Wednesday, May 22, 2019

What Waves Do

Pushed and pulled by forces from sun and moon
waves rolls across entire oceans
until they strike some thing.
Some waves pound upon a sandy shore and climb
until they can climb no more
and so they recede.
In great rounded loops they fall back into the sea.
Yet somehow their rounding retreats
striate into crisscross lines in sand.
Wavenccross

Some waves slap on roots, or reefs and rocks;
swiftly they swing and swerve in uncertainty
recasting light as swirly pearls.
SurfSwirl

Some waves churn up discrepant truth by summoning stuff
into yon distant slick of dubious flotsam fluff:
Is it mirage or mire or  mystery oil or what?
OceanSpots
. . . as seen plainly from a plane ! a glut of what?


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Corals and Us

Corals build:  secreting  calcium carbonate aragonite structural coenosteum through living coenosarc tissue situated between corallite cups, to form coral reef.
Shore
In this way, the coral grows and grows, and grows . . .
(Thank you Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral 
We build too: We stack stones arrange rocks mix mud mix mortar concoct concrete lay block lay brick blah blah blah
ShoreBuild
We walk out from our built structures. Corals do not; they remain in their little aragonite colony that they have built.
Corals stay while we stroll.
From a distance, them corals don’t look like anything alive. They just look like rocks.
But they are colonies of living critters,
Coral
and they help other living critters to stay alive.
Including us. Corals break up the wave action so we can build our stuff on the beach. Even more than that, they can, over long periods of time, build whole islands for us to dwell upon and enjoy.
When the ocean recedes from corals, they dry up and die. It is only then when we can walk around on them and live on their vast skeleton structure islands.
So we understand that when corals die, they leave that coral colony structure as their legacy—their gift to us and to the rest of the world.
And they don’t even know it.
When we die, we also leave a legacy.
The coral ought to be part of our legacy. We ought to leave the coral for our kids. Don’t step on it; don’t poison it. Let it grow.
Think of that sign you may see while riding on the highway. Referring to the workman who build and improve our roads, it says:
Let ‘em work. Let ‘em live.
Because even though the corals don’t look like it, the corals are alive and working all the time, building habitat for their fellow ocean inhabitants— the fishes and all them other water creatures— and building reefs to protect our islands, and building a fascinating shore world for us to gaze up while strolling on the beach.
Them corals . . . you gotta love ‘em. They just keep quietly doing their thing. Not like us who get all hot ’n bothered about stuff.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Covered People in Naked Society

They advise  strip off all baggage from old time.
They urge try fantastic low-hanging fruit.
They recommend taste little bit
They demand take nother byte

NakdPepl

We ask who said kids do nude
We teach kids run for cover blude
We gather our children beneath mama skirts
We papa protect what left because it right.
They say go free of hangups
They say bare it all
They say it fun
They say uninhabit inhibition
We say go jump in lake
We had all we could take
We say you always on the make
We see you fake.
They catch up us at crossroads.
They judge us out of touch
They sentence us unfair and square
They say strip if you dare
We say  we dont care for it
We wont fall for come-on  tit
We  find unfriend message hit
We remember blood on holy ground
We all across the world hear sacred sound
We in spite of what goes down all around
We once was lost but now we found.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Mystery of Mastery

Are you angry? Why? , , , and why is your attitude down?
If you do well, won’t your attitude be lifted?  But if you don’t do well, despair is crouching at your door.
But you must master it.
Choose discouragement, or improvement. Which will it be?
You have freedom to choose, you know.
Learn how to use that freedom. Master it.

Life brings good things to us, but life also throws some bad stuff at us along the way.
When life is a walk in the park . . . well, that’s great. Enjoy it. Make the best of it. From that favorable circumstance, move forward by taking measures to strengthen the stability that comes from that advantage.
But when the bad stuff again plops itself down in your garden path, what then? What you gonna do about it?
Don’t let it get you down. Although failure is lurking in your path, overcome it. Defeat defeat. Take mastery over discouragement.

Understand and accept that Life is going to drum up a certain amount of setbacks. Trouble comes with the territory in this life.
But you must master it.
Choose to master life; it will take awhile, maybe a whole lifetime.
We do have this choice, you know.
The ability to choose our own attitude, and thus set our own course—this is what we call freedom.
Freedom—you must master it.
We are free to choose where we go from here.
You are free to choose which way you will turn when that inevitable obstacle suddenly blocks your road to wherever it is you are going.
When the big one hits and throws you into a tailspin, will you wallow in your own discouragement?

Or will you master it?
Life itself was created for you, with this choice built into it.
But there is a good purpose for that challenge.
Having that choice is called freedom. Make use of the freedom. Master it.
Sometimes freedom is a pain in the ass, but Life would be a drag without it.
While you’re out there discovering life, you will surely run into some counter-productive influences . . . for instance, the idea of determinism.

Determinism is when some person or group wants to convince you that the obstacles in your path will surely defeat you, because the System is stacked against you.
The current strategy of the Determinism crowd says, for instance, Capitalism is against you . . . it cannot work for you.
But hey! . . . not if you master it. Take hold of any good opportunity to move forward.
Capitalism is what you—or perhaps your great great grandparents— entered into when they stepped off the boat, into America. Capitalism, with all its perils and pitfalls, is part of the territory here.
Master it.

America

You  can put capitalism to work for you, instead of against you.
The Determinism idea says that capitalism is nothing more than all those rich people and corporation manipulators who are perpetually stacking the deck against you.
But hey, that’s only a part of what capitalism is. Along with those unfavorable elements, capitalism includes also your freedom to choose something different, if what you presently are doing is not working for you and yours.
You must master it. That's your end of the deal.

In America, you would do well to master capitalism. Make it work for you. Work?
Work—yes, that’s important. Capitalism doesn’t properly function without it: work.
Can’t find work?
Make your own work. Find something to do. Find something that needs to be done and do it. Present your bill to whomever is benefitted by your work. Even if you’re collecting unemployment or disability benefits or whatever, find something helpful to do. You'll find yourself feeling better.
While the System is, yes Virginia, in some ways stacked against you, do not accept the negative assessment that there is no way around the obstacles.
Obstacles are standing outside your door. You must master them.
Obstructions are just around the bend. Master them.
If you don’t master them, who will?
Big Brother? The Fairy Queen?

Capitalism includes  your freedom to adjust your own attitude, and strategy, to get around, over or under whatever the System throws at you.
Master it. Learn when to work with it and, when to work against it.
It is true that working with the System is not always the best thing to do.
So this is also true: sometimes you will indeed have to work against the System, running against the wind, swimming against the tide.
That does not mean you allow the mob to convince you that the system is hopeless and the only way around it is to stir up trouble and destroy the System. There has, in the history of the world, always been them Powers that Be working against them that need to carve a new way out of the wilderness.

