Beautiful Images: Big Bear Family

mother bear and 5 young cubs


mother bear and 5 grown cubs


 Photos by Tom Sears -


THE BEARS AND I by Tom Sears

Black bears typically have two cubs, rarely one or three. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire, a black bear sow gave birth to five healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as many as four cubs but five was, and is, extraordinary.

I learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set myself a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom, no matter how much time and effort was involved. 

I knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dark. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week, for six weeks I had that once in a lifetime opportunity and photographed them in the shadows and dull lighting of the evening. 
Due to these conditions the photograph is a bit "noisy" as I had to use the equivalent of a very fast film speed on my digital camera. The print is properly focused and well exposed with all six bears "posing" as if they were in a studio for a family portrait.

I stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. 

As time for hibernation approached, I found still more folks who had seen them and everything remained OK. I stayed away from the bears as I was concerned that they might become habituated to me, or to people in general, as approachable "friends". This could be dangerous for both man and animal.

After Halloween I received no further reports and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated. This spring, before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2007.

I saw them before mid April and dreamed nightly of taking another "family portrait," an improbable second "once in a lifetime" photograph.
On April 25, 2008 I achieved my dream. When I showed the result to a woman who had purchased a print of the cubs a year earlier she exclaimed, "I have never seen such an extraordinary photograph".
When something as magical as this happens between man and animal Native Americans say: "We have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow."
And so it is with humility and great pleasure that I share these photos with you.

Sincerely, Tom Sears
PS. As of August 2008, the cubs are doing well but have gone their separate ways and there will not be another "family portrait".


Where Have All the Jobs Gone?

Charles Hugh Smith at describes why so many jobs have migrated to China and Asia. Sad but true.

Several of my informed friends say that a few corporations are moving jobs back to the US. Let's hope it is a trend.

The key dynamic to understanding trade with China is U.S. corporate profits. In broad brush, what happened was simple: U.S. global corporations had run out of profitable places to invest their capital in their home domestic market of the U.S. The technology boom had been underway since the early 1980s, and much of the low-hanging fruit of improved productivity had already been reaped.

In the big picture, the U.S. market was "mature"–everybody already had everything, and the only gains to be had were marginal, shaved off at the expense of competitors. So the marketers conjured up a new line of toothpaste and various gimmicks were added to vehicles, but growth in the U.S. was modest, as befits a mature consumer economy.

So how could corporations increase profits? By slashing production costs. If you can't sell 30% more every year, then how do you make 30% more profits? By cutting your production costs by 30%.

How do you do that? By moving production overseas, mostly to China. … profits for the companies in China which make the goods for Corporate America are slim–from 1% to 3%. The big profits flow not to China-based companies, but to the foreign firms which own the production facilities and sell the goods in advanced economies.

This is the fundamental dynamic of trade with China–it has enabled an explosion in U.S. corporate profits to unprecedented heights. If you think about it, it is absolutely staggering that 10% of the entire U.S. GDP ($13.5 trillion) is corporate profits.

The full story of the decline of manufacturing and industry in the U.S. is not complete without looking at the dominance of finance.The U.S. economy has been effectivelyfinancialized, meaning that Financial Elites have come to completely overshadow industry and manufacturing.

Financialization of the U.S. economy and the exploitation of trade with China are deeply related. Domestic industrial capitalism ran into the limits of overcapacity and saturated markets; additional capital investments reaped marginal gains in profits.

The "answer" was to financialize the U.S. economy with vast increases in credit, debt and leverage, enabling a hyper-consumerist economy built on a pyramid of debt and leverage. Industrial Capitalism shifted capital and production overseas for a "two-fer"–to skim unprecedented profits from lowering production costs and by expanding into newly opened economies in China, India and elsewhere.

Simply put: Finance took over America, and Industrial Capital moved overseas. Both profited immensely, and China gained an industrial sector paid for by overseas capital and 200 million jobs for its restive, ambitious populace.

