Sunday, June 28, 2009

Greenwashing Bus to hit Salem July 13

A corporate greenwashing bus is coming to Salem, fueled by biodiesel. In all probability, the bus is fueled from oilseed crops (soy or palm) rather than from reused vegetable oils.

In which case it means that not only does the bus cause more carbon emissions than petroleum diesel, it also contributes to world hunger, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity.

Worth celebrating, eh? NOT.

The City of Seattle recently realized that being environmentally responsible meant NOT buying any "biofuels" made from crops. It's time for Salem to follow in Seattle's footsteps and to do the same.

June Saturday Market Favorites

All the vendors at the Salem Saturday Market (and the Wednesday Market) are worth a look and merit your support. Even if what they're selling isn't to your taste, they are strengthening the fabric of our community by coming and offering their wares directly to us.

Last week I bought a belt at the Saturday Market and, while I was finishing my purchase, I heard one woman who was looking at some of the beautiful handcrafted belts in the stand -- all made by the man selling them, right here in Salem. She said "Aren't these pretty?" and her friend replied "You can get them cheaper at Wal-Mart."

Well, yes, you can. But then you get a belt that certainly did not help a real craftsman live a decent life. Instead, most of the price of a Wal-Mart belt goes to support a corporation that cheats and oppresses its workers, that destroys community businesses for miles around, and that has built a totally unsustainable business model that is entirely dependent on using and wasting copious amounts of cheap energy.

Luckily, we have the Salem Saturday Market offer us an alternative to this kind of (un)thinking. This month, two vendors have really stood out for quality:

First, Matt's Eggs. Matt is apparently the next generation at Polska Farms and he sells wonderful eggs. Yesterday, he sold us a dozen huge, wonderfully flavorful eggs for $4.50. The yolks look like little bright yellow suns they are so intensely colored. Beautiful.

Second, Rose Valley Butter. This is, simply put, the best butter I've ever had -- and that includes four years enjoying some great food while at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where great dairies abound. A pound of their salted organic butter is $6 at the Salem Saturday Market, and cheap at that price. On some homemade wheat bread, Rose Valley butter is out of this world.

Interesting for ex-cons and people who want to help them

One of the most difficult issues we will face in the coming years is how to deal with the aftershocks and unintended pernicious effects of the tremendous "tough on crime" wave that is so expensive and so counterproductive that it can't be maintained, especially after rising energy prices act as a continual "bubble buster" and prevent any of the usual games from working. Salem, home of the state prison, needs to get smart fast on how to reincorporate people leaving prison --- that is, we need to learn how not just to tolerate ex-cons but how to reintegrate them into society as productive, healthy people. We cannot afford any other outcome.

Book Recommendations

See other reviews on

Going Straight: An Ex-convict/Psychologist Tells Why and How (Paperback)

by Paul Fauteck (Author) ISBN-10: 0595155707

Somehow we must do more to rehabilitate offenders, especially now that we are looking at releasing them early. Dr. Fauteck also has an excellent DVD on his website at ... I highly recommend both if you have a friend in need... Jack

Going Straight: An Ex-convict/Psychologist Tells Why and How

5.0 out of 5 stars GOING STRAIGHT, November 30, 2004
GOING STRAIGHT is a comprehensive and exceptional self-help
manual for criminal offenders who want to build a respectable
life after punishment. This book was written by a uniquely
credible and knowledgable author-mentor, whose straight-forward
advice can be of value for both pre-release and post-release

Prisoners, parolees, ex-convicts need a role model, a mentor--
someone who can teach from similar life experiences. Someone
who can help them overcome not only society's dismal image of
offenders, but also their own low expectations and self loathing.

The author, Dr. Paul Fauteck, was an ex-con who, after doing
four years of hard time, eventually became a successful and
highly respected forensic psychologist. In his book, he shows
the offender how to adapt, to network, and succeed in a world
that few criminals hardly know exists.

Unlike some experts, Fauteck doesn't cut offenders any slack or
responsibility for making the most out of the rest of their
lives. His book teaches how to begin building a worthwhile life
day by day with practical coping skills, self awareness, and
lifelong principles. His writing contains both humor and great
insight into the hearts and minds of recovering criminals.