environmental

The Art Of Discussion

debateHow many times have you read “no religion or politics” when looking at the membership rules in a web forum? I mean, you can talk about lots of other things, but two of the most important issues facing us in this life is considered taboo? . . . What’s up with that? Any talk concerning our spiritual well being . . . taboo. Any talk concerning the governing of our physical well being . . . taboo. These two categories are still, even in this supposedly enlightened country, considered unsafe because they always end up causing a heated argument . . . why?

I think it’s because we have forgotten or never (considering our age) learned how to discuss an issue using the old give and take methods of the past. Today it’s an ‘in your face’, ‘I’m right . . . and you’re stupid!’ environment. Today it seems everybody is walking around with their knowledge caps filled to the brim with everything from presidential politics to religion to global warming or any other subject that arises. That’s a shame because in the real world most of us are drowning in falsehoods, and if being honest, barely know our asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to discerning the truth behind the heavy PR media constantly feeds us.

Personally, when I was a young guy I, like the millions of young people around me, gave my mind over to my elders, governors, and preachers, and unquestionably believed what they told me to believe.

Along about 1968 or so the hippie movement came on the scene in my little midwestern industrial town. At first these guys with their long hair were considered to be goofs, but as time went by more and more of my friends disappeared into hippiedom, and I, myself,  ultimately ended up deeply involved in the Portland Ore. scene.  

Because of the coffee house craze in those days, I began for the first time to think for myself. We sat around  tables for hours openly discussing life in general, as well as the serious issues of the day, and all in a quiet, friendly atmosphere. I loved those coffee houses, but the few I see today are a far cry from the original, believe me.

Now, with the advent of the internet and this newly discovered gold mine of information you’d think the young crowd would be spending their valuable time learning, comparing notes, and discussing  all that acquired knowledge among themselves, but do they? To my old eyes they seem to be living their intellectual lives in an ‘all show, no go’ sorta way. The passion they do show seems a bit tainted . . . like a sour note in a composition. Misguided anger is never good . . . paid protesters even worse.

The great discovery for me during my time was the realization that I [we all] have a very far reaching, powerful mind. . . . and it’s ALL mine! [ours] I have learned since that moment to shun the mind controllers and to research and discover for myself what I choose to believe. I have learned to change my mind and thought patterns mid stream if necessary. I have learned that nothing is sacred or untouchable . . . So the question remains, why not religion or politics?

Here’s what I think . . . There are those whose will has always been to control our minds and benefit by doing it. They teach us to be just smart enough to run their machine for them, but too dumb to question why . . . it’s a new form of slavery . . . it’s that simple.

Today, ‘massa’ is teaching us how to belittle, or declare crazy, or anti (anything important to him) He has taught us via his media to consider anybody who doesn’t follow the party line stupid, a conspiracy theorist, racist, bigoted, etc. Today’s current administration has even upped the ante, and we are now being taught to dehumanize anyone who doesn’t agree with us.

In our nation’s early years slaves were considered less than human so that we could mistreat and over work them in our cotton fields. In the military during the Korean/Vietnam war we were taught the ‘gooks’ were less than human so that we could kill them with impunity and know that God was always still on our side, even when we bombed and burned and destroyed them by the thousands. Today in the middle east nothing has changed but the derogatory names we call the enemy.

We NEED to talk about this stuff. We NEED to learn and figure out for ourselves what to think, how to act . . . and we need to learn how to talk and discuss these issues we are facing without belittling everyone else that bears differing reasonings and understandings in the process.

We can change the world only one person at a time, and that change starts with the face in your mirror . . . the time will come when the balance has shifted and the fog has lifted but for now we are in the battle of our lives and few there be who even knows it, and fewer less who understands what it takes to make it happen.

 

The Dream?? . . .

burbs

Eleven o’clock on a summer morning and the place was seemingly deserted, no dogs, nothing. Where’s everybody at? Where’s the kids?

I slowly drove past one house after another in the upscale housing development. I gazed upon one perfectly manicured lawn after another, each bisected by ribbons of clean concrete drives and sidewalks. There probably wasn’t a dandelion in the whole allotment.