Knowing at any given time whether to work with the system or against it—this is called Wisdom.
You must master it. You must learn to use wisdom; cultivate it.
Wisdom is key to mastery in this life, but it doesn’t come easy.
Wisdom only comes through encountering both adversity and success.
So understand that adversity is part of the program for your obtaining mastery.
When you are at the crossroads of adversity and success, don’t cultivate discouragement; don’t malinger in bad attitude.
And don’t be hoodooed by  that Determinism that's out there and wants to incite the rabble to riot. Don't go there.

Determinism is when some person or group convinces you that the obstacles in your path will surely defeat you, because the System is stacked against you.
Determinism says the outcome of your life has already been determined by an exploitive Capitalist System. 
Determinism wants to convince you that you cannot muster the power to master your own destiny.
Determinism says, for instance,  you’re not making enough money to make a living, and you never will.
It is true, yes,  that  making more money could improve your situation.
But that’s not the whole enchilada.
Master the money thing: when you get some, make it work for you; don’t fritter it away. Put your money to work. Don’t let the Determinism crowd convince you that it’s all about money. Life is not all about money.

Life is all about what you do with life.
Determinism also  says you cannot improve yourself through discipline and study, and work.
Determinism says the only way you can outwit the system is to yield to the trending decadence and anarchy that perpetually wants to destabilize you and everybody else.
But don’t let it take control of you. Take control of it.
Master it.
Master life, and you will do well.
Don’t raise cain. Instead, make yourself able.
Learn to make some sacrifices.
And thank God.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Our Responsibility for Creation

Back in the 1960’s, when the Greening urge seemed to dawn upon us domesticated industrialized people . . . after the influence of Rachel Carson and others who followed in her path of conscientious awareness . . . we found a useful word to name the bad, destructive stuff we dump into our environment.
The word was: Pollution.
In the last decade or two, when the contemporary Green movement adopted the “global warming” and “climate change” phrases, they did not realize they were doing their cause a disservice. Those two terms—what has now been settled into as “climate change,” are too ambiguous to be of any real use.
Why? Because in the billions of years this planet has been evolving, the climate has always been changing; furthermore, those changes have, all along, included periods of warming. Now that we have determined—accurately, in my view—that much of that “warming” or “change” is our fault, we need to start fixing the problem, not fight about it. The fighting will only throw up more carbon.
But we ought  not, in that campaign, negate the human rights of people to make judicious use of what we have found in this planet.

For Greens and others who advocate for clean or redemptive policy to ceaselessly nag the rest of us about climate change is self-defeating. The chosen terminology confuses the real issues. Joe Sixpack and Jane Doe don’t understand what you mean by “climate change.”
The term is counterproductive. Citizens are missing the point because of your ambiguous terminology.
The real point is that we are polluting this, our planetary home. And we collectively must find a way to minimize that pollution as much as possible, if not altogether eliminate it: pollution—whatever is bad shit that adversely affects or damages our holy Earth. Some pollution is carbon, and some is even more seriously destructive than mere carbon.
Carbon is, after all, the essential component of life itself. You can’t go organic without it.

See what you think about this idea . . .
Let’s just divert all the carbon into one place and then form it into bicycles so we can pedal around the planet without spewing destructive gases everywhere we go. Is that a good idea? Yes? OK, you go first and maybe I’ll follow along if I can summon up the energy in my 67-year-old legs to pedal from here to wherever I have to go from now on  in life.
Furthermore, how are we going to get all the carbon diverted to a pre-assigned appropriately contained space?
Good luck with that.

AirSilt

As far as getting started or building up some momentum in this planetary cleanup project is concerned, let’s just cut to the chase in our strategy. Tell everybody:
Give a hoot; don’t pollute!
Widespread awareness among mankind is the key to making reparative change on this front; education is the means to achieve it. All ye extreme climate change advocates need to focus on educating us the public instead of threatening all mankind with your proposed centrally-planned regimes of soviet  oppressive control.
I am supportive of your zeal for our threatened planet, and I want to help. But my entrance into the fray is colored by a worldview that, among your peer group, seems alien to the cause of planetary cleanup.
But we Christians are not really against you. We are against politics that wants to abscond our human rights for the sake of improvement that may actually never be workable.
Meanwhile, back at the green, hopefully carbon-neutral homestead . . .
I just read an essay that says concisely almost everything I have been trying to say about environmental issues for the last ten years.

Thirty or so years ago, a compatriot of ours, Wendell Berry, wrote and spoke:
~ “the culpability of Christianity in the destruction of the natural world,  and the uselessness of Christianity in any effort to correct that destruction are now established cliches of the conservation movement. This is a problem. . .”
~ “Christian organizations, to this day, remain largely indifferent to the rape and plunder of the world and its traditional cultures.”
~ “Our predicament now, I believe, requires us to learn to read and understand the Bible in the light of the present fact of Creation.”
~ “. . . careful and judicious study. . . (and) making very precise distinctions between biblical instruction and allegedly respectable Christian behavior.
~ “. . . our native religion should survive (and should be allowed to survive -editor) and renew itself so that it may become as largely instructive as we need it to be. On such a survival and renewal of the Christian religion may depend the survival of the Creation that is its subject.”
~ “We will discover that God found the world, as He made it, to be good, that He made it for his pleasure, and that he continues to love it and to find it worthy, despite its reduction and corruption by us.”
~ “We will discover that for these reasons our destruction of nature is not just bad stewardship, or stupid economics, or a betrayal of our family responsibility; it is the most horrid blasphemy.”
~ “We have the right to use the gifts of nature but not to ruin or waste them. We have the right to use what we need but no more, which is why the Bible forbids usury and great accumulations of property.”
In support of this last statement, we note In the book of Leviticus:
“The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine (the Lord’s); for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me.
“Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land. . .
“ . . . but if he (the poor one who has defaulted) has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of Jubilee.”
So we understand from the Bible that private property is a part of our heritage. But in a larger sense—a world now understood to be co-habited by billions of pooping people— the earth belongs to all of us, and we are all, all of us, collectively responsible for it.
—Even as we are individually responsible for our own souls, and whatsoever property the Lord hath entrusted to each man, woman, family, group, nation, species of us.

Looking even further back in our history, and in the enduring Biblical canon which many of us still subscribe to, we find in the very first chapter, this directive:
“God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Back in the industrial age when we mechanized using steam power to rearrange the entire civilized world, we interpreted that “subdue it” command as: do whatever you need (want) to it to make it work in your favor.
But now, two or three centuries later, we need to interpret that “subdue” differently.
In biblical retrospect, we see It means: make Godly use of the resources we find. It does not mean “destroy it.”
It does not mean use nature for a dump. It does not mean “pollute it.”
It does not mean frack it.
Fracking? What the hell?
I think you fracking oil companies should voluntarily cease the practice of injecting poisonous chemicals and busting up earth’s crust for the sake of pumping out oil. If that means I’ll have to do with less oil and/or gas, then I’ll just have to deal with it.

