An Open Letter to Jenny McCarthy

LAM on the LAM

Hi Jenny,

My name is Lauren and I’m a mom just like you. Well, aside from us both being mothers, there’s really not much we have in common. I suppose I’m one of those you are accusing of writing “blatantly inaccurate blog posts” about your position on vaccines. I’ve been writing about your vaccine stance since 2007, but I’ve only ever done so upon seeing an interview or reading your own words. My intent was never to spread falsehoods. You speak a lot about all those moms you’re helping. Well, there’s a big group of moms, and dads, who you have caused much frustration and irritation. Most of us didn’t have the media opportunities as you, so we took to our blogs. We did so to get our stories out, to dispel the vaccine lies you told, and to let the world know autism wasn’t all the horror…

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The top 10 tips I’ve learned from minimalists

theextraordinarysimplelife

tiny-house-2

I’m not going to covet other minimalists’ lives anymore.

I don’t travel the world with a single backpack.

I haven’t packed up my family to travel across the country in an RV for a year.

I am not a single woman with a futon, a suitcase and a laptop.

I didn’t choose 600 square feet of dwelling space with a hobby farm ‘round back.

YET, I adore reading about these amazing people and their even more intriguing journeys toward transformation. In perusing books and blogposts, these characters seem like old friends. We’re all rooting for them. Their triumphs and courageous leaps of faith provide the inspiration for our own stories. However, through all this story following, I have found there is not one formula for choosing a simple life…it is not a one-size-fits all t-shirt. No matter what our life looks like, I do believe each and every one of these…

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For Earth Day: Reclaiming Our Suburban Deserts

Piedmont Gardener

Native dogwoods provide fruits beloved by many species of wildlife. Native dogwoods provide fruits beloved by many species of wildlife.

Some days, I confess, I weep for our Earth. Perhaps I am a sentimental tree-hugger, but I know that my sentiment is based on science; I mourn for what mankind is losing. Among the degrees I’ve earned (I have three), is a master’s in environmental management from Duke University. My study focus was southeastern ecology and environmental resource management.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to take my words seriously on this day when we celebrate our home planet.

Humanity’s time on the Earth has often been marked by turmoil and destruction. And throughout history, mankind has taken whatever it could from our planet – minerals, oil, diamonds, and now, more than ever, trees.

People who do not understand ecology, who do not know the difference between an oak and a maple, a loblolly and a…

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Response to David Graeber: If basic income is so good, why not start with the Koch Brothers?

The Real Movement

Par7731873 This Graeber article, “Why America’s favorite anarchist thinks most American workers are slaves” , is just chock full of the most egregious bullshit on the basic income issue possible.

There are two possible directions for the Left to take at this point and both are said to achieve the same goals. The first is basic income and the second is reduction of hours of labor. For some reason, David Graeber has suggested the working class should be fighting for the first, not the second.

The oddest thing, however, is that I have very little to dispute with many of Graeber’s points in the article. His argument for basic income is a convincing one that any supporter of reducing hours of labor would embrace — and this might just be the problem.

First, Graeber lashes out at the welfare and social benefits bureaucracy:

“The problem is that we have this gigantic…

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Organic Soil Improvement

Permaculture New England NSW

Article posted with permission from Green Harvest

Green Harvest is a family owned and operated Australian mail order business that has been trading since 1992. It started out simply from a desire to share their passion for organic gardening and permaculture.

They were the first organically certified seed supplier with BFA – ACO in Australia. Their website is the most comprehensive source in Australia (and possibly the world) of both organic gardening products and information on organic growing.

Green Harvest aim to make it easier for Australians to live in healthy, natural homes with a garden full of nutritious, chemical-free vegetables and fruit.

Improving Your Soil Organically by Frances Michaels ©

Healthy soils are a complex web of life, teeming with earthworms, beneficial fungi and bacteria. They smell good and are moist and crumbly. Roots are able to penetrate easily, deep into the soil. Plants growing in healthy soils have fewer pest and…

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ORGANIC TRANSITIONS: Up on a Roof

2012 The Awakening

You don’t have to live in a rural area to crave locally grown foods. And you don’t have to move to the countryside to grow them.

More and more people are growing their own food. Either because they want to be more self-sufficient. Or because they want cleaner, healthier food. And the “grow-your-own” movement is finding creative ways to fit gardening into their schedules. And into common spaces.

In Japan, commuters can plant seeds and pull weeds while they’re waiting for their train to arrive. And they’re grooming their gardens right in the center of the world’s most populated city—Tokyo. Because Japan’s commuters can lease public garden space on the train station rooftop.

Tokyo isn’t the only city planting gardens on their rooftop. It’s happening all over the world, including in some American cities.

Read more about Tokyo’s train station rooftop farms

Check out this video of rooftop farms in…

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Cyborg & Wonder Woman Are On A Cereal Box: Why It Matters

Gallery

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on LAM on the LAM:
Breakfast of diverse superheroes? At the grocery store with my 9-year old this weekend, we scanned the aisle for cereal and she exclaimed, “this comes with a free comic!” Part of me was…

“The Soul of Black Folk”: Race, Work, and Talent

riversandstone

In a recent interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Neal deGrasse Tyson–astrophysicist, internet icon, heir to Carl Sagan as The Great Public Scientist– made an interesting point when asked to comment on his position as a scientist who happens to be black.  Any listener could tell that he was annoyed that race was even brought up; like any self-respecting scientist (and unlike so many humanities academics, ZING!), Tyson wanted to talk about the soundness of his work, not his racial or ethnic identity.  However, when pressed on the race issue, he opened up, speaking of when he was a teenager who was both obsessed with astronomy and a talented wrestler, and encountering many teachers encouraging him to pursue wrestling rather than science.

This sort of low-level racial stereotyping is both common, and unsurprising.  Our white-dominated society has long had fewer problems with successful black entertainers (musicians, actors, athletes, from…

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“They” Invented Race

The Next Social Construct

I attended a very interesting keynote speech tonight at UMKC. Edward James Olmos spoke about Cesar Chavez, civil disobedience, and the plight of the Latino, but the most fascinating thing he said all night was this: “They invented race to make it easier for us to kill each other.” Boy did he hit the nail on the head.

As ambiguous a word as “they” is, we all know that it is a technical term for any powers that be. And “they” had a very good reason for wanting “us”, another technical term for anyone who is not in the powers that be category, to kill each other. It was the only way they could convince us that they were a necessary entity to begin with. This is a very Hobbesian approach to the problem of proving legitimate rule by consent. This problem and Hobbesian approach still exist today in our…

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