This carefully designed scene, instead of evoking envy, made me feel creeped out and sad, especially for the chubby kids that must be inside huddling around their TV’s and computers breathing stale, conditioned air. Kids who’ve never heard of kick the can, or knew the pleasure of playing hide and seek outside after dark. Kids who’ve never danced in the warm summer rain. or got into a good fist fight. To me, this atmosphere was cold, sterile, and alien.

Day after day, aside from the occasional guy who still mowed his own lawn, or his wife coming and going in her new S.U.V., I rarely saw anyone. The only noise in the neighborhood was the sound of construction around the new overpriced homes we were building. (more…)

Small House Living

DSCF0523

The way of life in this country is changing, of that I have no doubt. Personally I am broke most of the time. The things we used to do we no longer can. It costs too much to drive our vehicles, grocery shop and heat the house for us to go on even a real day trip. I’ve been saving for six weeks just to get enough money together to buy materials to roof my dojo.

Ok, I’m retired on a fixed income, I have enough to eat, a roof over my head and I live in a nice little valley with tree covered hills surrounding it. I shouldn’t complain, right? I should be content, but am I? . . . you’re damn right I am!

I’m happy as a deer in springtime. I’m happy as my pitbull who just stole a bone from my Rottweiler . . . I’m so damn happy most of the time that I often wonder why the rest of the folks I know are complaining so much.

My goal to help them be as happy and content as me WITHOUT their cash and credit cards. Since we are spending more time these days at home, I feel it is imperative we make the place as warm and cozy as possible. Of course those words mean different things to different folks. I’ll tell you what my wife and I did to assure that feeling for ourselves, and then perhaps you can figure out your own way within your own parameters. (more…)

Enough

enough pollution

I want to write a love poem . . . sweet and easy.
I want to find a way to say the golden things
The things with wings.
I want to mimic Gibran . . . and Rumi too
I want to write a love poem . . . I do I really do.

I sit at the break of day
When the hush of morn surrounds.
I think of all those loving things
where peace and love abounds.
A thought so strong it births a tear
Takes me back to a better year . . .

BUT ALL I HEAR . . .

Across the hilltops flying high
Are cries from earth
And water
And sky.

ENOUGH! ENOUGH! . . . we say
IF you wish to live another day!
ENOUGH! ENOUGH!! ENOUGH!!!

Global Warming

globalwarming

It looks as if EPA is about to take a hit from the Trump administration. Everybody knows Trumps viewpoint when it comes to global warming and Myron Ebell, Trumps choice to lead his environmental team seconds that emotion in spades. Myron, a prominent climate change skeptic, has made a career of advancing theories that question the scientific underpinnings of global warming although he is not a scientist and has never worked for the agency whose environmental mission he has attacked for years.

Environmentalists have called his selection a “sick joke.” Even some Republicans wonder how someone who has spent most of his career at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, could be thrust into a prominent role that includes interviewing agency staff, identifying potential employees and designing a new direction for EPA under a president who has threatened to shrink its authority. (Emily Holden and Kavya Balaraman)

As an environmentalist I am alarmed because I truly believe that when it comes to the environment Mr. Trump as well as Myron, don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to the reality of climate change.

The simple answer to the issues on their side is that climate change is not caused by human interference at all, therefore it is unnecessary and nonproductive to attempt to control naturally occurring events that have been going on since the beginning of time. . . . and of course on our side we see the sky falling and the planet dying a slow, sickly, death.

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Tiny House

I have gotten so many hits on this tiny house that I have decided to soon draw up some computer plans along with a materials list for anybody that wants to download them. If anybody is interested in purchasing the download for about 5.00 bucks let me know and I will make a decision pro or con depending on the interest level. (Hard prints would be more of course, but I don’t see why anybody would need a set as this house is pretty simple to build.)

I built the structure for about 600.00 but I used left over materials from my main cabin to frame it and planned for an outhouse (or sawdust toilet) as well as an outside cooking area similar to one I once had in Alaska. It will cost much more using new materials though depending on how fancy you need to have it as to electric/plumbing, etc. . . as well as being within code if you happen to be in a place where there is one.

