Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is a great article that a friend sent to me!

This is from the new issue of E magazine...


The Meat of the Matter

Our Livestock Industry Creates More Greenhouse Gas than Transportation Does

By Jim Motavalli

© Getty Images, E Magazine Graphic
Ask most Americans about what causes global warming, and they’ll point to a coal plant smokestack or a car’s tailpipe. They’re right, of course, but perhaps two other images should be granted similarly iconic status: the front and rear ends of a cow. According to a little-known 2006 United Nations report entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” livestock is a major player in climate change, accounting for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents).That’s more than the entire transportation system! Unfortunately, this incredibly important revelation has received only limited attention inthe media.How could methane from cows, goats, sheep and other livestock have such a huge impact? As Chris Goodall points out in his book How to Live a Low-Carbon Life(Earthscan Publications), “Ruminant animals [chewing a cud], such as cows and sheep, produce methane as a result of the digestive process…Dairy cows are particularly important sources of methane because of the volume of food, both grass and processed material, that they eat.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the American meat industry produced more than 1.4 billion tons of waste in 1997—five tons for every U.S. citizen and 130 times the volume of human waste. Michael Jacobson, the longtime executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, adds the fact that just one midsized feedlot churns out half a million pounds of manure each day. “The methane that cattle and their manure produce has a global warming effect equal to that of 33 million automobiles,” the Center reports in its book Six Arguments for a Greener Diet.
That’s just one side effect of raising animals for food. It turns outthat nearly every aspect of the huge international meat trade has anenvironmental or health consequence, with global warming at the top ofthe list. If you never thought that eating meat was an environmental(and by extension, political) issue, now is the time to rethink thatposition.
A Really Big Enterprise

To understand livestock’s impact on the planet, you have to considerthe size of the industry. It is the single largest human-related use ofland. Grazing occupies an incredible 26 percent of the ice- andwater-free surface of the planet Earth. The area devoted to growingcrops to feed those animals amounts to 33 percent of arable land. Meatproduction is a major factor in deforestation as well, and grazing nowoccupies 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon region.In Brazil, 60 to 70 percent of rainforest destruction is caused byclearing for animal pasture, one reason why livestock accounts for ninepercent of human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Other sourcesof CO2 include the burning of diesel fuel to operate farm machinery andthe fossil fuels used to keep barns warm during the winter. And food grown for animals could be feeding people. Raising livestockconsumes 90 percent of the soy crop in the U.S., 80 percent of its cornand 70 percent of its grain. David Pimentel, professor of entomology atCornell, points out that “if all the grain currently fed to livestockin the U.S. was consumed directly by people, the number who could befed is nearly 800 million.”
Grazing is itself environmentally destructive. The UN reports that 20 percent of the world’s pastures and rangelands have been at leastsomewhat degraded through overgrazing, soil compaction and erosion.
Methane (a global warming gas 23 times more potent than CO2) comes frommany human sources, but livestock account for an incredible 37 percentof that total. Nitrous oxide is also a very powerful global warming gas(296 times more potent than CO2) and by far the biggest source, 64percent, originates (as does animal-based methane) from manure“off-gassing.” This process of nitrous creation is aggravated byintensive factory farming methods, because manure is a more dangerousemitter when it is concentrated and stored in compacted form.Nitrogen-based fertilizers also emit nitrous oxide. Another byproductof raising livestock is copious amounts of ammonia, which contributesto acid rain and the acidification of ecosystems.
Unacceptable Risks

