Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Game of Being Human

Emotions drive out curiosity and our contrived differences into amplified justifications for mayhem, without refference to any rule of law. Emotions agitated into discourse under extreme heat, terror threats visa versa labels, kinmanship to ensure and sanction war crimes deliberately, uphold by remaining silent on religious implications expounding the political support, give no relief or common route to diplomacy. Guiding into the rebirth of the middle east, birthing pangs, a new day welcomed with all in the synamics, code words mark a new morning a new day a different way. No secret society, it's public representatives, of a curtain party, those of value of life but profit from junk and death.

"When you die," the Reverend Kauzlarich explained to ESPN's Fish, "I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right? Well, if you are an atheist and you don't believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt."

A theological term perhaps

As Kauzlarich philosophies Pat Tillman while getting his mind around nothingness this grips the cause, possibly the cause of all, at least a very active enabler. The contrived collective conscience of belief.

In the mean time, yes it is mean a blob of mean is creeping up on everyone from pre-historic time and let loose by our neglect and carelessness.

Primeval Tide of Toxins an oozze from our own oozze. A must read.


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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Bird, A Snake and A Bat

Just getting home for the day, parked the car all secure for the night, I walk my big flat rock side walk to the porch steps to find a baby bird dead on the steps. I assume the cats left a gift, but the cats seem uninterested with such a tiny snack. Still day light I head out for the garden to inspect any new growth wanted and unwanted. With a skittish visitor warming himself on the hot soil and rocks, looking for frogs and birds that eat the bugs he laid out all his five feet straight between the rows of Kentucky Wonder Bush Beans exposing two large bulges most certainly a few frogs and maybe a bird. I have five nesting song birds in my yard, and a thrush family in a storage building. Baby starlings became a meal for sneaky snake in the spring, although I never could figure out how he got to the roof unless it was up the TV antenna to the roof vents to get the birds. But I found him one day leaving in an away direction from the house, his excreta of feathers, the chirping and scuttle noise above my bedroom had silenced. Black Snakes are good snakes to have around but tend to get the less pestive of the creatures that live near and around your house when there is a lack of true pest like rats and mice. I inspect the peppers, tomatoes do some weeding around my spinach that the heat has hindered and take another look at sneaky snake and wished him a good night with a tip on his tail he turns to grumpily say "let me be", I oblige.

Back to the house to the front door with noise with fret from the nesting sparrows in the pine above the porch and sidewalk, I scan for what the trouble might be. And there below my feet a tiny live baby bird and near him his nest lay on the ground, his parents frantic above very close I could reach out to touch them. I have a bird house hanging off the limbs of the tree, so I gather what is left of the bird nest after Tigger wollered it while he bird watched the baby and parents in *grief over the disaster*. Other types of birds must have raided the nest it was near the top and none of my cats are willing to climb such heights to reach a mean when one is readily always available. Cats are lazy that way, expending energy is expensive and conservative is the cat. Fixing the bird house to the rose trellis and comforting it with cat smelly nest is risky, but it worked. The baby sparrow has a safe secure house, it's parents still feeding it this morning obscures any warnings of touching birds or the nest as it would surely spell doom for the babies. Wondering if timing, single survivor left these birds with a choice to feed and hang on to what is left or abandon, for what reason don't matter they inspire to carry on and do not give up no matter how bad things get or how many wolves are at your door waiting for you to fall. I also wonder about the effects of pollution on the birds senses, disabling them to be proper parents.

Later a visit from my brother we retired to the wood shop for after dinner coffee and our regular brain teaser conversations about my latest wood projects, cars, tools and NASCAR . While I have a wood shop, I dream of a metal fab shop to build things like the tracking system below in the observatory links for my telescope, and other reasons like a fuel distillery. We sat without the over head lights on, two bay doors open to bring in the cool air of dusk with only the workbench over head light on. It draws fewer moths, bees and other bugs inside. But a bat had chased a moth inside, we were unaware of his presents because of his stealthy silence. But a brush near my face a blur, and a flicker of light that he reflected exposed his presents. The bat swoops up from the floor in front of me, before him swooped the moth, and just above my head my brother says "he got it". We turn the overhead lights on, just in time to witness a glimpse of a satisfied bat evacuating through the open doors.

