Monday, January 26, 2009


from murph

Yup, we're married now, for better or worse, in sickness and health, we are married for at least four years. Unless we want to talk about a divorce, we are going to have to get along with each other. After having lived through 8 years married to the mafia, this should be a piece of cake. I know that my cynicism over this marriage indicates that I distrust this government, just not quite as much as the Bush years. However, we got him now, got to make the best of it.

As in any relationship, there has to be mutual trust. With the Bush years, it sure seems to me that there was no trust on either side of the relationship, except in the case of the hard line civilian neocon advocates, whose numbers rapidly dwindled as time went on. Now we have the hard line Obamaites with their complete trust in the relationship.

Obama campaigned on the promise of change. Of course, I really don’t remember any campaign where change wasn’t mentioned. But, Obama made it a mantra to the great enthusiasm of a great deal of the populace. The change is supposed to be away from the excessive policies of the Bush administration. Of course, a large percentage of the population wants a change from the dreadful Bush years.

To a large extent, it depends on what changes are made, how extensive they are and how successful they are to keep this marriage going. What I question is just what changes the general part of the population really wants. I suspect that, deep down, what the population wants is a return to the blue light specials and happy motoring that they were used to. They of course, don’t want to deal with escalating cost of living, depressed housing prices, and high cost of fuel, unemployment and depressed wages for blue collar labor. Hell yes, makes sense. But, do we agree that this is going to be possible, that we can go back to what was? This is answered by what paradigm, what part of reality you believe in. I think that despite whatever intentions Obama has, the majority of the population will soon be disappointed and disillusioned with his administration because we are constrained by reality (as I see it anyway) from ever returning to what we had in the past. So despite Obama’s intentions, this country is again going to be disappointed.

Here is where the trust comes in. Depending on what people envision in whatever changes need to be made, trust in the new administration will not last long because this administration is not going to be able to meet the expectations of the general population. This is the problem with our politics in general and campaigning in general. To win elections and gain initial general support, you have to exaggerate what you will do if elected, and minimize the not possible stuff. Despite the intentions of the candidate, this is true. And, if we get a candidate who is a liar and does not have the population’s best interest at heart to begin with, we are going to get a whole bunch of shit when they are elected, as evidenced in the last 8 years of Bush. The only way Obama could get the initial trust of the population was to make promises, even if they could not be met. Can you imagine how popular he would have been if he had campaigned on the idea that all of our natural resources are depleting faster than they can be renewed, that we are going to have to radically change our way of life, that we are going to have to scale back our standards of living, that the current crop of bankers need to be eliminated from the society. He wouldn’t have gotten past the first weeks of the primary. Look at the policies that Ron Paul advocates, most of which I can agree with. He can hardly get out of the starting block on multiple attempts, despite his grass root support.

So the trust in our relationship with Obama has to be mutual. If he really advocates the necessary changes, will the population still trust him? I doubt it. When it comes down to the bottom line, the population does not want real change; it just wants one set of bums they don’t agree with out of power. Is the general population really going to reject greed, massive effects of entitlement with individual wealth, and excessive government control in the name of security? Remember when Carter was president, and warned us that this was going to happen? He was ridiculed, cursed, and driven into the margins of history on that issue alone. If Obama starts advocating austerity and having to lower standards of living and radical changes of existing life styles, the same thing will happen. If he started to really prosecute the criminals leaving the white house, the divisions in this country would intensify; I would suspect into violence.

So the end of this is whether you trust this new administration to do their best for us, the population, or not. No matter how well intentioned Obama is, no matter how much support he is able to keep, we are not going to reverse a national paradigm of the last 60 years in 4 years. That paradigm of greed is good, that we can have whatever we wish for, that we deserve all the benefits we have, that infinite growth is good and possible, is only going to go into reversal by situations over which no one has control and for which there are no solutions.

The best that I can hope for and trust in this new group of power people is that if they really do have the welfare of the population as the center of their policies and actions, that they can manage to soften the landing we are headed for as we fall off the cliff of unsustainability. Despite his charisma and intellect, he is not going to restore the happy 90’s of excess and spending. It is perhaps unfortunate that our leaders are unable to voice such sentiments. If they were, we could have been preparing for the last 30 years and suffered far less than we are sure to suffer in the future. So once more, just what do you trust Obama to do or not do? Really want a Las Vegas divorce this early in the game?

