letter to the editor about gmo & state attempted takeover of ag decision

Executive Vision

Executive Vision

Trench Art

Trench Art

On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM, catie faryl <catiefaryl@hotmail.com> wrote:

Letter to the Editor regarding SB 633 and related bills:
It’s not just that Monsanto, Syngenta and other bullying, foreign profit-takers are contaminating our heirloom and regionally adapted seeds and crops. It is also their chemical mixtures of Round-up to kill everything in the soil, avoid plowing and then plant genetically altered seeds that is so destructive.   
Media, business and government blame the public for being sick and “out of shape”, because they are worried about how America can afford health care. It’s the omnipresence of GMOs, refined white GMO beet sugar, GM corn, soy, corn syrup and processed and animal feed, plus unhealthy growing and livestock practices foisted upon the farm communities, that are causing harm. The huge rise in obesity, diabetes, cancers and heart attacks is related to these foods, which is what poor, and beleaguered middle class, and unemployed are habituated to buying since its mass production makes it cheap, available and soothing, though of diminished nutritional value.  
Our air and water are filled with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, killing off animals and insects, polluting streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, giving people asthma and other conditions. We are literally breaking the food chain within nature. The addictive cycle of Chemical, GMO, and Pharmaceutical agriculture must be ended through a massive intervention followed by a period of detoxification and economic reforms.  We must undo the patents that allow mega-corporations to own “intellectual property rights” of genetically modified organisms, genes and seeds and find remedies for binding contracts that force farmers to continue paying and using these products.  
Don’t believe the lies from Chem/AG that their products are safe and their objectives altruistic and that they just want “to feed the world”.  If that were true, billions of dollars wouldn’t have been spent perfecting and owning gene code, but instead used to build wells, and support native and sustainable systems.  80% of the world’s food is still grown in small and mid-size operations, the majority of it by women.
FREE THE FARMERS AND THE LAND FROM THIS CYCLE OF ABUSE!  This tired system in place since WWII is losing its efficacy. It has depleted the soils, bred pesticide-resistant pests and spray resistant plant diseases, and made people lazy, ill and unresponsive. In the 1950s we were told how wonderful DDT was, yet it was finally banned in America in 1972, (when corporations like Monsanto, Dow, and others simply sold those toxins in the third world and polluted THEIR wells and soils.) GMO is being banned all over the world. We need to transition out of it before all our crops are non-exportable and our citizens, animals, and environment deteriorate further.   
Trench Art

Trench Art

Folks, these aren’t Mendel’s peas, seeds or crops anymore!  This is TRANS-SPECIES TAMPERING, the ultimate arrogance, human folly and act of aggression by putting things where things simply do not belong! How it ever became legal for scientific, moral, and political reasons is highly questionable. Everyone needs to stop and reconsider this dangerous practice.  In my book GMO stands for GODDESS MIGHTILY OFFENDED! Catie Faryl Chamber of Commons Champions of the Commons on Facebook www.catiefaryl.net The Law declares him a thief who from the commons steals the goose, but the greater thief the law lets loose who steals the commons from the goose!   

    –   an English Proverb

Sex and the Singularity

Executive Vision and other Oxymorons

Opposing Senate Bill SB633 – to remove ag/seed control from Counties to State

Comments for Senate Committee regarding Senate Bill 633, Public Hearing Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The issue of Seeds is truly the debate of our time; it brings all differences of belief and opinion to common ground. Seeds represent our Sovereignty and are at the core of all economic freedom. Seeds are the true wealth given to all people, not just to a few patent holders. “Under all is the Land”* is a main theme of our democratic system therefore legislation that privatizes land, water, seed and genes or puts them under the auspices of Big Government involve great risks of undermining the biological, social and economic stability and survivability of our State and our Country.

It is unwise to tamper with the basic patterns established by Mother Nature. Evidence is mounting that foreshadows vast consequences if our State goes “retrograde” by supporting the trajectory of chemical and monoculture food-growing systems while the rest of the world is implementing more successful practices. France, Peru and many other countries have banned or are tightly controlling genetic modifications and breaking the addictive cycle created by dependence on fossil fuel, out of which the industrial-agricultural complex sprung at the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.

