Sunday, February 18, 2018


I did an earlier opinion entry about the state of public, media reported Christianity in America. I hold to that opinion but what the media reports isn't the whole story. I love the essays of Wendell Berry but the farmer who writes essays on the land and how we misuse it also writes poetry about the land and our relation to the land and to creation. One of his favorite subjects is the Sabbath. This is an excerpt from his collection This Day. A collection that spans years from the late seventies to the new millennium.

"But I am a bad weather churchgoer. When the weather is good, sometimes when it is only tolerable, I am drawn to the woods on the local hillsides or along the streams. The woodlands here are not 'the forest primeval' or 'wilderness areas.' Nearly all are reforested old tobacco patches abandoned a lifetime or more ago, where you can still see the marks of cropland erosion now mostly healed or healing, 

In such places, on the best of these sabbath days, I experience a lovely freedom from expectations; other people's and also my own. I go free from the tasks and intentions of my workdays, so my mind becomes hospitable to unintended thoughts, to what I am very willing to call inspiration. The poems come incidentally or they do not come at all. If the Muse leaves me alone, I leave her alone. To be quiet, even wordless, in a good place is a better gift than poetry.

On these days and other days also, the idea of the sabbath has been on my mind. It is as rich and demanding an idea as any I know. The sabbath is the day, and the successive days honoring the day, when God rested after finishing the work of creation. This work was not finished, I think, in the sense of once and for all. It was finished by being given the power to exist and to continue, even to repair itself as it is now doing on the reforested hillsides of my home country.

We are to rest on the sabbath also, I have supposed,, in order to understand that the providence or the productivity of the living world, the most essential work, continues while we rest. This work is entirely independent of our work, and is far more complex and wonderful that any work we have ever done or will ever do. It is more complex and wonderful than we will ever understand. 

From the biblical point of view, the earth and our earthly livelihood are conditional gifts. We may possess the land given to us, that we are given to, only by remembering our intimate kinship with it. The condition of the people is indistinguishable ultimately from the condition of the land. Work that destroys the land, diminishing its ability to support life, is a great evil for which sooner or later the punishment is homelessness, hunger, and thirst. For some, the context of this thinking has switched from religion to science, but the understanding of the land as a conditional gift has not changed."

More later.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


More propaganda from the libertarian think tank, the Heartland Institute, on climate change. The Institute plans to send their little propaganda piece to all the science teachers in the country. Personally I would be tempted to take it down to office and find the paper cutter. Or the paper shredder in they have one. Once reduced to tiny pieces of paper I'd mail it back to them.

Most reputable scientists who actually deal with climate and its effects on the world agree that climate change is largely driven by human actions and industry. The group also claims that a warming climate would actually be beneficial. Tell that to the Pacific islanders who are losing their land. Tell that to populations in countries like Bangladesh that will face permanent flooding as the seas rise. Tell that to cities in low lying or sea level areas like Manhattan and Miami. What will happen to countries like the Netherlands? What will happen in areas along the equator, Iran, the rest of the Middle East, India or the Pacific Islands bordering Asia as the temperatures rise to lethal levels? Yes it will be warmer in northern Canada and Siberia and Alaska. But, as temperatures rise the permafrost melts with the potential of releasing methane that has been trapped for thousands of years and methane is a much more powerful green house gas than carbon dioxide.

Science fiction and fantasy writers were using climate change as a plot device back in the sixties and seventies. The subject was used in TV shows and movies back in the seventies and eighties. Thats more than a generation ago.

The old adage still holds true. Follow the money who benefits now from a problem that will only get worse? Those who benefit now probably know change is coming and hope their money will protect them when the whole sorry house of cards comes crashing down around our ears. I have a great niece who is all of two days old. I tremble at the thought of the worst that her future may hold.

Incidentally the institute no longer publishes a list of donors. What they call harassment I call the right of customers to tell a company "I buy your product. I don't like how you spending the money I gave you so I won't buy your product anymore." And if an individual or corporation supports what the institute supports they shouldn't mind the rest of us knowing about it. 

Check out the Wickipedia entry for them. Check out some of the other causes they support and the lies that have been told. Bit of an eyeopener.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


I don't make a secret of the fact that I respect blogger Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station. This is a long entry and I may have linked to it before. But, seriously the last two paragraphs don't make sense unless you read the rest of the entry.

The current occupant was "elected" to the office of president of the United States. He appears to believe that being elected to the office entitles him to the respect "earned" by actually filling the office and fulfilling the duties that come with that office.