The company of critters that co-exist in seemly peace in one acre of land, tolerant of each other, respectful even at times. Vocal even any time a complaint is to be aired by sparrows, thrush, mocking bird when cats and snakes are too near allows them a sense of freedom. Taking my mind off Parkinson mangled bodies, the last fight of a dying young woman that gave into cancer, trying minds and hearts while the soul cringes with the pain seeing such suffrage that clean air, clean waters and environments that could have supported good health. I still believe, that truth will prevail and science will teach us how. Consumerism like profanely exaggerated by industry no where as much as NASCAR, will subside into a just world. There will be some day clean waters, clean air and healthy environments for all life on earth. IF we learn how too, and how else can we learn unless someone is free to teach. The science is the easy part, getting everyone to give to change is the hard part. After all, it seems everyone works so hard to achieve a goal of having a nice car (order of importance), good fast food, and entertainment (TV) ect.... leaves little chances of good healthy lives considering what the environment endures to achieve this. What sickens me is our government's foul plays hinders such goals. Bullheaded this way, I am neva giving up on the truth. Betty Williams is a name to search today, anger lends to hate a life to live, let reside where it was born and resolve the anger with love instead, please. But search anyway you can find, tis inspiring.

The failure to stop the bloodletting in the Middle East, Exxon's record second-quarter profits and Iran's nuclear cat-and-mouse game have something in common -- it's the oil.
By Greg PalastJuly 26, 2006

I can't tell you how it started -- this is a war that's been fought since the Levites clashed with the Philistines -- but I can tell you why the current mayhem has not been stopped. It's the oil.
I'm not an expert on Palestine nor Lebanon and I'd rather not pretend to be one. If you want to know what's going on, read Robert Fisk. He lives there. He speaks Arabic. Stay away from pundits whose only connection to the Middle East is the local falafel stand.

So why am I writing now? The answer is that, while I don't speak Arabic or Hebrew, I am completely fluent in the language of petroleum.

What? You don't need a degree in geology to know there's no oil in Israel, Palestine or Lebanon. (A few weeks ago, I was joking around with Afif Safieh, the Palestinian Authority's Ambassador to the US, asking him why he was fighting to have a piece of the only place in the Middle East without oil. Well, there's no joking now.)

Let's begin with the facts we can agree on: the berserkers are winning. Crazies discredited only a month ago are now in charge, guys with guns bigger than brains and souls smaller still. Here's a list:
-- Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's approval rating in June was down to a Bush-level of 35%.

But today, Olmert's poll numbers among Israeli voters have more than doubled to 78% as he does his bloody John Wayne "cleanin' out the varmints" routine. But let's not forget: Olmert can't pee-pee without George Bush's approval. Bush can stop Olmert tomorrow. He hasn't.
-- Hezbollah, a political party rejected overwhelmingly by Lebanese voters sickened by their support of Syrian occupation, holds a mere 14 seats out of 128 in the nation's parliament.

Hezbollah was facing demands by both Lebanon's non-Shia majority and the United Nations to lay down arms. Now, few Lebanese would suggest taking away their rockets. But let's not forget: Without Iran, Hezbollah is just a fundamentalist street gang. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can stop Hezbollah's rockets tomorrow. He hasn't.

-- Hamas, just days before it kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers, was facing certain political defeat at the hands of the Palestinian majority ready to accept the existence of Israel as proposed in a manifesto for peace talks penned by influential Palestinian prisoners. Now the Hamas rocket brigade is back in charge. But let's not forget: Hamas is broke and a joke without the loot and authority of Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah can stop these guys tomorrow. He hasn't.

