Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Howdy y’all (as we say in these here parts),

It’s time for spring/early summer planting.

As usual, I grew a ton more starts than I needed so as to give ’em away to friends, neighbors, and other folks in order to encourage their planting gardens. This year, I grew maybe 300 to 400 starts and have used about 75.  The rest have gone to the four winds, to whoever I think (oh please, whomever) will plant them and tend them. This is in deliberate contrast to Home Depot and Lowe’s, who don’t even sell six-packs anymore and charge the gullible $3 to $5 a start. (A fellow gardener, formerly a commercially gardener, who’s getting a new nursery biz up and running, told me yesterday that people buy them so as to have instant gratification, and will ignore them after they inadvertently kill them in a month or so through over or under watering or other sins. Thinking about it, she was right.)

I’ve given away maybe 175 to 200 starts, mostly tomato plants so far; there are about 25 left. Totally cost to me? Counting water, compost (I roll my own) for planting seeds [potting soil is unnecessary], and the bottoms of recycled cut-off plastic bottles (to hold the compost and seeds), and a tiny bit of fish emulsion fertilizer? Maybe two or three cents per start plus daily watering diligence. Not even 1% of what the big-box stores charge.

One of the oddities of producing starts is that they have their own minds as to when they come up. Tomatoes are always the first. Then the squash and melons, and then bell peppers and chiles. Some veggies you just want to plant directly in the ground. For summer, the primary one I’ve found is Yard-long Asian Beans (taste like wax beans, genetically more similar to black-eyed peas).

I’m also preparing to go to the downtown library and give them a ton of seeds for their seed catalog (enough for maybe 500 to 1,000 packets, which will be available to whoever wants seeds): Romaine, Bibb, Yard-Long Asian Beans, Okra, Broccoli, and White Chard. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement: they give me seeds for veggies I don’t already have, and I give them a ton of seeds for redistribution to other community gardeners.

Harvesting seeds can be a pain in the ass. It can be extremely difficult, for example, to harvest carrot seeds. So, I concentrate on the easier ones and get carrot seeds etc. from the seed catalog.

The broccoli has been going to seed since late February, and I still haven’t harvested all the seeds. Ditto for the Romaine, which went to seed in April. I won’t be able to replant those beds until I’ve harvested the seeds later this month, by which time summer planting will be marginal. I’ll put in onions in the worst sun-drenched plot, and they might grow. Might.

I’m letting two beds go fallow until the fall, one is smack dab in the middle of the sun-scorched yard, and the other is the best bed in the place, but I’ve been planting it every year for the last quarter century (yes, rotating crops). My goal, pretty close to fruition, is not to use any shade cloth at all, and all of the beds I’ve planted are in at least partial shade from trees.

I’ll be putting in more fruit trees, too. In years past, I did it the hard way: shoveling down the 18 inches or so to the caliche (calcium carbonate mixed with silt, sand, gravel, rocks, and small boulders), and then down another four to five feet through the caliche with a pick axe, shovel, and breaker bar.

This time, in the fall, I’ll rent a jack hammer (neighbor has a compressor) and chip out the concrete slabs on the west side of the house. Then I’ll rent a backhoe and dig a hole in the one remaining spot in the backyard for a fruit tree (a fig), and then dig a couple of pits for fruit trees on the west side of the house with the backhoe. (I’m a lazy sod, and feel a bit guilty about doing things this easy way rather than busting my ass doing it the “right” way as I did in years past with the other fruit trees, manually; did I mention that I’m ex-Catholic? Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. To paraphrase the Church, Pain is good. Extreme pain is extremely good.)

So far this year I’ve planted spaghetti squash, golden melons, watermelons, collard greens, and  red cherry and Zacatipan tomatoes (the two types I’ve found that will bear all summer in 105+ heat). Also yard-long Asian beans directly in the ground, the various chiles (Hatch, jalapeños, Cayennes, Japanese, Thai, serranos, Anaheims, Chiles de Arbol) and red and orange bell peppers. (Helpful hint: there ain’t no such thing as green bell peppers — they taste awful and are simply immature red bell peppers; why anyone buys them is beyond me.)

Survivors from last summer’s garden include red cherry and zacatipan tomatoes, plus red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, and black beauty eggplants. The peppers, eggplants, and chiles might last for another year or three. The surviving tomatoes will likely be done by June or July. The basil plants come back year after year, so I never have to replant them.