© Getty Images, E Magazine Graphic
Theenvironmental consequences of meat-based diets extend far beyond theirimpact on climate change. According to the UN report, producing theworldwide meat supply also consumes a large share of natural resourcesand contributes to a variety of pressing problems. Livestock productionconsumes eight percent of the world’s water (mainly to irrigate animalfeed); causes 55 percent of land erosion and sediment; uses 37 percentof all pesticides; directly or indirectly results in 50 percent of allantibiotic use; and dumps a third of all nitrogen and phosphorous intoour fresh water supplies.Astudy by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production(IFAP), released last April, called the human health and environmentalrisks associated with the meat industry “unacceptable.” One of theirmajor recommendations was to “implement a new system to deal with farmwaste to replace the inflexible and broken system that exists today, toprotect Americans from the adverse environmental and human healthhazards of improperly handled IFAP waste.”
And livestock are forcing other animals out. With species loss accelerating in a virtual “sixth extinction,” livestock currently account for 20 percent of all the animal biomass on the planet. As they occupy 30 percent of the planet, they also displace that much wildlife habitat. The grazing of livestock is considered a serious threat to 306 of the 825 “eco-regions” identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature,and to 23 of Conservation International’s 35 global hotspots for biodiversity.
Upping the Volume
Meatproduction has become a major problem because of its very success as ahuman food. In 1950, world meat production was 44 million poundsannually; today, it has risen fivefold to 253 million tons per year.Pork production, for instance, was less than five million tons annuallyin 1950, but it’s more than 90 million tons today. The average personon the planet ate 90.3 pounds of meat in 2003, double the figure of 50years ago.
These sharp increases are partly the result of dramatically higher meatconsumption in the Third World. China alone now consumes half theworld’s pork, a fivefold increase since 1978.

Dairy cows are particularly important sources of methane because of the volume of food they eat.
© Getty Images, E Magazine Graphic
Brazilmakes an excellent case history. With 160 million head of cattle, ithas the second-largest herd in the world after India. In Brazil, cattleprovide 29 percent of the country’s methane production, and an amazing10 percent of the world total. If that were the only issue, Brazil’slarge cattle herd would be a major problem. But it would be an enormousglobal warming aggravator even if its cattle produced no methane,because Brazilian farmers burn rainforest land to create pastures. This process releases carbon into the atmosphere from the heavy fires,and also destroys the rainforests’ ability to act as a carbon sink andcapture CO2. These fires are Brazil’s largest contribution to globalwarming, which worries Brazilian environmentalists such as Rubens Bornof the group Vitae Civilis. He says he’s waiting for Brazil’s nationalinventory of greenhouse gas emissions, which will allow him to see moreprecisely the scope of the problem.
Selective Solutions
Thefew commentators who have taken on the connection between meatconsumption and global warming ignore the most obvious solution: noteating meat.
The UN report offers a lengthy section entitled “mitigation options”with a range of other choices. To avoid cutting down rainforests thatsequester carbon, the report suggests “intensification of agriculturalproduction on some of the better lands, for example by increasedfertilizer benefits.” The logical conclusion to this suggestion is thetotal confinement factory farming methods used in the U.S.—which, bytwisted logic, could be said to have environmental benefits becausethey are not land intensive (and don’t cut down trees). But theenvironmental problems associated with factory farming are legion, andinclude polluted air and waterways.
OtherUN suggestions include conservation tillage (leaving agriculturalresidue on the soil surface to enrich its health) and organic farmingfor better soil health; improved grassland management; better nutritionfor livestock to reduce methane gas production; and capturing methanein anaerobic digesters to produce “biogas.”

Displaced Wildlife
© Getty Images
The latter method has been adopted by several Vermont dairy farms andworks well. Cow manure is stored in the digesters (huge tanks) at 100degrees Fahrenheit and deprived of oxygen. That encourages the bacteriato break the manure down, releasing biogas that is 90 percent methane.This fuel is captured and burned in an engine to generate electricity.Unfortunately, the equipment is expensive—$200,000 to $1 million,depending on the size of the farm. Only 32 farms in the U.S. were usingdigesters at press time, so only a tiny amount of methane productionhas been mitigated in this way.ACanadian study by Karin Wittinberg and Dinah Boadi of the University ofManitoba lists 20 separate ways to reduce greenhouse gas productionfrom livestock. These include grinding and pelletizing food forconfined animals to make it more fully digestible (a 20 to 40 percentreduction); grazing steers on high-quality alfalfa grass pastures (50percent reduction); adding canola oil to feedlot rations (30 percentreduction); and separating animals by age group and phasing in foodrelated to their growth stages (50 percent reduction). These arelaudable solutions and should be implemented, but, absent legislation,they’re unlikely to be put in place.
It takes seven pounds of corn to add a pound of weight to a cow, and that’s why 200 million acres of land in the U.S. are devoted to raising grains, oilseeds, pasture and hay for livestock. That land requires 181 billion pounds of pesticides, 22 billion pounds of fertilizer and 17 trillion gallons of irrigation water (not to mention billions of gallons of global warming-aggravating fossil fuel for farm equipment).
Another way of looking at this, supplied by M.E. Ensminger, the former chair of the animal sciences department at Washington State University, is that“2,000 pounds of grain must be supplied to livestock in order to produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas 400 pounds of grain eaten directly will support a person for a year.”