Why not? Why haven't what we laughably call "leaders" of the USA, Iran and Saudi Arabia called back their delinquent spawn, cut off their allowances and grounded them for six months?

Maybe because mayhem and murder in the Middle East are very, very profitable to the sponsors of these characters with bombs and rockets. America, Iran and Saudi Arabia share one thing in common: they are run by oil regimes. The higher the price of crude, the higher the profits and the happier the presidents and princelings of these petroleum republics.

This Thursday, Exxon is expected to report the highest second-quarter earnings of any corporation since the days of the Pharaoh, $9.9 billion in pure profit collected in just three months -- courtesy of an oil shortage caused by pipelines on fire in Iraq, warlord attacks in Nigeria, the lingering effects of the sabotage of Venezuela's oil system by a 2002 strike... the list could go on.

Exxon's brobdingnagian profits simply reflect the cold axiom that oil companies and oil states don't make their loot by finding oil but by finding trouble. Finding oil increases supply. Increased supply means decreased price. Whereas finding trouble -- wars, coup d'etats, hurricanes, whatever can disrupt supply -- raises the price of oil.

A couple of examples from today's Bloomberg newswire are:
"Crude oil traded above $75 a barrel in New York as fighting between Israeli and Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces in Lebanon entered its 14th day... Oil prices rose last month on concern for supplies from Iran, the world's fourth largest producer, may be disrupted in its dispute with the United Nations over its uranium enrichment ... [And, said a trader,] 'I still think $85 is likely this summer. I'm really surprised we haven't seen any hurricanes.'''

In Tehran, President Ahmadinejad may or may not have a plan to make a nuclear bomb, but he sure as heck knows that hinting at it raises the price of the one thing he certainly does have -- oil. Every time he barks, 'Mad Mahmoud' knows that he's pumping up the price of crude. Just a $10 a barrel "blow-up-in-the-Mideast" premium brings his regime nearly a quarter of a billion dollars each week (including the little kick to the value of Iran's natural gas). Not a bad pay-off for making a bit of trouble.

Saudi Arabia's rake-in from The Troubles? Assuming just a $10 a barrel boost for Middle Eastern mayhem and you can calculate that the blood in the sand puts an extra $658 million a week in Abdullah's hand.

And in Houston, you can hear the cash registers jing-a-ling as explosions in Kirkuk, Beirut and the Niger River Delta sound like the sleigh-bells on Santa's sled. At $75.05 a barrel, they don't call it "sweet" crude for nothing. That's up 27% from a year ago. The big difference between then and now: the rockets' red glare.

Exxon's second-quarter profits may bust records, but next quarter's should put it to shame, as the "Lebanon premium" and Iraq's insurgency have puffed up prices, up by an average of 11% in the last three months.

So there's not much incentive for the guys who supply the weaponry to tell their wards to put away their murderous toys. This war's just too darn profitable.

We are trained to think of Middle Eastern conflicts as just modern flare-ups of ancient tribal animosities. But to uncover why the flames won't die, the usual rule applies: follow the money.

Am I saying that Tehran, Riyadh and Houston oil chieftains conspired to ignite a war to boost their petroleum profits? I can't imagine it. But I do wonder if Bush would let Olmert have an extra week of bombings, or if the potentates of the Persian Gulf would allow Hamas and Hezbollah to continue their deadly fireworks if it caused the price of crude to crash. You know and I know that if this war took a bite out of Exxon or the House of Saud, a ceasefire would be imposed quicker than you can say, "Let's drill in the Arctic."

Eventually, there will be another ceasefire. But Exxon shareholders need not worry. Global warming has heated the seas sufficiently to make certain that they can look forward to a hellacious -- and profitable -- season of hurricanes.
Greg Palast is the author of the just-released New York Times bestseller, ARMED MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War. Go to

Have Good Day wishing these reads were not necessarily needed but hey the truth is just that, the truth.

