Monday, August 30, 2010

Making a Timely Response

murph exercising his inner Neanderthal with the hides

Had to do something with the mint and lettuce from the garden: Tahbouli salad

By murph (& freeacre)

Scrapwood asked the question in the previous comments, "Why are their no longer people like Mario Silvio (deceased). Where are the protests and why do young people just sit on their hands and do nothing.

I have a tentative answer for you.

I have had the excuse to talk a bit with younger people lately, 20 somethings. It appears to me that many of them realize that something is terribly wrong. It also appears to me they have no idea what to do about it or they realize the futility of trying.

IMO, it appears to me that we missed our chance (if there ever was one) to do something important in the direction our society was taking back in the 60's -70's. Yup, lots of protesting, lots of ideologies floating around back in the day. However, you probably noticed that nothing came of it. I attribute that to the naïve-ness of the population at the time. I was into some of it. We really didn't understand the nature of what we were dealing with or fighting against. We actually believed that protesting in the streets would/could change anything substantial. How wrong we were and we got beaten up bad. We were also under the impression that we lived in a system where those that governed actually had our interests and well being at heart. Wrong again.

I read/listen to speeches and documents by people that have some influence and the fringe activists of every stripe. None of them will actually admit (if they realize it) what the problems actually are and as you should realize a problem can't be fixed if it is not defined correctly.

This country, socially, decided a long time ago that bigger, more, and more complex was better and that there was nothing wrong with greed. Consequently, there is never enough of anything, enough of actions or things or laws or ANYTHING. Always more and more.

While we have a very few examples of (what we call primitive) social groups where that drive for more is suppressed or not indulged in, it certainly is prevalent in all of what we call western civilization. There is much written concerning this drive for more of everything and what drives it. Take your pick of the explanations; it is readily observable no matter what its driving force is. This is the fallacy of western civilization; that there is always more available. Which is true for the short term. For the long term, we have all kinds of examples from history of what that attitude brings down on the societies of the time, collapse and chaos. (Notice that I do not use the term anarchy for this.) In the 60’ and 70’s we forgot that in the end analysis, there is no free lunch, that infinite expansion is not possible, that there are always consequences for decisions and actions, that there are absolute limits to growth dictated by the environment we live in, the physical reality of finite stuff on this globe.

Back in the day we forgot that there is always a certain percentage of the population, (usually around 1%) that are by definition psychopathic, that is, they will do absolutely anything they can get away with to further their acquisition of stuff and power over other people. They are absolutely ruthless in this pursuit. Supposedly, our system of government was put in place to limit and control those tendencies. Over time this was corrupted almost absolutely until we now have multiple crises over it. The psychopaths are truly and absolutely in power. The people put into power now have almost complete control and are expanding their control over the absolute essentials needed for personal survival. These people are not content with having every single material thing at their disposal and enjoyment. Instead, this is expanded into the desire to absolutely control everyone else on the planet also. I have to admit that I don’t understand or have any empathy concerning this drive to control people like this. Right down to the local level in communities, there are those that wish to control what people can or cannot do even when it is benign. Science is often utilized to prove that the control is necessary for the general good. In some cases, that might even be true. But, unfortunately, most of the “good for you” control has nothing to do with your or my well being. It is control for control sake and not to enhance the experience of living and making it safe. Every time I hear someone say that there ought to be a law about something I want to scream. Shit, we have laws governing right down to what we can eat or drink or smoke or even say or think now. There are never enough laws to satisfy the psychopaths. Of course, the psychopaths don’t have to live according to those laws, just everyone else.

We no longer live by the concept that your freedom stops at the end of my nose and visa versa. We no longer have the live and let live paradigm in our society. Instead, we have opted for more central control over our lives and opted for the greed is good concept. We are now looking at a future of consequences of those decisions.

