Thanks for thought-provoking articles on Peak Oil issue
I want to discuss an issue that your weekly publication has definitely subscribed to: Peak Oil. Since many of your readers are familiar with it, why not use it as a rally cry to change the lives of its readers? Why not set aside a small portion of the paper to its solutions? What about adding a forum for this subject to your website?
Currently I am deployed to Iraq—for whatever reason people think we are here—well, except for making America freer. Who am I helping out by being here? Our generators, SUVs and Humvees alone use hundreds of gallons a day. The war is a huge drag on our economy.
I have wanted to prepare for the Long Emergency for quite some time. I sold
my car in March of 2003 in protest of the war and [our government’s involvement
with] Saudi Arabia. (I also participated in the anti-war March in October of
2002—where Wellstone was going to be speaking.) If I wasn’t deployed
this year, I was going to take out a community garden and learn how to manage
an organic garden. Instead my girlfriend has been doing work on her grandma’s
garden in Michigan.
While in Iraq, I purchased a book on Intentional Communities from an organization
that promotes them at IC.org.
I honestly feel that cooperative community arrangements are the only solutions
to surviving the Long Emergency. I have found many communes, but few are truly
prepared for post-oil.
I have meditated on which regions of America would be most suitable to survive
post-oil. I used to think that the Pacific Northwest region of Oregon, Washington
and British Columbia were good candidates. After reading James Howard Kunstler’s
arguments against this region, however, I would have to agree with him.
The best place, post-oil, that I can find currently is the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan. The soil is quite good for agriculture. The area has an aging population—the
oldest in the Midwest, which is already aging. The area is sparsely populated—on
average only seven people per square kilometer.
the region would be isolated from the lower part of the state of Michigan, and
could become a separate entity if the state government is not sustainable. A
hint of this is that Escanaba has an annual Upper Peninsula State Fair. Also
the region is surrounded by the Great Lakes, which will be a valuable transportation
The southern portion of the Upper Peninsula near Lake Michigan has a growing
season similar to that of Missouri, so the area has a longer growing season
than anywhere in Minnesota.
I would like to say that Minnesotans have a good chance to make it—and
I think that many will. But looking at our sprawled out Twin Cities—and
the “interstate cities”—these places are unstable and will
not make it. There are too many people here for life to become sustainable.
We do have many good things going for us—the cooperative businesses and
I feel that those who live in the Twin Cities should strive to meet the challenges
of the Long Emergency. There are many opportunities currently that will allow
civilization to continue going in some form. I hope that the Pulse can make
this a long-term issue for positive change in our communities.
I think that an investment in the Upper Peninsula for an eco-village would be
the best solution in the Midwest. I have contacted an organization doing just
this in various locations. They have expressed interest in the Upper Peninsula
— but only if I can find others who are potentially interested.
I consider myself a pretty committed individual in preparing for the Long Emergency.
I only became conscious of the subject in the fall of 2002, and decided it would
be smart to wean myself from the car culture. I am out of the active guard in
May of 2006 and will be on IRR (aka I will probably be drafted) until 2008.
Hopefully I have as much time as all of you in Minnesota—but I am currently
trapped by something out of my control.
So I have been going on those “Support the Troops” websites asking
for books on organic gardening and other useful endeavors post-oil. I have only
received a couple books thus far—and a whole lot of care packages containing
useful items while here—but not post-oil. And the bunch of tiny folded
flags won’t mean anything if I’m trying to grow food for my survival
really can’t wait to return to Minneapolis and have a library with such
diverse resources again!
I love your paper, but really dislike some of the partisan hatred I sometimes
feel emanates from it. With peak-oil an actual issue, it is time to be inclusive.
Survival is not a partisan issue. As one individual wisely stated on the subject
of the Long Emergency: “Competition was the watchword of the ascent, cooperation
will be the foundation of the descent.”
Editor’s note: Your letter is one of the best we have ever
received—thank you. Please continue to write us about both your experiences
in Iraq and your thoughts on a post-oil future. Brian Kaller - Managing
Thanks Rob van Alstyne for great cover story
I am writing in response to the article written by Rob Van Alstyne in your current
issue of the Pulse. We at Down in the Valley Records applaud your intent of
doing a story on the current state of independent music stores in the metro
issues brought up in the article are real and many of the staple record stores
have gone by the wayside because of the current economic landscape. The issue
we have with your article is that Down in the Valley wasn’t even mentioned.
I believe because we are located in the suburbs of Golden Valley, Crystal, Wayzata,
and Maple Grove, we are often snubbed in articles regarding these issues. This
has happened numerous times in the City Pages and now in your paper.
I’d like to remind you and the author that Down in the Valley has been
in business for 33 years and we are the largest independent chain in the metro,
selling new and used music including vinyl. We have been a four-store music
staple in the metro area without having a store located directly in the city
of Minneapolis and we’re upset that we weren’t included in the article.
One thing we could’ve added to the story is how we have remained a healthy,
successful company by diversifying our business to include lifestyle and gift
items. This is the only reason we are still in business while many others have
had to shut their doors. We’d love to make our living off of selling just
music like we did through the ‘70s, ‘80s,and ‘90s but that
is not the reality today.