When God created the world, he pronounced it “good.”
Let’s keep it that way if we can.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

From Grand Coulee to Grand Solar

Everybody ought to have something meaningful to do. Wouldn’t you agree?
A job, a volunteer project, or at least some personal pursuit, to occupy one’s time in an activity that is beneficial to one’s self, or helpful to others, maybe even improving society.
Whether it’s a job with a private enterprise—a small business,  a corporation, or a .gov agency, a non-profit foundation, or a personal pursuit . . .
Everybody finds benefit in having meaningful activity,
especially if it may make life better for the rest of us.

Recently I caught wind of some public discussion about maybe combining this need for individual productivity with work that benefits our public purpose. Consider the prospects of projects that would improve our infrastructure.
Infrastructure is, you know . . . roads, bridges, electrical grids, communication networks, parks, public spaces and lands . . . systems and places, etc. that we share—
networks and common spaces that tend to fall apart or degenerate if someone doesn’t take responsibility to maintain or take care of them.

As I was pondering this idea, my mind wandered back in time to an era in our national history--the 1930's-- when people working together got a lot of important work done by teaming up to improve what was our infrastructure at that time.
Back in that day there was a fella who went around lending a hand in public works of all kinds, and he wrote songs about his experiences, 
Woody Guthrie.
Woody wrote a good ole song about the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, out west between Washington and Oregon.
It’s an authentic song about a great project. Listen to Woody singing  Grand Coulee Dam, which he recorded in 1941.
    
And check out this pic of what that immense, power-conserving structure, when it was being built, back in 1933: 

CouleeConst

You can find more about the building of the Grand Coulee dam here:
  
As I was a-listening to Woody’s song about the Grand Coulee, the thought occurred to me that we should perhaps take on a similar project, or two, today—construction of a cooperative facility to provide electricity in a manner that is clean and green and maybe even carbon-neutral.
So I added a verse to Woody’s ole song:
In a trillion solar sunbeams of any shining sunny day
flies a steady stream of energy, more watts than man can say.
We oughta build a great collector like the big Grand Coulee dam;
and capture solar megawatts in this great  Grand Solar Land.”

Have a listen and see what you think about it:

And envision electricity this way:
SolarGrand


Saturday, May 4, 2019

From Enlightenment to Onlinenment

Peering way back in human history, we find . . . generally, the battles have indeed been won by the strong, and the races are usually won by the swift of our species.
There are exceptions, for sure, but generally you know it’s true. Them who know how to throw their weight around  usually manage somehow to outweigh the rest of us.
The people who manage to work, or fight or compete, to the top of the heap—those folks pretty much stay on top of things until some group or faction that is lower on the pecking order manages to muster enough money, or strength or discontent or firepower or political power to throw the bums out and usher in a new regime of wealth, or weapons, or wherewithal to take charge of things and call the shots.

Throughout history we talk about this and wonder about how to deal with it in ways that are fair and equitable, and maybe even civil.
In the last 300 years of pondering these issues, we’ve moved from the Age of Enlightenment, through the Age of Development, and now we’ve progressed into the Age of Onlinenment.
Three centuries ago, power was all about royalty. The royal houses pretty much ruled the world. They divided it up. Now and then they fought battles, or even wars, to re-draw the boundaries of ownership and authority and hegemony etcetera etcetera.
The printing presses had gotten in gear back in the 1400’s; over time all those mechanically copied manuscripts began to make a difference in everything that happened.  Ideas got spread around through documents and books, and people began to think more, exchange ideas and information more, think differently about themselves and the world they lived in, and . . .

People got smarter, or at least they thought they were smarter. At any rate, they had more information (more data!) to work with. Many of these smart folks figured out that they could work their way out of indentured servitude or serfdom or whatever royal arrangement had been holding them back.
So they moved off the estate, and into town; there they set up shop, doing business, making goods and services that people needed.
Capitalism was born. . . little people doing business and making it on their own.
Along with capitalism came the age of Enlightenment, a time in history when more and more folks were figuring out that hey! we can do this this thing we don’t need the bluebloods up in the castle to tell us what to do.

Although it took a century or two for these changes to really make a difference on a societal level, eventually the newly emerging middle classes had enough members and resources and smarts and clout to push the old fuddy-duddy royals out of power.
It was a long bloody process. Our American revolution busted out and changed the world forever.

Revolutions (1)

The French did an even bloodier version when they guillotined the Bourbon monarchs. As the proletarian uprisings gathered steam across Europe,  Napolean and Marx and hordes of discontented Europeans got out in the streets to rearrange the economic structure of things into a state more fitting to their demands.
Eventually, the Bolsheviks in Russia managed to run the royal Romanovs outa town. The new revolutionizing proletarians cornered those royals and put  bullets into their fair-haired Romanov heads.
Further down in Europe, the same Revolutionary zeitgeist was burning hot. 20th-century Liberation busted Western civilization out of its old royal antiquities. Along with the supposed modernizing came a bloody mess called the World War I.

Archduke4

When the guns were finally silenced in 1918 and the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the world was a different place.
Most of the royal houses had been run out of their big houses; what was left of them were cornered into ceremonial roles, and a new way of doin’ things became the order of the day.

Our yankee country country here had a lot to do with the way things turned out. After we had sent King George and his reds back to Britain with their tail between their legs, we had a whole, vast, 3000-mile continent just waitin’ to discover what the steam locomotive and the motorized tractor and the combine and the cotton gin and the blast furnace and everything from Pittsburgh to Pacific was all about.
And by the time we got to the Pacific, by crackies, the world was mechanized.
We had wrought it into a whole New World.
However, as things developed here in the 19th-century in the big wide bustin’-out USA, the ancient hierarchical tendencies of the human race had re-asserted themselves the fray, and before you know it—in spite of all the wide open spaces and new opportunities— we were back into a situation where the rich got richer and and the poor got poorer.

As the tycoons and magnates—Carnegie, Rockefeller, Bell, Edison, Morgan—got America all cranked up on oil and gas and electrical power, they formed companies.
By ’n by, them companies grew and prospered, and—long story short—those little startup corps from our late-19th, early 20th-century developments eventually morphed into giant corporate behemoths.
Even so, every now and then throughout the last century, a big economic reset button gets pushed somewhere and the forces of mankind whack the hell out of all our wealth-gathering institutions.
The biggest Depression hit back in ’29 and hung itself around our necks until the big guns showed up to blast us out of the trenches. After the Second Big War, we had a big round of wealth-spreadin’, middle-class widenin’ expansion with more folks than ever before jumpin’ on the middle and upper-class band wagons.

