Tuesday, December 30, 2008

History of Nature Painting in America-- Art Wolf blog

theArtWolf.com - Art and the art world Check out Art Wolf's blog for a nice collection of paintings in nature.



Monday, December 29, 2008

Abrupt Climate Change This Century? Discussion by Scientists @ USGS

EarthForum Archive DiscussionCentral: Abrupt Climate Change This Century?

Key findings:

* Climate model simulations and observations suggest that rapid and sustained September arctic sea ice loss is likely in the 21st century.

* The southwestern United States may be beginning an abrupt period of increased drought.

* It is very likely that the northward flow of warm water in the upper layers of the Atlantic Ocean, which has an important impact on the global climate system, will decrease by approximately 25–30 percent. However, it is very unlikely that this circulation will collapse or that the weakening will occur abruptly during the 21st century and beyond.

* An abrupt change in sea level is possible, but predictions are highly uncertain due to shortcomings in existing climate models.

* There is unlikely to be an abrupt release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere from deposits in the earth. However, it is very likely that the pace of methane emissions will increase.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nimbus Meridian ultra light pack for trip

Nimbus Meridian Ki

The Vapor Trail has more space for packing -- but no lid on top-- and few places to hang stuff on the outside, like camp shoes.

I am leaning toward to Nimbus. Any alternative recommendations for the JMT-- this would be a 30 lb max backpack.


Interfaith Leaders Sign Climate Change Manifesto of Hope

Interfaith Leaders Sign Climate Change Manifesto of Hope Leaders of faiths around the world gather and publish a climate manifesto to cut carbon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Darwin's Living Legacy--Evolutionary Theory 150 Years Later: Scientific American

Darwin's Living Legacy--Evolutionary Theory 150 Years Later: Scientific American Summary of what we've learned since Darwin's discoveries 150 years ago/

Another great piece from Scientific American. Read on. Subscribe!

Best fishes,


Monday, December 22, 2008

Darwin | I think... at AMNH

Darwin | American Museum of Natural History I think!

Bob Ostertag: Why Gay Marriage is the Wrong Issue

Bob Ostertag: Why Gay Marriage is the Wrong Issue

Get right to the point. We want equal rights for all. Obama and I line up on this point. I would rather Obama picked someone different than Rick Warren to pray for America -- how about adding Dalai Llama or someone like him being added to elaborate on "many voices joining together as one theme?

But I think the gay marriage uproar is a distraction right now. Read the story above and see what you think.


Fashion Police About To arrest Obama / BBC NEWS Obama's Green Dream

BBC NEWS | The Reporters | Richard Black Good summary of the opportunities new leadership from Obama will bring.

The reporter from BBC seems to have a fair assessment of the prospects for green political shifts -- and summarizes the key places for change coming soon to a political theater near you.

This is just random note, but Whassup with every President playing golf?

Fashion police will be making arrests if the creamy shirts on coffee color skin keep showing up in President Elect's golf wardrobe.

Seems like the Mighty O should talk with Tiger Woods about color schemes to wear when out on the greens. Skip the creamy colors brother B, and follow the lead of a Master.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ace's Wild! Amateur dreams up way to curb warming of planet | Seattle Times Newspaper

Nation & World | Amateur dreams up way to curb warming of planet | Seattle Times Newspaper This is going to solve climate crisis -- or some creative burst like it.

We have a right to be really worried about climate changing rapidly in our lifetime. But we discount the tremendous force of creativity to solve our biggest problems.

Since there are so many of us, I am optimistic we'll collectively think of something.

Best fishes,


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Labor Secretary Solis - Hope Amid the Gloom -NYT Opnion by Bob Herbert

Op-Ed Columnist - Hope Amid the Gloom - NYTimes.com Bob Herbert writes so well and moves from one paragraph to the next with such ease, it masks the work involved to make the case for workers succinctly as he does.

Labor Secretary Solis will be a welcome shift left in a department that has been MIA for too long.

I could go on -- but please consider reading the source directly. I consider William Safire and Bob Herbert to be two of the best writers in the NYT. Unfortunately, Safire isn't on the Op Ed any more.

We have poor cousins slumming in Safire's place as conservative commentariat -- hacks who puffed up their jobs writing press releases for mean spirited right wingers. William Kristol is first on my list -- an Iraq war pimp who gets political cover by being published in the NYT.

We'll see if there is justice in this world -- if Bush and Cheney and some of their media pimps who ginned up this war on Iraq -- an unprovoked war wasting lives and money. My guess is it will take a while.

Meanwhile, Obama's steady hand is already cause for hope, and the attention working people will get -- up from 0 will help us all in the next few years. Glad to know Solis at Labor comes from working class roots and has been active in helping people organize.

Acclaimed Colombian Institution Has 4,800 Books and 10 Legs - NYTimes.com

Acclaimed Colombian Institution Has 4,800 Books and 10 Legs - NYTimes.com Marvelous story about a man and his wife who started a library-- on his donkey in rural Columbia. Imagine giving your life to such a cause. Every week Luis Soriano takes books with him by donkey to loan to villagers miles from his home.

His lending library has grown to 4800 books - and he does all this on $350 a month. That's his income for the month for him and his wife, not what he makes as a librarian.

There ought to be some gifts from the States to make his day, don't you think?

How would I get him some Good Nature posters and a check as a gift for his good works?

Any ideas?

The subtext of this story is the healing, transformative gift of words. In the midst of a country ravaged by war, drug dealers, thugs and thieves, people still make their effort.

I am reminded of the end of D.H. Lawrence's "Terra Ingcognita:

" and eyes so soft
softer than the space between the stars,
and all things, and nothing, and being and not-being
alternately palpitant,
when at last we escape the barbed-wire enclosure
of Know Thyself, knowing we can never know,
we can but touch, and wonder, and ponder, and make our effort
and dangle in a last fastidious fine delight
as the fuchsia does, dangling her reckless drop
of purple after so much putting forth
and slow mounting marvel of a little tree."

by D.H. Lawrence

Best fishes,


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

UN defends carbon-trading scheme from US criticism | csmonitor.com

UN defends carbon-trading scheme from US criticism | csmonitor.com

"White Fir" -- a Poem by Poet Sam Green

For Donald Hall

Near the woodshed a white fir,
bent under snow
nearly to the ground
stays bowed,
even after the thaw.
The woods are full
of trees like this--cedar, hemlock, yew.

Year after year it happens,
the awful
weight, more, almost
than can be borne,
& then a lifetime struggling
upright again, drawn
by whatever light still filters
through the heavy canopy
of all those gone before.

"White Fir in Snow" ©2008 by Washington Poet Laureate Sam Green; from his book, The Grace of Necessity, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In Factory Sit-In, an Anger Spread Wide - NYTimes.com

In Factory Sit-In, an Anger Spread Wide - NYTimes.com Read and help them out. Solidarity with working people who are left in the dirt unless a demand is made.

The banks get a bailout. The big corporations get bailouts. When do working people who make the corporations profits get help? When do working people who stay indebted to the bank's company store (now called a credit card) get bailed out?

BBC NEWS | Americas | Peru aims for zero deforestation

BBC NEWS | Americas | Peru aims for zero deforestation

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oregon Old Growth and W's Last Minute Timber Deal

Daily Kos: Oregon Old Growth and W's Last Minute Timber Deal

A Poem: Winter & the Nuthatch by Mary Oliver

Winter and the Nuthatch

by Mary Oliver

Once or twice and maybe again, who knows,
the timid nuthatch will come to me
if I stand still, with something good to eat in my hand.
The first time he did it
he landed smack on his belly, as though
the legs wouldn't cooperate. The next time
he was bolder. Then he became absolutely
wild about those walnuts.