Down In The Valley
Editor’s note: Our article covered only those record stores within
our distribution area. Rob van Alstyne
cover ridicules opposition
We as a human race have many problems to solve. The only way we can approach
this gigantic task is to work together. A cover such as the one portraying Pawlenty
as a dunce does nothing to foster dialogue. It seeks to polarize, label and
ridicules the “opposing team” and mires us in the existing paradigm.
The result is that the problem that needs solving is ignored, while the need
for “my party” to win takes over.
Respect what we got
What amazing youth! I am quite sure John Kennedy would have been a “blind
military religious military [sic] hawk” by your standards. You refuse
to respect all the amazing sacrifices of real Americans from real wars that
have given you the weener pedestal that you so tall on college and all.
Remember—you’re standing on Americans that have given you the freedom
you take for granted to criticize them.
I am not Republican. I am an American/capitalist/independent. I lost a bunch
of friends on 9-11. But fag-ass Minnesota is so overeducated. The pen is the
sword of the wussy. Respect what we got.
John Eric Thiese
Israel not a “superpower”
The Pulse commentary (6-29-05)
on the plight of a Palestinian village loses credibility in concluding remarks
describing Israel as a “superpower”.
Israel? The size of Rhode Island, one-ninth the land area of the State of Minnesota
--- a superpower?! Oy vey.
Pulse should know better than to peddle dangerous, and what should be obvious,
nonsense. If you believe the “superpower” myth, what other lies
are you apt to buy into? The world has been this route before. Maybe to the
Palestinian villagers Israel may seem like a superpower, but it is through the
supportive repetition of distorted beliefs that myth becomes fact.
In writer Razowksy’s words, the mayor of this Palestinian village repeatedly
asked why “superpower” Israel, “with nuclear capabilities
and a first world military, would care to make war on the people of the tents,”
for which Razowsky says she “had no answer”. Well, I do.
Israel maintains a first class defense force because “the people of the
tents” keep throwing stones --- and kassam rockets and sending human bombs
--- actions condoned by the Palestinian-led organization that Razowsky works
As for Israel making war on the “people of the tents”, it’s
the exact opposite. Both Intifadehs I and II (a.k.a. war on Israel) were proclaimed
by the Arabs/Palestinians and they are proud of it. This is well-documented
by both sides. People shouldn’t throw rocks, gloat about it and then feign
As for mention of Israel’s “nuclear capabilities” –
or not – it’s irrelevant to the current situation and the plight
of this particular Palestinian village which appears to be an impact zone. It
is mentioned only to further villainize Israel.
For the record, Israel may or may not have certain nuclear capabilities –
no one actually knows for certain – but if you were a nation of some 8
million surrounded by a billion hostile people, what would you do? It’s
an interesting finesse. But Israel has never posed a nuclear threat and certainly
not to Palestinian Arabs. Do I need to repeat the geographic size of the land
of Israel? Why anyone would use a nuclear bomb in the first place, I don’t
have any answer for, but I do know they wouldn’t use it in their own yard.
So why mention “nuclear capability” even though it’s never
been considered a weapon of this war? Because the Palestinians don’t have
any and the Israelis might and for the largely anti-nuke activist community
it simplifies decisions about which side might be more right, which side good
and which side evil.
while Razowsky reports for the Pulse from the Middle East on the expected demolition
of 20 Palestinian homes and structures, Israel is preparing to demolish the
homes of 8,000 Jews. On the demolition of Jewish homes you do not report. Why
are the Jewish homes to be demolished? Because no Jews will be permitted to
live in the future state of Palestine. So much for tolerance. These modest Jewish
homes, by the way, are being demolished at the insistence of the Palestinians.
Palestinians say they aren’t accustomed to such “luxury” and
the single-family homes will be replaced by high-rise housing which will better
meet their needs. Yet, I remember some years back when the Israeli government
built high-rise housing for Palestinians, identical to that provided for Jews,
and the Arabs refused to live in them, even destroying many of the buildings
which they deemed as not suitable to their way of living.
But that’s another story. From a different perspective. And unfortunately
the Pulse has only one writer in the Middle East who went there, not as an independent
reporter in search of facts, but who went there with a specific agenda as an
organizer for a Palestinian organization – which makes it difficult to
separate fact from fabrication.
More than likely there are some terrible injustices in the Palestinian village
Razowsky writes about, and I, probably like many other Pulse readers, really
got absorbed in the story, sucked in…. until the concluding remarks which
I know to be such gross distortion of fact, that I had to wonder how much, if
any, of the story were true.
It is important that we learn about Palestinian conditions and concerns, as
well as those of Israelis. The problem comes in overarching to sell one’s
point of view. What compelled me to respond, this time, was the need to quash
“myth” before it gets repeated enough it is believed. No matter
where we fall in the Israeli-Palestinian spectrum of opinion, we should agree
that even though Israel has a first class defense force and unknown nuclear
capabilities, it is by no stretch of the imagination a “superpower”.
We need to stick to facts, not reinvent them to justify the stand we may have