If my above observations are correct, protests are an exercise of futility. Just a good way to let off emotional steam and maybe get beat up bad by the police and see just how much physical abuse one can take and still function. Protest will not change anything currently dealing with how the system operates nor change the minds of the people in power.

Which brings me to the subject of attitudes of the people in power. It seems obvious to me that there is a rather large chasm between those in power and everyone else. It also appears to me that those in the political elite (the minions for the PTB) have little if any respect for the peons below them in economic and social status. We are viewed as being useless eaters, stupid and untalented. For a good rant on this see; titled “Understanding Americas Class System”, his latest missive on this subject that I totally agree with. If Bageant is correct, what will protests or any other agitation actually accomplish? To have protests and challenges to policies and actions to have any affect on those policies and actions, those initiating them must recognize the validity of the protests, which they sure as hell do not.

One thing I do maintain is that if we want serious changes, we have to stop feeding the psychopaths and ultimately take away their power. That’s what revolutions are about. The problem is, historically, revolutions always seem to end up with another set of psychopaths in power. They may tread lightly for a while and make all kinds of promises, but in the end it is their power they are concerned with. World power is one giant Medusa. Cut off one head and another takes over. If this madness is to cease, the Medusa must be eliminated, by any means possible. That means that the controlling elite over the political elite has to be eliminated. How that would be accomplished I have no idea. Feel free to put the ideas of how to accomplish it out there. You will find that most will laugh it off. There is still that hope that one may one day become part of that elite too. I have not much hope for the elimination of the psychopaths, to be frank, at least in my lifetime. That’s for the younger generation to deal with. No wonder they are skateboarding.

(an add-on by freeacre)

I have a soft spot in my heart for the next generations. My very dear son is a GenX-er. I think these kids mostly fall into three categories, in terms of how they are choosing to deal with the struggles that they face:

1) They are techies who think that there is a technical fix to the problems ahead. These are the ones devoted to green power, better phone apps, or whatever. They are optimists (like my son - go figure) who are scarcity deniers, and who also do not read the papers, watch the news, and could care less about political parties. They are probably acutely aware, however, of the many ways the military could stifle them with the newest pain rays or other computer chip horrors if they were to openly rebel.

2) They join the military, due to economic realities, joining the ROTC in high school, or playing too many video games. These mostly working class kids are cannon fodder for our endless series of wars to prop up the stock market. Hoo Raaah! There are not enough of them being born here, which has required a permeable southern border.

3) Our “surfer” dudes, skateboarders, snowboarders, X-treem types or their tattooed and pierced wannabees who I think of as “shunners.” These kids are disenchanted with the foreseeable future, would like to get off the grid, and are trying to figure out some ways to get out of the system, since they have long since figured out that it holds nothing good for them. They have turned their backs on the corporate ladder (obviously), and are attempting to Not Feed the Beast. They do not read newspapers or watch the news, except maybe John Stewart on Comedy Central. These are the ones who call in sick to their pizza delivery jobs due to the National Snowboarding Championships being on the tube.

That’s my take on these Dear Ones born into this House of Horrors. Personally, my bet is on an asteroid to hit the re-set button.

Hot Springs Wizard preparing for Burning Man

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Bug Out" Time & What the Hell is the Government Doing with Food Regulations?

Our esteemed poet, stone mason and gardner, Rockpicker, with his exemplary cauliflowers

Rockpicker & Oldensoul's lush Montana garden

by Murph

Hmmm, ok ok. So I made a bad pun out of the title. You’ll see why coming up.

On Monday morning’s Urban Survival, by George Ure, he spends some time on bugs, or the lack of them. This has been a contention of mine for a good many years now, and I’m going to be mixing some personal observations and a few factual tidbits in with this.