But there was a morning I came late and, guess what,
the nuthatch was flying into a stranger's hand.
To speak plainly, I felt betrayed.
I wanted to say: Mister,
that nuthatch and I have a relationship.
It took hours of standing in the snow
before he would drop from the tree and trust my fingers.
But I didn't say anything.
Nobody owns the sky or the trees.
Nobody owns the hearts of birds.
Still, being human and partial therefore to my own
though not resentful of others fashioning theirs—
I'll come tomorrow, I believe, quite early.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Green Roof Legislation

Green Roof Legislation Great effort to merge social justice with green restoration of our cities roofs and gardens, parks.



YouTube - Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto

YouTube - Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto

The Air Up There: MAlcolm Gladwell interviews about Green Roofs

GOOD The Air Up There Malcolm Gladwell Q&A on Green Roofs

Monday, November 24, 2008

Daily Kos: When "too big to fail" fails

Daily Kos: When "too big to fail" fails

Posting today in the Daily Kos-- why are we bailing out Citi group and leaving the masters of disaster who created this mess in place? Why are we taxpayers getting terms that are worse than taxpayers in England and Warren Buffet?

And please explain why the Rubin savants who stripped regulations from banks and investment firms are now in place to do what? Are they really going to regulate the same banks that they cut loose to wreck our economy?

Another question: Why are we letting banks that are big get bigger? Time for break ups -- starting with JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Longtime Head of House Energy Panel Is Ousted - NYTimes.com

Longtime Head of House Energy Panel Is Ousted - NYTimes.com Great news for Greens. Henry Waxman heading up this Energy Committee in the House will make a huge difference as Obama moves to make significant investments in green infrastructure and energy.

Best fishes,


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giant Salmon from Battle Creek in California -- Whoa!

I have always wanted to see one of these huge salmon. What a sight! The story that goes with it out of the Sacramento Bee says if the fish was alive (it was found dead) it would weigh 88 lbs. (I love how it doesn't weigh 90 lbs -- in a monster fish story!) This explains the look on the Fisheries biologist Dave Killam's face holding it. A little too much weight and a little too much "eeeeuuuuwwww!" rotting fish.

Check out Good Nature's Wild Pacific Salmon poster art designed by Dugald Stermer -- one of the world's best artists.
There is an eerie resemblance between the salmon in the photo and Dugald's top dog of a fish.

I get excited just thinking about finding a fish that size in a creek. These are fish worth fighting for-- and all the efforts by people working to restore salmon runs in California, Oregon and Washington pay off a little bit when you see a big fish like this one coming home to spawn.

Got a big fish story of your own?

best fishes,


PS: Click on Sacbee story link to get a supersized photo of this fish. Stunning detail. BIG pic.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Good Natured picks for President Elect Obama Cabinet

THe NYT has a blog post on who NOT to pick for Obama's Cabinet.

None of the typical D’s please. There is no change we can believe in with Rubin or Summers — wrong on free market, deregulated banks– these guys were yes men for Fed’s Greenspan who set up the financial disaster we have today. And they have endorsed the consolidation of big banks getting bigger which is a disaster waiting to happen.

You want more of the same? Not me. I am sure Obama will pick someone that is great for the job and he can work with.

Here is my list for other Cabinet members.

And I don’t expect the following people to get in, but people with their values should be running these departments. Some are picked to be counterpoints to the traditional "players: who run these Cabinet positiions. And just for fun…

Here is my fantasy picks just think outside the group:

Secretary of Health & Human Services: Dr. T. Berry Brazelton — a champion of families, kids health, and gem of a human being. Make Michael Phelps Ambassador of this dept.

Secretary of Interior: Terry Tempest Williams, author

Homeland Security: Wendell Berry

Secretary of Defense: Marion Wright Edelman

US Dept of Agriculture: Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver

UN: former Senator Tim Wirth (now runs the UN Foundation)

Who else?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Repower America

Repower America Al Gore and greens push for national grid, renewable energy and J.O.B.S.

Go Americans, grow Americans!

Green is our future.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Emergency Response Studio | Best of the GREEN WEB - Join the Discussion for a Greener World Home sweet home!

Check out the subtext here-- looks like a large blog for Chevy to promote all things green. And by the way, buy a Chevy.

Oi !

Solar Trailer is a trip-- and well thought out. Check out the rest of this artist's redesign of the trailer. Thoughtful work.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Don't Eat Meat Mondays to Stop Climate Crisis

Stop Global Warming - Change.org: Actions

Don't eat meat? Well-- what's up with that? No meat Monday makes a world of sense only once you understand the industrial strength methane cows and other animals raised for beef give off.

Well -- all that bovine belching and farting creates methane-- and more climate changing gases come from animals than America's transport system.

More than all those trucks and cars out there. That is a huge problem. And you can make your heart happier as well as your mate by eating veg Monday nights. You'll stop buying all those animals who are farting and belching us into extinction, and you'll probably stop farting and belching so much, too.

Just please don't make me give up sharp cheddar cheese.

Thanks to Emily Gertz -- a fine NW writer for the tip.

Best fishes,


Eureka! Salmon smolt found in Mendocino where they were almost extinct

SF Gate: Multimedia (image)

I get a kick out of this foto -- a devoted scientist snorkeling upstream finds a bunch of baby salmon in an area of Mendocino Co. that has been logged and damaged so much that folks thought the fish were extinct.

Kaput. Dead.

But there in a little stream lies Jennifer Carah, complete with snorkel and wetsuit. And as funny as she looks, she is there to tell the world about the miracle of nature, the power of restoration, and gives me a little hope that while hell in a hand basket may be how the land has looked, hoope springs eternal. Salmon smolt show up in the darnedest places. And with some help from her organization The Nature Conservancy and our tax money supporting this good work, this southern end of Cascadia is getting time to heal, to grow big trees and big fish once more.

Oh yes. I forgot-- the salmon asked that you get out and vote for Obama on Tuesday.



Thursday, October 30, 2008

YouTube - Robots Attack!

John Nail's Blog | Talking Points Memo | Obama = "Interconnectedness" - Awesome Video

Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

Study Finds Silver Lining for Maligned Saltcedars aka Tamarisk

Study Finds Silver Lining for Maligned Saltcedars | UANews.orgI love tamarisks -- a neighbor has one in their back yard. Beautiful tree with amazing pink blossoms in spring. We look to that tree on our morning walks to mark the changing season and shift from gray winter to green spring.

It has bugged me forever that this tree is such a nuisance to our riparian areas-- and considered a threat to biodiversity. It has been hard for me to hate something that is so beautiful.

And tamarisk is considered a devil. Enough of a threat that we greens and fans of native plant restoration spend millions of dollars and even more volunteer time eradicating the pesky tamarisk to restore native habitat.

Now it looks like scientists are finding a lot of good news in tamarisks. Read the story linked here on research that spells out where tamarisk thrive in the Colorado River Basin, and why.

What do you think?

For me the take away points are clear: tamarisk doesn't suck a lot of water out of riparian areas. It only thrives where native willow and other natives can't. And birds love it. Let's move on to more important problems. Tamarisk/ saltcedar is proving to be quite valuable in disturbed riparian areas, and providing habitat for threatened and endangered species.

The willows and cottonwoods on western riparian areas will still be there where we humans have not changed the riparian area because of damming, levees, and the resulting floods MIA. The native trees need the flooding to wash out the salts in the soil.