Link: Trade and "Trade War" with China: Who Benefits?

Stay Away from Canola Oil (Rapeseed Oil)

Rapeseed field

Kellene Bishop at unearths the dirt on Canola Oil. This product is a great example of brilliant marketing overriding the ugly truth. Excerpts below – click on the link to read the whole article.

Apparently farmers are using weed killer Round Up on fields producing canola oil for human consumption. If Round Up kills weeds on contact, what does it do in our bodies?

The bottom line is: Stay away from Canola Oil. Read the labels of your food. Minimize your healthcare expenses by preventing illness.

Link: Canola Oil—A Well Crafted Scheme by Kellene Bishop

Canola oil was one of the pioneers of the genetically modified food team. It was a way for them to test the waters, so to speak. “Could we convert Americans to using this engineered chemical with the right amount of commercial influence? The answer was a resound “YES!” for the interested parties. And it’s created a litany of monsters ready to ride the coattails of the path to success which canola oil has forged.

The mechanical industry has long used this industrial-grade oil which comes from “Rapeseed.” Of course the name had to be changed to “canola.” Who in their right mind would use an oil called “Rape?”–although it’s quite appropriate once you understand the adulterated process in creating it. Rapeseed is a part of the mustard seed family.  Rapeseed oil has also long been used in insecticides (great for roses, actually), pesticides, colored dyes, detergents, synthetic rubbers, and even in the creation of biological weapons. To engineer canola oil from Rapeseed oil it must go through a heat and refining process. This process ENSURES that the canola oil contains trans fatty acids. In fact, this process is called by a name you may be familiar with “hydrogenation.” As an interesting side note, some numbskull in England promoted it all throughout the country (and Europe) as an animal feed additive. He was even successful for a number of years (’86-’91) until it was BANNED as a harmful chemical to animals and humans. (It’s amazing how much more health minded those governments are in some aspects, compared to the U.S. when they are actually footing the bill for all of the medical care). Rapeseed was actually blamed for being the cause of “Mad Cow” disease entering the human food chain—through cattle consuming the poisonous feed. This is because it is poisonous to both animals and humans—period.

… it is subsidized by both the U.S. government and the Canadian government.  They are in hot financial water if the canola industry goes bust, which is exactly why the canola propaganda machine has created websites, prime time commercials, and endless amounts of “reliable literature” to convince you that “all is well.”

In lab testing, even the rats died off quickly. Even when a lab rat was saved from the canola diet, it still had scars to manifest the danger already done to the body. Ironically, though, canola oil is touted as being a better fat option, the testing showed horrible fat deposits which lead to kidney, liver, thyroid and adrenal gland failures. But hey, it’s perfectly safe.

P.S. From Wikipedia:

The Monsanto Company has genetically engineered new cultivars of rapeseed that are resistant to the effects of its herbicide Roundup. They have sought compensation from farmers found to have the Roundup Ready gene in Canola in their fields without paying a license fee. These farmers have claimed the Roundup Ready gene was blown into their fields and crossed with unaltered Canola. Other farmers[which?] claim that after spraying Roundup in non-Canola fields to kill weeds before planting, Roundup Ready volunteers are left behind, causing extra expense to rid their fields of the weeds.

In a closely followed legal battle, the Supreme Court of Canada found in favor of Monsanto's patent infringement claim for unlicensed growing of Roundup Ready in its 2004 ruling on Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser. The case garnered international controversy as a court-sanctioned legitimation for the global patent protection of genetically modified crops. However, Schmeiser was not required to pay damages, as he did not benefit financially from the GMO crop in his field.

Old Pear Tree – Still Producing

Old Pear Tree

I been admiring this old pear tree in my neighbor's yard for two decades. It receives no care but still produces pears. This summer (2010) it produced a huge number of pears – so many that some of its limbs have broken from the load, especially during thunderstorms. The wild critters that eat pears are fat and happy now. 

I took this photo at the beginning of autumn.