Virtual Bill of Rights

David Isenberg waxes eloquent about internet regulation this morning as he recaps his presentation at Susan Crawford’s Bellhead/Nethead Conference. It’s about our rights, our human rights of self expression. It’s about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and the whole nine yards.

Writing Contest

I am not Ray Sweatman. I am not Mike Golby. I am not Jeneane Sessum. I am not Shelley Powers. I am not Madame Levy. I am not Monsieur Partington. I am not Chris Locke. I am not A. Roceal James. I am not Dervala Hanley. I am neither b!X, nor Brian, nor Betsy.

Steve Himmer? Jonathon Delacour? Dave Barry? Joseph Duemer? Steve MacLaughlin? Not me. None of those folks.

Heibel? Matrullo? Golub? S.T. Wonderchicken? Not.

What possessed me? What caused me to enter a 24 hour short story writing contest?

NYT Update…

Earlier this week I was whining about the missing mention of Blue Moon Community Farm in the recent NYT article on Madison’s farm market gourmet intersection. Give me a C minus for reading skills. There’s Kristen, touted as “rookie of the year!”

New growers come into the market every year, and the 2024 rookie of the year, Ms. Piper told us, is one of her waitresses, Kristen Kordet, who grows tomatoes, Chioggia beets and rainbow chard with dazzlingly colored veins and stems.

Book Babes Boost Blogs

I’ll never get a job writing headers. But – here’s a good discussion of web publishing as a promotional medium for the book trade here. Margo Hammond and Ellen Heltzel exchange views on the way the Internet is changing literary promotion.

Project ELF is Closing

The following is from a message from Mike Miles and Barb Kass of the Northwoods Peace Initiative (links are mine):

On Thursday, September 30, the day the Navy has said they will be turning the transmitters off, Nukewatch and other affiliates of the Coalition to STOP Project ELF will hold what we hope to be the last
vigil at Project ELF. We will be at the transmitter site all day long with a gauss meter which reads when current is going through an electrical cable. WHEN THE METER REGISTERS ZERO, WE WILL ANNOUNCE TO THE WORLD THAT PROJECT ELF HAS INDEED BEEN SHUT OFF!!! That’s when we will pop the champagne and start the party. If they don’t turn it off by 12:01 am, we will cross into the facility and hold the Navy to its word by shutting it off ourselves!! So join us for the day, or come as long as you can. Bring your party gear and lots of drums and noisemakers. Take the day off of work or school. THIS IS A HUGE VICTORY FOR THE NONVIOLENT MOVEMENT.

Somewhere down the road we will be having the OFFICIAL Project ELF is closing celebration where we will invite EVERYONE who ever had anything to do with project ELF to come together. We want everyone from Judge Chase, who kept locking us up, to the ELF pole cutters, to the lawyers and expert witness who went to trial again and again. When we have a date and a place we will let you all know.

See you Thursday, September 30 out at the transmitter site just south of Clam Lake, Wisconsin. Get in touch if you need directions.

Party on Garth!!

Pro Patria Mori

Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

The Army Times reports that one third of the US Individual Ready Reserve soldiers who have been called up are refusing service and/or seeking exemption. Perhaps Wilfred Owen’s message is getting through.

L’Etoile and Blue Moon Community Farm

The New York Times doesn’t necessarily get every last detail correct. Take today’s piece about the Madison Farmers Market. I happen to know that Jake and Kristen who run Blue Moon, our little CSA here at Frank and Beth’s place, supply L’Etoile with a wide variety of veggies but we didn’t see print in this article.

A dazzling array of vegetables appear in L’Etoile’s first courses at this time of the year, in a “sampler” of burstingly ripe heirloom tomatoes, including red Ping-Pong, orange Flame, Green Zebra, yellow Mattina and brownish Black Prince, all from Rink Da Vee’s Shooting Star Farm near Mineral Point, and a salad of mostly wild funghi, including shiitakes, trumpets, cremini, oyster mushrooms and lobster mushrooms.

The Big Slurp

Water by the gallon is worth more than gasoline. Ask Perrier. Nestle and Perrier came a calling not too many years back, and they wanted our groundwater. Concerned citizens kept the corporate water miners at bay, but the threat lingers and there is no reason to think that we’ve protected the resources forever. We haven’t. They’ll be back, with pumps and pipelines and tank trucks and they won’t leave us alone until the entire Great Lakes Basin is as arid as the Mojave.

In fact, while Wisconsin was able to stave off the corporate greedsters for a while, it was at the expense of Michigan, where the bottlers sunk their well and began extracting the fresh water. “Since May 2024, a facility owned by the Nestle Corporation has been pumping 200-400 gallons per minute from a Michigan aquifer that is hydrologically connected to the Great Lakes. The majority of the water pumped out is bottled and shipped away, never to return to the watershed.”

The Great Lakes Basin is endangered. A few weeks ago I was swimming in Lake Superior and drinking the water I swam in. I remember when you could roam the high Sierra with a Sierra Club cup on your belt and no fear of contaminants in the mountain streams. Those days are gone. How much time does the big lake have left? Here’s a cheerful thought…. The lakes will be terminally polluted long before they dry out.

And they will dry out. There are plans to divert the water as far as Arizona, and no plans for replenishment. I ask myself if I’m engaged in some kind of rarefied NIMBYism. I don’t think so. I think it’s my responsibility to be aware of those who would degrade my environment and to encounter them.

Sometimes it’s hell living in paradise.