There are limited resources for changing our ecosystem, and it looks like tamarisk eradication funds could be used better elsewhere to promote ecosystem services like wetlands and estuaries we have paved over to make way for automobiles.

Let me put it this way: If we had a million bucks to kill tamarisk and spray herbicides on this invasive tree or to build rain gardens in suburban areas and rip up concrete to promote storm water spreading, soaking and seeping into the ground, rather than running into our streams and Puget Sound, which would be the better use of these resources?

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Study explores effectiveness of rain gardens

Study explores effectiveness of rain gardens Researchers at UW Madison find that the most effective rain gardens at reducing stormwater run off have berms.

The plant mix doesn't matter so much.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Talking Business - So When Will Banks Give Loans? - That 700 billion? We've been taken to the cleaners

Talking Business - So When Will Banks Give Loans? - NYTimes.com Read and weep, then revolt!

It is disgusting to see the Bush Treasury Dept. using our tax money to help big banks consolidate into even bigger banks -- instead of spending the money on loans to small businesses that can repay them.

I am at a loss here. Are we an idiot nation? Senator Dodd? Are you really in favor of making big banks bigger?

I want more banks smaller. Think regional, think about sweating deals with solid small and medium size businesses with competition from credit unions and other small banks for the same business.

But the $700 billion we just gave Treasury is doing no such thing. Rip off.

The Democrats leading this bail out operation are AS Responsible as the Republicans -- who you expect nothing less than monopoly capitalism from anyway.

Time for big changes.



Friday, October 24, 2008

"World's Most Beautiful Maps" -- WSJ Northwest Watersheds Cascadia Map

"World's most beautiful maps." -- Wall St. Journal

Hi from Good Nature in Seattle.

Good news! I am printing my third edition of on Good Nature's Cascadia watersheds map titled Pacific Northwest Watersheds

Do you need beautiful educational biodiversity art for fundraising incentives, volunteer appreciations, outreach and education?

I recommend ordering a mix Maps Salmon, Wildflowers, NW Hedgerows and other posters for volunteer appreciations, outreach & education.

Good Nature's custom map features all the watersheds of the coniferous temperate rain forest-- the Copper River south of Anchorage to the Eel and Russian River north of San Francisco.

We cover all your turf and then some in the most glorious hypsographic color palette ever made. Don't take my word for it.

Wall Street Journal calls Raven Maps "World's most beautiful maps."

And Raven made this map just for Good Nature.

Good Nature's beautiful PNW Watershed Map (36" x 24") featuring all the watersheds in the Pacific Northwest.

Can I reserve a 100 -1000 for your outreach and education? You
benefit from a group order that is already 60% subscribed.

Here are special prices- and it is easy to order -- just enter your quantity online, reply to this email or call me @ 800 631 3086.

PNW Map Special Offer Limited Time -October 31st.

$25/ $50 laminated
Buy 2 get 2 Free
Order 10 or more for $12.50 ea -save 50% today
Order 100 for $3.99 ea save 80%+
Order 1000 for $2.99 ea and get your logo/contact info added for $300 save 88%
5000 + Maps are $2.50 ea (you can add a narrative on the back for this quantity)
10,000 maps are $1.99 ea

This map is great for people who want the highest quality watershed map for the watersheds big picture-- with no roads, and political boundaries receded so you can see the beautiful terrain we live in.

And combine that map with our Salmon, Conifers, Broadleaved Trees, Old Growth Forest and Hedgerow Riparian buffer art-- teachers have a great art series to connect kids and nature students of all ages.


Hope all is well.


Timothy Colman, Publisher

PS: Please order today-- reply to email or call me @ 800 631 3086

You can mix titles if you like-- pick up some more Pacific Salmon

I also have an 11" x 17" version of Good Nature's Pacific Salmon for .99 cents ea per 100

Here is what Guido Rahr, Wild Salmon Center Executive Director said about our salmon art:

"The Pacific Salmon of North America print captures the tenacity and beauty of Pacific salmon and steelhead like no other. It should hang in schools, homes, and the offices of elected officials -- to give notice that these fish are worth fighting for!"
Guido Rahr, Executive Director, Wild Salmon Center

PSS: Rain Garden posters are our best seller this year -- can you use some for outreach? See art @ http://www.goodnaturepublishing.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama Pro Green Energy Apollo Project

Daily Kos: State of the Nation Obama gets my support for many reasons -- but the link above seems to be the most salient for where we are in the world today.

We need green power and big investments in new manufacturing base for US. The middle class can't flip plastic and paper around and create real wealth.

Real wealth is getting redefined as we speak. Meaningful work for everyone, service -- contributing to the greater good, making love not war. That's why I support Obama for President.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Knowledge 'filters' down to Montpelier class: Times Argus Online

Knowledge 'filters' down to Montpelier class: Times Argus Online Read up on a great story about science classes in Montpelier VT where kids are actively engaged in stopping pollution, in growing rain gardens off the school parking lot to prevent rain run off from the school to flow down stream.

Hats off to the teachers and parents who raise these kids. We need a million kids like this helping their schools provide ecosystem services.

Good Nature is going to send this kid a free set of the Eastern Native Trees, Wildflowers and our Rain Garden poster just to thank him.

How about you? Have you read about kids in schools or your community who have taken the initiative?

Let me know.

Best fishes,


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Daily News Record:

The Daily News Record:

Hey -- great tree nomination!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

When Green Becomes Inc. - Green Inc. Blog - NYTimes.com

When Green Becomes Inc. - Green Inc. Blog - NYTimes.com Great interview with an author exposing the corporate greed and silence in Green Inc. Big green non profits like Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund-- huge operations with CEO pay near a million bucks! Give me a break.

OK-- decide for yourself and read the interview with Christine MacDonald.

What do you think?


The Debate Over Environmental Education | Newsweek Project Green | Newsweek.com

The Debate Over Environmental Education | Newsweek Project Green | Newsweek.com Good story on environmental education in Newsweek. Check out Project Learning Tree and Project Wet -- two good national programs that help connect kids to nature.

And for those of us out of school, Master Naturalists (links to Virginia's page as example is a growing program tied into cooperative extensions around the US-- like Master Gardeners.

Best fishes,


Saturday, September 20, 2008

No Banker Left Behind Bailout Principles - Senator Bernie Sanders

Daily Kos: Bailout Principles - Senator Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has proposed some clear language to promote progressive values for the No Banker Left Behind legislation.

Read on!


Rain gardens capture storm water, clean it up

Rain gardens capture storm water, clean it up

Great review of a type of low impact development that should replace 25% of our concrete in Seattle metro area.

Think of it as urban wetland mitigations. Start with a city plan to grow 10,000 to replace the cut trees, the lost forests that were here before we called this place home.


Great Depression? 7 Questions on the Crash and Burn financial system

You and I are now proud owners of an international insurance company named AIG that I didn't really think about a month ago. We own Freddie and Fannie, and billions of mortgages, which is making me feel a little woozy. (Rumor has it we own the shareholder lawsuits coming, too)

So now that I have to pay attention to more than our house payments, credit card payments, and my business vendors, let me ask a few questions:

1. What is the $60 trillion debt swap that some say has bad money chasing funny money?

2. Is this purchase of a trillion dollars in bad debt going to change any behavior? Are we simply shifting the burden from a corrupt financial system to taxpayers?