So far all we've seen are twitter storms, tantrums and the occasional  wandering, disjointed speech. Speeches peppered with claims of how smart he is ect. ect. ect. Now he wants a military parade. Because. Somebody else had one? He saw one on a History Channel documentary about Nazi Germany or the USSR? Or, God/dess help us something on North Korea?

I am prepared to respect the office. I do not, have not, and probably will never respect the individual currently occupying that office.

Friday, February 9, 2018


There is a christian "theme park" called Ark Encounter. Pushed by young creationist Ken Ham who does have an environmental biology degree but not one in Geology, the park claims to have created a replica of Noah's ark. Now that I think about it he doesn't have a degree in theology either.

Anyway the park is in Kentucky and Ham managed to wangle tax exemptions promising that the park would provide jobs and increased tax revenue in a state that desperately needs the jobs and the revenue. Note: as far as I can tell neither the jobs or the revenue have come through.

When the park was opened there was a fair amount of side holding. Said side holding brought on by the displays of baby dinos that were supposedly some of the ark's passengers. Because you see babies take up much less space than their parents. No explanation of how they kept the baby meat eaters from eating the baby plant eaters however. Actually how did they keep the lions and leopards from eating the antelopes? The recent film Noah solves part of the problem by using some sort of herbal combo that when burned puts all the animals to sleep for voyage. No dinos on board though.

Anyway I was listening to the score from the film on YouTube (really strange music BTW. It works in the film but not by itself.) It hit me. The heck with the dinos. Where were the kangaroos? And all the other Australian marsupials? I mean it's a long way from the Middle East to Australia. And last I heard there are no kangaroos in Iraq or Iran or Turkey And it's a long way from Mount Ararat to Australia and there's a lot of water to get across. Inquiring minds would like to know the answer to that question. I won't be holding my breath though.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


More than once I've had a comment on story answered with "if you don't like it here..." And my usual answer, back when I cared enough to answer, ran along these lines." I'm Scots, Irish, English, Welsh, German and I go back far enough to include Kievan  Russ and Armenian. And for all I know some Hungarian. The last ancestor to land here came off the boat in New York in 1850. Boarded in either Belfast or Liverpool. The earliest in the middle 1630's in Massachusetts. Or what became Massachusetts and Connecticut. Where do you think I should go and if you can beat 1630 we'll talk." Funny how no one has ever answered back. Can't imagine why.

Anyway this entry was inspired by this story. Arizona used to be part of Mexico so at least some of those Latinos being harassed have probably been here awhile. And then there's that pesky Native American who has us all beaten on the centuries his family has been here.

Wonder how many of those flag waver's ancestors came through right after Ellis Island was opened. When if you looked healthy and strong enough to work in the factories or sweat shops you were in like Flynn. And the current occupant is second gen on his father's side and first gen on his mother's. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Christianity in America is Dead

And so is so called evangelicalism. It was a long, slow decline into dementia beginning a couple of generations ago. Cause of death. Pride. Thirst for Power. Hate and dismissal of anyone different from them; whether in appearance, language or faith. Claims of persecution when that persecution wasn't happening.  Indifference from the other side. Ignorance. You can probably add more causes. Finale resting place? Empty hearts and souls.

I know. I know. The progressives and the moderates and semi radicals keep trying to breath new life into the corpse. But then one of the so called christians (the small c is deliberate) finally admit what we knew all along  and make it final. All the CPR and artificial respiration isn't going to bring it back to life. The word is like Marley's ghost only you could take those chains and stretch them all the way to Pluto.

Read Perkin's words. Heaven knows this isn't the first time this attitude has reared it's ugly head. Isn't this what torqued the old prophets right down to the last one. You know the foot sore rabbi from Nazareth? Putting politics ahead of righteous action. Putting greed above caring? Putting hate above love? Calling down the wrath of heaven on those who don't share your beliefs while giving those in power a pass?

Before the followers of the Man From Nazareth took the name of Christian many of them used The Way to describe themselves. Some still do. The Eastern Orthodox for starters.

So take the word Christian and bury it. Put some flowers on the grave. If you can find any in polluted America and follow The Way

Sunday, January 14, 2018


See previous entry.

Of course that fact that Trump has been playing nuclear "my missiles are bigger than your missiles" with Kim John Un has nothing to so with the mistaken alert according to the White House and Trump's supporters. After all the government in Hawaii is currently controlled by the Democrats. "It's purely a state matter" and so on and so forth. I wonder what they would say if the state had a Republican majority. That they didn't have enough support for the liar and abuser in chief? 

IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING CHICKEN WITH THE NUKES WE WOULDN'T NEED AN ALERT SYSTEM. Sorry for shouting folks but really. You made it damn bloody obvious last summer that you have absolutely no understanding of the destructive power of nuclear weapons. Remember "if we have nukes why don't we use them?"