From freeacre:

Building on the “trust” issue, I am reminded of the scene in the movie when Jack Nickelson says, “Truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Trust works both ways. In any event, it needs to be earned and can be expanded upon in steps. We can decide to trust him so a certain extent, and see what happens. So far, so good, in my book.

But, he also needs to be able to trust us. How much truth are we as a nation going to be able to handle? I think he will be experimenting. Will we take the ball and run with it when he opens up the vaults that hold the formerly secret information? Will we “Be the Change” that we want to see? Will we begin to waste less? Drive less? Produce things again? Or will we go back to our slumber and just piss and moan in the face of scarcity? Will we once again wish we could just bomb any country that has resources that we want to exploit? Demand bailouts that are impossible to repay? Give the “Federal” Reserve more power? Whatever. The dye is cast. The collapse will happen – fast or slow.

We need to see what he will do. And, I think, he needs to see what we are willing to do.

Hopefully, there will be a transformation in this country after we experience the hardships implicit in the fast crash scenario. The best case scenario would be that we could build a society based on the traditional harmonious ways of the original people who were here when the pilgrims landed, combined with some of the best innovations since then that would work in the new paradigm. The worst case would probably look like FEMA camps and the corporate New World Order imposed by the goon squads.

We are walking a tightrope here. Personally, I plan to just put one foot in front of the other and hope to get to the other side. That side is gonna be free. It’s going to be sustainable. And, it’s going to honor those who have died to make it so.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


from Murph

The Obamaites have a new web page up asking for citizens to give their ideas on how to fix the problems in the country.
This was sent to us by a friend in CA. He expressed some cynicism about it, but hopeful.

I read through quite a bit of it and quit when I started to feel queasy. Needless to say, I was very disappointed in the comments made. Freeacre is optimistic enough about Obama's presidency to probably sleep in her clothes on Monday night to be sure not to miss anything, (along with an extra box of Kleenex). So this post has a bit of internal dissension around it. If you have gone to the site and gone through the suggestions and comments, before you jump on my butt and start pounding some sense into my brain, let me explain my very negative reaction.

My first impression was that the suggestions verged on being idiotic and were the result of misinformation or very little real information and I mean that wholesale throughout the site. It was if each little piece was a discreet part of the whole and solvable all by itself. Not one suggestion I read made any denial that we could continue business as usual if only we fixed this little broken piece of the puzzle. What this site exemplifies is that “experts” are now being replaced by “decisions by consensus by everyone”. Everyone now can pony up on a forum their own pet idea on how to fix something. So, if 1000 suggestions that are dissimilar in many ways are offered for some problem, (say health care) who is going to sort through them and come up with a solution. Hmmm? Oh my God, it is the “experts”. Which assumes of course that the “experts” in any given area are not aware of the alternatives available. Not likely. The assumption around all of this is that our present predicament is the result of incompetence and lack of awareness on the part of leadership. This assumption is tenuous at best. I start with the assumption that the decision makers know damned well what they are doing. What they are poor at is projecting consequences of acting on their information. Projecting effects of an action into the future is a matter of probability, not absolute in most cases and we keep getting lots of surprises. It is true that some consequences seem to be close to 100% reliable. Jumping off the top of a 10 story building has very predictable consequences in the 100% range. But, governance does not have that high a probability for large populations. If the “experts” in a particular area can’t project consequences for a general policy, just what is the ability of most folks to do it?

I was in the hardware store yesterday and the guy behind the counter offered that if the government had distributed the $1 trillion bailout money equally between every single person in the U.S. we would end the financial crisis immediately since that would be in the neighborhood of $3 million each with which to buy goods and services. Now here is the kind of suggestion I am talking about. If the government did that, what would happen to prices of everything available? Hmmm? I would offer that there would be a near certainty that there would immediately be a 3,000,000, % increase in prices and that is called hyperinflation, and we have lots of examples of that happening over history and in modern times. If it takes a million dollars to buy a weeks worth of food, you are no better off than you were before. When I suggested this consequence to him, there was this startled response and nothing more was said. These people vote too.