3. Who benefits from this scheme?

4. Show me the money. Where is the suddenly Socialist Bush getting this money?

5. Does this shifting the debt to Taxpayers create another bubble in Treasury notes as some indicate?

6. Is it true that rich people actually NEED an economic DEPRESSION so they can take their paper wealth and convert it to real goods on the cheap?

7. I have heard few specifics about progressive reforms that give taxpayers, citizens in the US some say about the ways in which big money can now charge us for using our money. Where is the pay off for small businesses getting low interest credit lines? Where is the money for universal health care, which would take a big load off small business and big in this country? Where is the credit card reform bill that puts a ceiling on the usurious rates Visa and Mastercard charge?

(Visa just announced that business to business credit card charges are going to cost me 4.5% per transaction. That is a far cry from the 2% plus .25 cents transaction Costo Merchant Services said they'd charge when I started with them. Credit card companies make big bucks on consumer debt, and they also make a lot by charging businesses who accept your Visa & MC. You will say that is the cost of doing business. I say that is an unregulated part of our financial system we just bought -- and we now have a say over how much it should cost us.)

What do you think? Any help with answers, just post them here.



Friday, September 19, 2008

US Treasury Bonds: The Biggest Bubble of Them All

US Treasury Bonds: The Biggest Bubble of Them All Read and weep. This crisis is a long way from being over.


Truman Never Gave the Republicans Hell, Harry Truman Claimed. "I Just Told the Truth and They Thought it Was Hell."

BuzzFlash > Editorial > Truman Never Gave the Republicans Hell, Harry Truman Claimed. "I Just Told the Truth and They Thought it Was Hell."

Dear Sen Obama, please note that Harry Truman's good words. Food for thought as we are about to indenture ourselves to a trillion dollars of bad debt.

I want a tax that hurts the rich who have made off like bandits-- leaving us with the bill for cleaning up the slot machine economy they leave behind.

This is how the game was set up.

Now we are supposed to pay the price?

I say enough!

Where is any progressive legislation for us taxpayers and owners of Visa and Master Card? Do we get locked in low interest rates for this huge bail out?

Do we have a shared sacrifice for late payment fees going down to $5 from $35?

Will there be some anti usery laws put in place to protect working class people from getting reamed by predatory lenders?

I want something guaranteed to protect the working and middle class. Don't just bend over and flush out our entire treasury.

Of course, now we have lenty of money for universal health care, education and retirement. What a relief!




Sunday, September 14, 2008

Invasive Notes: Invasive Inconvenience Wicked Definitions

Invasive Notes: Invasive Inconvenience Wicked Definitions Good writing contrarian view of the invasives rage.

Read on above...


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Badmitten Gold Medal Advice For Democrats

I enjoyed this letter to an opinion piece in the NYT today.

I would add that the only way Bush and McCain win the Presidency again is if you stay home and uninvolved in Obama's campaign. Talk to friends, volunteer, contribute. (Yes we can, Yes I am)

The real game changer on America's politics is to take a big step away from politics being fed to you via television and going out for the next few weeks and talking to people, then stay involved and protect your country. Show your love for America by not letting corporate greed distract you and me from getting attention paid to our economic problems, health care for all, and quality education that leads to healthy high paying green jobs.

Here is the Collins letter from NYT. Read on

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Daily Kos: And Now For The Voting.

Daily Kos: And Now For The Voting.

I think the piece by Jeff Lieber on getting out to vote now so we can get out the vote later is crucial to winning this fall.

So if you are still doing television politics-- the kind where you feel close to Obama but haven't gotten involved in asking others to vote, walking your precinct, putting together mailings or whatever-- now is the time friends and family.

The reason why the right has won the last two elections has to do with persistence and some theft in Ohio -- this I believe.

But we have to make a vote that is not even close-- so they can't steal this one from us.

Will you help? Are you registered to vote?




Friday, July 25, 2008

Help for honeybees -- themorningcall.com

Illustration by Dugald Stermer
Help for honeybees -- themorningcall.com

Great story on good people working to encourage America the Beautiful's PolleNation.

Read the list of recommended plants, go find some good earth, and make a difference in our collective future.

Read on!

best fishes,


Cancer doc urges cell phone precaution | Crave, the gadget blog - CNET

Cancer doc urges cell phone precaution | Crave, the gadget blog - CNET

Tumor Alert: Just because everyone else is doing it, do not expect them to be visiting you on the cancer ward.

It turns out we are the lab rats in a true to life low level persistent radiation test. Think about it:

• Cell phones
• Wireless signals for computers everywhere
• Electricity fields from power lines we walk through every day
• Solar background radiation

It all adds up to a large experiment on our bodies ability to sustain life without going sideways and start making tumor tots.

I am cutting my use of cell phones way back -- when using them I am going to put the speaker phone on and keep the handset away from my body-- especially my head.

NOTE TO PARENTS: You just have to be taking stupid pills to let your kid talk on these things. They have a much longer life to get exposed to radiation. Just say no-- have your kids practice using landlines. Given the corporate culture where profit comes before people, consider the warning above to be the best you are going to get in America until well after the baby boomers are really sick.



Thursday, July 17, 2008

Natural History Artist Mindy Lighthipe: A garden becomes a work of art | csmonitor.com

A garden becomes a work of art | csmonitor.com

Mindy Lighthipe's
a fine botanical artist-- here in a story about her beautiful blooming garden.

Mindy has a rare gift of being able to paint flowers and bugs AND perspective.

Enjoy her website and tell her to keep up the good work. Everyone needs encouragement.

Best fishes,


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Coda -- a poem


And now I know what most deeply connects us

after that summer so many years ago,
and it isn’t poetry, although it is poetry,

and it isn’t illness, although we have that in common,

and it isn’t gratitude for every moment,
even the terrifying ones, even the physical pain,

though we are grateful, and it isn’t even death,

though we are halfway through
it, or even the way you describe the magnificence

of being alive, catching a glimpse,

in the store window, of your blowing hair and chapped lips,
though it is beautiful, it is; but it is

that you’re my friend out here on the far reaches

of what humans can find out about each other.

—Jason Shinder

Found at Gray Wolf Press

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Rain Garden sketch

Here is the color sketch for Good Nature Publishing's upcoming Rain Garden poster.

The sketch shows the layout, look and feel of the artwork.

Running border: Twenty two plants --11 for wet areas and 11 for dry areas of your garden.

Final art published August 2008.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Rain Gardens Matter by Sue Ellington

Why Rain Gardens Matter


You can look at all the prairie and estuaries we've paved over and shrug as Puget Sound gets poisoned from our car oil, toxins and storm water overflow.

Or you can promote the radical idea of planting native plants in a garden space depression-- and voila! Rain Gardens.

Grow them in your yard, connect the gutter downspout to your rain garden, and encourage more "green" sponges in the city.

Sue Ellington writes evocatively about why rain gardens matter. Click the link above to read her essay.

We need to map the rain gardens already planted in Seattle and Western Washington,Oregon and California.

Know where a rain garden is in your neighborhood? Send a photo and address-- we'll google map them.



Lifestyle & Entertainment: Artful Living: Practical tips for navigating waterlogged gardens

Lifestyle & Entertainment: Artful Living: Practical tips for navigating waterlogged gardens

The Science of Stream Restoration

Photo by Robert Walker

The Science of Stream Restoration - NYTimes.com

Interesting story on restoration and best practices.