As well, I continue to work the compost pile, digging it out from the left, tossing the crap on top to the right, digging out the good compost on the bottom, then adding compost buckets to the top of the crap on the right. There’s no reason on earth to buy expensive composing gear: just rotating it left-to-right and then starting all over again works just fine.

I buy a couple of straw bales per year (about ten bucks apiece), spend nearly nothing on fertilizer (may a buck per year), spend maybe twenty-five bucks per year on manure (about a cubic yard), spend nothing on seeds or starts, and too damn much on water. I have my roof/patio set up to channel rain water to the fruit trees, use about 90% of my water on the garden, and bear about 80% of the Tucson Water bills on “sewer” fees — I recharge water; it does not go down the drain.

More on this later. (Photos to come)

Cheers,

Chaz

 

 


Chris Mato Nunpaby Chris Mato Nunpa, PhD
retired Associate Professor of History at Southwest Minnesota State University and author of the upcoming (Sept. 2019) The Great Evil: Christianity, the Bible, and the Native American Genocide

 

Who is a hero? Who decides? Well, in practice, the victor decides. What happens if a descendant of the vanquished, perhaps, a person whose ancestors were enslaved, says, “No, So-And-So is not a hero. He owned slaves!” For example, George Washington is a hero in the eyes of most Euro-Americans. But Washington was a white supremacist, a racist, a murderer, a destroyer of entire Indigenous towns, and an owner of hundreds of slaves.

What is to be done? For the past 527 years, since the arrival of the western Europeans, the ancestors of U.S. Euro-Americans, nothing good has been done. For the past 243 years, the United States has been in existence, and nothing good has been done. The old saying applies: “After all is said and done, more is usually said than done.”

Indigenous Peoples have a lot of questions about who is now considered a “hero” in U.S. history. There are reasons for these questions. For example, white conquerors stole 3 billion acres of land, land which now comprises the continental U.S., from Indigenous peoples. Are these land-stealers  “heroes”? The Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. made 400-plus treaties with the conquerors, and the conquerors broke all of them. Are these treaty-breakers “heroes”? There were approximately 16 million people in what-was-to-become the U.S. around 1492. In 1900, four centuries later, there were only about 250,000 Native People left alive to be counted by the U.S. Bureau of Census, a 98.5% extermination rate. Who perpetrated this “extermination”? Who perpetrated this Genocide of the First Nations Peoples of the U.S.? Are these perpetrators of Genocide “heroes”?

The Great Evil front coverNow, we come to the question of Abraham Lincoln, “Honest Abe.” Why is Lincoln considered a hero by most U.S. Euro-Americans? Why is this man’s face on Mount Rushmore, degrading land sacred to not only the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota People, but also to other Native peoples? Why is there a Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC? Lincoln was the U.S President who guided the United States through the Civil War, a war fought primarily over the issue “Is it wrong to own human beings as slaves?”

A contributing possible reason is that Lincoln was kind and considerate to the soldiers of the Confederacy after the South was defeated. They were not punished, let alone hung, for being traitors. Another possible reason is that Lincoln made a great speech, the Gettysburg Address, a speech that has stood the test of time. Still another possible reason is that Lincoln was president as the nation, the U.S., was expanding, and he facilitated this process of expansion.

All of this explains why most Americans consider Lincoln a hero. But not all Americans do.

The Dakota People do not consider Abraham Lincoln a “hero”; they do not consider him an admirable man. One reason is that Lincoln was an “Indian fighter.” Whether he killed a lot of Native People, or whether he killed only a few, or whether he killed no Indigenous people makes no difference. It is the fact that he was complicit in massive land theft, an eventual three billion acres worth.

Right from the beginning, 527 years ago, what I call the “Great Evil,” began. Massive land theft was part of this “Great Evil.” The formation of the United States was part and parcel of this Evil. The original 13 colonies were formed from stolen lands and the killing of Natives. George Washington, and the other “founding fathers,” were already thinking of empire, which meant that they were intent on stealing Indigenous lands for their imperialistic agendas – land theft, land speculation, personal wealth, and power.

Richard Drinnon has a book titled Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating & Empire Building, which is about this dynamic of land stealing, hatred, and murder —  or, to put it more bluntly, the Genocide of the First Nations Peoples. The first, of the “Four Common Motives of Genocide,” developed by Frank Chalk and Kurt Johnassohn, in their History and Sociology of Genocide, is: “to eliminate groups of people who the perpetrators imagine are threats.” The “groups” to be “eliminated,” in this case, were the Indigenous Nations who were “imagined” to be “threats.” The “perpetrators” were the United States of America and its Euro-American citizenry.

