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Burdock root definitely falls into the “can’t judge a book …” category of vegetables. The humble exterior of the large, dark, woody-looking root belies the sweet, nutty, delicate, crunchy flesh within. Although its bark-like skin looks thick, it is actually tissue-paper-thin, able to be scraped away with a fingernail or light scrubbing. –
Burdock Root by Terra Brockman

Natural Disasters

Studying Volcanoes With Balloons
“People do all kinds of crazy things in Hawaii, but flying balloons over a volcano usually isn’t one of them.” This is quite fascinating. The results from this study may help us gain a deeper understanding to the natural variables of climate change.

Human Disasters

Questions and Answers about Global Warming and Abrupt Climate Change
“Worldwatch has assembled this fact sheet to explain what climate change and global warming are, how these trends affect people and nature, and what people can do to slow warming and climate change.”

Toxic Wastes Alarm in Lagos!
Toxic waste is bad for you. Shocking.

Tolleson Residents Bemoan Waste Facility’s Odor
“Tolleson officials say residents should look elsewhere for the source of their troubles, because the plant meets regulatory standards that allow the release of a minuscule amount of hydrogen sulfide.”

What’s that Stench? It’s Trash Juice
“Toronto, like any big city, has its fair share of reeks. From sewage-treatment plants to abattoirs, there are always local pockets where we deal with the disgusting byproducts of modern life. However, once a week, the bad smells come to us, rising off the pavement in a funky miasma.”

Toxic Sludge Is Good For You
Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry

Economics

Alabama County is on the Brink of Bankruptcy
“Alabama’s largest county appears headed for the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a $3.2 billion mess created by the nation’s credit crunch and a colossal, corruption-riddled sewer project.” Banks, counties. . .what’s next, the US?

No Country for Old Strategies
“The only logical way to describe the gold market’s story over the past two weeks is to refer to plain numbers. Superlatives have become scarce over the last few hours. At the start of last Friday’s session, gold was $100 higher than the lows it hit in the early morning hours today. Two Fridays ago, the metal was quoted at $910 per ounce. This week’s sheer massacre in values will represent the largest such decline in 25 years for the yellow metal.” It’s still a good idea, of course, to have some of your savings invested in precious metals. I also like the New Alternatives Fund.

The Really Really Free Market: Instituting the Gift Economy
Here are pictures from another Really Really Free Market.

Nanny State

Cell Phone Laws
“A jurisdiction-wide ban on driving while talking on a hand-held cellular phone is in place in 6 states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah, and Washington) and the District of Columbia. Utah has named the offense careless driving. Under the Utah law, no one commits an offense when speaking on a cellphone unless they are also committing some other moving violation other than speeding.”

Development”

Alternative Energy Hits the Road
“Anyone who has walked barefoot across a parking lot on a hot summer day knows that blacktop is exceptionally good at soaking up the sun’s warmth. Now, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has found a way to use that heat-soaking property for an alternative energy source.” I’ll still hate roads.

Western Medicine

Stop the Killer Horse Hormones
“Estrogen hormones derived from animals have dangerous side-effects. Estriol doesn’t. But the FDA has banned Estriol in favor of the animal derived hormones.” Where would we be without the FDA?

Progress

Star Trek Warp Drive is a Possibility, Say Scientists
“Two physicists have boldly gone where no reputable scientists should go and devised a new scheme to travel faster than the speed of light.”

Oh, My

“Bigfoot” fails DNA test
This article made me laugh. The people who found “bigfoot” just happen to sell bigfoot merchandise. Cryptozoology is interesting, but this is silly. For the record, I also like to read Texe Marrs and David J. Smith, so the things I find interesting aren’t always logical and rational.

Stop Fucking Yourself

The Spalding Reading Method
Teach them yourself.