Best fishes,

Thank you God for most this amazing day --ee cummings

One of my favorite poems -- to celebrate summer:

Thanks to ee cummings and Gran

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

ee cummings

Friday, June 20, 2008

Obama Caves to Bush on Domestic Spying - NJVoices: Bill Wolfe

Obama Caves to Bush on Domestic Spying - NJVoices: Bill Wolfe

I agree with the opinion piece above-- this is not change-- this is status quo. Now we have retroactive immunity for corporations who spy on US citizens -- supported 100% by the Republicans and also by Mr Barack "Change We Can Believe In" Obama. Not.

Who stood up for the Constitution in Washington State? McDermott voted against this bad bill-- who else?

Shame on you, Barack. You can't be for change and then vote to ratify the worst aspects of Bush's surveillance police state.

You confirm worst suspicions.



Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Rain Garden poster design for Good Nature Publishing Seattle


Rip out concrete and grass, grow green "sponges" like rain gardens to absorb storm water.

That is where we're headed in the next few years. Do you realize the great potential of ecosystem services -- the free services upon which fresh air and clean water, and all life is built on?

Our mission must be to restore these ecosystem services to our urban areas.

The link above (TOP) is our effort to blend art & advocacy -- and spread the word about the importance of rain gardens.

More soon.


Daily Kos: BREAKING! FISA "deal" reached in House (UPDATEx4)

Daily Kos: BREAKING! FISA "deal" reached in House (UPDATEx4)

Where is the CHANGE in giving corporate spies immunity Mr Obama and Democrats?

Read the link above-- and please contact your Congressmen and Senators to say no to government sponsored corporate spying on Americans.



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rain gardens capture storm water, clean it up

Rain gardens capture storm water, clean it up

Read all about the many benefits to rain gardens by clicking the link above. Kudos to writers Ron Sullivan and Joe Eaton for some fine writing.

best fishes,


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Copyright bill would burden artists

(Baseball Art by Dugald Stermer)
Copyright bill would burden artists - Nick Anderson - Politico.com Artists deserve better protections than this proposed change to the US Copyright law that makes it the artist's fault they didn't find someone stealing their work.

Bad law to fix a little problem.

Call Congress to say no.

Read Nick Anderson's piece above-- and please spread the word.



New iPhone Pricing Model Is a Step Backward for Consumers - Bits - Technology - NYT Blog

New iPhone Pricing Model Is a Step Backward for Consumers - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

Steve Jobs new slogan slogan for his iPhone is "Think Different? Nah!" The new Empire Rules iPhoney, authoritarian, anti choice, anti consumer anti open network deal he's struck between Apple and AT&T makes his supposedly $199 phone actually at least $700 and counting.

Worse -- as the NYT story points out-- the iPhone marketing becomes a stiff arm to democratic principles of free will, pro choice open networks. Everything the blue jean clad turtle necked geek President would like us mortals to believe Apple stands for -- but doesn't.

iPhone just wants to be free Steve. Let me pay my $199 and plug it into my phone service or not at all.

Until then, iPhone is locked in a digital prison that big corporation dream of -- soft and fuzzy exteriors limiting choice, closing networks, and taking us backwards--



Yosemite Native Trees poster species list

"Native Trees of Yosemite"

Native Species for "Native Trees of Yosemite"


1 Abies concolor / White fir
2 Abies magnifica / Red fir
3 Calocedrus decurrens / Incense cedar
4 Juniperus occidentalis / Sierra juniper
5 Pinus albicaulis / Whitebark pine
6 Pinus contorta / Lodgepole pine
7 Pinus jeffreyi / Jeffrey pine
8 Pinus monticola / Western white pine
9 Pinus ponderosa / Ponderosa pine
10 Pinus sabiniana / Gray pine
11 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Douglas fir
12 Sequoiadendron giganteum / Giant sequoia
13 Taxus brevifolia / Western yew
14 Torreya californica / California nutmeg
15 Tsuga mertensiana / Mountain hemlock


16 Acer macrophyllum / Bigleaf maple
17 Alnus rhombifolia / White alder
18 Cornus nuttallii / Pacificdogwood
19 Populus tremuloides / Quaking aspen
20 Populus balsamifera v trichocarpa / Black cottonwood
21 Quercus chrysolepis / Canyon live oak
22 Quercus kelloggii / California black oak
23 Quercus lobata / Valley oak
24 Salix lucida ssp lasiandra / Pacific willow
25 Umbellularia californica / California bay

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Fourth State of Matter-- short story by Jo Ann Beard

New Page 2 with thanks to Kate Hopper for link.


Barack Obama Speaking With His Campaign Team-- 13" and worth it

Five months to election day.

Carpe diem.


Bill Moyers: Fighting Corporate Media Movie-- Recommended

I rarely see Bill Moyers -- but this movie of a 39" speech is a fine example of his life's work.

I hope you take the time to listen in-- and share with friends. For instance, on this movie you'll learn Comcast tried to pack streets to FCC meeting by hiring strangers to pack a room so opponents to internet neutrality couldn't be seated.

They were called on this pr tactic and turned away the Comcast effort with grassroots organizing.



Wednesday, June 04, 2008

U.S. Auto Sales Plunge, Drag Market Down In May - NYTimes.com

U.S. Auto Sales Plunge, Drag Market Down In May - NYTimes.com

Here is a story that has been written for 30 years.

Toyota, Honda and all the other small is beautiful car companies have been sending good smoke signals that the future is what tehy are selling-- people want small cars.

And fuel efficient ones. OK-- I want a NO fuel cars-- I want a car that has for exhaust water. At least not the $45 I just spent in my Corolla to fill it up.

Why should American companies be so far behind? We have let corporate short term profits -- read trucks, minivans, etc...set the policy for United States-- who have been telling Americans -- don't worry, be happy and drive.

Now the fruits of our ignorance and apathy have been set at our table. High profit margins for oil companies, giant auto companies cutting jobs and collapsing in front of our eyes. It might get worse.

But $4 a gallon gas seems to be the time when people start changing behavior-- buying differently.

It is about time.

Now we need to build political muscle to grow the rapid transit systems we need, and get people out of cars.

Biking? For some-- but I am betting there are some much smaller electric cars that we can look at bringing online quickly.

What else?

Conservation is a big one. See Rocky Mountain Institute for more info.

What else?

Well-- we're on the bus a lot more here in Seattle.

And now the Honda Civic is America's bestselling cars. Americans are smart-- we'll change-- but we need some policies that direct investment over the next 20 years. Then we aren't permanently behind and beholden to short term thinking that does us in.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama Wins -- O Yeeaahhh! America -- I Have A Dream Fullfilled

A historic night for America-- and a dream come true for me. A woman and black man both taken seriously, both fighting hard for every vote.

And in the end Obama wins. I am glad. Glad for all the people who have fought for civil liberties, civil rights, and women's rights, for voting and saying with your vote that American dreaming lives large.

This night is a dream of my family's -- and friends going back 50 years. So to all my loved ones-- love all around.

Si se puede!



Monday, June 02, 2008

At Cate Farm, tinkering with the future: Times Argus Online

Richard Wiswall drives his electric-powered 952 Allis Chalmers cultivating tractor at his Cate Farm in East Montpelier.
Photo: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur/Times Argus
At Cate Farm, tinkering with the future: Times Argus Online

Saturday, May 24, 2008

40 Million Acres of Rain Forest for the Greenest Bidder - Editorial

Editorial Observer - 40 Million Acres of Rain Forest for the Greenest Bidder - Editorial - NYTimes.com

Pasture-- poem by Mary Oliver

Insinuate yourself: loving your neighbors. Gossip about your abundances of friends and fresh food. Write poems to strangers and celebrate the rugged wilderness of our hearts opening up to this new day.

