Saturday, February 28, 2015


I've posted these lyrics before. It's from the seventies. And the era of mountain top removal mining, the Alberta tar sands, exploding tanker cars, depleted aquifers, big Ag's strip mining of the topsoil; the whole miserable I'm going to get mine now and screw the people who come after us mindset, it resonates more than ever.


I speak on behalf of the next generation.
Our sons and their daughters, their children to come.
What will we leave them for their recreation?
And oil slick? A pylon? An industrial slum?


Leave them a flower, some grass and a hedge row.
A hill and a valley. A view to the sea.
These things are not ours to destroy as we want to;
A gift given once for eternity.

We plunder. We pillage. We tear and we tunnel.
Trees lying toppled, they finger the sky.
Building a land for machines and computers.
In the name of progress, the farms have to die.


Fish in the oceans, polluted and poisoned.
The sand on our beaches all stinking and black.
We and our tankers and banks and investsments
They never worry, the birds will come back.


When the last flower has dropped its last petal.
Then the last concrete is finally laid.
The moon will shine cold in a nightmarish landscape.
Our gift to our children. The world that we made.

Wally Whyton covered by Ed Ames among others. Somewhere I have Ames' LP with this on it. I may just break down and buy the CD. I'm really going to date myself, watched Ed Ames perform this on the Mike Douglas show years ago. 


Borrowed this image from another site on the net. Scott Walker, presidential hopeful and union busting governor of Wisconsin, has made this ridiculous claim. "If I can take on 100,000 protestors..."   And in today's AOL Walker claims that Reagan's union busting of the air traffic controllers was the most significant FOREIGN policy decision of his presidency because it sent the message we that "we weren't to be messed with."

OoooooooKaaaaay. One at a time. Yeah, I can see how union demonstrators are just like ISIS. I mean except for the guns, the IED's, the RPG's, the suicide bombers, the iconoclastic destruction of priceless artifacts, the beheadings and other atrocities, the kidnappings, the attempted genocide of Shiities and Yazidis. Nope not an iota of difference between them. Face palm, head desk, soundless scream because frankly I don't want to scare the cats. Again.

Now on to number two. I have blogged repeatedly about (un)Saint Ronnie's bull shit war on communism, subversion, etc. etc. etc. excuse my while I take time to throw up and take another shower. You know frankly I'm not sure what Reagan and his advisers were trying to prove. Who knows. Maybe they were dickless wonders. Maybe they were sociopaths. They certainly lacked the ability to empathize or sympathize or maybe they just didn't give a shit as the bodies piled up and the Central American refugee camps exploded. We not only stood by while brutal dictators made war on their own people most of tools of destruction came labeled "made in USA."

There have been allegations that Reagan's War on Drugs had more to do with funneling military aid denied by congress. After all who wanted to be accused of being soft on drugs? The last thing we need is another "Ronald Reagan" in the White House any more than we need another shrub, excuse me Bush. One of the first and two of the second are more than enough thank you.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Back in the late sixties, early seventies NBC ran several series that were more movie of the week than the usual TV episodes. They ran ninety minutes, which is why they didn't get repeated very much. The first one out of the barn was The Name of the Game. A series built around a publishing empire with a rotating cast of leads.

To be honest I don't remember many of the story lines, heck that was forty years ago. But a fragment of one has always stuck with me. Lead character passes out in a freeway rest area and "wakes up" nearly fifty years in the future to face a Los Angeles forced underground by lethal levels of pollution and environmental degradation. By accident I learned that the script was written by Philip Wylie and directed by Steven Spielburg. As it happens Wylie fleshed out his script and wrote a novel. It's battered and a bit crumbly around the edges but I was able to locate a paperback.

This is 1971. Before the EPA. 1971 and the story was taking on global warming, acid rain, smog, pollution affecting the lives of our rivers and oceans. 1971!!!!!! And the polluters, taking their lead from the tobacco companies, are still able to block any meaningful reductions. Oh yes, the rivers like the Cuyahoga aren't bursting into flames every few years. The worst of the smog has been reduced. But gas mileage still sucks for too many vehicles. And God help anyone who suggests that the great American consumer has the right to buy the biggest, baddest rig he can is a pinko, commie, socialist, anti capitalist traitor.

