celebrating income tax day!

This is the income tax:

You tax what you don’t want, right? Let’s see, let’s tax cigarettes and pollution-generating activities, because we’d all be better off without these, right? And let’s tax income because we’d all be better off… hmm..

Income taxes are partially financing our drones overseas killing innocent people. I don’t want to finance drones overseas killing innocent people. So I don’t want to pay taxes. I do like to earn income though, for food and shelter and video games and other life necessities.

Taken a little further, income taxes mean I have to choose between my survival and the survival of someone I don’t know in the middle east. Not pretty.

For the above reason, income taxes keep the pacifists from wanting to be wealthy. Wouldn’t it be neat if we had a bunch of wealthy pacifists? I wonder how they would invest their capital?

I’m heading out sporting my colors this evening:

new email notification feature

I’ve replaced the wordpress email notification plugin with a feedburner subscription on the blog. If you had signed up for the email notifications, please do so again via the new box.

The old plugin didn’t notify on all posts (in particular, when they were scheduled for the future). Feedburner does.

I’m deactivating the old plugin just after this post.

Menu

If you want me to go away as fast as possible:

Tell me how difficult life is for everyone,
How disappointed you are with yours,
How impossible it is to get what you want.
And when I protest, tell me to get real.

If you want me to stay and half-listen
with eyes glazed over
as I daydream about breakfast:

Tell me about how wonderful life is
For somebody else;
And without so many words
Imply that your life is ordinary,
And that only shooting stars break the mold,
And that’s just how things have to be.

If you want me to brighten
and lean in with rapt attention
so as not to miss a word:

Tell me about your biggest dreams
And how you’re going to achieve them
And about the future of wonder and joy that awaits you.

If you want me to bubble over with excitement
and keep coming back for more:

Engage me in a conversation
Where we share our biggest dreams
And discuss how we’re going to work together.

If you want my admiration
without limit
now and forever forward:

Take action with me
Side by side
Creating the world of our dreams.

milk calcium myth

Did you know you can get the same amount of calcium as is in a cup of milk from 3 tbsps of sesame seeds? Or a cup of collard greens? And that studies are increasingly showing that acid-forming foods such as meat and dairy actually deplete the body of essential minerals such as calcium?

The milk calcium myth is on the way out, just waiting for the final blow!

Libya

I haven’t been following much of the Libya debate, but I did see this video, and I expect the voice of peace has been much underreported.

Senator Rand Paul on Libya

I am especially intrigued at what my more liberal-leaning friends think of Obama’s current position vs. what he said when he was in the senate. Here’s what he said in 2007:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to
unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does
not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

I liked that. Can we have that attitude back?

vegan vitamin b12, updated

I posted on this subject a couple days ago. Since then I’ve looked into vegan sources of b12 a bit more and have a couple of updates to what I wrote.

Thing 1.

The liver stores a lot of b12 — something like 3 years’ worth or more. I think your doctor can test your blood levels to see if you’re deficient.

Thing 2.

I’ve heard that back in the old days vegans didn’t have to worry about it because they got insects in their food all the time and this supplied b12. Nowadays most of our food is bug-free so that doesn’t work. I think you can eat dirt too.

Thing 3.

There are a few places to get b12 from vegan foods. Brandon Brasier in his vegan nutrition book “Thrive” (he’s a vegan athlete and his book is pretty interesting — I recommend it) says:

Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, aiding in coordination and smooth muscle movement. As with other B vitamins, B12 plays a role in the production of red blood cells and conversion of food to usable energy. Unlike other B vitamins, B12 is not plentiful in foods. Special attention must be paid to ensure dietary B12 needs are met, particularly if the diet doesn’t contain animal products and exercise level is moderate to high.

Best Thrive [vegan] sources: chlorella, miso, nutritional yeast.

I eat all three. I have little chlorella pills that I put in smoothies from time to time, or just chew on. I put miso in soups, grains, and bean dishes. South River Miso has a lot of varieties and it’s the best I’ve found. I put nutritional yeast on popcorn. Yum.