Poem from Mary Oliver for my friend Pete who wanted a poem about the importance of snow in May while he bikes across Nevada.

In the Pasture

On the first day of snow, when the white curtain of winter
began to stream down,
the house where I lived grew distant
and at first it seemed imperative to hurry home.
But later, not much later, I began to see
that soft snowbound house as I would remember it,
and I would linger a long time in the pasture,
turning in circles, staring
at all the crisp, exciting, snow-filled roads
that led away.

by Mary Oliver

75 yrs avg life expectancy: Age shouldn't be an issue for McCain

The fact that John McCain is 74 and average life expectancy for Anglo men is 75 should not be an issue.

So what if he is older? Lots of people make it to their 80's and 90's without a problem.

Sure-- he's headed into the time of life where strokes and leg bags become more popular-- but there is no evidence to indicate McCain is prone to either of these problems.

Did he smoke for years? If he did, that would make the average age a white man dies more relevant.

Has he worked out?

I know he's suffered enough as a human being with his war record indicating torture. He undoubtedly killed people, and that has to weigh a person down.

But he's got a younger wife who doesn't measure her happiness in Viagra pills I would hazard a guess.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Prince Charles: Eighteen months to stop climate change disaster - Telegraph

Prince Charles: Eighteen months to stop climate change disaster - Telegraph Prince Charles speaks for me and many friends & family concerned about the future of our planet.

Here is his assessment -- bleak as it is-- a moment of opportunity to act and save our children from hell on earth-- and all the plants and animals we steward as well.

When I look at all the people driving cars alone still -- even at $4 a gallon US-- I have to say a part of me just doesn't see how we do anything but drive off the climate cliff, taking many species with us.

But the optimist in me thinks -- knows in my heart we can change.

See Matchbox 20 song a few blogs earlier for the answer my friend-- is blowing in the wind....


BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Ancestors had leg-up to trees

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Ancestors had leg-up to trees Interesting study about our previous lives -- in this case primates who learned to take advantage of tree branches.

best fishes,


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bushcraft Course - Ancient Pathways

Bushcraft Course - Ancient Pathways A friend is taking this course-- two weeks away-- looking forward to seeing what he learns, how life changes after.


Norway spruce may take crown of world's oldest tree | visaliatimesdelta.com | Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register

Norway spruce may take crown of world's oldest tree | visaliatimesdelta.com | Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register The world's oldest tree may be 15 feet tall.

Not exactly what Sequoia fans would think when looking for the giant trees' competition in all things arboreal.

Wm. Tweed (Why not Wm. Treed -- Tweed?) a local naturalist and green brain trust in Visalia area gives a plug for the hearty and ancient creosote shrubs;.

That just shows to go you. Them thar Californians will think of anything to be @1 god bless them.


Pat's Pet Portraits and Wildlife Art

Pat's Pet Portraits and Wildlife Art Pat's being modest-- fine composition and an artist who knows how to set a landscape scene to get best contrast between field and ground -- for a still life there is a lot of "action" without forcing. The way the fox and bird are lovingly engaged with each other-- you can sense the hunt.

I say lovingly in the broader sense of the word love -- feeling connected- the way a good painter can draw you into a story with the bend of a subject's head, the flight of a wing-- to build a sense of anticipation and convey a moment's drama in the wild.

What I love about Blogger and other free blog services is the chance it gives artists like Pat to convey their relationship to their respective creative process over time-- so you can see the earlay iterations of this art in previous entries as you scroll through the blog.

I wish more poets would do something similar -- share the construction process of their journey from draft poem to the finished work.

I think more people would write if they knew the steps and stumbling we all take in making our effort.


Good Nature Publishing

Nature art opens Olympic dreams for Tigard students

Nature art opens Olympic dreams for Tigard students Read on! This is what art does -- changes lives. Nature art, abstract art, impressionist, hell -- it can be my first macrame! Whatever. Being present in the act of creation, the deep attention and witnessing the world, the unity of all things is what art can bring us.

Thanks to Wyland for having sponsorships like this to encourage kids. And of course, enough can not be said to the fine teachers behind these kids, and their parents.

Basta. Timothy

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Friends of Earth Endorses Obama

FoE Action Group says it was Clinton's gas tax holiday that drove them to Obama's camp.


best fishes,


Lydia Cacho: Predators & Power by G. Colman

Lydia Cacho: Predators and Power in Mexico
by George D.Colman

On February 14, 2006, the Jornada newspaper of Mexico seized the attention of the nation by publishing secretly taped telephone conversations between a Mexican businessman and a Mexican political leader regarding the arrest, detention and proposed sexual violation of the writer Lydia Cacho. Few if any revelations before or since have so captured the Mexican public’s interest and outrage.

The powerful businessman featured on the tapes was Kamel Nacif, a textile manufacturer and one of the wealthiest men in the country. The politician in the sordid affair was Mario Marin, the Governor of the State of Puebla. Within days of the publication of the governor’s conversations with Nacif, 40,000 men and women marched through the streets of Puebla demanding the governor’s resignation.

The object of Mario Marin’s and Kamel Nacif’s angry attention was Lydia Cacho, the founder and director of a shelter for women and children in Cancun and a journalist on the front lines of the world-wide struggle to protect women and children from sexual violence. Internationally recognized for her leadership in this work, Cacho was awarded the Francisco Ojeda Award for journalistic courage in 2006, the Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for Women and Children’s Rights in 2007, and the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize in 2008.

Cacho’s book “Demons of Eden”, published in 2005, revealed the depredations of pederasts in Cancun, Mexico. She provided evidence that Jean Succar Kuri, the owner of a hotel and 40 tourist villas in Cancun was a pederast and profiteer in the flourishing business of providing children for the international sex trade. Children who had been molested for years by Succar Kuri had come forward to tell their story to the Justice Department of Mexico which in turn arranged for secret videos to be made of Succar Kuri in which he talked about his sexual activity with children as young as five years old. Kuri is now in a maximum security Mexican prison.

Tapes also exist of conversations between Succar Kuri and Kamel Nacif in which Nacif asks Kuri to deliver two young women to him. Succar Kuri assures him one will arrive from the United States, the other from El Salvador and they will be delivered to his hotel in Cancun. The cost will be $2000 US each. Nacif is explicit in the taped conversation: he wants them in order “to fornicate” and plans a “menage a trois”.

In her book, “Demons of Eden”, Cacho referred to Kamel Nacif, a rich and powerful manufacturer, as one of Succar Kuri’s friends and protectors.

Nacif brought charges of defamation against Cacho. Governor Mario Marin, responding generously to the needs of a wealthy manufacturer in his state, sent Puebla state police to Cancun in December, 2005 to arrest Cacho and deliver her to a Puebla jail for judgement. She was put in a car with two policemen and followed by 3 policemen in another. She was sick, alone, vulnerable and knew she might be killed. Once released, Cacho described the trip of more than twenty hours during which time the police repeatedly asked if she was a good swimmer because they’d be driving close to the sea and a late night swim might be the best thing for her. They took a gun, forced her mouth open and threatened to pull the trigger if she coughed. When she asked for the medicine she needed for a respiratory problem, a cop stroked his penis and told her “this is the medicine you need.” And when they arrived in Puebla, they reminded her that they knew where she, her husband, her parents and her friends lived so if she said anything negative about the way they had treated her on the trip from Cancun to Puebla, there would be swift revenge.

Two months later taped telephone conversations were delivered to the Jornada newspaper and published. The following conversation between Governor Mario Marin and the manufacturer Kamel Nacif took place almost immediately after the arrest of Lydia Cacho in December, 2005:

Governor: “How’s it going, Kamel?”