Burdock Collective – Appalachian Root (First Major Contribution)

Human Disasters
A U.S. Navy submarine leaked trace amounts of radioactive water for two years as it made port calls in Japan and other Asian nations, the Navy said Thursday.
Navy says sub leaked radiation since 2006

Russia has accused Georgia of a genocidal plot to cleanse the region of ethnic Ossetians loyal to Russia. Conversely, Georgia accuses Russia of executing a long-planned war with the aim of taking control of the region, which has a key pipeline that carries Asian oil to Black Sea ports.
Georgian breakaway city in ruins


Economics
It seems that almost everyday another huge financial company goes under.
ACA Capital Holdings Inc., the bond insurer that lost its investment-grade credit ratings in December, terminated $65 billion in credit-default swap contracts and turned over most of the company to creditors.
ACA Terminates $65 Billion of Credit-Default Swaps

As U.S. regulators brace for more bank failures, consumers are wondering for the first time since the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s about the safety of their money.
Bank Failures Have Customers Seeking FDIC


Nanny State
So far, the Olympics have been an open invitation to China-bash, a bottomless excuse for Western journalists to go after the Commies on everything from internet censorship to Darfur. Through all the nasty news stories, however, the Chinese government has seemed amazingly unperturbed. That’s because it is betting on this:
The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0

From the people who brought you the Terri Schiavo spectacle, the stem-cell research stalemate and the atrocious waste of tax money on abstinence-only sex education that has been shown not to work, comes a sequel:
Plan redefines birth control as form of abortion

With just a few months left in office, President Bush is still doing the bidding of social conservatives who oppose women’s reproductive freedoms.
A new attack on birth control


Progress
The teaching robots, or, Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are computer systems that provide personalized instruction and feedback to students without human intervention.
Human remote control may spell end for teachers

A U.S. woman received five puppies Tuesday that were cloned from her beloved late pitbull, becoming the inaugural customer of a South Korean company that says it is the world’s first successful commercial canine cloning service.
Puppies mark birth of commercial pet cloning

Normally this project has a negative effect on me. Today is a different story. A cardinal decided to relax – or chillax as some of my youth say – on my front porch. It’s much easier to read about the Postville horrors, robo-violence, or the encroaching fist of the state when such beauty is only a few feet away. Thanks for reading and share this with a friend. We are also looking for original content. Feel free to submit and article via email: burdockmidwest at gmail.com (delete the spaces an replace at with @). – Lentil

Natural Disasters

Strong Start Increases NOAA’s Confidence for Above-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season
“In the August update to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has increased the likelihood of an above-normal hurricane season and has raised the total number of named storms and hurricanes that may form.”

National Fire News
The latest on wildfires

Firehouse.com

Wildfire Safety Tips
From the Red Cross.

Natural Disaster News

Human Disasters

This week the WF Report is paying close attention to the raid at a meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa. While this story could have fit in various different categories, we felt it would be best to file it under Human Disasters. Pay close attention to the various aspects of these events – slavery, working conditions reminiscent of The Jungle, and families being ripped apart.

The Postville Raid
“For a tiny town of 2000, Postville, Iowa has been tagged with a lot of superlatives lately. The biggest immigration raid in American history. The biggest Kosher meatpacking plant in the country.”

Court Interpreter Breaks Confidentiality Code to Speak Out for Workers Rounded Up in Largest Immigration Raid in U.S. History
“On May 12th, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested nearly 400 workers at a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa in the largest immigration raid in US history. Many were sent to prison. We speak with Erik Camayd-Freixas, a professor and Spanish-language court interpreter who was flown into Iowa for the trial.”

Captives of the Meatpacking Archipelago
“History records that Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups, used to present himself as a soul-brother to the American worker. In his heyday he railed against the “elitist upper class” and established his bona fides by saying, ‘I come from a poor district of working-class people.’”

Economics

Our $100 Trillion National Debt
“The “official” debt of the United States is only around $10 trillion dollars as of August 6, 2008. This is a manageable number; we could pay it off in a few decades if we quit buying luxuries like food and clothing, and take a few other minor economy measures. Unfortunately, the “$10 trillion” number was produced by government accounting, which among other things allows one to ignore Social Security, Medicare, and the new prescription drug benefit. This is like ignoring rent, food, and utilities in your household budget… it will lead to a few bounced checks. Our real debt is about ten times higher.” Bill Walker’s columns are worth reading: Strike The Root; LRC

Nanny State

Prince George’s Raid Prompts Call for Probe
“When the shooting stopped, two dogs lay dead. A mayor sat in his boxers, hands bound behind his back. His handcuffed mother-in-law was sprawled on the kitchen floor, lying beside the body of one of the family pets that police had killed before her eyes.

After the raid, Prince George’s County police officials who burst into the home of Berwyn Heights’ mayor last week seized the same unopened package of marijuana that an undercover officer had delivered an hour earlier.” The police do not exist to protect you.