As an artist and writer who observes and illustrates trends and envisions positive solutions, I see SB 633 as counterproductive to the future of our economy and a disconnection from the rising potential, in fact the necessity, of returning to sane agriculture practices under local control.

It is difficult for me to believe multi-national seed and pesticide companies’ claims that their actions are altruistic and that they just “want to Feed the Planet” when the legacy of DDT and other petroleum-based, Big Oil-subsidiary products have been known as carcinogenic, environmentally dangerous money-makers since Rachel Carson wrote “The Silent Spring” in 1962. The use of DDT was banned in America in 1972, yet  farmers were not encouraged to taper off chemical fertilizers and sprays at that time, but were instructed and directed to use and abuse different ag-drugs.

Right now we have the opportunity to reverse the addiction to genetically modified seeds, Round Up Ready and other chemical products being used in large scale farming that actually give less yield and worse outcomes than what Nature, when respected and understood, can provide.  Let’s show some leadership and forward thinking like Vermont, a leader in wise initiatives across America, and many other States who are applying heavy restrictions on GMOs, requiring labeling and seeking bans.

Southern Oregon is known for its organic and gmo-free foods and lifestyle and the trend across the country and the world is also moving in that direction. We want to keep our State an attractive destination for tourists and new residents. (One out of six people I spoke with while canvassing had just moved to the Rogue Valley because of our relatively clean food, water, and air – their health is demanding it!)

Removing local control of these issues will have, in my opinion, significant economic impact due to more farm failures and decreased allure for tourists, not to mention the impact of limiting our ability to grow healthy foods for our region and for export. Without studying the significant repercussions of Senate Bill 633, including backlash against all exports of edible and grow-able products from America, a huge mistake may be made. We will be unable maintain a regional open pollinated seed crop, which in the future may be more valuable than gold or any other wealth.

As a parent, and someone who cares deeply about people and all sentient beings, I am not buying, serving or consuming the products in question. I’d like my future grandchildren to enjoy a healthy Rogue Valley childhood, and along with thousands of concerned citizens I will continue working to co- create the very best future for Oregon. I ask the Senate Committee to please reject Senate Bill 633.

Sincerely, Catie Faryl, Phoenix, Oregon   March 10, 2013


Here are some sources for more information:

U.S.A. produces 53% of GMO crops compared tiny fractions in other countries:



Places where GMOs have been banned:




Information about health concerns and diseases linked to GMOs:



Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and short video summarizing it at www.articles.marcola.com




Videos related to these issues:

“Alcohol can be a Gas” – makes the connection between Big Oil, the destruction of high grade farm fuels through Prohibition and the orchestrated addiction of America to fossil fuels

“The Future of Food”

“Genetic Roulette”


* Under all is the Land – from National Association of Realtors


King Lear

Asbestos Arks

Asbestos Arks


The day after seeing King Lear at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Thomas Theatre, I hurried to the library and checked out three different books about the play.  Of course I’ve seen King Lear at least four or five times, but in the intimate setting of the smallest theatre on OSF’s campus I saw and heard things that I hadn’t truly understood or previously perceived.

One thing that hit home was how very dark and un-redeeming this tragedy is for virtually every character in it.  Next thing was how rift with incredible quotes from the Bard this play is.  If “Ripeness is All” (Act  5, Scene 2) we are really treated to a very dirty, gritty, smelly production this time around!

The set is dark with lots of wrought iron gates, hardware and technology features.  Center stage a “dumbwaiter from hell” serves as a map case for the bequeathed kingdom, a conveyance for darklings in the dark, a sand and fire pit and a hovel hole for hairy homelessness.  A massive staircase stretches upward into the ethereal regions of majesty and ego. It is the golden light leading to an afterlife (whom many will hope for, but few here have earned)  built straight up into the rafters.  Shadows lurk up there too and there’s plenty of noise – timpani drums and indecent, reverberating curses from fathers, and viperous verbal bites from serpent-toothed offspring and pelican daughters.  Set changes and management of props  are cleverly handled by officers in uniform who start out as roadies and techies to handle TVs and other devices, and evolve over the course of the play to security guards, Police, a full riot gear Swat Team and finally a terrifying military force.