Blue Bloods isn't too bad. So far they've taken on choke holds, potential corruption, single parents trying to raise their kids, but what else is out there? Fifty versions of CSI, NCIS, and so called reality TV that has nothing to do with reality. Heck, I first learned about the ban on Chinese owning land in California watching the Big Valley. Same with the Molly McGuires and attempts to form a union and keep it from being broken before it gets off the ground. Any chances of Norma Ray being made today? Yeah right.


Actually, I think my favorite episode was Amok Time. "Logical, flawlessly, logical."
I've always wondered what plomik soup was made of. What's a plomik when it's at home. Animal, vegetable or mineral?


Spock has gone to join Bones and Scottie. Star Trek premiered in 1966 and one episode still stands out as the most frightening idea anyone ever came up with.

I don’t even remember the name of the episode.. The Enterprise is on a double mission escort diplomats to Emianar 7 and find out what happened to the last ship that visited that system. When they arrive the government informs them that they are at war with a former colony, Vendikar. In fact, an attack is happening as they speak. But, there is nothing but silence. It turns out the war is being fought by computer.

Here’s where the terrifying part comes in. When a district is declared destroyed by the battle computer the people who live there have one day to report to suicide stations so that the deaths of the “casualties” can be recorded. When the Enterprise is declared “destroyed” Kirk ups the ante. He orders the ship to move out of range and to implement general order 24, total destruction of the planet. Then at the first opportunity destroys the battle computer.

The whole idea behind the virtual reality warfare was that the people might die but the civilization would survive. “We’ve admitted we’re killers” Kirk’s reply, “OK we’re killers, but we don’t have to kill anyone today, that’s where it starts. We aren’t going to kill anyone, today!”

It was the compliance of entire civilization,  being willing to commit suicide. Terrifying. Totally terrifying. But then, remember that this as the Cold War and the era of M(utaully) A(ssured) D(estruction).

As usual this is heading in a different direction than when I started. What is crazier a society that is willing to commit suicide so that the culture as a whole survives or generals who were willing to use weapons that could destroy everything. That’s what we faced for decades. As if our “way of life” would survive the detonation of nearly fifty thousand fission and fusion bombs. Is the TV episode more terrifying or the reality we faced for decades. At least Emeniar & survied the five hundred years of war. The birds, the butterflies, the fish the trees survived even as the people died. Food for thought. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Back in  1983 ABC scared the bejeezus out of the American public with what still may be the highest rated TV film in history. One hundred million people watched a graphic description of what happens during a nuclear attack. It hasn't been rerun very often since. I have the DVD. You do not, I repeat you do not watch this movie before bedtime.

So why am I bringing up a thirty year old made for TV horror fest? An Arkansas state rep believes we should use tactical nukes against ISIS. Small tactical nukes to be sure.

Just what does this nitwit think the rest of world will do if the US, the only country that has used nuclear weapons uses them again. Sometimes I get the impression that so called statesmen don't have any idea what a nuclear weapon is. I seriously believe they think nukes are just TNT on steroids. God help us.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Well, well, big surprise Hillary doesn't think fracking is so bad and won't take a stand on Keystone XL. Bill Clinton was a semi Democrat who supported the expansion of globalization. It was going to be good for the economy, It was going to be a benefit. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I can never quite figure out why we have to pump out every last blessed pint of crude in this generation. Hey, leave some for the generations to come already. Looked up Keystone, turns out the infamous double K's are big stakeholders in the company. Surprise, surprise that congress is bending over and grabbing its collective ankles to get the pipeline OK'd.

From Wendell Berry in 1982 in From This Day.

Hail to the forest born again,
that by neglect, the American benevolence,
has returned to semi virginity, graceful
in the putrid air, the corrosive rain,
the ash-fall of Heaven invading fire -
our time's genius to mine the light
of the world's ancient buried days
to make it poisonous in the air.
Light and greed together make a smudge
that stifles and blinds, But here
the light of Heaven's sun descends,
stained and mingled with its forms,
heavy trunk and limb, light leaf and wing,
that we must pray for clarity to see,
not raw sources, symbols, warded powers,
bu fellow presences, independent, called
out of nothing by now word of ours,
blessed, here with us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


the queasier I get. I didn't want to run on the last entry too far or mix too many subjects so today is a twofer. And the more I think about this the squickier it gets.