Meatproduction is a major factor in deforestation, and grazing now occupies70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon region.
© Getty Images
Because vegetarians enjoy lower levels of blood cholesterol and sufferless frequently from obesity and hypertension, their life expectanciesare several years greater. But the benefits of the vegetarian optionare rarely on the agenda, even when the environmental effects of themeat industry are under discussion.A Very Big Change
Mostpeople grow up eating meat and seeing others doing the same. Themessage that “meat is good and necessary for health” is routinelyreinforced through advertising and the cultural signals we’re sent atschool, work and church. Vegetarianism is regularly depicted as afringe choice for “health faddists.” The government reinforces thismessage with meat featured prominently in its food pyramids.
Jim Mason, coauthor of the book The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter(Rodale Books), offers another possible reason we’ve kept vegetarianismoff the mainstream agenda. “People who eat meat and animal products arein denial about anything and everything having to do with animalfarming,” he says. “They know that it must be bad, but they don’t wantto look at any part of it. So all of it stays hidden and abusesflourish—whether of animals, workers or the environment.”
Even such an enlightened source as the 2005 Worldwatch report “HappierMeals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry” is careful not to advocatefor a vegetarian diet, including it in a range of options that alsoincludes eating less meat, switching to pasture-raised “humane” meat,and opting for a few non-meat entrees per week. Vegetarianism is the“elephant in the room,” but even in a very food-conscious age it is noteasily made the centerpiece of an activist agenda.
DanielleNierenberg, author of the Worldwatch study, works for both thatorganization and for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).She’s a vegan, and very aware of the climate impacts of meat-baseddiets. But, she says, “Food choices are a very personal decision formost people, and we are only now convincing them that this is a tool attheir disposal if they care about the environment.”
Nierenberg says that some of the Worldwatch report was published in Environmental Health Perspectives,and there was concern that it wouldn’t see print if it overemphasizedvegetarian diets. “People have a very visceral reaction when told theyshouldn’t be eating the core meats they grew up with,” she says. “Theyget upset.”

TheAmerican meat industry produces more than 60 million tons of wasteannually—five tons for every U.S. citizen and 130 times the volume ofhuman waste.
© Getty Images, E Magazine Graphic
David Pimentel agrees that Americans are acculturated to eating meat.“The nutritionists say we’re eating way too much meat for our health,”he says. “The public knows this but it doesn’t change their dietaryhabits. What will alter their behavior is higher prices for meat andmilk, which are inevitable because of higher fuel prices and the risingcost of corn [caused in part by the diversion of corn crops to makingethanol].” Although he admits it’s an unpopular position, Pimentel says he’d liketo see gas reach $10 a gallon, because it will encourage energy conservation and increase prices for environmentally destructive meat,milk and eggs. “Right now, we have some of the lowest food prices in the world,” he says. “In the U.S. we pay 15 percent of our budgets for food, compared to 30 percent in Europe and 60 percent in Indonesia.”
Jacobson agrees. “People are pretty wedded to what they eat,” he says. “The government should be sponsoring major mass media campaigns to convince people to eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains.”
He argues that cutting down meat consumption should be a public healthpriority. “From an environmental point of view, the less beef peopleeat the better,” he says, citing not only the release of methane fromlivestock but also increased risk of colon cancer and heart disease.Jacobson adds that grass-fed, free-range beef (which has less overallfat) is a healthier alternative, but grazing takes longer to bring theanimals to market weight “and they’re emitting methane all that time.”
He posits that the Centers for Disease Control or the Environmental Protection Agency should be convincing Americans to eat lower on the food chain. “There are the environmental and animal welfare problems caused by ‘modern’ agriculture,” he says. “The animals’ retribution is that we die of heart disease and cancer.” Is there an environmental argument to be made for livestock? Gidon Eshel, co-author of the report“Diet, Energy and Global Warming” and a professor at Bard College, says that livestock “has an important role to play in nutrient recycling.Minerals are taken up by growing plants, and when those plants are eaten by grazers, some of it ends up in their tissues and some is returned to the soil in their waste products. But what’s good in small quantities becomes toxic and devastating in large amounts. So it is only beneficial if we were raising livestock in much smaller numbers than we are today.”
Eshel calls for enforcement of the frequently ignored federal Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, which contain provisions to protect against harmful discharges of both animal wastes and the fertilizers used to grow animal feed.
Eating More Meat