It went on a half-century or so, with ups and downs along the way but most everybody gett’n’ at least a little better off along the way, until ’08 when another whopper hit wall street; it dumb-struck the powers-that-be for a few weeks until they got their act together and yacked their way into a deal in which We the People baled them and ourselves out of what would have been disaster, or so the tale is told.
Anyway, here we were a century+ past those robber barons and big wheels and under-the-table deals, and the corporations are thought to be running the whole shebang.
19th-century: the Royals, kings and queens, monarchs, dukes, earls, counts, etcetera etcetera
20th-century: CEOs, CFOs, Chairmen of the Boards, etcetera etcetera

All along the way, a whole lotta regular folks have jumped onto the Corporate bandwagon and wiggled their way into some of the booty therof. Out here on the coasts and in Flyover country, a whole lot more of us consumers are in a big way dependent on this Corporatized way of doin' things.
By the late 20th-century—and now going into the 21st—the upper-middle-class’emites who keep the electrons and the debits and the credits and the assets  hummin’ along through that vast Corporate power Web— they are pretty well fat n’ happy, like their blueblooded ancestors.

Their modern morph-up into class and privileged status was Corporate-fueled, not Royal-based like in the earlier versions.
Especially since ’08 when the whole financial world blew apart again and We the People bailed the Bankers and their kissin’-cousin Corporate mavens out.
In this round of history, the Discontents among us are not using the printing press so much to drum up all this protest and pushback we see rising . This time it is more about the the Twit and the Web and the Net.
We’ve progressed past Enlightenment, past Development . . .
to Onlinenment.
DigitHeads

And by means of this digitized Onlinenment, folks are gettn’ all hot n’bothered again, and workin’ themselves into a tizzy about those same ole inequality-breeding patriarchal tendencies, which have forever reared their privilege-seeking heads into positions of authority.
We find ourselves once again passing Go. Roll the dice and collect $2 million. And so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. What else is new?

But this time the disruption is not about throwin’ out King George or King Louie or Czar Nicholas or the Archduke of Serbia.
In this round, its about throwin’ out the Corporate mavens and their kissin’-cousin Politicians, and maybe even the Digitheads along with them, and then replacing them with . . .
um . . . with what?
Y’all Discontents be careful now. We don't want any more Stalins or Maos, or even Chavez. Let’s talk about this.

Go easy on us who are fellow-travelers in this planetary arrangement. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t wanna throw the can-do out with the carbon.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Knave New World

In 2007, Alan Greenspan published a fascinating book that chronicled not only his own life, but the life of the monetary world in which he grew up,  and in which he ultimately played a major role as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Mr. Greenspan’s keen observation of contemporary monetary history is demonstrated throughout the book. On page 92, Alan had this to report about the legendary Reagan tax cuts of the 1980’s:
“The cornerstone of the Reagan tax cuts was a bill that had been proposed by Congressman Jack Kemp and Senator William Roth. It called for a dramatic three-year, 30 percent rollback of taxes on both businesses and individuals and was designed to jolt the economy out of its slump, which was now entering its second year. I (Greenspan) believed that if spending was restrained as much as Reagan proposed, and as long as the Federal Reserve continued to enforce strict control of the money supply, the plan was credible, though it would be a hard sell. This was the consensus of the rest of the economic board as well.
But (David) Stockman (Reagan’s Budget Director) and Don Regan, the incoming treasury secretary, were having doubts. They were leary of the growing federal deficit, already more than $50 billion a year, and they began quietly telling the President he ought to hold off on tax cuts. Instead, they wanted him to try getting Congress to cut spending first, then see whether the resulting savings would allow for tax reductions.”

Well good luck with that!
And gollee, that was about 39 years ago, and about 20 trillion $$ of federal deficit ago. . .
Ronald Reagan, God bless ‘im, was the last of the Mohicans of old-style let’s-try-to-balance-the-budget school.
Yet we still pay lip-service to that principle.
But--let's face it-- those days are gone forever. They went out with with saddle oxfords and gumball machines and  Archie Bunker and 1-cent lollipops and debits on the left with credits on the right that balanced each other out.

Now Reagan, God rest his soul,  is no longer with us, nor Kemp,  and the world is a totally different place. Ronald Reagan was the last of a balancing breed that has vanished into fiscal history.
The cowboy hero has ridden into the sunset.
David Stockman is, however, still with us, and still living in the past,  still harping, God bless ‘im, on old-hat financial and fiscal responsibility. Good luck with that, Dave!

In his most recent newsletter, David Stockman posted this assessment of our present situation:
“The Main Street economy is failing. But the Wall Street fantasy is thriving. You can lay responsibility for this dangerous disconnect at the doorstep of the Eccles Building.
The Federal Reserve’s extreme monetary central planning regime long ago disabled capital markets and destroyed price discovery.
Bubble Finance has euthanized workers and savers and lobotomized traders and speculators.
And our monetary central planners know it.”
While Mr. Stockman’s assessment may very well be true, it may also be irrelevant.
The world . . . as it always does and always has, has changed.
Tap your ruby slippers together, David.

RubySlippers

and close your eyes and realize: We’re not in Kansas any more. All the rules have changed. Take off your rose-colored glasses.
We’re not wheelin’ and dealin’ in ole Wall Street any more, or Peoria or Pittsburgh or Palm Springs. Now we are in, as Aldous Huxley once said, a Brave New World. . .
A world in which monetary markets and price discovery are no longer the primary determinants in the money game. . . a world that has, yes Virginia, yes Alice and yes Dorothy, been commandeered by a thunderous consumerist horde who have no wish to be bound by these old financial fuddy-duddy obsolete principles, a world that has been fundamentally transformed by Keyneseian realpolitic and by the pragmatic keep-bailing-this-boat central bankers of the world with their legions of yassah data-crunching technocrats to maintain the welfare of us all.

And we will never go back.
Because money itself is, and always has been, truth be told, worthless, being nothing more than klinky coins that can get you a wad of chewing gum, or paper bills that can get you a sugar-high from a vending machine, or electrons that can get you a charged-up night on the town, or a day in the sun, a week at Disney if you’re lucky, and a health-insured, social-security certified lifetime in this knave new world.
The “Capitalism” of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill and Jacob Marley and JP Morgan and even Warren Buffet has . . . gone the way of the buffalo.

Now it’s just benevolent electrons whirling around the world taking care of everybody.
And when you finally see the writing on the wall, Dave, look at those deficits and . . . read ‘em and weep. Nobody cares about deficits any more.
The central bankers of the world will never have to face the music of fiscal responsibility that keeps ringing in your ears.