First, some factual stuff. We have all heard of the honey bee problems going on for a number of years now. They are dying and not because of some truly obvious reasons. I have read that the fingers are pointing at some virulent bee-disease is at fault or environmental pollution or farming practices of spraying everything with insect killer chemicals or climate changes or, or, or. Those of us who have at least a marginal concern over this realize that is going to have some nasty consequences. Many agricultural crops (stuff for human consumption) depend on bees for pollination of the plants. Now bees are not the only pollinators but they are very near to 80% of pollination insects needed out there in agricultural land, noted for their efficiency in doing the pollination and the side benefits of honey in the hives. A huge business has developed around professional bee keepers trundling big trucks full of bee hives around to various farms and making money doing that. Many have gone under because of the fairly substantial die off of the bees. Around here in central Oregon, I am lucky to see 10 honey bees all summer. I have no idea where they have a hive. There are simply not enough flowering plants around here to keep a substantial amount of them alive. Now go over the mountains to the west and the ecology changes a bunch.

As a side note, this last weekend, Freeacre decided that we had to get away from the place for a while, drive the 70 miles to the west and go blackberry picking and save the money from buying from the commercial growers at the farmers market. After a 2 hour drive, we finally started to see some blackberry bushes along side the road, got off the major arteries to get us some “free” fruit of the vine. Now I got to admit that after going berry picking in the Midwest, (a lot of years ago now) this particular experience was a bit disappointing. The berries were very small, not in big clusters unless we wanted to figure out how to get into the middle of a patch that was 10 feet thick. (Ouch, the thorns I had forgotten about). So about an hour later and maybe 8 cups of berries picked by the two of us, we packed it in and headed home. Now I remember my mid west experience of going out by myself and picking a variety of wild berries and in an hour filling a 2 gal pail. (except huckleberries and currents of course, that like picking bee-bees and trying to fill a bucket). What the hell, is it the weather? Or our timing was bad? Lack of bees? Or what? Anyway, I found the yield was not worth the effort. LOL Made for some relatively expensive 8 cups of berries. Good flavor though.

Oh yes, where was I? The bugs.

I realize that most people are perfectly content to have fewer bugs around to annoy us. Sort of like the bears, coyotes, snakes, big cats, and all the other critters that get in our way and cause us discomfort. Try getting someone aside that hates bugs and try and convince them they are necessary. Good luck. The only good bug is a dead bug you know. At the Monday Urban Survival posting, one section that Ure talks about is peoples observation that there are less bugs about. So here is my observation on this.

When I was a kid growing up in the Midwest, mostly in small towns or fairly country living, the amount of bugs was stupendous. I had an extensive pinned butterfly and moth collection. I have not seen any of the large Lepidoptera moths for over 30 years now. Same thing with butterflies. Now I’ve moved around a lot in this country, lived most of my life in the Midwest in one location or another and now am in the Pacific North West. I think my observations have at least some validity.

Flat out, there are fewer bugs around. Even here with the wet cool spring we had, the mosquito population was way down. We have also noticed that there are a lot fewer birds too. Probably because there aren’t as much bugs for food. The last time I lived in Michigan, I lived on a small rural kettle lake. At that time I was amazed at the lack of bugs. Very few mayflies, hardly any crickets or grasshoppers, few frogs, salamanders or toads. The only thing we had in abundance then was the Gypsy moths for which there was extensive aerial spraying. Any connection do you suppose? Where we are now, there is quite a bit of mosquito spraying going on. This year we had very few bugs around, definitely not much in pollinator types, and far fewer birds. The only birds that seemed to be in normal populations were the wild doves and the coveys of quail. And we consistently put out wild bird food. Freeacre has a book of wild birds that extensively covers this area. It has post it notes all through it of species of birds we cataloged when we moved here. This year, hardly any of them are back. What the hell is going on?