Although anaerobic digesters show promise, they are prohibitively expensive.
A record 284 million tons of meat were produced worldwide in 2007. Inmost developing countries, meat consumption per capita is expected to double from the 1980s to 2020. Meat is an economically important product in most parts of the world in 2008, and it has powerful lobbies and enormous vested interests. There’s just one problem: It’s hurting the planet, and wasting huge resources that could easily feed a hungry world. Offer these facts to many meat eaters, and they’ll respond that they can’t be healthy without meat. “Where would I get my protein?” is answer. But the latest medical research shows that the does not need meat to be healthy. Indeed, meat is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, and a balanced vegetarian diet provides all the protein needed for glowing health. Were humans “meant” to eat meat, just because our ancestors did? Nonsense, says Dr. Milton Mills,a leading vegetarian voice. “The human gastrointestinal tract features the anatomical modifications consistent with an herbivorous diet,” he asserts.
With the recognition of meat’s impact on the planet (and the realization that we don’t need it to stay healthy), is it possible that the human diet will undergo a fundamental change? The fact that the cornerstone of the American diet aids and abets climate change is an“inconvenient truth” that many of us don’t want to face, says Joseph Connelly, publisher the San Francisco-based VegNews Magazine. He takes a dig at Al Gore for not mentioning meat-based dietsin his film and only dealing with them glancingly in his book, An Inconvenient Truth (Rodale Books).
A 2003 Harris Poll said that between four and 10 percent of the American people identify themselves as vegetarians. So far, Connelly says that number seems to be holding steady. “From a sustainability point of view, what’s really needed is for people to understand the connections between factory farming, meat eating and environmental impacts,” he says. “That’s the first step.”
Lisa Mickleborough, an editor at VegNews, is probably right when she says that animal concerns are a powerful force for turning meat eating intoa moral issue. To be an animal rights leader is almost by definition tobe a vegan. But few environmental leaders have gone that far. “As an environmental issue, it’s pretty compelling,” she says. “The figures on methane production speak for themselves. But when it comes to doing what’s right for the environment, most people don’t take big steps—they just do the best they can.”
JIM MOTAVALLI is the former editor of E.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

I've been way into Freight Monikers as of late, and came across this great little interview with one of the greats, Colossus Of Roads!

Colossus of Roads

Interview by Gabe the Saint
50mm Staff Writer

Years ago on my way to school, I would cross the railroad tracks as a short
cut into the eastside of town. It was here in this small train lay over where I
first encountered aerosol style graffiti on freight cars. I was intrigued with the
idea that a piece could actually travel around the country on a rolling canvas.
Because of my new discovery, I made sure that I took the shortcut across
the tracks everyday. As time progressed, I began paying attention to other
details of the trains... bolts and hinges... coupling systems, the cryptic
numbers and other details of the rolling stock. That's when I first noticed the
simple but iconic one-color grease pen drawings. They seemed to be
present on every car... Many of the drawings included dates that at times
approached 3 or 4 decades in age. Some were barely discern-able drawings
of skulls or hand written names. Others seemed carefully branded and
particularly stylish... Most note-able to me was a white line drawing of a
bearded man with a large brimmed cowboy hat. The friendly looking
character was streamlined as though still in motion, yearning to get
back on the rails to parts unknown. I wasn't sure of its origin or the author. A
hobo? Rail worker? Freight hopper? Years later "Who is Bozo Texino" a
recent documentary has cleared up a lot of the mythology about what are
largely known as "boxcar monikers." I was able to track down one of the
most prolific boxcar artists and talked with him about the culture and history
of this phenomenon. His handle is Colossus of Roads. He is a third
generation rail worker in his 60's and he has worked the railways for more
than 30 years...

GTS: Many people are in the dark about boxcar artists. What motivates
them? Is this a form of art?