Some of the suggestions at the site were futuristic/fantastic types of stuff. Of particular interest to me was the energy section. It contained suggestions that primarily centered on denial of peak oil or suggestions that would demand a complete overhaul of our huge infrastructure dealing with transportation. Hydrogen and ethanol were emphasized. Now I am going to assert that anyone that has been keeping up with the debate and science around a hydrogen energy source, principally for the approx 300 million vehicles we have in this country, knows that this is a non solution. Individual retrofitting for that many vehicles is not going to happen, not even close. If we try and sell new vehicles to a destitute population, that isn’t going to happen either and the infrastructure cost would be more money than our current GMP for years into the future. It is not going to happen. Individuals with the incentive and abilities to retrofit their gas burning engines may have limited success but on a national scale, not possible. Remember when propane and natural gas retrofitting was the vogue? Cheaper per mile to drive and very damned few vehicles were retrofitted for it. Hydrogen falls into the same trap, plus it is very expensive to produce it in mass amounts. Retrofitting an individual vehicle to produce its own hydrogen is not going to be easy, and nobody yet knows just how many additional problems will evolve from trying to do so. Ethanol has some of the same problems and a few others that are simply not going to make it possible on a large scale.

However, my main concern for the stuff written at this web site centers around the inability to see how all of the problems are interconnected, they are not discreet. Fixing health care, education, energy and a whole plethora of others are interrelated. Fixing education will not fix health care or the financial problems or the geological constraint on our energy supply or our contaminated food supply, and just how long would it take to fix any single one of the problems anyway? We’re talking year’s folks, and in the meantime everything is falling apart around us. We don’t have years, or the means, or the raw materials or the manufacturing capacity or the political will or the money to do what would have to be done.

Another objection I have in that web site is that there was no recognition that we are going to have to change the way we live. That this is going to be forced on the population is inevitable, now or in a short time in the future. There was no idea expressed that I read that would indicate that the American way of life (and western culture generally) was in question and unsustainable. Even that statement contains some assumptions. What it boils down to is what assumptions look like the highest probability to a person. Then you can come to some conclusion about an outcome from some action. My criticism of most of the actions taken, especially by government, is in the assumptions used to determine the actions. In the suggestions at that web site, I find most of the assumptions implied are flat out faulty, no relation to reality and consequently the suggestions are faulty. But what the hell, I am not an infallible prognosticator; I just have to wait and see what happens.

Now, on the positive side to that web site. As Freeacre pointed out to me (in my shortsightedness) that citizen involvement in decision making is a good thing. At least, being in an argumentative mode, and expressing ones ideas means some thinking is being done and minds can be changed by counter arguments. At least, those contributing to the dialog are not sitting on the couch watching American Idol and such all the time. And, there is the possibility that a genuine new idea will be generated, and if the Obama group are really interested in new ideas, it could possibility be that it would be considered. Again, more assumptions. So I guess I can’t completely negate the contributions to that web site. Maybe, just maybe, something good will come out of it besides a whole lot of mental masturbation.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bigotry and Collapse


I gotta hand it to James Howard Kunstler. His regular Monday “Clusterfuck Nation” piece this morning pointed directly at the elephant in the room that no one has been mentioning – anti-Jewish prejudice in the face of the Israeli assault on Palestine, err… Gaza, and the meltdown on Wall Street.

Kunstler has defended Israel’s heavy military response to having Hamas send rockets their way and wounding or killing some of their citizens. And, yes, if one of my relatives had been wounded or killed there, I would be angry as well. But, the whole thing just seems so reminiscent of the Warsaw ghetto and the extermination of the Jews in Germany as well as the war in Vietnam, that it is just unnerving. Seeing phosphorous bombs in the sky over neighborhoods and burned and blown up civilians overwhelming the hospitals is atrocious. I thought the point of all those Jewish memorials was to “never let this happen again.” It is appalling to me that Israel would be engaging in this behavior. So, I don’t support Israel. God knows, I don’t and didn’t support the war in Iraq or Afghanistan either.

The Palestinians have been a pawn in a larger game in the Middle East ever since I can remember. Their misery could have been mitigated by other surrounding Persian or Arab countries, but it hasn’t been. Israel could have reached out and made peace with these people. With all the billions we have sent Israel in military aide, we could have probably sent every Palestinian through graduate school. Everybody could help them and nobody does. Apparently it is in the interests of the militarists and tribalists of one sort or another to keep this travesty going on. There seem to be no “good guys” in this fight. It was reported that Hamas went through Gaza and executed 35 El Fatah political prisoners in case they might get sprung out of jail and support Israel. Then they went to the El Fatah relatives and shot them in the legs and crushed their hands. Personally, I don’t get how one can support either side.

But on the other hand, the hate mail that Kunstler has received goes way beyond any objection to the war. You really have to read it to believe it. Click on “hate mail” in the essay. It is truly personal, sickening and obscene.