We’re never going back to the old balancing acts. Where we’re headed is. . . everybody gets a meal-ticket as long as all’s quiet on the Western front and the red sun still rises in the east. Welcome to the knave new world.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Gold I Have Seen

On the Periodic Table of earth elements, gold is found in the middle of pack, at number 79. So while the shining yellow metal is just another lump or two in the great planetary array of substances, it is, and has always been, coveted and collected by us humans.
Gold has a curious effect on us. Through the ages, people have assigned many meanings and uses for the lustrous stuff.
I have seen gold on a few occasions in my life.  Like most folks, I am fascinated with the sight of it.  Here are a few pics of the bright metal I have collected. While pondering what gold represents, I made a list. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on what gold means to us.

~~~Gold as Wonder
Amazing how . . . ?
GoldCrys

~~~Gold as Beauty
GoldUrn

~~~Gold as Value
GoldCoin

~~~Gold as Religious Ceremony
An altar in a Catholic Church in Rome
GoldAltar

~~~Gold as Authority
This gold-tipped mast and dome is seen at the top of San Francisco City Hall.
GoldSFCity

~~~Gold as Power
In this room, the last emperor of the Hapsburg empire, Karl I of Austria, renounced all claims of royal authority over nations and empire. The renunciation took place November 11, 1918, the last day of World War I.
World War had begun in 1914 after his uncle, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo, Serbia, which was at that time a part of the Hapsburg Austrian empire.
From that point and time in history, the many families, dynasties, kingdoms, and empires of royal authority who have ruled the world for so long . . . began their slow, modern slipping into mere ceremony, and —many would say—irrelevance.
This room in the Schonbrunn palace, near Vienna, is now property of the Republic of Austria.
EndRoom

~~~Gold as Precious
a golden moment of precious repose, reflection and contemplation
GoldnMomnt