I always try to read the Director’s notes in the Playbill before the action starts, and also I like to close my eyes when the house goes dark, and open them to a new world.  I was instantly struck by a direct reference by Director Bill Rauch to Climate Change – “Eternally relevant, this play has a renewed urgency in our current era of frightening weather extremes.  We have left intact some of the often-cut political machinations.” In this story, “sin is plated with gold” (Act 4, Scene 6) and “even dogs are obeyed in office”!

What is most important to me about theatre, and why I write reviews, is to see what we can learn about our own times and experiences from art and drama of the past . . . . Bill Rauch continues in his notes to say “ One of my all-time favorite lines is in King Lear – The Storm Rages”.  Director Rauch touches on the plight of the homeless in his note “How does the former king describe a mentally challenged homeless person groveling in the mud as “Thou art the thing itself? ”.  This production of King Lear doesn’t pull any punches.  It exposes all our folly and foolishness; no age group, class, caste, sex or group is spared, and the visceral events remind us of how close we all live on the edge by the grace of benevolent climes and with the support and love from community, good friends and families.

“Elf all my hairs!”  (Edgar, Act 2, Scene 3); I love that line!  As if all that befalls us is caused by some impish malice!  Sometimes it happens that “Age is unnecessary”. . .  (Act 2, Scene 1) and we become useless. “The young arise when the old do fall!” There is a tempest in Lear’s mind and his anger is riled when his youngest and favorite daughter does not follow suit with over-glorious (and false) praise and glorified, flowery flatteries that her two older sisters have bestowed on their father, Lear.  Lear has apportioned one third of his kingdom to each of his daughters, but ends up cursing and banishing his favorite, Cordelia, when she answered him with facts and reminders of her devotion to him, rather than making grand yet meaningless statements like her sisters.

This sets into action the tragic story of how things in families can go from so-so to bad to worst.  Halfway through I began to wonder, where is Lear’s wife? (clues in Act 3, Scene 4).  Without a mother present, the family dynamics seem to have gone completely a-rye!  The question is raised   “Is man no more than this – unaccomodated man is an animal!”.  What incestuous nonsense has transpired or just how demented are all these people?  The two older sisters prove to be quite self-serving and disloyal as the play evolves, but one must wonder, beyond the obvious jealousy of the favoritism previously showered on Cordelia by her father, that there is a huge unbalance in the mix.  I suppose inheriting the wealth and power Lear has passed on to his heirs,(pre-mortem and with plenty of hooks)  is motivation enough.  But all around, there is distrust, anger and envy.  Envy and ego make a deadly combination, and as has been said about the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is the one without redeeming gratifications of the carnal senses.

The story of King Lear is reminiscent of the Saturn and his offspring.  His “power does curtsy to his wrath”.  Is it creeping senility or Alzheimer’s that adds wind and fire to this storm?  Like Saturn, Lear is so intent on his rage that he ends up destroying the things and people dearest to him.  Saturn ate his children and Lear’s appetite for self-aggrandizement and praise unleashes all his rage and unhinges his sensibilities.  The loyal fool and angelic Kent try to pull Lear back from the brink, but his anger has blinded him even as the Earl of Gloucester is cruelly blinded.

When trust is gone, and dragons’ wrath is given rein to storm, forgetting all prior sweetness and love, lives are lost. “As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods, times plague when madmen lead the blind”.  Yet in Lear’s story, as ours, we can only look to our own misdeeds and “darker purpose” to place the blame.  Human folly is Infinite Jest.

Some say when we’re born we cry because we miss God. In this play Shakespeare states “When we are born we cry to be borne to this stage of fools”.  Quote the Fool, “Prithee, nuncle, be contented: ‘tis a naughty (wicked) night to swim in.  Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old lecher’s heart – a small spark, all the rest on’s body cold.  Look, here comes a walking fire.”