I am not personally big on all the regular large home amenities like toilets, etc inside a small dwelling for obvious reasons as well as the fact that they take up way too much room. These places are IMO basically either for camping or a SHTF situation. I once built a shower house for a family in Big Lake Alaska who lived in a smaller sized cabin and they loved it. (I will also design one for download here.)

My guess is that in the future many will be living without a lot of things we take for granted today so I am advocating buying a few acres of land in a fairly remote area and building a squared up structure similar to those common in rural America back in the thirties. Tiny houses on wheels make great campers but are extremely limited for long term use, IMO.

Following are some photos of the cabin in question:
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What If . . .

shaking handsWhat if the plant world was intelligent and cunning and patient and not at all living a passive existence? What if they evolved through millenniums just as we have, but their evolutionary trail traveled in a different direction in order to insure a beneficial relationship. (We breathe oxygen, they make oxygen)

What if, because of the need to protect itself, the plant kingdom has decided to break the peaceful relationship with us? What if it has chosen to go to war with humankind and eradicate us because it realizes we are madly out of sync and capable of destroying the whole planet?

Sounds like pseudo science fiction I suppose, but in their defense . . .

Man has chosen to play ‘Creator’ and manipulate the DNA in plants that have taken millenniums to evolve as they are.

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Know Your Enemy

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle. . . . Sun Tzu

The above quote was taken from Sun Tzu’s treatise, The Art of War. This well proven book has, for the last 2500 years, been considered the fighting manual of choice by military men throughout the world. A list of it’s readers would contain the names of Patton, MacArthur, Stalin, Mao Zedong, so forth. Vo Nguyen Giap used it’s knowledge to defeat both the French and the Americans in Vietnam. It’s concepts are being taught even today at the American War College.

The Art of War contains the final answer to those caught in a David and Goliath moment where the enemy is far larger and far more powerful than their fledging resistance. It’s worked before, it will work again as we take on the gas industry and their minions in Congress and the State legislatures.

I am reminded at times like these, when the odds are so overwhelming, how those little brown men in Vietnam kept moving supplies along the Ho Chi Minh trail, in spite of the millions of tons of bombs the US threw at them. They trucked that trail carrying heavy loads on their backs, riding bikes, pulling carts, enduring heat, insects, hunger . . . anything to get the supplies to their soldiers fighting in the South.

No matter how hard the Americans tried, they could not stop them. No matter how many bombs the Americans dropped, they could not stop them. They NEVER quit coming . . . until finally the Americans gave up and went home defeated, not by a standing army in the field, but by the resolve of the people themselves who gave their lives by the hundreds of thousands in order to obtain freedom from those who sought to own her. They never quit!

So, for those of us who have chosen to oppose the gas companies in their quest to move quickly and destructively against our properties and our lives, it behooves us to take a bit of time to read Sun Tzu and understand some his tactics before diving into an action that will end only in futility and emotional stress. We need to get to know our enemy as well as ourselves.

So who is this giant in our land? What are his goals? His motivations? His fears? What kind of energy fuels his mind and causes him to function? All these things are important to know in order to defeat him.

Ask yourself the same set of questions. What are your goals, motivations, and fears? Sun Tzu said you must know yourself as well as the enemy if you have any hope of defeating him. Are you up to the task? Or are you just a “cause” groupy who enjoys going to demonstrations and stuff. If so, I can assure you there were no groupies along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

First of all, when it comes to an enemy, you must respect him. He is smart, maybe smarter than you. He can hurt you far less if you do not take the easy route by demonizing him, or belittling him. This only gives him an advantage.

In this instance the gas industry is the enemy, but this enemy is in reality made of individual people much the same as you and me. They are not devils, nor do they enjoy eating children. They may merely be blind men in need of a good sight adjustment.

Try to understand where he is coming from, and why he feels as he does. See him not so much an ignoramus, but someone who has been molded by our capitalistic society into a good soldier for the cause. A soldier who can see no further beyond himself than the feet of the soldier climbing the corporate ladder above him. Where is he going? Well, actually he doesn’t know, he just knows he needs to keep climbing.

What motivates him? Well, there are what I call the ‘three P’s’ that seemingly motivate all these type A personalities. The quest for Power . . . Position . . . and Possession. That’s it, that’s all they see… Me . . . Me . . . and Me.