Colossus of Roads: Hard to explain man's basic need to mark his territory,
but the expansion from cavemen walls to the billboards of rolling boxcars
offered an opportunity for expression in the industrial revolution too delicious
to resist for those prone to pursue it. The practice of chalking the cars was
required of the various trades of the railroads. Be it the mechanical forces
communicating a specific problem on bad ordered cars to the repair
employees at the rip track, or the switch foreman chalking the abbreviated
destinations of cars to communicate with the other crewmembers, and to aid
in their recall. The marking materials were provided by the railroads. Others
eventually recognized the distinctive styling of a person's markings. The
availability of chalk afforded a means of expression beyond the mundane
tasks of railroad trades. The tramps and hobos utilized it to communicate
monikers or aliases, and devised a code of symbols to denote the hostility or
hospitality of any given community along the route. Jack London wrote a
story about his futile pursuit of another hobo with the moniker "Skysail Jack",
simply because of the similarity with his own, "Sailor Jack", by hopping
freights chalked and dated by the pursued.

I like to call the marking of the cars by railroad workers and hobos a folk art

I'll not argue if it's art or not.

GTS: Why do you write on Boxcars?

Colossus of Roads: To me the crux of the biscuit, the message of the
medium, is to have a huge number of images out riding in the network, to
have a vast presence, yet remain anonymous and thus mysterious. It was
also a means of _expression, to sing the blues for someone with the inability
to play the flattop box, or moan the mean mistreatment by singing, but could
mark the boxcars. Captioning the icon with language which questioned my
practice, such as "Resignation or Resistance?" where Zen koans to ponder.
Was I resigned to the adherence to a complete career, or a screaming
resistance by dispatching errant ersatzs? Recent research has revealed a
named malady I felt explained the appeal of the repetitious acts and my
penchant for inappropriateness, in Asperger's Disorder, named after the
Viennese psychologist who delineated the symptoms of this form of autism.
Although it seemed to negate the artist excuse, it was a relief to know I could
blame mental illness for my shameful and infantile vandalism.

GTS: Who are the first boxcar artists that you remember seeing up? Who is/
was the most prolific of all time?

Colossus of Roads: ...Herby was the most prevalent practitioner through
most of my career. Bozo Texino, Tuscan Red (the raised left ankle nude
saying "Hi", so named by Larry Penn), Don A, Charlie Brown, Stinky, Ol' Bob,
Kid Idaho, and The Rambler were up a lot when I was attracted to the
practice. I would say the most prolific of all time would be the complete loop
signature of J.B.KingEsq. which has spanned more than a century, although
by numerous authors.

GTS: Tell me about your particular moniker.... the style and motion... How did
this image evolve? Have you ever drawn anything else?

Colossus of Roads: .It is supposed to be a rider motif variation to the pipe
smoking cowboy icon of the original Bozo Texino. My initial icon of a deadpan
character had reached its definitive moniker in "gypsysphinx", so I was
searching around for another image to replace it, absent minded stoned
doodling in my sketchbook revealed a visitation from a ghost of the net, Bozo
Texino. The icon gradually evolved to signify, hopefully, a cowboy hat-ed, big
billowy bearded, pipe smoking escapee, on the lam.

"My intended purpose of
dispatching the maximum number of icons with the least amount of effort, has
turned into a real chore..."
-Colossus of Roads

GTS: You seem to always accompany the image with a message.
Often it appears personally encrypted and other times poetic. Does the
process of drawing inspire the message or does the message come to you
beforehand and inspire you to draw... As though something is on your mind
and you need to express it....

Colossus of Roads: ...The redundancy of the icon applied as quickly and
automatically as possible requires some form of variation, and the use of
language, in the form of anecdote titles, alter egos, fantasies, lamentations,
and brief histories, or concrete poems, if you will, is surely the purpose.

GTS: Do you care about the so-called "gallery art" world? You've said that
you have drawn more self -portraits than Picasso, Rembrandt, and Van
Gogh. Are they artists that inspire you?

Colossus of Roads: I've had the "gallery art" experience and it left a dour
impression. Perhaps more acceptance of my work would have seduced me
to the form. That referencing of the biggies who made self-portraits was
delusional posturing.