New Orleans and Lebanon

Last Friday, July 21, in downtown New Orleans more than a hundred demonstrators from a wide range of organizations protested US diplomatic and financial support for the Israeli siege of Lebanon and Gaza. The demonstration linked local issues with the current horrors in the Middle East. "Gaza, New Orleans and Lebanon, People die while Bush looks on," was one of the chants.

Link to some of the radio coverage of the demonstration:

Hear Left Turn Magazine founding editor Bilal El-Amine reporting from Southern Lebanon at:

More news from Lebanon and Palestine at:

See more information about New Orleans Palestine Solidarity, including a new short film by Roxane Assaf about the Arab community in New Orleans at

Check out the newest Palestinian hiphop from New Orleans at


Willful Blindness

By Marjorie Cohn

submitted to portside July 24 by the author

Something in Tennessee that effects the entire nation, Frisking Frist over HCA.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

"Great White Way's" White Man's Governing Ways

Bush is whitewashing the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Protecting the rights of 'White Christians'.

"Yeah screw voter rights and screw discrimination against African-Americans. Bush and his cronies has to protect the white Christians in this country, because we know they are the ones truly kept down by the man."

AIDS in prison and the denial that lets it out into society, deadly denial. An article in the New York Times talks of the CDC concerns, and the chilling hush that allows this to happen. A Warning About AIDS in Prison.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Worst That Could Happen Today

An asteroid the size of Jupiter passes within grasp of earth's magnetic field, so Fast .... It pulls our molten core before it budges the bulging outer surface displacing the mantel and the hot rotating core touches the crust just the innards of earth's crust that provides ground in the middle east, melting dissolving all worries into the pits of the earth forever.

Besides looking into the night skies provides prospective and the clear skies provides for some nice views. Where the views are stagnant from digressions into a horrid past of theocratorial lunitic fringe, with a brush of wind he blows off science for the looney bins. So those with genetic traits that spell for you in old age, Lou Gehrig's, Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and cancer was not as important as catering to his right wing base, we will have to wait for the base to decide it is moral to cure things that cause death and/or despair. Well, Don't Wait.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Unnatural Wonders

Probably wondering if I actually believe most religious folk believe my sarcastic statements about them trashing the earth without remorse, it is sarcasm mentioned only to cause an effect similar to thought even if from anger. Here is an example of like efforts from the religious community which I applaud as wonderful work indeed!

News: Off the beaten path in coal country

July/August 2006 Issue

The Reverend John Rausch looked past a large sign that warned “No Unauthorized Entry Past This Point” and at the approaching pickup truck whose burly, hard-hat-wearing occupants seemed to be staring in his direction. “I wonder if they’re coal company security,” he said, a bit uneasily. The truck passed, and Rausch went back to surveying the barren, gouged-out plateau that had once been a tree-lined mountaintop. “It’s really something, isn’t it?” he asked the four photo-snapping sightseers tagging along on his “Mountaintop Removal Tour,” a whirlwind two-day excursion to take in the ravages of coal mining in the hollows of southeastern Kentucky. “It’s even more disturbing to realize that when you flip a switch and waste electricity, you may be contributing to taking down a mountain.”

The lanky, bearded, 61-year-old director of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia eschews clerical black in favor of Levi’s and sweaters. His lack of a mountain twang betrays his Philadelphia roots, but except for brief stints in Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, and South Africa, he’s spent most of his career in Appalachia as an environmental activist. In these parts, Rausch’s crusade against the coal industry isn’t always met with enthusiasm: He was once asked not to return to a local parish after he gave a guest sermon that irked a coal company executive in the congregation.