The new National  Geographic arrived yesterday and the lead story is "The War on Science." There are the usual suspects. The moon landings were faked. Adam and Eve shared the garden with dinosaurs. Trouble is they included the growing opposition to GMO's. It really ticks me off when hybridization techniques and selective breeding that has been carried out since we discovered agriculture have been pulled under the same umbrella that includes crops that be drenched in herbicides and survive or make their own pesticides. It ain't the same thing folks and it's a bald faced lie to claim that it is. 

Here's the quease inducing part of the story. There's a double page picture spread that includes a stuffed goat named Freckles. Now, what makes Freckles special you ask. Well Freckles and a few of her sisters were genetically modified. The techies over at Dr. Frankenstein's lab played around with the genome of a goat and added genes that allowed the likes of Freckles to produce milk that included spider silk proteins. Please see the Wickipedia article on BioSteel for the details. 

Call me a Luddite if you want but it really creeps me out when mad scientists start mucking about like this. How many goats would it take to make this a profitable operation. If some of Freckles sisters get out and breed with unfucked up with goats is their milk safe for humans or even baby goats to drink? 

It took me about a day to go from "this is weird" when I first read to article to "WTF is going on here." As a believer in the beauty of Creation, in the music shaped by the Maker of Things this just feels WRONG in a way I can't really explain in words but, there it is. 


I'm posting this link to a Monsanto backed petition, not because I agree with it, far from it. But because this is the fourth of fifth time it's showed up on my Facebook timeline as a suggested post. And frankly I'd like to know whose palms are getting greased to keep the POS in play. I have to admit that reading the comments has been a hoot. Every time it shows up there are more and more negative comments. Along with the few that suggest that those of us who want to know where our food dollars are going are Luddites at best and something you'd scrape off the bottom of your shoe at worst, 

OK, Facebook. Who is greasing the palms here. I'm only sharing this POS because this is like the fourth or fifth time it's showed up on my feed as a suggested link.
This is a crap petition backed by the likes of Monsanto and Dow. The legislation they're pushing would prevent states from passing laws requiring foods containing the likes of RoundUp ready crops to be labeled.
Note, we're not asking to ban the crops (which is not a bad idea) we just want to know what we are buying. And if Kellog's has a problem redesigning the labels on their cereal boxes I suspect that the local High School would have a nerd or three that could handle the problem. 
We bought an antibiotic free, vegetarian diet raised chicken for Christmas, very informative label. I suspect that as the packaged bird hits the scales for shipment, someone or something flashes a signal and the label is printed, slapped on your dinner to be and out the door it goes. Again, if your tech guys can't add a line to your label program hit the local community college. The nerds would be happy to help you out.
As an American in a SUPPOSEDLY capitalist economy it is my right to access all the information available in order to make an informed choice. However, I've noticed that my right to know what's going on goes down as the impact on some corporation's bottom line goes up. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I've been reading a lot of US history lately and here's a piece of US history trivia that I didn't know.

John Marshall was the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court. He fought in the revolution, served his country well and helped define the relationship between the individual and the constitution. He was one of the last of the founders when he died on July 8, 1835. The funeral was held on July 8, the anniversary of the date in 1776 when the bells of Philadelphia rang out to celebrate the Declaration of Independence. They tolled again for John Marshall, and as the muted bells tolled, one of them cracked. It was the Liberty Bell and it never rang again.

When I read that sentence my first thought was "that is really, really spooky,"

Friday, February 6, 2015


on the answering machine.

Ring, ring. Hello, pause hello as you hear the computer kick in.

"Hi, this is Andy with Family Protection Plan, how are you this evening?" Since we both still have laryngitis and a cough from lower purgatory when we try to say more than three words in a row, the conversation went down hill after that. 

This is what I'd kind of like to put on the answering machine (but probably won't).

Hi, you've reached the number of two senior citizen, potentially cranky people who can have serious attitude problems depending who is on the other end of the line. If you are

1. Friends, family or somewhere in between please leave a message and we will happily return your call as soon as possible. 