Nacif: “My precious gober.”

Governor: “My hero, oh yes.”

Nacif: “No, you’re the hero of this movie, papá”

Governor: “Well, I gave the bitch a smack on the head yesterday. I told her that here in Puebla the law’s respected and nobody gets away with breaking it and she can’t play the victim to get more publicity. I’ve sent her a message and we’ll see what she does now. She’s just been fucking and fucking with us but now she’s been whacked and everyone ought to learn something from it.”

Nacif: “Yeh, I know. These assholes are always sucking around for something. I told’em what I think about all of it. I went on television.”

Governor: “That’s good. In Mexico or here in Puebla?

Nacif: “Here but they said they’re sending it to Mexico. It’ll go out from there. And I talked to Milenio (a national newspaper) in case you want to read it. I told’em the Governor of Puebla’s hand is firm, his hand doesn’t shake.”

Governor: “Not now and not ever.”

Nacif: “What a rat’s nest! What a mess, eh?” . . . . “Well, I called to thank you. I know I got you involved in this problem but . . ..”

Governor: “No, no, I enjoy these things and I agree with you about these motherfuckers. We’re not saints but if anyone has proof, let’em

present it. If not, they should keep their mouths shut.”

Nacif: “Well. I want to thank you and I’m sending you a beautiful bottle of cognac.”


Public reactions to this display of crude, political subservience to wealth came swiftly.

The spokesman for Vincent Fox, then President of Mexico, called the content of the conversations “ brutal and outrageous”.

PRD, the Partido of the Democratic Revolution, said it would initiate impeachment proceedings against Governor Mario Marin.

The Mexico Chamber of Commerce called on the Supreme Court of the nation to investigate.

Felipe Calderon, candidate then and now President of Mexico, demanded a political judgement against the Governor.

And the New York Times offered its commentary on February 20, 2006, “The tape is seen by journalists and politicians here as fueling the worst suspicions about how wealthy people with ties to politicians can use the Mexican legal system, which lacks grand juries, juries or open trials, to harass their enemies.”

And when Joaquin Lopez Dóriga, a well know Mexican television journalist, interviewed Governor Mario Marin “on air” soon after the tapes were published, he began by calling the recorded conversation “obscene and ugly” and challenged the Governor to explain himself. The Governor was happy to do so. He agreed with Lopez Doriga. The Governor also thought the conversation with Kamel Nacif was vulgar and outrageous but said it didn’t have anything to do with him. He never had that conversation, that wasn’t his voice on the tape, he’d never say things like that. In later months, the Governor came around to agreeing that it might be his voice on the tape but the content had been edited to make him look bad.

An equally illuminating, even more offensive conversation with Kamel Nacif took place on the day immediately before the arrest of Lydia Cacho in Cancun. On this tape, Nacif is talking to an unidentified friend.

Nacif: “Tomorrow there’s going to be a full blown, fucking scandal.”

X: “Will it help Succar?” (the accused pederast Succar Kuri)

Nacif: “That fucking woman (Lydia Cacho) said I organize my own parties.”

X: “Right! What a bitch she is!”

Nacif: “And she’s saying I’ve got 100 complaints against me for sexual abuse! Fucking hija de tu chingada madre. Where’s the proof?”

X “Now we pay some woman to rape her in jail.”

Nacif, “No, no, that’s already recommended.”

X: “OK, great!”

Nacif: “Right, throw her in with the lunatics and the lesbians.”


Lydia Cacho has confirmed that while in the Puebla jail a woman guard told her the plan was to have her beaten and raped but the same guard helped her avoid harm. During a moment alone with Cacho, another young woman told her, “You messed with Kamel Nacif? You’re not going to get out of here. He rules this place. Many of those here are locked up for complaining about mistreatment in his factory.”

And immediately after Cacho’s arrest in December, 2005, the following conversation was recorded between Kamel Nacif and Nakad Beyeh (“Juanito”), a friend who is also a manufacturer of texiles in Puebla. In this period, Nacif’s most frequent phone conversations were with “Juanito”. This conversation took place just as the police delivered Cacho to the jail in Puebla.

Nacif, “What’s going on, Juanito?”

Nakad, “Listen, I’m here in the justice office. I couldn’t see Karam (Director of Judicial Police in Puebla) ‘cause he’s in a press conference but I talked to the judge.”

Nacif, “What’d she say?”

Nakad, “She said, ‘Juanito, don’t come to me today’. So I asked, ‘Why not?’ and she said, ‘Later, I’ll talk to you later.’ It looks like someone’s talked to her. She told me ‘I don’t want to see you around here . . . but don’t worry about it. You’re in good hands.’”

Nacif, “What’s that all about? They’re going to let her (Lydia Cacho) out on bail?”

Nakad, “I don’t think so. Listen, she (the judge) said they were going to talk. I don’t know what word came down from above. I’ll get hold of Alfonso Karam (Director de la Policia Judicial) and call you back in a few minutes.”

A few minutes later Nakad called as promised and told Nacif, “Listen, she’s (Lydia Cacho) arrived, she’s here. They’ve got her a la chingada.”

Nacif, “A big ruckus?”

Nakad, “Not too much, no. Her husband’s here. Televisa came and everything’s going on. They all went down where they got her in a cell by order of the Governor. I tell you they had her in a cell five minutes after she got here. They took her down there and they took photos and I don’t know what else. The judge said she’d talk to me later. So it’s good, they got her. It’s done. They say she’s a wreck. Carried her in a miserable car, took’em 24 hours to get here and let her eat once. We’ll see what happens now.”


Lydia Cacho was released from jail in Puebla on bail and the charges brought against her by Kamel Nacif were eventually thrown out by a judge in Cancun. Cacho then brought charges against Governor Mario Marin for violation of her rights and the Supreme Court of the nation voted to investigate the entire affair. The Court selected one of its own, Supreme Court Judge Silva Meza to conduct the inquiry. Months later Judge Silva Meza reported the committee’s conclusions: Governor Marin and his associates had indeed violated the rights of Lydia Cacho by coordinating her arrest and torture in order to benefit the businessman Kamel Nacif.

Then in November, 2007 the Supreme Court of Mexico rejected the conclusion of its own committee that Mario Marin and 29 other state officials had conspired to violate Lydia Cacho’s rights. In a 6-4 vote, the majority of the Court ruled that although there was evidence of criminal actions and some rights violations, they did not meet the standards nrecessary for the court to recommend action.


Lydia Cacho looks back on all this in her book, Memorias de Una Infamia, published in the last months of 2007. The following are among her conclusions:

In spite of all the talk about a new day in Mexican politics since PRI, the Partido Revolucionario Institutional, lost a Presidencial election after some 70 years in power, there is no new, flourishing democracy in the country, no slow break with the old authoritarian mold. Things remain entirely the same but now in a nation of over a hundred million citizens living in 32 states, each state governor rules each state the way the old PRI presidents used to rule the nation.

Cacho argues that when the President controlled all political activity in Mexico he had the undisputed power to remove any state Governor judged to be too far out of line. She notes that since PRI lost its hold on total power, state governors have become far more powerful. Never, she argues, have state governors ruled as autonomously as they do now. In theory their power is limited by a state’s independent judiciary and legislature but the case of Mario Marin, Governor of the State of Puebla, illustrates the Governor’s continuing, clear and complete control over all branches of the state government. She reminds us that in spite of the massive local and national protests against the policies and practices of Mario Marin of Puebla and Ulisis Ruiz of Oaxaca, each governor remains securely in power.