Catie Faryl    www.catiefaryl.net     March 5, 201


Two Trains Running

Two Trains Running

Playwright August Wilson has consistently captured the history of America through his series of plays about the lives of black people.  Two Trains Running  is set in a small neighborhood restaurant in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1969. The place has jukebox which is usually broken and other difficulties that  beleaguered, middle-aged owner Memphis must grapple with.  The action and additional cast* of six moves and comes alive in this small space, where their personal troubles, hopes and dreams are explored and exposed in the light and darkness of the rough political and economic realities of those times.

The intense view into the lives of Memphis and his waitress Risa, a perennial customer Wolf, who is running numbers using the restaurant as a point of his operation, wise old friend Holloway, disabled Hambone, a funeral parlor owner West is engaging.  The setting, music and language all reinforce the intimacy of the black community, as well as accurately portray similar small businesses throughout the country. I grew up in Oakland and spent time in similar neighborhoods in that time period.  The play is truly authentic and recreates the vibe and what was going on back then. The songs selected for the play are wonderful reminders of that time.  “You’re All I Need to Get By”, “I Fall Apart, Baby” and others sing volumes.

When a stranger named Sterling shows up at the restaurant, the lives of the other characters shift.  Sterling is a young and unknown fellow who’s got plenty of game, and maybe not as much sense as Memphis, Wolf and Holloway would like.  Risa is annoyed by his attention, but also friendly enough to him since he treats Hambone with good cheer.  Risa’s rough life has left her in distain for men, but the childlike Hambone is someone she cares about.  Hambone constantly raves about how he’s been cheated out of a ham he was promised years ago by a business owner across the street. Risa takes money from her tip jar to buy Hambone some coffee or beans when Memphis complains.

Each character is having problems, and Holloway recommends visits to “Aunt Esther”, a healer who lives nearby and claims to be 322 years old.  Her remedies for personal troubles are wise, and they have a reputation of working, although some are resistant to her “RX” of throwing $20 bills in the river to elicit a “cure”.

I greatly enjoyed this play and so did the rest of the audience who gave a spontaneous and rousing standing ovation at the end.  We felt like we knew these people and had struggled along beside them.  We can relate because what was happening in the poor black communities back in the 1960s and 1970s is now happening to the middle class.  The same issues of Catch-22 bureaucracies where there is a stranglehold on the means of making a living and the political climate where  grassroots leaders of the people are ignored, discredited, jailed or killed and the disempowerment of the people through a lack of jobs, resources and multitude of means (not least of which is to utterly exhaust and complicate life) is repeating.  There are some things we can envy about their situation; the camaraderie, the kidding, the light heartedness and faith of some of the characters and the boldness and brashness of others who represent their communal ability to cope and enjoy life even with hardship, while hoping, willing and working for change. Their circumstances are bleak enough that they recognize and declare “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”, a place and sense of things that the middle class has not yet embraced.

Making do with what’s available and with a thread of the line “Give me some sugar, Risa” continuing throughout the play, we instinctively know “sugar” is another name for love or a kiss.  A Reverend must become a Prophet to bypass the system and carry a message.  A restaurant owner must fight City Hall to get a fair price for his condemned property.  Flowers stolen from a funeral become a romantic gesture from a man to a woman.  These friends speculate on whether the Moon is getting closer, and foreshadowing the idea in the movie Melancholia, wonder whether the world will end.

These are the Two Trains Running.  One moving forward, one leaving.  We hear their plaintive whistles in the distant background.  There  are Two Trains Running, one is Love, the other is Death and no one escapes these travels and travails.


Catie Faryl, March 1, 2013     www.catiefaryl.net



*Cast and Crew

Memphis – Terry Bellamy

Wolf – Kenajuan Bentley

Risa – Bakesta King

Holloway – Josiah Phillips

Hambone – Tyrone Wilson

Sterling – Kevin Kenerly

West – Jerome Preston Bates

Triple Dip Economy


Real Slick