

Look at government. Is what you see any different? No.

Psychopaths have no emotions. Their brains lack these functions neurologically, according to research by Kent A. Kiehl, PhD at the Mind Institute whose work with criminals has been highly revealing. They see you as prey, not as people. Who but psychopaths would send your children off to war on claims they knew as lies?

While psychopaths continue to grab for power and money others struggle to do good.

In Nigeria a man, Francis Bosah, is looking for help with a problem which is confronting people around the world. This morning I received an email from Francis asking for my help. What he needs is tiny. Read the email and what is needed here.

In the wake of WWII chemical companies, now losing profits because overt war had ended, converted their factories from weapons of war to pesticides. Today the level of pesticides is poisoning the Earth as the residue of the war for profit shows up in toxic levels in autopsies from all parts of the world. People are dying, the unborn are not safe and neither are our elderly.

Francis wants to stop this in his country by replacing the use of pesticides with natural, non-impacting solutions. If he were starting this campaign alone it would be impossible. But Francis found an ally who had already produced alternatives to every pesticide now in use.

Steve Tvedten, a former exterminator, lost his uncle and baby son to the toxic effects of pesticides, nearly dying himself. Giving away his company, he committed himself to providing alternatives. His book, is available for free online. Read it for yourself and use it as have tens of thousands now living healthier lives.

Americans believe in the power of the individual. In these three men you see power exercised with integrity.

The vision which is still America conflicts with the business plan for engorging corporations with our stolen lives. Psychopaths are drawn to power. The point of conflict is integrity. Normal people have limits, things they will not do for power. From the member partners of the Federal Reserve, to Big Oil, and on to, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower put it on leaving the White House, the Industrial Military Complex, they are eating out our substance. See it now.

We did not see this clearly before. They always knew what they were doing.

Each Spring the real Earth Day brings with it the opportunity to remember the opposition will do anything to win. Lying and murder mean nothing to the kind of people who displaced the integrity of the real Earth Day. The death of your baby girl from an injection? Your uncle abandoned and starving on the street because of the nightmares which haunt him from Iraq? These are just corporate write offs.

It is all about money and power for them.

This Earth Day commit yourself to understanding what is confronting us. Stop settling for assurances. Notice what is happening around you. Listen as they mouth the rhetoric which once moved you and remember it when the reality emerges. Learn to see the greed lighting their eyes. Instead of following, live your integrity. Judge for yourself – and at the moment when the Earth turns towards renewal in the Northern Hemisphere, remember, we are human because we feel, we love, care, and hunger for the vision which moved generations to become Americans. The vision is still true.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Back to the Future of Commerce in Pennsylvania and Your Home Town.

One Woman's Quest for a free market.

Karen Emery bought her first 1 oz coin of silver in New Hampshire just last year. The token, which cost $16.00, made an enormous difference in the life of one woman, opening the way for people in the Delaware Valley area of Pennsylvania, to see what it is like to use money which will hold its value.

Karen was attending the Free State's Liberty Forum at the Crown Plaza in Nashua, NH, when she picked up a silver token at an after hours party. It was her birthday, March 5, 2009, and she had been thinking about how good it would be if, as once was the case, money had weight and substance.

While being interviewed for this article Karen mentioned how it felt as she held it, smooth, heavy, and gleaming. Along with the substance the token had, she thought, integrity. She still carries it with her as a reminder.

Karen had learned about Free State's Liberty Forum on Free Talk Live, for two years before she finally made it to the event. Free Talk Live, is Karen said, "The radio that you control." The non-structured radio station has become a voice for a growing on the air community. She listened to their program once and was hooked. There is, Karen says, nothing like the open mike with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.

Karen's first token came from Bullion Direct. Within a few weeks she had signed up as a representative for American Open Currency Standard, or AOCS. Every so often over the ensuing weeks she would take out the coin and hold it in her hand again.

While a representative for American Open Currency Standard, Karen had time to think about what was important. Selling silver at so far over what it was worth as metal, she realized could never result in people using silver tokens for barter in their day to day lives. She wanted that experience, using metal coins, a thing which itself had value, when she bought her gas and groceries.

So Karen Emery decided to start DelValley Silver. Her new company would not offer many different tokens, just one to begin with. The token had to be inexpensive enough so people would use it. In her mind Karen saw people putting them on the counter and showing them to their children. In this way children could understand what money once was - and experience it again.

That decision make, it was all a matter of details. Karen found a mint to produce the rounds. Golden State Mint is in California. She then determined the image the token would carry, filed papers with the state, which reminded her again, why she wanted the integrity she felt in silver rounds.

The first token carried a map of Pennsylvania, including Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey for good measure. The second suggests the Amish traditions of her state.

Karen had begun talking to local merchants in May for AOCS. Now, in August, she was talking to them about a different proposition. Since there was no fee to sign up entry costs were low, an important consideration in an already struggling economy. Karen has seven merchants signed up. The merchants see barter in silver in various ways but among their motivations is the knowledge hard metal will come into their hands. Interest is building, she says, which is reflected from her merchants.

AmeriKick Martial Arts, Liberty Revolution Network, Twins Auto Repair Inc., Advise Laboratories, MetaSense Inc., Street Road Lukoil, and Vermilion Hills Chiropractic, a range of businesses, are now accepting the tokens and negotiations are going on with the local Amish community. To serve the Amish community Karen will be adding a $6.00 token to her inventory.

The tokens now offered include a one ounce round, showing the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, for $18.64, purchased in lots, and a ½ ounce token, carrying the image of an Amish family in their carriage for $9.77.

At a time when America's dollar is teetering on the edge of disaster the solid value of silver is raising increasing interest across the country. Barter and script systems are springing up in places where they were previously unknown at unprecedented rates. A website, Move Your Money, is now urging Americans to move their money out of banks, such as Citibank, which are now placing severe limits on withdrawals from accounts. The Move Your Money site offers links so users can ascertain the rating of their own bank and find one which is higher.

All the money they move will still be Federal Reserve Notes. Karen would like ordinary people to have money with integrity.

To use silver rounds, tokens, for commerce the price of the silver must be near to that paid for the metal itself. The 'spot' price of the metal changes constantly, fluctuating against other ways to hold value, commodities, and against existing currencies.

In the Delaware Valley local people who carry the tokens are learning by doing. The DelValley site provides a short tutorial on reasons barter and hard metal have continued to have a place in the market, explaining clearly and simply how their system works.

For those in the Freedom Movement it is a leaflet sprung to life or a tutorial by Murray Rothbard made flesh. In the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania you can touch theory.

This year Karen Emery will be attending the Free State Project's Freedom Forum, which will again take place in Nashua at the Crown Plaza. But this time she will not be just attending. She will be selling her own rounds and discussing with those interested how they can merge their activism with business, providing one of the essentials needed to bridge the meltdown from corporate greed to a new economy in their own communities.