He looks at it this way;

“…Lately, public Jew-hating has made a comeback in the USA among two distinct groups: one is the extreme right-wing crypto-Nazi step-child of the old John Birch Society bunch, the idiots who believe the world is a web of conspiracies against wholesome Christian white folks. As a young newspaper reporter with an interest in political pathology back in the early 1970s -- a heyday for extremism -- I used to cover the Birchers' antics (and study their belief system, if you could call it that). Their paranoid ideology has survived the decades marvelously intact, complete with all the colorful leitmotifs including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Orders of the Illuminati narrative, the Bilderburgers conspiracy story of world domination, and a Jesus-soaked crusade against "socialism" that has mutated far beyond the quaint sepulcher of John Birch into a broad mostly Southern evangelical, Nascar-tinged, aggressive apocalypticism.
Lately, another large cohort on the political Left adopted the Palestinians as their "pet oppressed minority group du jour." This branch of Jew-haters emanated out of the humanities departments of the universities, when the faculty got bored with the Nazi holocaust, or wished to stake out some new turf in the arena of multiculturalism for the sake of academic advancement.”

Well, that seems to me to be a somewhat self-serving discount of humanities departments in general. I mean, given the prevailing prejudice against any sort of Persians, Arabs (and, let’s face it, most of us don’t know the difference between them any more than we know the differences between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda), “sand niggers” and “towel heads,” any sympathy toward any people who are Muslim probably is a baby step in the right direction.

But, what about this prejudice against Jews, Muslims, (and, for that matter), Blacks, Christians, gays, or whomever serves their purposes, on the internet sites? I am starting to see it all over the place. I don’t know when it started, but at sites like “The Truthseeker” and Steve Quale more and more I found myself skipping over stories that denigrate blacks, feminists and Jews to find stories criticizing Bush or anticipating The Crash. Suddenly, these aggressively evangelical writers are uniformly sympathizing with Palestinians?? Since when?

Since they joined up to bring on the Apocalypse, that’s when. Now, there’s a conspiracy theory that even Kunstler can sink his teeth into.

And, what’s happened to Rense? Look at the over-the-top mud-slinging at Obama. Is that political or ideological outrage or just flat-out racist, foaming at the mouth bullshit? I can hardly find a decent UFO story anymore between the Obama as a gay, Anti-Christ, secret Muslim diatribe, and the Jew baiting financial stories. You would think that I just wandered into a chat room of the Ku Klux Klan.

And, as the financial and resource collapse continues to unfold, I fear that it will get even worse. To quote Kunstler once again:

“My own theory-du-jour goes something like this: The current orgy of Jew-hating is prompted by rage actually derived from the perceived "Jew-run" Wall Street companies who have now utterly wrecked the US economy -- Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, et cetera, not to mention the Jewish players leading the cast of this show -- Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Sandy Weil, Bernie Madoff, et al., a veritable Jew-O-Rama of money-grubbing (i.e. a Jewish trait) scoundrels who have utterly pranged the American Way of Life in order to hide their private billions in the Cayman Islands. These Jew villains, the story goes, have taken Little Debbie Snack Cakes out of the mouths of millions of squalling KMart-Shoppers-in-Training! And must now be called out to punishment! The fear and anger over the losses on Wall Street -- and the personal accounts of millions of investors -- is being deflected (for the moment!) onto the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Ho, ho , ho…. Kunstler has a way of expressing himself that does, indeed, invite abuse because he is so bitingly sarcastic. But, nobody has been a harsher critic of Greenspan, Rubin, Madoff, et al, than Kunstler, despite the fact that they are Jews. He has been critical of their policies, not their ethnicity. But, this debacle on Wall Street is going to bring out the anti-Semites like flies to road kill. The same thing goes for Obama. Every neo-Nazi white supremist knuckle-dragger out there is going to be bent out of shape over the election of Obama. Even those of us who don’t consciously realize our own racism or bigotry are going to find ourselves invited to or engaging in pity parties and blame games that we normally wouldn’t participate in. And, a lot of them are going to be racist.

Now, maybe in the long run, this will be a good thing. It will give us a way to deal with the “shadow” side of ourselves as a people and hopefully get over it. Shed some light on it. Fix it. Heal it. But, right now, it looks like a tragedy in the making.