One truth that seems to be extremely difficult for Euro-Americans to grasp is that the “settlers” weren’t “settling” anything: they were stealing Indigenous lands. Further, the Native Peoples who resisted this land-theft were fighting just as anyone would do to defend their land against thieves. I think if white people would put themselves in the same position as the Indigenous Peoples were, perhaps they might understand this basic truth. And they might also understand that Abraham Lincoln was in league with the land thieves.

Another reason why many Dakota/Lakota/Nakota, and other Indigenous Peoples, may not consider Abraham Lincoln a hero is the fact that his face, among others, desecrates lands considered sacred by First Nations Peoples. Most Native Peoples, if not all, believe in the concept of “Mother Earth.” For the Oyate, the “People” (Dakota/Lakota/Nakota), this would be Ina Maka, “Mother Earth,” and/or “Unci Maka,” Grandmother Earth.” The physical land represents the spiritual being, Ina Maka, and is, therefore, sacred. Yet, the faces of Lincoln, along with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt, deface and desecrate what is called Mt. Rushmore, the Shrine to Democracy. For most Native Peoples, this “shrine” is a farce. The men whose faces desecrate Mt. Rushmore are murderers of First Nations Peoples.

The third, and last, reason (at least, for this writing) why Dakota People do not consider Abraham Lincoln a hero is that he signed the order for the largest mass hanging in U.S. history: the hanging of 38 Dakota patriots on December 26, 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota. These men ought to have been treated as prisoners of war, not as war criminals. The Dakota had declared war, and had given their declaration to Alexander Ramsey and Henry Sibley, respectively the Minnesota territorial governor and the territory’s delegate to the U.S. Congress. The Dakota had intended to drive the conquerors out of the Minnesota River Valley, and out of Dakota homelands. This is what the Dakota were faced with: on September 8, 1862, Ramsey had said, “Our course then is plain. The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of Minnesota.” (“Sioux” not incidentally is a disrespectful term that means “snake.”)

What transpired on the fateful day, December 26, 1862, was “legalized murder,” according to Roy Meyer (a white man), and a “military injustice,” according to a female law professor (also, white) at the University of Minnesota, Carol Chomsky. However, because of the blood lust and racial hatred of the Euro-Minnesotans, Lincoln made a political decision: instead of hanging all of the captured Dakota men, who had been tried in a military kangaroo court, he decided to hang only 38 of them.

This is why the Dakota People of Minnesota consider Lincoln “The Dakota Executioner.” Lincoln is on the U.S. five-dollar Bill. Every time a Dakota person spends a five-dollar bill, s/he is reminded of what happened 157 years ago in Mankato, Minnesota, a site of Genocide. Lincoln is a hero neither to the Dakota People of Minnesota, nor to those Dakota People who were forcibly removed, “ethnically cleansed,” from Dakota homelands on May 4, 1863 and who now reside in other states and in several provinces of Canada.

Some remember Lincoln as the Great Emancipator. He should also be remembered as the Dakota Executioner.


My cousin has been in and out of the hospital for the last year. She’s 75, not in good shape, and I have medical power of attorney (as the only nearby relative). It’s been wearing on me — a lot. I’ve been worrying about where she’ll go and what will happen to her after she runs out of money.

In contrast, and worse, what in hell happens to people who are under Medicare age? A very good friend of mine was tortured by cancer for the last decade (including — do not ever under any circumstances do this; it just ain’t worth it, and it doesn’t extend life — prostatectomy), and he and his wife spent probably half their life savings on experimental treatments before he died two months ago.

It was awful to watch.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief tonight when I (rather, the placement agent) found a good place for my cousin.

She’s on Medicare, has enough bucks for a few years, and is going to a place that won’t kick her out (will take Medicare) after her money runs out if she survives that long.

So, “socialized medicine,” Medicare, saved her ass.

For people under 65, it’s still a horror show — albeit a very profitable horror show. There are over one million personal bankruptcies annually due to medical bills in the U.S. In other words, over a million middle-class Americans lose everything they’ve got every year due to medical bills, and the insurance industry and big pharma reap the benefits.

And it gets worse. After giving away a fortune to the 1%, close to $2 trillion, in Trump’s tax scam, it’s virtually certain that the GOP will plead “fiscal responsibility” and try to kneecap both Medicare and Medicaid, driving up our costs, if not eliminating Medicare and Medicaid entirely.