~~~Gold as Fidelity
Good as gold. . . in our case, 39 years and continuing.
Marriage

~~~Gold as Heaven
“. . . and the street of that city was pure gold.”  (Revelation 21:21)
I haven’t seen this one yet, but one day I will, thanks to Jesus, who was resurrected after being nailed to a cross.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

California!

there’s gold in them thar hills,
somewhere up near sutter’s mill:
them’s words that sparked the great gold rush,
and set us up us for the great golden push
Gold
California be the place you gotta go
so we loaded up our siri for sausalito
cruisin’ somewhere o’er the rainbow
where gentle dwellers come and go
speaking what makes their property ’ssesments grow
them gatlins said all the gold that’s there
be locked in some bank in beverly here where
somebody else will that precious stuff share
but hey
this is what i say
whatever stuff upon your dreams do thrive
whatever you do to keep that dream alive
whether you track with ferlinghetti
or train your sights on images of getty
keep that california dreamin alive
lest u get waylaid in some hotel california dive
where some say there’s alchemic gold
in that stuff that owsley sold
cuz when you wish upon a star
makes no difference where you are
whether u b goin’ to surf city surf city
or lookin for dem hollywood pretty
maybe try to hawk you little ditty
in tinsel town jez be twitty
cuz it be a factory town you know
they crankin up th’dream factory fo’ show
and when you wish to sight a star
makes no diff'n where you are
Cal the place you oughta go
so we loaded up the boat for sausalito
where weather underground stars did go
then caught light of day in law’n’order show
while light falls apart in a little room
like Alice with some kind of ‘shroom
on stanyan street
if you catch by beat,
where gentle dwellers come n go
speaking softly of how property ’ssesments grow
yeah demmie residents come and go
speak’n of what makes dem property ‘ssessments grow
but this i know
it may be all for show
okie from muskogee said
California or bust or ’til i’m dead
but whether u  b muskogee okie
yes i know i b get’n lit'bit hokey
or if'n  you b some smart silicon geek
u got to admit dat state is pretty sleek
been California dreamin’ all this week!
though you know i aint no freak
oh what fools’gold these mortals seek
u gotta believe it I know
and i be tellin you fo’ sho’
as so i been told
dem streets be wired wit gold
Citygold
though i now be gettn’ somewhat old:
all that glitters is not gold
what stuff our dreams are made of, or so i’m told
may the bird of paradise eclipse  your deepest woes
in the land of gold'n dreams and shows
here in California.
Don't say I didn't warn ya.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Life~Trouble~Tragedy~Music!

In chapter 18 of King of Soul, we encounter one exploration of how music arises from human life.
In the year 1969, Professor Victor Komienko explains to his Music Appreciation class how a certain kind of music may arise:
“The University is the Defender of  high standards in all of the arts; music is no exception. In the slings and arrows of outrageous  intrusion, the best standards of the ages are maintained at the Conservatory, or as we have here, the University. This is a college where the fundamentals of performance are passed on to the next generation of musicians, and where time-tested principles of effective composition are taught. At the same time, the Conservatory—or  University—retains and extends those foundations, so that appropriately innovative works can be brought forth.” Dr. Komienko looked up to the top row of the auditorium; he surveyed his class purposefully from the top row down. The baton in his hand tapped out a quick little rhythm on the podium.
        “Do you have any questions so far?”
        Teddy, halfway up the center aisle, raised his hand.
        “Mr. Scher, of course you would have a question.”
        “How do you feel about electrified instruments?”
        “You are asking about electric guitars?”
        “Yes, sir.”
        “As you know, electric guitars have a high profile in contemporary popular music. As for their use in the classical legacy, we have not yet seen it. I will say, however, there is an indirect influence insofar as some of the big jazz bands of the 1930’s, such as Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.  The electric guitar, used primarily as a rhythm instrument, has become a standard part of their jazz arrangements.
        “George Gershwin has included in some of his compositions rhythms and melodic figures that originate with the Negro music, which has been brought over, as we know, from Africa. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is the most notable example of this influence. The sound of the electric guitar itself, as an instrument, has not yet been heard to any extent that I know of.
        “Traditionally, the guitar, unamplified as an acoustic instrument, has found an honorable place in the classical repertoire, most notably in the works of Spanish composers such as Segovia, and  Rodrigo.”
        Teddy Scher raised his hand again.
        “Yes?” Dr. Komienko responded, with a slightly disconcerted tone.
        “Have you heard that the London Symphony has performed with the Moody Blues?”
        “I have heard that they have done that. I have not heard any of the recordings. Thank you, Mr. Scher, for bringing that to my attention. We must, however, move forward with our syllabus now. Today, we will listen to a selection from the Italian Baroque period, Vivaldi’s Summer movement of the Four Seasons.
        “The composer wrote notes to communicate to the orchestra the character of the music. In this case, Vivaldi had written a poem, which included the image of a shepherd boy being frightened by the fury of a thunderstorm. Vivaldi evokes, in the music, the fearsome effect of that storm. Additionally, he wrote at the top of this score—the piece you are about to hear—this musical instruction: Tempo Impetuoso. What does that tell you? Let’s listen to it, and perhaps  we will comprehend just what the composer was indicating by the use of that descriptor, Impetuoso. I do believe, Mr. Scher, that you will agree with me after hearing it, that, in some ways, Antonio Vivaldi was a forerunner of the rock music genre, which is driven, in its 20-th century heart, by that”—the professor raised his hands, indicating quotation marks with his fingers—“electric guitar you mention.”
       “Of course, there were no electric guitars in Vivaldi’s day. However, in this case—the piece you are about to hear—I believe that same impetuous spirit of a present-day  lead guitarist was resident in a virtuoso  solo violinist of that day, whoever he might have been at the time.
       “The violin concerto—commonly  called  Le Quattro Stagioni, or the Four Seasons—was originally named by Vivaldi, in 1725, as Il Cimento dell’ Armonia e dell’ Invenzione , or translated, The Contest of Harmony and Invention. Perhaps, as you listen to this selection from it, you can surmise why the composer considered this work to represent a contest—or a sort of dual—between conventional notions of what music should be, as opposed to what music is as it is created and performed by the impetuous innovator—in this case, the soloist. Such  is the perennial contest, from age to age, between art that is generally acknowledged as appropriate and new art that is thought to be too disruptive.
        “Now listen, and hear if you can, , the composer’s prescient gleaning of what music might become two and a half centuries later.  Arnold, please roll the tape. . .”
You will find one demonstration of this phenomenon here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaoqCARilbA 


King of Soul

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Authoritarian Ducks

“Friends, humans, snackers, give us some treats!”
Ducks2

When the dark Duck of the South is floating on the pond,
and the greens, wings and flings of Spring respond,
observe  with me now the ducks as they cavort,
and I’ll tell thee a tale of a different sort.

As I did chance upon this lovely pond of the Queen city,
methinks I encountered two green-headed ducks, quite pretty.
As I did watch them they made likewise to observe me
and they noticed me munching on some cracker delicacy.

They commenced to approach my pondside perch quite boldly
and did by their quickened quacks begin to entreat me
for some morsels of my whole wheat crackers
‘cause I had landed there as a pondside snacker.

No sooner had I tossed them a tidbit or two
than two others like them waggled over to get some too.
But as the newcomers did paddle their approach
the first two judged their entrance as a fowl reproach.

Thus ducks one and two did confront their mallard cousins
and assail them with quackish protests by the dozen.
I beheld as these first two wiggled wildly their duckish butts,
chasing away the offending intruders with quackerish cuts.

As I am a human with tendencies to taxonomy,
methoughts I’d take note these behaviors of birdbrain ferocity,
as their hubris did remind me of the ancient imperial city
where bullies intimidate their kin with fierce intensity.

Vittorio

Methinks these bossy birds are of the bullish Roman variety,
having no tolerance for taxish quacks from the Euro birdbrainery.
Like their Hungarian cousins doing their own territorial hustles,
these haughty ducks harass their meddling cousins back to Paris or Brussels.

“Friends, humans, snackers, toss us some snacks!”
those bold ducks had demanded—them greedy green hacks, 
as if . . . "don’t waste your snacks on those lingering slackers.”
So I gathered my crackers and took leave of those quackers.


Monday, April 1, 2019

DNA the best Way


The dispensation of DNA
is best when it’s done in an orderly way.
What’s needed is that any man who so yearns
should direct his emissions in loving terms
to the same loving recipient every time:
all his kids have the same mama on down the line.

So let the ladder of life, the DNA
be distributed in a family way.
From the itinerant visionary
LadderJ

to the coding contemporary,

DNAdubhelx

counsel the loopy adventurer with his genital arrow
to find motherly love in the strait and narrow.

So the resulting kids will grow up right,
and not be left in a social services plight.
You may think I’m old-fashioned in this,
but ’tis not a principle to flippantly dismiss:
The distribution of our precious DNA
is bestly dispensed in the family way.

Now if you guys think that I'm not cool,
well I AM cool, y'all. . . and no April fool!