Governor Marin’s conversations with businessman Kamel Nacif illustrate and confirm what many Mexicans assumed: that politicans seek the favor of the rich, depend on their money and support, and are prepared to fall on their knees as necessary while calling them “papito” or “papá” o “mi heroe”.

And as it goes in the states, so it goes nationally. A few lines from a taped telephone conversation between Kamel Nacif, the wealthy businessman, and Emilio Gamboa, one the most powerful Senators in the national legislature, was published by the newspaper Universal and makes the point.

Senator Gamboa, “Papito, where have you been?”

Kamel Nacif, “Well, I’m just here in this lousy city. . .”

Senator Gamboa, “We’re bringing up the reform of the hipodromo. . .” (regarding gambling legislation)

Kamel Nacif, “Why?”

Senator Gamboa, “To play there. . .What do you think about it?”

Kamel Nacif, “No, don’t do it.”

Senator Gamboa, “Whatever you say, whatever you say is the way we’ll go.”

Kamel Nacif, “No, don’t go there, papá”

Senator Gamboa, “Well then we won’t go there. It’ll never pass the Senate now.”


Consider it: Kamel Nacif tells Governor Mario Marin about a problem he’s having with Lydia Cacho and the Governor sends police a thousand miles to another state to arrest her, threaten her with rape, drive her across country for 20 hours and lock her up in a Puebla jail. The same Kamel Nacif calls Senator Gamboa on the phone, hears about proposed legislation, tells Gamboa not to do it and the deal is done. Who’s in charge here? And how did Kamel Nacif get so such power?

To understand, begin here: on March 10, 1999, the New York Times reported that the “Tarrant Apparel Group, a maker of women's casual clothing, agreed yesterday to buy a denim mill in Puebla, Mexico for $107 million in stock and cash to improve the efficiency of its Mexican operations. Tarrant, which is based in Los Angeles and which makes clothing for men and children, will pay two million shares of its stock and $22 million in cash for the mill. Kamel Nacif, who is selling the mill, will become president of the company's Mexican operations. Shares of Tarrant rose 50 cents yesterday, to $43.” Not a bad day’s work: $22 million in cash and $86 million in shares.

Nacif is a very rich man. He is also a shrewd man who uses his wealth in ways calculated to advance his power in the highest political circles of the nation. The following interesting reflections about Kamel Nacif are taken from an article by Miguel Picard published in the June 10, 2003 issue of “Corp Watch”.

“On April 11, 2002, President Vicente Fox flew in his presidential jet to San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in order to inaugurate the new and, to date, the only maquiladora in the city, Trans-Textil International (TTI). Fox’s visit underscored the importance that his government is placing on initiatives such as TTI, spawned by a direct grant of US$1.65 million in public funds for the establishment of the factory, which is part of the federal governments March Towards Development program. Its stated goal is, according to Fox, to close the development gap between the southern and northern halves of Mexico.

“For the governor of Chiapas, Pablo Salazar, the inauguration of TTI was nothing short of the launch of the states industrial development. In the face of the unemployment generated by 20 years of neoliberal policies, and in the wake of intense and growing campesino out-migration, governments at all levels are urgently seeking to create jobs, and have thus pinned high hopes on the maquiladoras. This explains Fox’s gesture to preside over TTI’s inaugural ceremony, since both he and Governor Salazar see it as an inroad, an example to follow, proof for entrepreneurs that Mexicos southeast can be an alternative for their investments, spreading to the southeast the maquiladoras that up to now prevailed in the north.

“For a factory such as TTI to be installed, the federal, state and municipal governments must grant incentives, in other words, transfer taxpayers funds to companies, or grant exemptions for fees and taxes that otherwise would be collected. In the case of TTI, the transfer was (at least) US$1.62 million, consisting of US$571,429 from the March Towards Development program, and another US$1.05 million from the state government.”

“Who is benefiting from all this? His initials, KN, 3-feet high in bas-relief, are etched on the front wall of the Trans-Textil plant in San Cristobal. He is Kamel Nacif, Mexican of Lebanese origin, the powerful and wealthy king of denim (full name: Kamel Nacif Borge). Nacif owns a textile empire in Mexico, United States and Hong Kong, and the maquiladora in San Cristobal is a relatively small piece in his industrial complex, known as the Tarrant Apparel Group (TAG). Just in the city of Tehuacan, Puebla, TAG has seven maquiladoras, plus a plant that produces almost 20 million yards of denim per year . . . in addition to offices in China, Thailand, Korea, New York and Los Angeles.

“The connection between maquiladoras, hotels, relations with Vamos Mexico (a charity promoted by Marta Sahagun, the wife of Vincent Fox, President of Mexico), Nacif’s past as a big-league bettor, the suspicions of his participation in drug trafficking and money laundering, all point to a possible conclusion: more than a sound bottom-line decision, the maquiladoras in Mexico’s southeast are an agreement between Mr. Nacif and President Fox, keen as the latter is to show results for his motley assembly of programs such as the Plan Puebla Panama or the March to Development. Nacif is a bettor, a gambler by nature. To invest what is for him a token amount in a pet project of the President’s (the maquiladoras in San Cristobal and Chetumal), and in exchange influence the inner circle of power, might be fairly insignificant in monetary terms, and yield enormous rewards. The coveted prize would be a concession to operate a casino in his (Kamel Nacif’s) recently-acquired hotel in the Cancun hotel strip.”

Whatever his future in the casino business, Nacif’s present work is as a manufacturer of textiles with plants in the state of Puebla where his “precious gober” Mario Marin presides over the state in ways that accrue to his own and to his friend’s advantage.

For example, the “U.S.Labor Education in the Americas Project” reports that in June, 2003, workers at Kamel Nacif’s Tarrant-Ajalpan plant initiated work stoppages to protest working conditions. In July, workers at the Ajalpan plant organized a union with 75% of the workers participating. In August, 220 workers were fired. In October, the union filed for official recognition but was denied by Puebla’s Conciliation and Arbitration Board. Workers then called for support from United States allies and denounced the intimidation and physical attacks on workers favoring a union who reported they were being followed to their homes and receiving emails warning them not to try to organize any factory owned by Kamel Nacif, “the infamous leesee and manager of Tarrant’s Mexican facilities”. That fall, Tarrant announced a major restructuring under which Tarrant ceased to be a direct manufacturer and instead leased its facilities to Kamel Nacif, one of its major shareholders. The union’s organizing efforts continued until Febuary, 2004 when the Tarrant/Ajalpan Plant in Puebla closed its doors.”

Whether it’s children or workers being denied rights and discarded once used, rich exploiters are now and will remain protected in Mexico by a network of the financially and politically powerful, a network in which the predators’ dues are always paid and their favors always sought. It’s an old story which loses none of its jarring ugliness for all the times it’s been told. It is also a story that inspires a fearful, understandable silence among many. Cacho has broken that silence and will continue to do so. She has been joined, surrounded, supported and to a considerable degree protected by an international network of women and men, writers, reporters and human rights organizations. If that were not the case, it is all but certain that Lydia Cacho would now be remembered as a brave woman who was killed because she told the truth about predators and the powerful who serve them in Mexico.


For more information, Lydia Cacho’s books, Demonios de Eden and Memorias de una Infamia, are available in Spanish. A web search for “Lydia Cacho” provides links in Spanish and in English. “You Tube” carries videos of Lydia Cacho, Kamel Nacif, Succar Kuri, and Mario Marin.