Also on the home and national front lines is the news about the giant egg recall for salmonella poisoning. Folks, I sure hope you realize how much of a scam this is. It is bull shit in the extreme, among many others. It has been a whole bunch of years since it was safe to eat a raw egg you know. Salmonella is everywhere dealing with poultry, on and in the eggs, on and in the flesh of commercially grown birds. It is very common, particularly in the flash of chickens. You just have to cook everything very well and it kills all them little critters that give you the runs and where you feel like hell for a few days. Now just what is hell is the FDA getting so excited about eggs and is doing nothing about the unsanitary conditions in the marketing of chicken meat? It’s the money honey, duh. I also presume you all realize that there is a push to get rid of organic truck farms, back yard vegetable gardening, selling of home grown produce and animal products. Hell, our local Grange has a potluck every month and we were just notified that we could no longer advertise that the public was welcome to these, because of food safety problems. Our Grange cannot sell non certified kitchen bakery products made at home because they are not commercially packaged.

Now lets take a look at this. Every year there is food contamination where a lot of people are sick from eating commercially grown and packaged foods. When was the last time you heard of someone getting sick from a potluck dinner? I haven’t ever heard of one. So just who is contaminating the food supply? It sure isn’t Gertrud’s fancy casserole for the monthly potluck.

It is the same thing here with our fight with the county over the “nitrates in the drinking water” fight. We have yet to see a documented case of sickness in all of Oregon from nitrates in drinking water. In fact, nationally, it is so rare that most doctors have no idea what methemogobinemia is and have never heard of it, but a huge amount of money is revolving around that very issue.

It sure appears to me that the big ag businesses are trying their damndest to completely take over the food supply. Remember back a bit where there was proposed that every single domesticated critter in the country was to be biometrically chipped? That one didn’t fly because big ag would lose too many bucks on it. So now they are creating bull shit food crisis’s to scare the beejesus out of everyone for more regulations that don’t cure the problems. After all, if you can absolutely control the food and water supply, you can make a whole bunch more money and have a whole bunch more power over peoples lives.

When in hell are the citizens of this country going to wake up on these issues and take some damned serious action around it? Welcome to the new world order.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Masters of War

Just some pictures of the food we are eating from the backyard. Feels good to be at least somewhat successful swimming against the tide...

As usual, the conversation has been really good, but I feel compelled to continue it with a new post so that the comments don’t go to a crazy level. Actually, I want to start with a comment p put up from the last batch, because it exemplifies one of the zillion aspects of how totally corrupt and self-serving the parasitic Overlords have become. The continuing wars in the Middle East or wherever the latest trumped up justification leads is just beyond belief. Here’s p’s comment from yesterday”

today's pop quiz allows for 3 guesses and the first two don't count. what pri contractor to the military is this...

1) They were in charge of clean water, but most of the water sources were found to have no treatment in them at all, and when tested were found to be chock full of pathogens and parasites

2) They were in charge of food, but refused to allow 24-hr. access to meals (not cost-effective), so since soldiers' mealtimes were all known, that's when mess halls and camps were attacked

3) They were in charge of laundry (getting $99/bag for it), but soldiers said their clothes came back dirtier than they went out, and they were forbidden to wash out their own clothes in the sink

4) They were in charge of soft drinks, which were given to the soldiers for free, but the camps were charged $46/6-pack to purchase them, yet the drinks were made locally in the desert, thus the transportation cost was almost nothing

5) 'Cost Plus' payment basis meant they are given a percentage of everything they spent; therefore they had no incentive to save money

6) Company orientation meetings were in the most lavish seaside hotels in Kuwait,w/unlimited access to sea and sports vehicles, and employees were paid by the hour to use them. Ordinary employees living in the company compound were provided everything, including deluxe living arrangements, 5-star meals catered in every day, and were each (including secretaries) given a top of the line ford or chevy truck fully loaded, while those higher up were given hummers and cadilac escalades.....for the desert... One former employer saw a copy of the 3-yr. lease for an employee's SUV--it was $7,000/mo. (totalling roughly $250,000 for the vehicle, over a 3-year period, that anyone in america could purchase for around $45,000 ... american taxpayers paying the difference...)

7) When the wrong equipment was delivered (frequently), it was left in its packaging, and then eventually the warehouse was set on fire and everything declared a loss and insurance collected.