GTS: Freights have become a popular medium for aerosol graffiti artists in
the last two decades. How do you feel about them? Do you mind sharing
your space with them?

Colossus of Roads: My intended purpose of dispatching the maximum
number of icons with the least amount of effort, has turned into a real chore
since it is so hard to get any kind of network accumulation account of the
hazards of weathering in the elements of nature combined with the more
destructive covering of my work by spray-painting hordes now that it is so
trendy. The acceptance of impermanence as a fact of life is the main
statement in this Vita Brevis ballet, but it is hard not to despair when you see
so much of your work covered. I wouldn't mind them covering the image,
which is a given constant, but the language memory nudge is usually what is
obscured. Historical erasure of the sloganeer. It has become an open
medium, so as long as I indulge in the practice I cannot limit others.

GTS: Have you caught any aerosol graffiti artist "red handed?"

Colossus of Roads: I live in such an out of the way place I haven't
encountered any spray-paint people. If I did I certainly wouldn't be

GTS: When will you hang up the paint sticks? It seems like freight monikers
are sometimes handed down... Do you mind another artist carrying on your

Colossus of Roads: Certainly would be easy to embrace the rocking chair
and stay on the porch, but I'm still urged on by the instincts to continue my
Main Sledge / Major Opus even as futile as it seems.I would be honored if
someone continued the tradition of marking the American loner outsider riding
the rails out in the network, but I would hope the image would mimic the
author's own identity and individuality, should that transpire.

GTS: Are you religious?

Colossus of Roads: There a caption to my icon out there somewhere, which
addresses this question. "Schooled: Church of The Level Track", a
reference to my own family dedication to the supremacy of the railroad as
provider of livelihood, given that both my father and grandfather were
railroad men in track maintenance, and in the case of my father, required to
move all over the system to the degree, we were never integrated into any
community, especially church, where we seemed to be decidedly poorer
than the other parishioners, thus kicking in our shame-based aversion. For
that reason I tried determining the human condition explained more by
philosophy than religion. Although I never attend church much, I've certainly
been subjected to many sermons of condemnation by Bible scholars and
deacons, awaiting trains in sidings, in switchman shanties, and depot
evangelists' warnings of Hell. In the face of this berating I viewed Nietzsche's
Will to Power about right as explaining human motives, but the absence of
God and the aspiration to Heaven can cause greater harm to the collective
psyche of mankind than the continuing atrocities of delusional righteous
divine inspiration. Yin/Yang measure of all the world's dualities has me on the
sidelines contemplating my navel as a Zen Existentialist.

GTS: How do you feel about America? Do you pay much mind to politics?

Colossus of Roads: I love America. I am an American.

Of course I mind the path of America at the moment, now that the fascists
subverted the 2000 election, and started a war that was the dumbest foreign
policy move in the history of the nation, especially as a tactic for fighting
global terrorism, the new paradigm of east/west world split Holy Wars. The
arrogance of power caused our Oedipal Prez Rich Boy to be provoked by
pleb Osama Rich Boy into attacking the usurper to Babylon, thus giving a
rallying point for radicalism in Islam. It may seem absurd to think America's
moral compass will ever be back to true, but that is my wish. But what do I
know, I'm a liberal democrat.

GTS: Any last words?

Presumptuous Colossus of Roads: Yes, Peace Please!

GTS: Thank you for your time...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thank you Learn & Lack

So in honor of last Saturday's events, I decided to do a post dedicated to some genuinely nice chill dudes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vegan Sichuan Kung Pao "Chicken"


    • 12-14 oz / 340-390 g firm tofu, cut into strips
    • 1 T light soy sauce
    • 2 t cornstarch
    • 1/8 t white pepper
    • 1 T oil
    • 4 green onions, cut diagonally into 3/4 inch / 2 cm pieces
    • 2 t minced garlic
    • 1 T chili garlic paste
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch / 2 cm squares
    • 1 T brown bean paste
    • 1/2 cup cold vegetarian broth
    • 1 T cornstarch
    • 1 t light unbleached sugar
    • 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts or cashews, chopped

Mix the tofu with the soy sauce, 2 teaspoon cornstarch and white pepper. Heat a wok or heavy skillet over high heat. when hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and stir-fry until lightly browned. Add the green onions, garlic and chili garlic paste. Stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the bell pepper and brown bean paste. Stir fry for 2 minutes.