So in his current calling as a tour guide, Rausch hopes to lure well-meaning outsiders to see what happens when you blow up the tops of mountains to get at the coal inside. The concept of turning environmental devastation into tourism isn’t unique—Gray Line now offers a $35 “Hurricane Katrina: America’s Greatest Catastrophe” tour of New Orleans. But Rausch’s aim isn’t to indulge lurid curiosity. “The whole idea is to make people angry about what they see,” he explained. “That way, maybe they’ll go out and do something.” Everyone on his tour gets a pamphlet that he’s written on “care of creation,” a theological argument that includes quotes from Pope John Paul II on the sacred obligation to protect the environment. “It’s a part of the church’s teachings that’s often overlooked,” Rausch said. (A growing number of Protestant evangelicals have also embraced this concept, including several hundred ministers and professors who signed the Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation, which condemned environmental destruction as a form of sinfulness.)

As clouds of dust from mining sites swirled in the distance, Rausch assembled his latest tour group in the Wal-Mart parking lot in the small mining town of Hazard. “It’s the most convenient location for us to meet, but I tell everybody they’re absolutely forbidden to buy anything,” Rausch quipped. (Proponents of mountaintop removal have argued that it provides more flat land for building box stores.) The group included a social worker from North Carolina and a pair of Congregational ministers from Louisville, each of whom had donated $100 to spend the next 27 hours being shocked and awed.

After a lunch of vegetable soup and homemade banana cream pudding in the rectory of Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, everyone headed off for a high-speed drive down battered country roads. As a succession of 60-ton coal trucks passed by, Jeff Combs, a 25-year-old Eastern Kentucky University student, gave a quick lecture on the history of coal mining in Appalachia. The group stopped to snap photos of the rusting remains of an abandoned coal-washing plant while Combs, whose family has lived in the area since the 19th century, explained that his ancestors once owned this land. “My great-grandfather is buried out there, past the slurry pond,” he said.

The tour group spent the night at a monastery, then headed back into the hollows to meet locals whose homes had been damaged by mining company blasting. “My husband thought it was an earthquake, it was so bad,” explained a woman in her 60s, who added that her driveway and even the seals on her windows had been cracked by the explosions: “They shake your whole body! Turned my well water the color of tomato soup, too.” A Baptist minister recounted how his community had been flooded five times in an 18-month period, and how continuous exposure to dust from coal trucks had permanently damaged his health. “I only have 40 percent lung capacity now,” he said. “Every time I go to a doctor, he wants to know how close I am to the mining road. It’s three feet from my house.”

The last stop was Hazard’s small airport—built on a mountaintop removal site—where everyone took turns squeezing into a prop plane for an aerial tour of nearby mining sites. The sprawling expanse of rust-colored scars is precisely the sort of jaw-dropping sight that Rausch hopes will motivate visitors to think beyond coal. “Why not turn southeastern Kentucky into a center for developing alternative energy?” he asked. “That’d provide some of the economic opportunities that people here need.”

Rausch isn’t the only one who sees environmental tourism as a possible cure for Appalachia’s troubles; Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher has proposed spending $3 million on wildlife viewing stations to lure nature lovers to coal country’s denuded mountaintops. Rausch is skeptical. But as he led his band of anti-ecotourists around another flattened peak virtually devoid of vegetation, he made a surprising discovery. “Elk turds!” he exclaimed. “Who says we don’t have economic development here?”