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Talking to the Device

I usually enjoy talking too people but I don’t like talking to a phone. To tell you the truth, I really do not even like talking to people on the phone. I’d rather do it face-to-face.
I don’t like talking to a car, a computer or a “device” of any kind.
Call me old-fashioned if you like, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Lately my phone has been urging me to talk to it, and even call it by its name.
Siriusly though, I’m not into it.

I really don’t mind doing the alphabet thing with my fingers. That’s the way I was taught to communicate with the world, back in the ’60’s when I was baby boomer high school kid. Maybe it’s because, back in the day, I went to see Stanley Kubrick’s space movie, 2001, and the astronaut guy in the movie got into an argument with the onboard computer because the computer, as I recall, wouldn’t let him do something that he needed to do to avoid dying, or something like that..
The computer’s name was Hal.
In the last ten years or so, I have written and published four novels, using my fingers on a keyboard. Speaking of the keyboard, I do like the newer version, you know, the computer keyboard, which is so easy to punch. These slick new ones are really the bees’ knees, and they beat the heck out those old Underwood’s and Smith-Coronas, etcetera etcetera.

So yeah, maybe I’m old fashioned. Imagine that—a guy who grew up in the ’50’s and ’60’s being old-fashioned. We were the generation raised with a TV in the living room, which had never happened before in the history of the world. And we thought our parents were old-fashioned because they listened to Glenn Miller LPs and drank bourbon, while we preferred Jefferson Airplane and maryjane, and they insisted on running Ho’s insurgents out of south Vietnam, which didn’t turn out the way we planned.
Now our kids and grandkids probably think we’re old-fashioned because we don’t know how to talk properly  to a phone or any other device, and we still don’t know to make the icons wiggle around so you can move them around or delete them or whatever.

Delete them all, I say! Delete them all!
Ha! Just kidding of course. Where would be nowadays without our “ mobile device?”
Maybe stuck in Hotel California with some woman of ill repute with mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice and she says we are just prisoners here, of our own device.
Don’t wanna go there.
Life has actually turned out better than that, thank God.

Yesterday, I was watching an online video with two very smart guys talking about the state of the world, how it has changed so much and is still changing very fast.

FacetoFace

In their conversation, Thomas was telling James that he travels around the world and notices that there are a lot of folks who are falling behind the crowd in their use of technology in this here 21st-century. He sees people who suffer under the pressure of these technological accelerations, and who feel that the world is leaving them behind.
Great idea! Leave it behind. Or let it leave you behind, whichever comes first. Tell your phone to go to hell if you want to. Tell netflix to go jump in the lake, and command your digital flatscreen to take a hike!
I mean, Thomas has some good points in this exchange. He says that we old geezers, and generally everybody else too, would do well to be self-motivated instead of, I suppose, expecting that the world owes me a a living, and he says we should keep learning all through our lifetime instead of just, you know, developing one skill—cranking out widgets or whatever—and then spend old age, maybe even middle age, crying in yer beer over all these changes that conspire to overtake us and render our mid-20th-century skills obsolete.

  Ha! “Conspire.” I didn’t mean to use that word. One thing I have learned is that it does not profit a man to build his world view around some conspiracy theory of history or politics or whatever the forces that be, are.
Because in the end, what really matters is not what the world did or did not do to you, but what you manage to do in spite of the possibility that the deck may or may not be stacked against you.
Every man a king. That’s what Huey said back in my grandfather’s day. Be the king of your own life, or queen, as the case may be.
And you have to understand that, as Ringo said, “this is not your father’s Oldsmobile.”
It’s best to, as Thomas pointed out, “amplify anything that is good and decent.”

I’ll second that motion.
Trust, ownership, lifelong education, true leadership, good community—these are the best attributes of “the good life”, which is not necessarily the same good life that Sinatra sang about.
Now, to close by reiterating my opening parry. . . the good life does not necessarily consist of knowing how to talk to your phone, or any of your other damned devices for that matter. But it does help to learn how to talk to people, and to get along with them in your community. And to build good community wherever you find yourself stationed at this stage of life, before the jig is up.

And one more thing. Do not ever neglect to, as Jordan B.P. says, Clean your room! Even if its in a nursing home. Don’t wait for the attendants do everything. Pull your own weight for as long as you possibly can, and pull somebody else’s weight, too, if you’re able to do it, for as long as you can.
As for the phones, etc—they can go to hell for all I care.
I won’t be there, because the Lord wrote me a good fire insurance policy back in 1979.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Green Money

It has been about 200 years since our great American expansion picked up enough steam to really get going full throttle.
From Maine to Miami, from Seattle to San Diego and everywhere in between, in our humongous exploitive thrust westward, southward, and  every whichaway you can think of— we went bustin’ through the Adirondacks, the Appalachians, across the  wide prairies, over Big Muddy, up the Missoura and all the way down to the Rio Grande, through Sierras out to Pacific shores, even leaping oceanward and skyward to Hawaii.

EucTre4

Back in the day, when we got into the thick of that vast continental expedition, we moved over and through rolling virgin landscapes of living green.

Green were the great evergreens of the North. Green were the hardwood forests on coastal plains, on Appalachian slopes, on heartland grasslands. Green were the piney woods of the South. Green were the grains of the far-stretching prairies.

And the certificates by which we assigned value to our works—these too were green.
Dollars—we designed them in green.

Dollar
So, green were the dollars that transacted our nation through thousands of ventures, millions of contracts, compelling trillions of working hands that were capitalized by investing hands, then driven upward in value by speculating hands and traded cleverly by arbitraging wallstreet whizzes.   
Some newly-immigrating Americans moved independently, others collectively, across the continent. All along the way they cultivated green crops and earned green dollars wherever they settled, digging, mining, organizing co-ops, forming companies, building roads and bridges, collaborating, accumulating capital, incorporating, expanding, growing, thriving, burgeoning and burdening.
Burdening the earth. Extracting to the max all along the way. Tow that line; tote that bale. Milk it for all its worth.

By the time mid-20th century rolled around, ole mother earth was bursting at the seams, displaying scarred hillsides, scraped-out open-pit mines, hollowed-out insides, chemicalized sores, oozing green slime. . . but enabling us thereby to whiz along on continent-wide  interstate rides. Hey, let's pull over for a song break:

We grew up with stock-green scenery whizzing by outside the windows at 65 miles per hour— seemingly insignificant landscape sliding through the view on our way to wherever our best-laid plans of mice and men might propel us.
At ramping exits we egress to fill-up on the American dream, then cruise control at 78 mph in our lean dream transportation machines. Green, green is just a tucked-away scene behind the gas station. 
Still yet are the the dollars green, but only in our minds, because now we’ve digitized them so we don’t actually lay eyes on them $$ any more.

And then, lo and behold, a new thing happened. Motivations morphed. The politics that drives our nation states began to turn green.
Whereas, before, red, white, and blue were the colors that motivated us.
Now we find that the ole faithful red, white and blue of Liberty has run its course through world history. Those other nation-states that had followed our galavanting, capitalizing lead. . . now they have fueled their engines with our money-green currency, and they did park billions of our little federal reserve notes into every marketplace and bank vault across the globe. . .

But what goes around, comes around, and when it recycles, it morphs as something different.
Alas, so now what new Green through yonder Continent breaks?
Turns out that some Keynesizing technocrats have devised a means to turn the whole financialized world around so that the new motive—the re-greening of earth—becomes society’s great purpose and goal. On the old economic scenario of Supply and Demand, Sustainability arises as the new Remand.

Instead of the profit motive! Instead of Go West Young Man, now we find a new clarion call: Go Green Young Band! 
Will it work?


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Appalachian Spring

We are reminded that life is good when bright sunshine lifts the  slumber out of these old brown hillsides.
We know life is good when ten-month-old granddaughter contributes smiles to our quiet enjoyment.
Then she leaps with joy in her jumperoo.
Just outside the glass door, Appalachian Spring bursts forth in sunshine, warmth, and quiet celebration of a winter that is gone, gone, gone, and again I say unto thee, gone!

Gone with the snow, gone with the tragi-tales of our human's wintr'ous struggle . . . at least for a season, at least for today, at least for a few moments. . . while spring tumbles in outside . . .
And lo, what is this amazing sound on the  inside?. . .  here in the inside of our mountain home . . . Harken: Violins, clarinets! cellos, flutes, even trumpets sending out yon first tender shoots of sonorous celebration, as first strains of mountainside spring penetrate the forest floor outdoors, accompanied orchestrally by vibrant  woodwinds and reeds. They agree to ascend  in jubilant rondos, ultimately trotting toward some old Shaker praise.