Stir the broth, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and sugar together, and add to the pan. Stir until thickened. Sprinkle the peanuts on top and serve immediately with rice.

I really hate Fox News! How are these people allowed to be news anchors!!!???

Click here to tell FOX:
"FOX must stop injecting racism, prejudice, and fear into our political dialogue. We intend to hold FOX, its advertisers, and its personalities accountable for FOX's attempts to smear the Obamas."

Sign the petition

Dear MoveOn member,

Right now, FOX is trying to paint Barack Obama as foreign, un-American, suspicious, and scary. They're trying to send Americans the message that our country's first viable black candidate for President is not "one of us."

We've seen this before from FOX. They won't stop until it becomes too painful to continue—until the public calls them out and advertisers start getting worried.

Now is the time to draw a line in the sand by putting FOX on notice that their behavior won't be tolerated. Over 100,000 Americans have already expressed their outrage. Can you make that number even bigger by adding your name to this message?

"FOX must stop injecting racism, prejudice, and fear into our political dialogue. We intend to hold FOX, its advertisers, and its personalities accountable for FOX's attempts to smear the Obamas."

Clicking here will sign the petition:

FOX's longtime pattern of smearing Obama and the black community is well documented.1 But the outrageous moments have increased in the last month.

First, a paid FOX commentator accidentally confused "Obama" with "Osama" and then joked on the air about killing Obama.2 Next, a FOX anchor said a playful fist bump by Barack and Michelle Obama could be a "terrorist fist jab."3 And then, FOX called Michelle Obama "Obama's baby mama"—slang for an unmarried mother of a man's child, and a clear attempt to associate the Obamas with negative stereotypes about black people.4

If you know others who'd find FOX's recent actions despicable, please ask them to sign the petition too. The more people who sign, the bigger our impact will be.

Our friends at—an online advocacy group focused on the issues of importance to the black community—are leading this charge. They will deliver thousands of petition signatures as a group to FOX's headquarters (in front of other media cameras, so FOX feels more heat). Here's how they describe the situation:

After each of the incidents mentioned [above], FOX issued some form of weak apology. But what does it mean when you slap someone in the face, apologize the next day, then slap them again? It means the apology is meaningless.

Now is the time to call out FOX for these attacks and their fake apologies. The first stop is FOX. Next will be their advertisers and the FCC. If we don't push back now, we will see more of the same from now until November. Please join us to demand that FOX answer for its behavior:

Add your name to this important cause by clicking here—then tell your friends:

Thanks for all you do.

–Adam G., Peter, Anna, Justin, and the rest of the team


1. "Fox Attacks Obama." Brave New Films at, February 2007

"Fox Attacks: Black America," Brave New Films at, June 2007

"Fox Attacks: Obama, Part 2," Brave New Films at, March 2008

2. "Fox News Jokes About Killing Obama," YouTube video posted May 25, 2008

3. "Fox News' E.D. Hill teased discussion of Obama dap: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?" Media Matters, June 6, 2008

4. "Fox News in trouble again over Obama smear: 'baby mama'" Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2008

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Anti-Vivisection Post

So my friend Ray of What Would Ray Do? made a post to his blog about Rock for Life saying that March of Dimes is evil, but not for their extensive animal testing and vivisection, but for their pro-choice stance on abortion. Ray was touching on the fact that Rock for life, a hugely absurd Christian Fundamentalist group, is pushing their religious views on the right of science and pro-choice. I am pro-choice, and very anti Rock For Life, but however I do feel that March Of Dimes is very evil indeed. Not for their research and pro-choice stance on abortion, but their horrible animal testing.

So therefor, I figured I should do a little post on Vivisection/Animal Testing, and the fact that it is totally unnecessary, unreliable, ineffective, and inhumane.

A short little overview of animal testing

If you think Animal Experiments are Necessary Consider The Following:

* Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals. Over 98% never are.

* At least 50 drugs on the market cause cancer in lab animals. They are allowed because it is admitted that animal tests are not relevant.

* When asked if they agreed that animal experimentation can be misleading because of anatomical and physiological differences between animals and humans, 88% of doctors agreed.

* Rats are 37% effective in identifying what causes cancer in humans. Flipping a coin would be more accurate.