I remember back in the anti-Vietnam days and the civil rights struggle, the Minute Men militia gathered around a water tower in a small town next to my home town. They were convinced that the “white panthers” in Detroit were going to drop acid (LSD) into their water supply. We hippies thought they were nuts. We knew a few of those “white panthers.” Therefore, we knew that there was no way in hell these guys were a threat to anybody. Plus, can you imagine how much acid it would take to affect a town’s water supply? The militia was delusional.

The same thing is happening now. Even I am confused. Maybe I am delusional. With the world-wide banking and corporate mergers, the global politics, the trillions of dollars of debt servitude spread around, the poisoning of the environment, etc. etc, it is difficult not to believe in a conspiracy of evil doers. Hell, MULTIPLE conspiracies at multiple levels. GALACTIC forces. I have to admit that I do believe that there is serious shit going on and there are conspiracies to be reckoned with. One could start with the Harvard School of Business… but, I digress.

Anyway, my point is, that we need to be careful not to become the small minded, hard-hearted, poisonous, rabid intolerant jerks that we despise. We need to remember that for every miscreant, criminal, or cretin of a certain race or religion, hue, or gender, there are ten more who are good, honest, kind, hard-working, talented folks who are a blessing to us all. As times get tougher and money gets tighter and suffering increases, we could start to turn on each other in an orgy of hatred and blame. This would be a mistake of tragic proportions.

We have the opportunity to reach out to each other in tolerance and understanding. We need to be focusing on what we have in common, not what is different. We need to oppose wicked stereo-typing, even when it is seemingly deserved.

Once the Bushistas are out of office, I believe that it will be time to shift gears and look for the positive people and policies that we can support. Because if we just continue to take a negative attitude, it will be aimed at whomever is still standing. That won’t be fair and it will interfere with what really needs to be done.

We have a planet to save. We have a world to change. Battles will need to be fought. Let’s make them the right ones.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


from Murph

Yup, Christmas is over, the New Year has arrived; Obama and his crew are the next up to bat. The Democrats are already targeting the Bush administration for all the ills of our foreign and domestic policies, despite all of them being complicit. This leads me to suspect that things are not going to really change anytime soon.

Am I being overly pessimistic over the future? That depends on what I am looking at. For our country and most of the rest of the countries on this tired old earth, an attempt to continue in the manner that we have been for the last 150 years is an impossibility and of questionable benefit to all but a very few in the world anyway. All of the information I have been looking at for the last 5 years indicates our wasteful use of resources, particularly fossil energy, cannot continue because of geological constraints. The paramount question in my mind; is what will develop out of this condition? The population of this earth has overshot the earth’s capacity to feed and house everyone and it seems obvious to me there is going to be a rather vast population reduction. How fast and how extensive and in what manner this will be we can speculate on. But, it is going to happen. That realization alone is enough to get you into the extremist’s pessimistic camp for the new year.

Do I think there is a value to continue the human race? Yes I do. I guess that precludes some future changes to how existing humans organize themselves to maintain. Humans are simply going to have to change from the present paradigm to something else that is sustainable. I reckon that is an iffy optimism for the near future.

Which brings up the question for me as to why I would want the sad history of human existence to continue and to state it has value? Other than the egotistical satisfaction of having lived for some time, as human lifetimes go, and for a large part of it enjoying this existence, is there another value system for wanting humans to continue after my death? The first thing that comes to mind is of those a lot younger than me. I would want them to also enjoy the bounty of living on this planet and finding the enjoyment of doing so. Is that sufficient? I suppose if we want to answer that with a cliché we can say that it is coded in our genes to want to continue our species existence. And yet, so much of our behavior on this planet points to a death wish. Besides the destruction of our environment that we depend on for continuation, we do the whole war thing with attempts to exterminate ourselves with ever increasing war technology. It also includes the human capacity to exterminate those some particular group doesn’t like or that claim possession of something that is wanted, and that includes a large amount of the biota on this planet.

I find religion very unsatisfactory to answer these kinds of questions, and yet that is what religions are supposed to do. I find no universal panacea to make this easy.

So what do we have to look forward to in this new year? For me it is a hope that human beings on the whole wake up to the realization of how badly they have been conned, wake up to the realization of what they have done to the biosphere, wake up to how badly most people in this world live, wake up to the realization of how much negative impact we have had on nearly everything we have touched. Despite all of the advancements (if we can legitimately call it advancements) that have made a small proportion of the earths residents more comfortable and live longer and better than most, we are still not able to internalize the costs, understand how that came about. What we consider normal for living is only because we were born into it. Would the nomadic reindeer herders of the north consider their lives normal? Of course, and yet it is very different than our own, and in comparison, much harsher. For many residents of this world, their lives have been deliberately made brutish and unbearable due to the western countries looting and economically enslaving them.