You are unfit to be in control of those weapons. So is Kim Jong Un. Two idiots playing chicken with nukes. I was foolish enough to believe that with the old USSR gone we might finally get some sanity in this world. 

What a fool I was. 


Yesterday, Saturday, this message went out in Hawaii.
"Emergency Alert
  Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter.This is not a drill." Let's just leave out the fact that with less than a half an hour to seek shelter there is no shelter. You are on an island for God/dess sake.  Let me repeat.THERE IS NO SHELTER. Your deadly choice is fry at ground zero or die from  aftermath of the blast later. 
 I don't know if it went to all the islands but it was a mistake.Somebody pushed the wrong button during a shift change ignoring a computer prompt asking "is this for real" or words to that effect. 
As of now reading the BBC entry they don't know who pushed that button  And the oops everything is ok went did go out within half an hour. The alert did last long enough for folks with family in different locations to be caught with the dilemma of where do I go? Find the kids. Find my wife? Find my husband? Get to my friends? A lot of people thought they were going to die. Horribly. Alone. Stuck in traffic. Somewhere. 
My nephew and his wife live in Hawaii. So do her mother and sister (last I heard). And a lot of other people and a horde of tourists.
Dear undear current occupant. Your pissing match with North Korea has put these people including my relatives on the front lines. I strongly suggest that you and your entire family and all the Republicans in congress relocate to either Guam or Hawaii until an agreement with the nut in North Korea is worked out. After all you seem to believe that nukes are a good idea. 
If your insanity does release the nukes you and yours should be the first to go along with all the innocents who are in danger of being turned into charred fragments and fallout that just might turn parts of  Canada and the mainland US into a glow in the dark wasteland depending on where the jet stream is at the time. 
Silly me. I never imagined we'd end up with a "my nukes are bigger than your nukes" idiot with his finger on the go button as the president of this country.
Oh,and by the way. My nephew grew up in what I call the devil's little acre. North of the Umatilla arms depot and south of the Hanford Reach. Umatilla was where they built an incinerator to destroy this country's stocks of nerve gasses. And the high school gym was set up to be sealed and put under positive pressure in case of an accident. The rest of the locals were advised to keep supplies of plastic sheeting and duct tape so they could seal their windows. 
And on a final note Dan Rather sent out this Tweet. Or as many drinks as it takes to stop their hands from shaking. 
"I think Hawaii should buy everyone on the islands a drink of their choosing - on the state."

Here's a link to the Rather Twitter chain. Knock yourselves out.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


It seems that the current occupant has had his yearly check up and is in perfect, perfect health.

However there appears to be at least one problem. This gang that can't shoot straight COULDN'T EVEN CARRY OFF A COMPETENT FORGERY OF THE DOCTOR'S SIGNATURE. Earth to ding dongs. Check out how the doctor you are claiming signed the paper work spells his thrice damned name BEFORE you make said paper work public.

And for a personal opinion. Given the current occupant's visible mental deterioration over the past year. If not sooner. Any physician wanting to hang on to their medical license would order a complete neurological workup along with the physical examination. And any family worth the description would back up that examination. Of course that assumes that the said family members aren't as greedy and corrupt as the head of the family. I'd say this bunch could give pointers to the Corleone family, but they wouldn't live that long.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


This is a blogger I've followed off and on for several years. This is a link to his new blog. You can find his old blog here. It details his journey from a fundagelical cult through his life as a pastor in a very conservative denomination to the point where he basically said "the hell with this crap I'm outa here."
The entry in his new blog is about words. What they mean and using them in the way they are meant to be used. We've been shifting our words for a long time. Especially in ways that put one side on the defensive. Politically correct. Back in the day we used the word respect. Respecting women, respecting children. Respecting other beliefs. (and if my blood pressure can stand it why Nazis don't count) Respecting people who may not speak your language or be your skin color. 

A new one is "reckless disregard for the truth." In the context I've seen it used we are looking at good old fashioned slander and libel. 

Remember that oldie but baddie 'law and order." It used to mean nobody was above the law. We were all entitled to our day in court. That an orderly society was based on good laws that treated us all the same. That was the ideal and. Well, we know how far we've drifted from that ideal. Now it seems to be "yeah, we know what the words in the law say, but we'll tell you what they mean and we'll decide who it applies to." 