* According to animal tests lemon juice is deadly poison, but arsenic, hemlock and botulin are safe.

* 40% of patients suffer side effects as a result of prescription treatment.

* Over 200,000 medicines have been released most of which are now withdrawn. According to the World Health Organisation, 240 medicines are essential.

* Thousands of drugs passed safe in animals have been withdrawn or banned due to their effect on human health.

* Aspirin fails animal tests, as do digitalis (heart drug), cancer treatments, insulin (causes animal birth defects), penicillin and other safe medicines. They would be banned if results from animal experimentation were accurate.

* When the producers of thalidomide were taken to court, they were aquitted after numerous experts agreed animal tests could not be relied on for human medicine.

* At least 450 methods exist with which we can replace animal experiments.

* Morphine puts humans asleep but excites cats.

* 95% of drugs passed by animal tests are immediately disgarded as useless or dangerous to humans.

* One is six patients in hospital are there because the drug they have taken had been passed safe for us on humans after animal tests.

* Worldwide, at least 22 animals die every second in labs. In the UK one animal dies every five seconds.

* The contraceptive pill causes blood clots in humans but it had the opposite effect in dogs.

* We use aspirin for aches and pains. It causes birth defects mice, rabbits and rats.

* Researchers refused to believe that benzene could cause cancer in humans because it failed to in animal tests.

* Dogs failed to predict heart problems caused by the cardiovascular drugs encainide and flecainide, which led to an estimated 3,000 deaths in the USA.

* Heart by pass surgery was put on hold for years because it didnt work on dogs.

* If we had relied on animal tests we would still believe that humans dont need vitamin C, that smoking doesnt cause cause cancer and alcohol doesnt cause liver damage.

* It was denied for decades that asbestos caused disease in humans because it didnt in animals.

* Polio researchers were mislead for years about how we catch the disease because they had experimented on monkeys.

* As one researcher points out, the ultimate dilemma with any animal model of human disease is that it can never reflect the human situation with complete accuracy."

* Only 2% of animal tests has found or lead to a discovery of a disease.

* A little over 2% of animal tests have lead to a cure for a disease.

Amida Buddha When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much. - Fen Yang

Friday, June 27, 2008

Talent is pretty talented!

Amida Buddha Having found no self that is not other, The seeker must find that there is no other that is not self, So that in the absence of both other and self, There may be known the perfect peace, Of the presence of absolute absence. "The Tenth Man" by Wei Wu Wei

2 skate videos and a cool music video

This little kid is a bastard!

I hate skate competition announcers!

You ain't artsier than me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One of the many emails I get from I can't believe this shit is still going on!

Dear Jesse,

Arbitrary shootings.
Merciless beatings.

Our common humanity demands an urgent response.

Only 5 days left to reach $200,000.

Please make your gift today.

A college student shot by Sudanese security forces because the color of his hair and skin resembled that of Darfuri rebels.

Paramilitary and security forces going from house to house, arresting men and boys, throwing them in trucks and speeding them off to unknown destinations.

These are fragments of daily life in Sudan. This is more than a crime scene. This is genocide.

We cannot stand idly by as genocide continues. Nearly a year has passed since the U.N. resolved to send peacekeepers to Darfur—we need your support to make sure they don't forget their promise.

We have only 5 days left to raise $200,000. Please make a secure online donation today.

There are hopeful signs, and your activism has made a profound difference. The recent joint statement on Darfur from Senators Clinton, McCain, and Obama was historic—the first time since World War II that presidential rivals have come together on a foreign policy issue.

But the people of Darfur shouldn't have to weather seven more months of unspeakable atrocities until a new U.S. president takes office. We will continue to demand accountability from the current president, from those who want to be president, and from everyone with the power to address this humanitarian crisis.

But we can't do any of that without your support.

We are still $165,000 away from our $200,000 goal for this critical campaign. Send a gift before the end of the month and help chart the path to peace for Darfur.

Our common humanity demands action. There isn't a moment to lose.

Best regards,

Colleen Connors
Save Darfur Coalition

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this urgent campaign.


If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Save Darfur Coalition.

The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of over 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations whose mission is to raise public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to mobilize a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of more than two million people in the Darfur region. To learn more, please visit