2. The doctor's office, the pharmacy or a similar business please leave a message and we will get back to you ASAP.

3. If you are a robot or represent a business we've never heard of, never asked you to call us so on and so forth don't bother because we will delete you ASAP if you do leave a message.

As I said, I'd like to but probably won't. LOL

Thursday, February 5, 2015


If you're used to the poems we were assigned in English class with regular rhythm and predictable punctuation Berry can almost drive you crazy. Until you realize why he's doing what he does. It makes you slow down and listen. Really listen. And if you know storms, streams and wind tossed branches; "see" the words. He may be writing in Kentucky, but this is Oregon too. And if I don't have rue anemones, there are early, fragile pale purple crocuses;swelling bugs on the lilacs and dogwood; the shy green shoots of blue bells and forget me nots.

February first was Imbolc, Celtic spring. Or as John Becket over at Under the Oak put it, the promise of spring. It's there. It takes a little imagination, a remembering of springs past to see it. But, it's there.

"Here where the dark sourced stream brims up,
Reflecting daylight, making sound
In its stepped fall from cup to cup
Of tumbled rock, singing its round

From cloud to sea to cloud, I climb
the deer road through the leafless trees
Under a wind that batters limb
On limb, still roaring as it has

Two nights and days, cold in slow spring.
The ancient song in a wild throat
Recalls itself and starts to sing
In storm cleared light; and the bloodroot,

twin leaf and rue anemone
Among bare shadows rise, keep faith
With they have been and will be
Again: frail stem and leaf, mere breath

Of white and starry bloom, each form
Recalling itself to its place
And time. Give thanks for no windstorm
Or human wrong has altered this,

The forfeit Garden that recalls
Itself here, where both we and it
Belong; no act or thought rebels
in this brief Sabbath now, time fit

To be eternal. Such a bliss
Of bloom's no ornament, but root
and light, a saving loveliness,
Starred firmament here underfoot."

Wendell Berry 1982 Sabbath poems.

All three plants he mentions have small white flowers. Indeed they look so much alike you almost have to go with the shape of the leaves to tell them apart.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


It's kind of scary when a public official like Alabama chief Justice Roy Moore displays such profound ignorance of other religions.

Buddhists have never claimed that the Buddha was the Creator. No Muslim has ever claimed that the prophet Mohammad was the Creator. And overlooks that Jews, Christians and Muslims all claim to worship the same God. The names are different but the God is the same.

According to the article Moore spoke to this group last Fall, but the recording of the speech is finally getting public viewing and sparking criticism and leaving the rest of us wondering if the justice is quite sane. He was previously known for putting up a monument to the ten commandments on public property.

He has also been quoted as saying that state officials are not bound by the federal constitution even though under Article 6 of said constitution he had to swear an oath to uphold and protect the constitution of the US.

He obviously has a problem with that.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


From the blog of a druid who also happens to be a Unitarian.   "Heresy has it's roots in a Greek word that basically means 'to choose.'" To bad most religions don't really want us choosing anything beyond showing up at the right time with cash in my pockets to throw in the collection plate. In fact ran across the story in The Parish blog of a guy who started attending a mega church. Attended for awhile, received the envelopes for his "offerings." Didn't take long for the mega to suggest very strongly that unless he upped his contribution he could forget about attending THEIR church.

Ironically this story was one of the reasons that the blogger, who survived Pentacostalism and later became a church of the Nazarene minister, claims that he is no longer a believer. I guess he just got tired of fighting to keep his head above water.

Anyway, reading this blog entry got me thinking, always a dangerous occupation. LOL

What continues to puzzle me is this. What each of us experiences of the divine, the unknown, what lies behind the veil; however you describe it, is unique to each of us. I can tell someone else what I experience, but I can’t “prove” it.

I suppose that’s why mystics are viewed with so much suspicion by the Abrahamic religions, especially Christianity and Islam. I could never understand how any “church” could insist that we all had to experience the same things at the same time and in the same way. First the churches call likes of Thomas Aquinas or Ekhart heretics then when they're safely dead for awhile the church makes them saints. 

Which reminds me to be honest, there are days when I’m pleasantly surprised when most of us agree where the sun was when I spotted it this morning.