So I guess I look forward in this new year to a revolt of some kind, rejection of the status quo, a changing of attitudes, and most definitely a shunning of the PTB and large government and institutions. Will it occur? Stay tuned, we shall find out.

I am dividing this post into two different subjects. This next is due to some comments on the previous post that I think needs to be addressed.

Freeacre gave a description of our rabbit harvest on New Years Eve on the last post. A comment on this expressed an inability to do the same. Believe me, I understand this. So I have a bit of self exposure on the subject.

I had been raised most of my childhood in some kind of country living to a greater or lesser degree. When I was considerably younger, being able to see my neighbor’s rooftop in the fall when the leaves were gone was close enough. As I grew older, every time I lived in a city I felt very uncomfortable and couldn’t wait to get out and back to having more elbow room. Those of you who have been at this site some time know that I had taken my then family (some years ago) and done a semi survival trip in the Ozark Mountains. It was pretty much back country living. For the most part, if it was to get done, (whatever it was), you did it yourself. The really big event of the day was the mailman coming down the road. It was quiet, except in the summer when the frogs got active and nearly deafened you in the evening. I was in hog heaven in many ways. And this brings me to the subject matter, supplying your own food.

The ground in the mountains is generally pretty bad for growing gardens and crops. So, you also had to depend on animal products for food, including milk. It was a long haul to town, 30 minutes over single track mountain roads to a paved road and another 30 miles to a real grocery store. We didn’t go very often. Maybe once a month. So, we supplied much of our own food, which included garden produce, rabbits and milk/meat goats.

Unless you are a hard line vegetarian, (which I am not) this necessitates killing animals. I know there are a lot of people out there that have killed a lot more animals than I have for sport, food, plain old orneriness, out of necessity because of threats or destruction, and to end suffering of the animal. I’ve done my share for sure.

Here is where my confession begins. Every time I did kill, for whatever reason, I felt uncomfortable to a greater or lesser extent. Every time. That includes the butchering of rabbits that Freeacre talked about. In fact, on New Years Day we had a friend request that we show him how to butcher a rabbit. So we did. He was very thoughtful when he left, stating he needed to think about the experience and talk with his wife about it. We do hope he wasn’t too shocked by the experience.

In the raising of animals, from household pets to animals that supply at least some of my nutrition, I feel responsible for their well being. If I cannot supply that well being, I shouldn’t be keeping them; they are completely dependent on my largess. It is also not a matter of turning them loose to fend for themselves either when you can no longer provide for them. Most domesticated animals are completely unfit to survive in the wild if the environment has predators or conditions they are not suited to deal with. So the question arises as to whether it is more humane to kill them or turn them lose. Some animals become a real nuisance or outright dangerous when turned lose. Ever seen a pack of feral domesticated dogs or a bunch of feral cats? I have. I’ve lived where there is an annual hunt for them because they became dangerous. The import of rabbits to Australia was a total disaster. Some will always get lose and if there are few or no predators, they become a real problem. However, I am more concerned with those domesticated animals that don’t have the instincts or ability to survive if they get lose or are turned loose. In this area, we have a problem with people that are no longer able to take care of their horses and they take them out to the forest land and either kill them and leave them lay or just turn them lose. Generally, a lot of the ones turned loose die of starvation or are found by people that are willing to take them in. This part of the country is not conducive to their independent survival.

Raising animals for food involves butchering them. It is a messy affair, no argument. But, the question must be dealt with concerning how meat animals are raised and butchered commercially on the industrial farms which supply most of the meat in the Western countries as opposed to individuals doing it. The contamination of meat animals with hormone injections and questionable feeding practices and the horror of how they are dealt with in the butchering processes are awful. I can understand for that reason alone why someone would become a hard line vegan. I can also understand the difficulty for individuals unable to engage in this butchering activity. However, I think that in the not too distant future, it is again going to become more common for individuals to supply their own meat out of necessity. The question is whether it will be a humane quick death with reverence for the life you have taken or not? Will you give thanks for the sacrifice of that life form for your benefit or look upon it as a right and entitlement? Will you view that life with compassion, and understand that life has feelings and a desire to continue its existence? So Freeacre and I will continue to sage and give thanks for that life being extinguished for our continued well being. aho.