Is Your Organic Food Really Organic?
A farmer once told me that he wouldn’t use the word organic because the government bastardized it’s meaning. This article shouldn’t really surprise anyone, but it should serve as a reminder that we should get to know the people growing our food. Of course we should also be growing our own.

House Votes to Grant FDA Control of Tobacco Regulation
“This week the US House of Representatives voted 326 to 102 to pass the Family Smoking Prevention Tobacco Control Act, which would grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) power to regulate tobacco products. If the legislation is enacted, consumers would see tougher warning labels on cigarettes, as well as tighter restrictions on how they’re marketed, especially to youth.” I often tell people that my sole act as supreme high dictator would be to destroy the advertising industry. However this sort of legislation won’t have any positive long-term effect. The advertising firms will get more money (and power) as “better” ads are developed. Youth will continue smoking. That is unless we see a paradigm shift including more involved parents and mentors.

Overwhelmingly Sufficient Grounds for Impeachment Will Be Sufficient
“Jeremy Rabkin, George Mason University Professor of Law, was one of the Republican, anti-impeachment experts to provide testimony at the Judiciary Committee, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Impeachment, Non-impeachment Hearing,” on July 25, 2008. Since I’m in support of impeachment and he’s not, it might surprise you to learn that I thought he uttered the most important and spot-on statement of all the panelists.” A great blog post by Jim Babka, one of my favorite political activists.

Development”

The Economic “Surge” in Haiti…
“Kelley Vlahos and Justin Raimondo (among others) have done a great job in pointing to the way the figures measuring the effects of the surge are being exploited by Bush, McCain and other members of the pro-war coalition.” Leon Hadar waxes poetic.

Western Medicine

Probiotics Use Decreases Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea
Antibiotic means anti-life.

Progress

Remote-Control Warriors Suffer War Stress
“The Air National Guardsmen who operate Predator drones over Iraq via remote control, launching deadly missile attacks from the safety of Southern California 7,000 miles away, are suffering some of the same psychological stresses as their comrades on the battlefield.” This just in – killing is bad whether it is hand to hand combat or via video games.

Shrinks Help Drone Pilots Cope With Robo-Violence
No comment.

The Totality

Anti-Empire Report

What is the Totality?
“It is everything to you. It is civilized existence and the mindset which maintains it.”

Stop Fucking Yourself

Foraging with the Wild Man

Insurgent American’s 35-Point Practical Guide for Action

Teaching Drum Outdoor School
Tamarack Song teaches here.

All human societies go through fads in which they temporarily either adopt practices of little use or else abandon practices of considerable use. – Jared Diamond

Natural Disasters

Earthquake Hits LA – But It’s Not the Big One


Recent Earthquakes in California and Nevada


Is World’s Wettest Place Getting Drier?

“The town of Cherrapunjee, in the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya, is reputed to be the wettest place in the world.” But not for long. . .


Hurricane Watch Posted for TX Coast

“Tropical Storm Cristobal moves further off the Atlantic coast while a strengthening Tropical Storm Dolly heads toward the Texas – Mexico border” Living in the Midwest is comforting. . .


June 2008 Midwest Floods

WTF?!?!?


Many Apathetic to Hurricane Threat

The orange alert from the Department of Homeland Security is way more important. . .


Human Disasters

Death of Free Internet is Imminent

I’m not as hopeful as some when it comes to the internet. While it has it’s advantageous, it has effects very similar to the television. That is, the new opiate of the masses!


Cape Cod Patient Test for Mad Cow Disease

No comment.


The National Wilderness Preservation System

It is not in good shape.


Economics

Merrill Lynch Reports $4.9 Billion Loss

“Nation’s largest brokerage suffers its fourth-straight quarterly loss, confirms plans to sell Bloomberg stake for $4.43 billion.” I thought the economy was improving. . .


Blackstone Risks Hedge Fund Returns as LBO Loans Fade

See, we are fucked.


Debt capitalism Self-Destructs

Debt is dangerous. In fact, it is not much different than voluntary slavery.


Gold Futures Rise as Crude Oil Climbs

Commodities and precious metals are the way to go.


More Bank Failures!

Financial authorities in Washington spent last week securing a rescue deal for two insolvent mortgage lenders in Nevada and California amid the latest signs that America’s banking crisis is deepening.