8) Brand new (military, not civilian) trucks costing $75,000-$100,000 each were shipped w/out little things like oil filters, which of course quickly trashed the trucks and required purchase of new ones...In fact, regulations required that the soldiers blow up defective trucks and destroy them, so nothing was ever salvaged from these vehicles....

its said there's a right place in U for everything that exists. i wish these fucks god speed on their journey... p
The disgusting thing is that after the malfeasance of KBR and Halliburton has been exposed on television, Youtube, and in congressional hearings, these war profiteers continue to be granted additional contracts! The troops continue to get used for every sleazy contrivance, putting their lives and health at risk, while these moral lepers haul in the Big Bucks. It goes on and on. Throughout the Republican and now the Democratic administrations, it hasn’t mattered.
The moral turpitude of the military/industrial /banking cartel just defies even my penchant for ridicule and abuse. All the while hypocritical lip-service is given as to how much this country cares for its troops. I could gag.
Now, new feelers and hints are slipped into our consciousness every day. Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, Lebanon…. Who’s next? Drones operated like video games from remote bases in the states drop bombs on wedding parties and reporters. And who is called to task? The guy who “leaked” the information. He gets sentenced to fifteen years. Anybody with more than Corn Flakes stuffed into his cranium knows that the wrong people are going to jail.
“War props up the economy,” is it said. Oh, really? Just who’s economy? Sixty-six percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans. For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together. The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth. Wars are not adding any money to my economy. …or yours, either, unless you are a Federal worker, maybe. The average Federal worker now earns 60% more than the average worker in the private sector(stats from Survival Acres). These are the minions who facilitate the atrocities that the Rulers decree. Add in the media talking heads, the sports stars, and the Hollywood glitteroti who distract us from the daily grind.
The rest of us are in the “service economy.” Read that “we are their servants.”
I remember when we were not servants. I was reminded last night when we watched a DVD I picked up at the video section of our local grocery store. It was entitled, “The Chicago 10.” What a blast from the past. It was a surprisingly good and creative portrayal of the anti-Vietnam War era. Great footage of the thousands of protesters and leaders of the anti-war, pro-peace movement. The demonstrations in Chicago during the Democratic Convention and the subsequent trial of the 8 and their lawyers. I would say that it was right about the time that they all were convicted and sentenced to do time, that the Overlords decided to really destroy our freedom and put us on our knees.
It’s forty years later, and they’ve pretty much got it all locked up. Our only hope is that their success will be their undoing. Now that they’ve killed so many and planted the seeds of revenge into millions, poisoned the land, sea, and air, stuptified the masses, made most of us sick, depleted the oceans, wasted the water, and fucked up the climate – are they happy now?
There’s an Italian scientist who reports that he is finding that the Gulf Stream has stopped, due to the changed viscosity of the water from the oil and dispersants in the Gulf. If that’s the case, they’re going to have to fit Buckingham Palace with some serious insulation as the Ice Age returns to the British Isles. And, if the electrical grid goes down due to the increased electromagnetism of the sun, the Wizards of Wallstreet are going to be in a world of hurt when all their electronic money blinks out. Poof! I don’t think anybody’s gonna want to carry their bags anymore.
Contradictory reports on just about everything continue to drive me crazy. Happy talk on the lamestream about how the oil is disappearing from the Gulf, the economy is “recovering,” the well has been permanently capped, the stock market is strong, etc, flies in the face of the unemployment figures, the real estate being held in reserve by the banks, the corexit in the Gulf waters, the near bankruptcy of many nations (including ours), and being on the verge of WWIII.
I guess the most serious outrage, though, is the corruption of the war mongers and their minions. The damage that they are doing to our troops, our nation, the poor people we go to war against and the planet in general are just beyond words. Just keep this all in mind in the next election… third parties or “none of the above” is going to be my option. Where is Ross Perot when we need him?