"I was in fear for my life." Oh, is that a good one. When you put on that uniform, strapped on that holster and took the oath to protect and defend you made a promise. And I haven't found a version yet that spelled out who you were supposed to protect and defend. And it was implied that your life was on the line not the life of the guy you thought had a gun or a knife. Or the man or woman who is mentally ill and can't comprehend your orders. Or the kid with earbuds reaching to turn down the volume. Or the man who is just walking down the side of the road.Or the guy selling illegal cigarettes.  Or, what the hell fill in the blanks. 

We can't have order when people believe that when it comes to them the laws will be enforced differently. We can't have order when you have individuals and small groups who have an out in left field interpretation of the constitution and argue that the law doesn't apply to them. Example the Bundys and the bunch who took over the Malheaur reserve. And the feds fucked up their cases so badly that these clowns are still walking around waving their guns. 

And by the way, when the second amendment was ratified there was no standing army worth the name in the newly minted United States. If there was a crisis the states were expected to call out the militia to act as an army. Well, that didn't work very well and we ended up, finally, with the military industrial complex. The militias in the south were also used to keep the slaves in line. And although you won't find much in the textbooks we're allowed to read a lot of those slaves didn't take kindly or peacefully to being slaves. 

Well, well, well here we are again. And once upon a time a long time ago if a man or a woman promised to do something and shook on it that was enough. No written contract was required. And if you didn't keep your word everybody in that small town knew it. If you said it was raining someone would probably look out the window to make sure. And that boys and girls is the country we are living in right now God/dess save us because it looks like we aren't going to save ourselves. 

Monday, January 8, 2018


I've discovered the original Hawaii Five-0. OK it's over forty years old, some of the scripts are hokey. Some of the later ones were really hokey. You try being original, finding performers that click and keeping it fresh for twelve years. LOL

Anyway. :Young sailor, AWOL, is accused of killing a member of the shore patrol. Head cop has questions. Nowadays it would take several hundred bucks in computer equipment. He's got a pull down map of a skeleton, some chalk, a yardstick and a protractor. Bullet went in here, went through there, came out here. Followed a certain angle. Thinks about it for a couple of minutes. Checks the angles again. Calls up the forensics dept and asks "Were there powder burns?" There weren't. Which means that the story that have isn't the story that happened.

And the grossest shot in the whole episode was that shot of the skeleton. Fast forward to today. Person conducting surveillance gets blown away with blood all over the computer screen. Frankly I'd rather see a brain working that seeing one; well you get the picture.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


I've been digging through some of my older entries and found this little treasure. I can't make out who the artist is or where it originally appeared. But it's truer than ever. Too bad the real Lady Liberty can't hike up her skirts and march down to DC. Now that would be a sight to see wouldn't it?

Friday, January 5, 2018


I wrote this blog entry back in August of 2013. In light of what is going on in DC and some of the states? Read it and weep. I've been rereading older entries and this one was a real kick in the gut. 

What Are People For by Wendell Berry

Since WWII the governing agricultural doctrine in government offices, universities and corporations has been that “there are too many people on the farm.” This idea has supported, if indeed it has not caused, one of the most consequential migrations of history: million of rural people moving from country to city in a stream that has not slackened from the war’s end until now. And the strongest force behind this migration, than as now, has been the economic ruin on the farm. Today, with hundreds of farm families losing their farms every week, the economists are saying as they have been saying all along, that these people deserve to fail, that they have failed because “they are the least efficient producers,” and the rest of us are better off because of their failure.

It is apparently easy to say there are too many farmers, if one is not a farmer. This is not a pronouncement often heard in farm communities. Nor have farmers yet been informed of a dangerous surplus of population in the “agribusiness” profession or among the middlemen of the of the food system. No agricultural economist has as yet perceived that there are too many agricultural economists. 

The farm-to-city migration has obviously produced advantages for the corporate economy. The absent farmers have had to be replaced with machinery, petroleum, chemicals, credit and other expensive goods and services from the agribusiness economy, which ought not to be confused with the economy that used to be called farming. 

But these short term advantages all imply long term disadvantages, both to country and to city. The departure of so many people has seriously weakened rural communities and economies all over the country. And that our farmland no longer has enough caretakers is implied by the fact that, as the farming people have departed from the land, the land itself has departed. Our soil erosion rates are now higher than they were during the time of the Dust Bowl.

At the same time the cities have had to receive a great influx of people unprepared for urban life and unable to cope with it. A friend of mine, a psychologist who has frequently worked with the juvenile courts of a large Midwest city, told me that a major occupation of the police force there is to keep the “permanently unemployable” confined to their own part of town. Such a circumstance cannot be good for the future of democracy and freedom. One wonders what the authors of our constitution would have thought of that category, “permanently unemployable.”
Equally important is the sustainabliltiy of the urban food supply. The supermarkets are, at present, crammed with food, and the productivity of American agriculture, is at present, enormous. But, this productivity is based on the ruin of both the producers and the source of production. City people are unworried about this, apparently, only because they do not know anything about farming. People who know about farming, who know what farmland requires to remain productive are worried. When topsoil losses exceed the weight of grain harvested fivefold (Iowa) or twenty fold (the wheatlands of eastern Washington), there is something to worry about. 