Update: Chlorella and miso only have very small amounts of b12. To get the RDA’s worth, you’d have to eat a ton of either food. In contrast, there’s plenty of b12 in a generous helping of nutritional yeast.

It’s worth noting I have no idea how accurate the RDA is. It’s entirely possible that vegans don’t need as much, or need more, than whoever the standard was modeled after.

There are also small amounts of b12 in some sea vegetables.

There is a significant amount (about 50% RDA per serving) of b12 in spirulina, a blue-green algae that goes well in smoothies.

Thing 4.

You can take a vegan b12 supplement if you’re worried about it.

Update: Thing 5.

Many nut / rice / soy milks are fortified with b12.

They’re also fortified with vitamin D, which I’ve heard is important when you’re not getting enough sun, like say if you have an indoor job in the winter in downtown NYC. Note that vegan milks usually contain D2 instead of D3, because D3 is an animal product.

UNAC peace rally

Next weekend there’s going to be a peace rally in NYC and San Francisco:

April 9, 2011
New York & San Francisco
from the
United National Antiwar Committee

WHO ARE THE WARMAKERS?

THEY are the government, corporate, and financial powers that wage war, ravage the environment and the economy and trample on our democratic rights and liberties.

WHO ARE THE PEACEMAKERS?

WE are the vast majority of humanity who want peace, a healthy planet and a society that prioritizes human needs, democracy and civil liberties for all.

The Warmakers spend trillions of dollars yearly on endless wars in pursuit of global domination and profit while murdering millions of innocent people, installing corrupt and hated governments and funding occupations that displace millions from their homelands – trampling on the right of oppressed people to self-determination.

THEY send our youth – victims of the economic draft – to fight over the very fossil fuels whose unrestrained use threatens the future of the planet while corrupt and virtually unregulated oil giants dump billions of gallons of death into our rivers and oceans.

THEY wage a fake “war on terrorism” at home – the new McCarthyism – that promotes racism and Islamophobia aimed at destroying civil liberties and democratic rights.

I’m with you so far. The tone is one of anger, not peace, but the principles I mostly agree with.

THEY grant repeated and untold trillions in bailouts to banks, corporations and financial institutions while breaking unions, robbing pensions, destroying jobs, foreclosing homes, de-funding education and vital social services and are once again threatening Social Security and Medicare.

THEY offer no solutions to the current crises other than more of the same.

I’m starting to wonder how much the organizers have thought about the peacefulness of their own positions.

THE PEACEMAKERS DEMAND a better world. Only a massive, united, inclusive and independent movement has the power to bring it into being.

“Demand” a better world? From who? I don’t think demanding stuff is part of a peaceful solution. It sounds like frustration-venting, not peace-creating.

WE DEMAND Bring U.S. Troops, Mercenaries and War Contractors Home Now: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan! End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen. No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa! End U.S. Aid to Israel! End U.S. Support to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the Siege of Gaza!

Again, except for the demanding nature, these positions are mostly peaceful.

WE DEMAND trillions for jobs, education, social services, an end to all foreclosures, quality single-payer healthcare for all, a massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation and reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad.

This reflects a serious misunderstanding of peace. Demanding trillions for jobs, education, etc. is nearly as non-peaceful as demanding trillions for warmaking. The trillions must come from somebody, and it sounds like this group wants to take it by force.

Government is a force-machine. We’re not going to get peace by taking over the force-machine so that one group can legally plunder from another! This is replacing one wrong with another. An eye for an eye. Revenge. Not peace.

WE DEMAND an end to FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists, an end to the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim communities, an end to police terror in Black, Latino and Native American communities, full rights and legality for immigrants and an end to all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors and founders.

WE DEMAND the immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads.

WE ARE DEDICATED TO A WORLD
OF PEACE AND JUSTICE.

All Out April 9, 2011

Yeah!

I’m thinking of going to this rally with a sign that says “Single-payer healthcare and public education are acts of violence.” I wonder if I’ll get trampled.