The collapse of the two banks, which had combined assets of about $3.6 billion (£1.8 billion),- came as a senior financial regulator told The Times that there was no end in sight for the crisis gripping the banking industry. On Friday, Washington announced that it had forced the closure of First National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank in California after they had found the first lender to have engaged in unsafe and unsound lending practices that had depleted its capital, and the second to be generally undercapitalised.”


Labor Struggle in a Free Market

“One of the most common questions raised about a hypothetical free market society concerns worker protection laws of various kinds.”


Nanny State

Feds Look to Tighten Laws Requiring Truckers to Speak English

Manuel Castillo was driving a truck through Alabama hauling onions and left with a $500 ticket for something he didn’t think he was doing: speaking English poorly.”


The Conservative Nanny State

Free eBook.


Bush Approves Execution of Army private

They even kill their henchmen.


Main Core: New Evidence Reveals Top Secret Government Database Used in Bush Spy Program

How else will they know what’s best for you?


Man Arrested for Shooting Lawnmower

This would be comical if it weren’t so angering.


Senator Stevens Indicted on Corruption Charges

Of course he makes the rules that we have to follow.


Development”

Whose harvest? The Politics of Organic Seed Certification

Millions of farmers around the world practice organic agriculture and over a billion people get most of their food from these farms.


Foreign Aid and CARP Extension

Opponents of extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) insist that we suspend land redistribution and focus assistance on the farmer households that have received land under the program. We argue that it is not a question of land redistribution versus support. The challenge is how to effectively assist land reform beneficiaries while completing land redistribution.”


Stop Fucking Yourself

Homegrown Evolution

Do it for the children. . .if no for yourself.

Welcome to the first issue of the We’re Fucked Report. This will be a weekly look at the events that are destroying the world through the eyes of the Burdock Collective – Midwest Root.

This is meant to be a participatory project – that means we need your input. Please post relevant links in the comments. There is a good chance we will use your links in the next issue. If you don’t feel like posting you can always email us burdockmidwest at gmail.com (eliminate the spaces and use the @ sign.

Let us know if you are interested in this project or the Burdock Collective – Midwest Root.

Change is not about claiming – as anarchists – to oppose the state while ignoring the fact that this hypercomplex global setup couldn’t function for a day without many levels of government. – John Zerzan

Natural Disasters

Sun Goes Longer than Normal Without Producing Sunspots
“The sun has been laying low for the past couple of years, producing no sunspots and giving a break to satellites.”

Natural Hazards
“Earth scientists around the world use NASA satellite imagery to better understand the causes and effects of natural hazards.”

Iowa Flood Watch 2008
Iowa flood news, pictures, and stories.

Battling California Wildfires
“Governor Orders 2,000 Additional CA National Guard Ground Forces to Fight California Wildfires” That’s the Governator to you.

Endangered Species Information System
I wonder why they are endangered.

Economics

IndyMac in Second Largest Bank Collapse in US History; IndyMac Seized by U.S. Regulators Amid Cash Crunch
“IndyMac Bank’s assets were seized by US federal regulators on Friday after the mortgage lender succumbed to the pressures of tighter credit, tumbling home prices and rising foreclosures.” Now’s a good time to learn about the banking industry(pdf). Also check out What Has Government Done to Our Money?

Colombia “Free Trade” Deal
Elites and their media overlook pile of corpses in quest for profits

2008 Update, pt. 1; 2008 Update, pt. 2
Glenn Allport explains.

No Panic on Main Street in U.S. Mortgage Crisis
The ruling class is loving every minute of this.

Wishful Thinking
Of course we’d still be stuck with a destructive industrial complex.

IMF Finally Knocks on Uncle Sam’s Door
Abolish the damn thing and we’d all be better off.

“Development”

Trailing Edge Technologies
“One of the worst of the booby traps built into the contemporary mythology of progress, it seems to me, is the notion that the way out of any difficulty is to keep moving the way we are already going, and do it faster. It may seem obvious that if you’ve gone down a blind alley, the only way out begins by shifting into reverse, but it takes very little attention to the current political scene to notice that this bit of common sense is far from common just now.”

Wake Up, America. We’re Driving Toward Disaster.
Column by James Howard Kunstler

Autism and Diet
It’s not natural.

World Clock 2008
Fascinating and disturbing.

Nanny State

SWAT Team Suits Up for Recruitment Video
Feel safe?

Police State USA: Spying as Law of the Land
Column by Larry Chin

Green Scare News
Keep up to date on the State’s repressive behavior.

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