When the “too many” of the country arrive in the city, they are not called the “too many.” In the city they are called “unemployed” or “permanently unemployable.” But what will happen if the economists ever perceive that there are too many people in the cities? There appear to be only two possibilities: either they will recognize that their earlier diagnosis was a tragic error, or they will conclude that there are too people in country and city both – and what further inhumanities will be justified by that diagnosis

The great question that hovers over this issue, one that we have dealt with mainly by indifference, is the question of what people are for. Is their greatest dignity unemployment? Is the obsolescence of human beings now our social goal? One would conclude so from our attitude toward work, especially the manual work necessary for the long term preservation of the land and from our rush toward mechanization, automation, and computerization. In a country that puts an absolute premium on labor saving measures, short workdays, and retirement, why should there be any surprise at permanence of unemployment and welfare dependency? Those are only different names for our national ambitions.

In the country, meanwhile, there is work to be done. This is the inescapably necessary work of caring for and restoring our farms, forests, and rural towns and communities – work that we have not been able to pay people to do for forty years and that, thanks to our forty year “solution to the farm problem,” few people any longer know how to do. 


It’s been almost thirty years since Berry wrote this essay. Since then big agro has expanded into countries like Brazil. Into lands that were never intended for large scale, intensive monoculture style agriculture. Companies like Monsanto and Dow have perfected crops that can be poisoned and survive. 

Berry wonders what will happen when the economic powers that be decide that there are too many people in the country period. Well, we’ve seen some of the answers in the last election cycles as varying percentages of our fellow citizens are labeled as a drain on the economy, as freeloaders, as leeches. Ironically, the same group that tells many of their fellow citizens that they’re worthless insists on adding more kids to the population through their opposition to family planning and the rights of women to make their own health care decisions. 

The destruction of our land, water, forests and sea coasts exposes American Capitalism’s dirty little secret. There is no room for the future in the balance sheets. My profits are paramount and if it takes every last tree to do it now, then that’s what we’ll do. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


You can find the "bible" for at least some of the deadlier white supremacists online. It's called the Turner Diaries. Google it. It's out there. I won't provide a link for this, abomination is too kind a word. Yes, I did wade through part of it. Enough to realize that the man who wrote this would have been applauding when the trains came into Treblinka, Chelmno, Sobibor, Auschiwitz. The whole alphabet of death and horror.

I didn't plan to start this entry with that first paragraph. Oh well.

Every year the UN puts forward a resolution to condemn the Nazis and everything related to them. Every year the US votes against it. The resolution is purely symbolic. The UN, in spite the bile put out the Becks and Joneses, has no authority to enforce it. The excuse put forward by this country for voting against the resolution is that it would interfere with freedom of speech in this country.

Yeah, talking about sticking Jews in ovens is just talk. We aren't actually planning to do anything like that. And I had lunch with the tooth fairy today and then we all went for a ride on our unicorns.

It is said that Justice Holmes wrote that freedom of speech did not include shouting fire in a crowded theater. Justice Robert Jackson wrote that the constitution was not a suicide pact. He'd just come off his stint as lead US prosecutor at the first Nuremberg trials. He was afraid that the virus from Nazi Germany might spread to the US. I don't know. He might have been right. I wonder what he'd say if he could see what is happening now.

And if you can find it. Look up a hefty volume titled The War Against the Weak. It chronicles the rise of the so called eugenics movement in the pre war US. There was more than one road to the WWII killing fields. At least one of them leads back to the good old U S of A.

And here is where it gets personal. I have five nephews. Three have started families of their own. Two married beautiful, bright young women who just happen to be mixed race. One is half Indonesian. The other is half Japanese. In the Turner Diaries world both would be murdered because of their ethnic background. Their husbands, my nephews, would die for the sin of race mixing. And for all I know the rest of us would be killed for allowing them to marry. So, forgive me if I refuse to speak up for the poster carrying, flag waving, arm band decorated heirs to a murderous ideology.

By the way Tim and Aria live in Hawai'i. So do her mother and sister. They'd be up for the chop too.  I wonder how those islands would fare in Turner's world.

And if the current occupant were to ask I'd probably spit in his face and shout that "No there aren't good arguments on both sides."

Well, well. Another entry that took the bit in its teeth and ran for it..