Life abounds with simple gifts if you wait for them, and even more sweetly if you have worked for them.  Now we pause to appreiate their arrival as the shoots come burstin' out all over! 
Yes, Life is good when bright sunshine lifts the slumber out of these old brown hillsides.
And reflections unfold in memory of springs long ago. . . a different time, a different place. . .
Many and many a year ago I was a clueless college student way down south, down in the bayou country where the coming of spring was too soon overtaken by the fierce heat of summer.

I would escape the routinous sweating of  academic chores. Slipping into the cool music listening room at LSU Student Union, I’d request a big vinyl platter whereon was somehow wondrously tracked the sedate, celebratory strains of Aaron Copland’s masterpiece orchestral work—Appalachian Spring. At that time I listened to Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. This morning, however, the quick search lands us on:


AppSpring2

While listening, I am remembering . . . escaping through miracle of sound-tracked vinyl, that early-'70's sweltering Southern day. I would dream, it would seem, of days ahead when I would experience Appalachian Spring, the real thing!

AppSring1

And now that I have seen, oh, forty-or-so of these Springs, as an inhabitant, I find myself once again sacramentally satisfied with the blooming outcome.
I was pleased when, 39-years ago, my chosen bride of Appalachia (a New Jersey transplant)  bloomed forth in her wonderful hips and delivered the beginnings of our family. 
According to that first child’s  January birthday, it must have been about this time of year—early spring—when we conceived him.

Sap’s rising, yes indeed . . . was then, is now.
'Tis true. Life is good when again you celebrate Appalachian spring's crawling-in. The season sneaks in through splashing outside sunshine. While tiny granddaughter babbles here on the floor,  we revisit our  old musical companion once more: Appalachian Spring.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dump Trump

Donald Trump should resign from his job.
The Republican party is in disarray. Mr. Trump's exit now would allow an experienced, capable leader, Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, to take the helm and get this ship of state back in ship-shape, before it is too late.
This may seem like an extreme suggestion. But it is not unprecedented. It has happened before--a President resigned-- and we got through it, thanks to Gerald Ford and our American resolve to recover and move forward. 

PresResign

If Mr. Trump could find the finesse within himself to graciously step aside, Vice President Pence would be in a position to summon legitimate Republican support from across the American heartland. Our nation would be better equipped, diplomatically, to deal with the rest of the world.  Our politics would not be strangled in polarizing extremities.
We working Americans do not want the Democrat party, in its present identity, ruling us. There is presently no Democrat on the horizon who can draw the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy out of their current identity-politics morass. We find no JFK, nor reasoning Jimmy Carter, to satisfy our moderate yearning for realistic, constructive leadership.
Nor do we see any inclination toward balanced leadership in Mr. Trump.

Mr. President, take a helicopter ride from the South Lawn. Wave goodbye and ride into the sunset as former President Nixon did. Then you, being once again a private citizen, would be well-positioned to wheel and deal with the movers and shakers of the world, while  we would be free again to just be Americans, instead of deer-in-the-headlights defenders of the that shoot-from-the-hip desperado who somehow dealt himself in the White House.


King of Soul

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Effluence of Man

“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”
Way back, way back in the dawn of human history, this is what God told Adam and Eve to do.
“. . . and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that move on the earth.”
Now since that ancient job description was laid on us by the One who had set it all into motion . . . that is what we humans have done. Look around and you will notice that, yes, we have taken charge of things here. Our present arrangement includes, for instance, a bureau of wildlife and fisheries, among the many agencies and entities of our civilization. 

Consider that couple I mentioned earlier, Adam and Eve. When they were told leave the special garden, they wandered out upon the earth. And the earth was a wonderful place. But it was also a wild place. Homo Sapiens was, in truth, not the only critter roaming around. There were many others; some were relatively easy to get along with, and to manage. Others, not so much. Some were downright vicious, even murderous, and  we humans had to deal with them.
We had to “subdue" them. We had to whoop them into submission, or sometimes even slay them.
Life was not easy for the early people. They managed to pull it off, you know, and to slay the wild beasties, and to erect structures to shield us from the heat of the sun and the cold of winter. Taking unto ourselves native resources we managed to subdue the natural world in in such a way that we could actually survive, and not only that, but . . . prosper!
Yes, prosper we did. Big time. Look around in 2019 and you will see that we have taken this subduing and ruling and managing earth’s bounty to such a point of advanced development that you can hardly find a spot on earth now that hasn’t been somehow impacted by what we do.

Ole Adam, you know, when he had wandered around for awhile, discovered a little odd wrinkle of unpleasant result that he had to deal with. Whenever he and Eve and their kin would take unto themselves some fruit of the field or slain beast of the earth and consume it through the mouth, a little while later, a deposit would be ejected from the the lower end of themselves.
Probably, in that early phase, that deposit was not such a big deal. Oh yes, it smelled a little unpleasant, and it obviously was not a thing to be handled by hand, or re-consumed, or anything like that, so chances are they could just step around it and keep on goin’.
Since that time mankind has become so adept at subduing earth, and so prolific with not only the good stuff but also the bad stuff . . .  we find that we have quite an accumulation of stuff that we leave behind, stuff that—if we didn’t deal with it, it would come back to haunt us. 
So we deal with it in a way that makes some scents:
Pottie
And we have to remember too that our deposits are not only of the fecal category. There are other deposits, many varieties of stuff that we release into the earth. While some of it goes down, such as the effluence dropped into that facility pictured above—some of it goes up.

Up until a few hundred years ago, our stewardship assignment from God did not necessarily seem like such a big deal. We figured out that mankind was faced with certain clean-up chores. These chores must accompany our subduing of the natural environment, or we have a bit mess on our hands.
But then two hundred or so year ago, we started powerizing everything we do. Industrialization ramped up with the steam engines, burning fossil fuels to power our development in such an advancing way that our impact on the subdued world was multiplied exponentially . . .
and the next thing you know, it got ahead of us, and we had a big mess on our hands.
IndustExh
Now when I was a young man—I’m talking 1950’s-60’s etc—some of us caught a whiff of what would happen to us and our planet if we didn’t somehow get a handle on this thing.
AutoExhst
As it turns out, not only do we “subdue” the earth, but we discover along the way that if we don’t resolve to act responsibly, the earth will react against us in a big way. What happens is: the air and water throws right back at us, injuriously, much of that same junk we have been dumping up and dumping down on God's green earth.

So it turns out that in addition to subduing the earth, we must, in some careful ways, subdue ourselves. We need to curb our effluence and control our emissions. Otherwise, down the road we’ll be up shit creek without a paddle.
Mudhole
Now there are a whole bunch of noxious substances and complex-molecule compounds out there floating around in the mudholes of our civilization. Many of them are not easily broken down by natural processes, although they do seem to disappear. . . out of sight, out of mind—smoke, smut, exhaust, particulates, sulfur dioxide, chemical waste, polycarbonated biphenals, etc., carbon monoxide . . .
Yes, Virginia, there is an awful lot of this unhealthy stuff going up and down every day that we need to deal with. And you know what?  We need to curb our wastes as much as possible. Just like mama always said, Clean up after yourself.  This is true on a worldwide level.

 We have figured out that we do need to clean up on a planetary level, because we, the human race, do occupy this planet on a worldwide level. Nowadays, the folks who are paying attention to this sort of thing think it’s all about carbon emissions, and they're making a big issue about it. But actually it goes much deeper than just carbon emissions. 
There are, in truth, a few, you might say, "canaries" out there in our great planetary coal mine--the industrialized  world--and those birdbrain indicators are obsessing that, yes, collaborative stewardship is necessary if we are going to retain any decent quality of life on our planet for future generations. Reminds me of Genesis:
“. . . and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that move on the earth.”
"Rule over" does not mean merely control; it also means: Protect. Protect those fish and birds . . . and, btw, all the rest of us critters, especially those who walk around on two legs. 
In the current playing out of this scenario, I came across an article this morning that identifies and analyzes constructively some of the issues we are now--and will be from now until eternity—dealing with in order to subdue our planetary problems.

Chris Martenson writes a cogent analysis that initiates a process of clearing the hyped-up political air:    https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/114861/deconstructing-green-new-deal
Let’s work together and work this mess out. Do unto your political opponents as you would have them do unto you.

Song:  Deep Green