If it were possible to sit these guys down and suck all that stuff out of their heads, they may see the reality and beauty of the ‘oneness’ in this ecosystem that we share with the rest of creation. We may be caretakers of it, but it does not belong to us. We did not create it and in spite of all our touted advances in technology, we have yet to learn how to even put out a good weather report.

If it were possible to prove to them how easily we can ruin the whole thing, they may take a second look and stop this mad dash for the most cash that’s ruining our water, and even the air we breathe. They may come up with a different answer to the question: ‘What’s the most important, water, air, or gas?”

So how do we go about fighting these dudes? What are their greatest strengths? Well, let’s see . . . they own the state legislature, they own the governor, they own most of the capitol, they own the courts. So wow, how dumb is it going to be fighting them on their own turf? If that’s the best we can come up with, we really ought to quit and sign the lease ourselves.

Now, this political avenue could be a side street, of course, because ultimately all this will have to be decided by the courts as they’re the guys who enforce the law, and isn’t that what we all want? Good, honest law that takes into account the needs of the landowner as well as the gas company?

Even though money has, for now, decidedly turned the political head, its been proven time and again that these Congressional hacks will duck and cover as soon as the light of day rests upon their sorry heads.

Look at the movie Gasland and what a giant headache it is causing for the gas industry. That’s just one movie. THAT is a point of FEAR for these guys. Make more movies.

It’s up to us to document and prove what is taking place upon our land. They will fight us tooth and nail using lies, innuendo, anything to divert the reality of the facts we bring forth. We MUST document . . . and a good ‘before and after’ video is in my opinion, a preferred weapon of choice.

I would even recommend recording the salesman when he makes the pitch and videotaping everything that takes place after that. It may save you a lot of grief later.

If your enemy owns the night, draw him into the day.

If he owns the jungle, meet him on the prairie.

When it comes to these gas corporations the only thing they don’t yet own is us. Our turf is what they want, so wouldn’t that be the place to fight them? On our own turf, bearing the weapons we choose, and following the gorilla tactics of our choosing also?

This is the point of contact. This is where the victory lies. This is the place where the haves meet the have nots. . . . AND the place we own.

In order to draw the gas out of the shale they need us to sign their contract, it’s that simple. No contract, no gas. The fight doesn’t begin after our water is ruined. The fight begins when that salesman sits down at our kitchen table and begins to unload his box of promises on us. How many of us already signed the company contract? How many have had it looked at by their lawyer? I know some who haven’t.

Why would anybody allow some clown to come into their house with a company sided contract, and sign it without a thorough going over by a lawyer is beyond me. I know honest people have this thing about them that says all other people are honest, especially if they have just received an offer they couldn’t refuse, but damn, man, these waters are FULL of sharks.

We need to teach our people that when they quickly sign the contract they are paying a steep price for their greed and ignorance. We need to have them watch some of these videos like Gasland and be informed and fully aware BEFORE they make the decision to give up the family farm.

We need to be able to prove what will happen to them by using one example after another, of something that has already happened. We need to convince our people that if it sounds too good to be true, the fact is it probably is.

We need to convince them that we are not advocating complete withdrawal of the gas companies and their armies of drill teams. We only need the industry to stand down long enough to answer these problems with pollution and straighten them out before they restart their drilling machine.

We need to convince the industry that we need gas for heat as much as they need to dig it up. We are not against drilling. We are against the crazy way they are going about it.

We want safety for our cattle, for our children and for ourselves, not just the pile of bullshit they are currently tossing on our kitchen tables. If they want to partner up with us, let’s do it fair and square. Put it all on the table and dispense with the rhetorical PR. It may be beneficial to all of us.

What they are doing now, in all their arrogance, is offering nothing more than a train wreck that will ultimately destroy them as well as us. Power, Position and Possession, is their common goal . . . BUT WE own the Power. We own the Position. We own the Possession. They don’t own any of it, they just want to take ours. We are not the beggars here, they are.

Bottom line is that we must slow down the gas rush and make it more eco friendly. If that is impossible to do, drop the whole thing until it is.

Jim Walters