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Mountain Home

This being in my own backyard, is heartbreaking when you see these mountains scared and marked forever. It is heartbreaking too living in one of the most cancer ridden regions in the nation, the labels we can live with and prove wrong. Cancer kills our best and we sacrifice gravely for the rest of the Nation and the world. Ironic these areas increasingly regress to being a republican majority, and through greed, corruption widespread 'the people' are blindly lead into a state of living in some areas in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky (who's water ways runs through Tennessee) wouldn't be fit for some third world countries. Care of our natural places, our mountains that feed water to the rest of the lands downstream is vital to good health of the people and the environment goes hand in hand. But most ideology I fight here at home is the simplicity offered to excuse their seemly ignorance, biblical in nature they justify trashing lands and waters as if god sanctioned it. As a young teen I worked in Kingsport as volunteer at Bays Mountain Park near where I grew up. I have wondered these mountains private lands and state and federal parks, I know them like the back of my hand. I love these mountains, these water ways and streams have offered me many excursions of adventure through beauty of nature, exploring and learning. The people we face when we fight most these battles, have this 'hate' for tree huggers and naturalist or environmentalist but fail to justify why when asked. I come across to people like this as like minded till I get my punch line in, sort of sarcastic humor for myself but planting a seed of doubt about their own logic. Changing hearts and minds in this area is a battle, I don't think I will see the end of in my life time and that leaves more time for them to destroy and pillage our land and waste our clean waters. West of Kingsport Tennessee the rivers flow together from Virginia the Northfork of the Holston polluted into the Southfork just out of TEC and other polluting industry blends with this mercury, coal sludge from Virginia and from there down fish are laiden with mercury. By the time the waters gets past Knoxville to Rockville where the birth defect cleft plate is rampant, warnings are posted you can't even swim in the waters much less eat the fish. The people are poor in parts and places, their politicians betray them but they are bullheaded, strong minded people hardened with suffrage and won't admit wrong or will and deny responsibility. Republicans are followers not self starters or have the gumption to think for themselves it seems, they have a creed to live by, and that destroys only themselves. No wonder ....
    By Jan Lundberg
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective

    Thursday 13 July 2006

    Anyone concerned about the burning of fossil fuels and resultant climate change is scared beyond words at the prospect of coal usage growing or continuing. But there is an additional side of coal, an even darker one - to many who have seen coal industry practices in Appalachia - than the distinction of being the worst polluting of the main fossil fuels.

    Mountaintop removal is a form of strip mining of coal that even the most cynical of educated citizens would not guess exists. But it does indeed, to the tune of 800 square miles already. One consequence is that there have been 6,000 "valley fills" of debris from mountaintops in West Virginia and Kentucky. Since 1980, according to the National Mining Association, only 5% of the destroyed land has been returned to some kind of "economic development" such as bogus wildlife habitat.

    The nightmare does not stop there. "Sludge impoundment" occurs behind dams in former valleys that become a source of toxic leaks, and dam failure is a historic fact. And when sludge is put into old underground coal mines, this contaminates ground water for drinking. Other issues involving coal are processing - very poisonous - and transport, which poses outrageous risks.

    With global climate change becoming quickly the out-of-control threat that scientists thought would not be occurring for decades, "positive feedback loops" are kicking in. So the very idea of tearing apart much of Appalachia for more coal, when a vast portion of the whole eastern part of the US depends on rivers springing forth from the Appalachian Mountains, is more than appalling and insane.

    Coal equals murder. We have only one planet, with its delicate climate balance, and the people of Appalachia have only one home. Unfortunately, West Virginia has only one main industry, coal, which keeps workers under the thumb of ruthless coal corporations. Much of the nation seems to regard the folk of West Virginia and parts of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee as hicks who are stupid from inbreeding. To make the stereotype work, it is further assumed that some populations in the world were simply made to be poor, exploited and killed off as a price for modern civilization that demands energy from fossil fuels. Poisoned waters, disease and "Acts of God" continue to take their toll in Appalachia's coal communities.

    Normally, North Americans expect foreigners with darker skins to be sacrificed. In Appalachia, poor people or those who love the mountains have been targeted to be leveled along with coal-rich mountains - unless resistance can be successful, or they ride out the collapse of the global corporate economy.

    Peak Oil and Alternatives to Petroleum

    Coal is often cited as the answer to dwindling oil and natural gas. There are several reasons this is not even a half-truth. There is supposedly enough coal to provide "centuries" of abundant energy. This is not true either, when it comes to perpetuating the energy demands of the consumer economy. Yet, despite the reality of coal's limitations - even without considering the environmental devastation - coal looms to some of us as an unstoppable and even attractive goal for a long-term energy diet.