This is all you really need to ask yourself when considering the GOP/corporado mantra justifying horrendous health costs (USA is by far the highest) and being at or near the bottom of health outcomes for industrialized countries):

They warn you against “nameless, faceless bureaucrats making your health decisions for you.”

But what in hell do they think is going on now? Nameless, faceless insurance-industry, profit-driven ‘bureaucrats making your healthcare decisions for you? For their corporate, profit-driven masters rather than you?

How could anything possibly be worse for you than nameless, faceless corporate bureaucrats searching for reasons to deny your claim, and doing their best to maximize profits by providing the minimum amount of healthcare they can possibly get away with? Think about it.

Forgive me, but somehow I’ll trust that non-interested government bureaucrat rather than an insurance company tool.

Count me in for “socialized medicine.”

Hiatus on Manuscript Submissions

Posted: September 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

See Sharp Press will not be accepting manuscript submissions from new authors until further notice. (We will, though, continue to accept submissions from our current authors.)

The primary reason for this is that since I founded it 34 years ago, See Sharp Press has been a one-man operation, with yours truly doing all of the work, but for occasionally hiring other graphic artists, editors, and publicists on a contract basis.

And I need a break.

Since 1984, See Sharp has published 50 books, an equivalent number of pamphlets, and, of late, a number of e-books. I’ve been working almost continuously the entire time, often putting in 50-, 60-, even 70-hour work weeks, and it’s been 22 years since I took a vacation.

We have four very good books in the pipeline, and they’ll all appear next year. Once they’re out and I’ve had some time to rest, it’s quite possible See Sharp will once again begin accepting manuscript submissions.

If and when that happens, we’ll notify you on this blog and on the See Sharp Press web site.

In the meantime, we’ll continue publishing new material on this blog, and the already contracted books will appear on schedule.

Best wishes to all,

Chaz Bufe

Publisher, See Sharp Press

Yemen: The Forgotten Conflict

Posted: August 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

We’ve covered Saudi barbarism in several posts over the last two years. Here’s a view from another blogger, who we highly recommend.

Josep Goded

Since Yemen’s civil war began in 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has regularly conducted lethal air strikes throughout the country, killing thousands of innocent Yemenis. Further, Saudi Arabia has implemented a blockade of basic supplies against Yemen, including drinkable water, resulting in rampant cholera, leading to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi-led coalition was initially created seeking to support the deposed President, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, after the Houthirebels had taken key positions all across the country, including the capital Sana’a and his Presidential palace, forcing him to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Since then, Saudi Arabia has justified its lethal attacks on civilians by accusing the Houthis, without any evidence, of being endorsed by its arch-enemies, Iran and Hezbollah.

According to the UN, the Saudi-led coalition regularly kills innocent people, including children. For example, a Saudi air strike killed 140 people and injured some 600…

View original post 423 more words

Shush the Push for War

Posted: June 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

Alexis Chateau

It’s almost impossible to make it through a week without seeing Americans debating in public forums about whether or not the U.S. should go to war. To bomb or not to bomb ISIS.That is the political question of 2017.

While I sympathise with the desire to fix a problem that has clearly grown out of hand, people forget thatfixinga problem was how ISIS was born in the first place. So before you launch into your arguements for why war is the best be-all-end-all solution, let’s take a moment to reconsider.

To better understand my line of arguement, let’s briefly change the topic to discuss another touchy issue: imperialism and slavery.

Offshoring Slavery

pexels-photo-147635.jpeg

If you’ve ever taken a business class, you’ve probably heard the word “offshoring” before. In a nutshell, it means that a certain process physically takes place in another location – usually another country.

Many people…

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Josep Goded

Tomorrow, the world will watch the lastest episode of a long-term soap-opera involving conservatives and Islamist terrorism. The UK will hold a controversial general election that will be definitive in the fight against Islamist terrorism.

Over the years, western society has assumed that conservative parties such as the Tories in the UK are more reliable than the lefties in the fight against terrorism. In recent times, however, there has been clear evidence that ISIS and conservative forces have been helping each other. 

ISIS has used terrorism to spread chaos worldwide and thereby influence elections in Western democracies. Conservative forces have used this chaos to bolster racism and use the ready-made fear campaigns for their own ends, to ensure their re-election.

Recently, Theresa May has used the latest terrorist attack in London to launch a manipulative fear campaign to improve her chances of winning the election. Additionally, she has announced measures

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