    As the planet's "endowment" of crude oil is extracted, burned, and spilled to the point of reaching the maximum level, and declining, coal is commonly chosen as a replacement fuel. Those of us following peak oil (and natural gas), and who concern ourselves with an appropriate response to petro-collapse, are divided into two camps.

    First, there are those who believe coal will fail to replace much petroleum and will just end up staying in the ground as economics radically change. Second, there are those who are convinced that the rich elite, or "human nature," will automatically call on coal (as well as nuclear power) to be maximized in order to maintain at least a remnant of today's high-intensity consumers.

    Rather than play a numbers game about coal reserves and factor in the low-sulfur desirability of Appalachian coal, or wonder about the feasibility of coal gasification and liquefaction, an understanding of peak oil allows us to count out coal. While it's true we don't know how big the attempt will be to increase the role of coal, and what tragic effect there will be on the climate and mountain ecosystem, the global economy relies overwhelmingly on cheap, abundant petroleum that only grows in supply. So, as reality sets in and hits the oil market, a massive breakdown of transportation for workers and goods, factory production, mining and agriculture will end up in the abandonment of the landscape of our petroleum infrastructure.

    The final energy crisis will be about a liquid fuels shortage that is permanent. The low energy return from pursuing alternatives to cheap petroleum is as serious as the fact that they do not provide the huge array of products made by oil and natural gas.

    Protesting Coal in Southwest Virginia

    On July 10, 2006, several dozen activists with Earth First! and Rising Tide blockaded the bridge over the Clinch River to the coal-fired electric power plant in Carbo, Virginia. For several hours, starting at 8:30 a.m., coal trucks were not able to bring coal to the plant. With lockdowns, lines of young people linking arms or carrying signs and holding banners, truck-tire deflating, and an activist suspended from the bridge over the river, business-as-usual was disrupted in the name of saving the climate and the mountains.

    "The coal industry and its government puppets are ignoring widespread public concern over large scale strip mining, air pollution and global climate change," said protester Erin McKelvy of Blacksburg, Virginia.

    This reporter had been attending the Earth First! Rendezvous to give workshops on peak oil and the evils of plastics. I accompanied the activists to the American Electric Power's electric facility, where the well-organized direct action unfolded rapidly and peacefully. Local activists of the coal-fields community plus regional Earth Firsters had educated visiting activists for the Rendezvous with a visit to a mountaintop removal strip mine. Outreach to workers and police went smoothly while the activists chanted, sang and were briefly serenaded by a Depaver and his guitar.

    Amazingly, the police did not escalate orders to disperse with dire threats or arrests, even though by mid-afternoon - when the activists called it a day and were leaving to swim in a clean river - a large force of local and state police agencies' special teams converged to bring order to the climate-changing facility. Happily for the budget-conscious activists, no arrests were made and all equipment and materials were saved to be used in the next action. It is disconcerting, however, that over 50 police cars, two armored cars, at least one helicopter, a K-9 bomb unit, and an enormous prisoner transport bus were dispatched to a nonviolent protest. But the activists had already successfully negotiated with the local police to have locked-down activists go free before the full power of King Coal's lackeys came to outnumber the protesters.

    Later that day, the power company put out an internal memo expressing the hope that the protest was an isolated incident, and that security must be beefed up.

    The demands issued by Earth First!/Rising Tide were:

  • Shut down the Clinch River Power Plant and all aging, dirty, coal-burning power plants.

  • Cease all Mountaintop removal/surface mining in Appalachia.

  • Respond to the reality of climate change and move away from fossil fuels and toward a cleaner energy future.

    For pictures of the July 10 protest, including shots showing the disabled coal truck against the backdrop of the electric facility's smoke stacks putting out 4.25 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the air annually, visit, or contact the Earth First! Media Center at 1-828-277-8729.

    Whither Earth First!?

    Earth First! has been going for a quarter century, protesting and monkey-wrenching certain destructive extractive industries. As the most visible group in the radical environmental movement - with the possible exception of Greenpeace - Earth First! is not really growing, despite the worsening global ecological picture. The activists of one year are only a small minority of the activists of a few years later, with numbers remaining roughly static.

    This is a sociological issue, as few people in the general population seem motivated to take action on matters that ought to concern them. The problem of low participation is often blamed on side issues within Earth First!, or the public's perception of young and wild activists. The movement is also wracked occasionally by internal debate and disputes, as are all movements. Yet, the efforts are sincere as individuals struggle to collaborate for the Earth, despite egos and other psychological baggage.

    Some in the movement have been targeted by grand juries regarding eco-sabotage as of this year, resulting in activists and former activists informing on others, which in turn discourages participation in activism and free speech. Hence, the Green Scare has come, much like the Red Scare of the late 1940s onward into the early 1960s throughout US society.

    For Earth First!, a challenge for many years seems to have been whether to focus purely on the environment or also on social-justice issues and conflicts involving personal liberation. However, the latest EF! Rendezvous commemorative T-shirt is "Making biocentrism a threat again," with a picture of strip mining. The movement is looking harder than ever at energy industries. The 2004 Rendezvous in Maine culminated in the occupation of the governor's front yard in protest of a proposed liquefied natural gas facility. The governor could not go to the movies that evening; he may not have wanted to wade through the protesters' gifts of rancid lobster guts and a simulated petroleum spill. Like the Virginia Clinch River action, the Maine action was no debacle of arrest and court appearances.

    Earth First! activists represent often the best and brightest future leaders of the environmental and social-justice movements. So it is crucial that they focus on energy, as they do, while understanding there is no technological fix for the challenge of peak oil and petro-collapse. Likewise, as reluctant and minimalist consumers, it is crucial for their individual health (and everyone's) to eliminate plastic contamination from their food, water and skin. The greatest strength of Earth First! is its practice of mutual aid and solidarity, as the adherents enjoy a tribal experience in the woods each year and during actions.

    To truly recognize the future's minimal-energy world and the lifestyle that must be adopted, subsequent Earth First! Rendezvous should be located in less remote areas that allow for mass transportation to bring more people together in a fashion that does not invite unrealistic or hypocritical use of fossil fuels for cars. It is true that wilderness in need of protection "requires" car travel, but opposition to climate change and practicing egalitarianism are doable in or near any city served by rail, bus and bicycle.

    Web Resources:

    The Coalfield Progress newspaper's major coverage of the protest and the issues.

    Mountain Justice Summer

    KATUAH Earth First!

    International Day of Direct Action for Climate Justice, Against Climate Change and the G8!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The 'Great White Way' Events Prove It is Policy

The justice department's removal of Judge Lamberth has more to the story than you'll read on Washington Post. When your governments Department of Interior miss-uses funds it should be seen as just that, miss use. The government leases mineral, mining, and oil rights for Indian lands, yet takes the money for other uses and the Indian dues are not paid, he exposes this for what it is an outrage. But that wasn't all this ethically and morally correct judge was outraged about it goes much further than just the Indian case, much more touching this administration and thier policy.
My great grandmother was Cherokee I am enough Native American to call myself that. Along with English, French, Scotch Irish and with not a drop of fear Jewish lineage and some say some Malungeon (whatever that is {white looking African}). So I am very anti-racist and respect every single one of my ancestors. If the Stormwatch guys are still reading in Charlotte NC, you don't need to post here I am sure anyone interested in your creed will find you with a simple search for white racist hate groups. If you find this a day to celebrate, I understand fully your miss guided ways. If you search for the Human Genome Project you will find that you too all of white manhood came originally from YOUR MOMA boys, and she was African. Being Native American I can add Asian to my life's origins. But I assure you I get more African from my white parts and pieces, it is a matter of time and history and FACTS.
So racism is a stupid lie, and it is just a place for your hate to live and thrive. A waste of time and it just shows everyone else how stupid 'The Great White Way' is. But the 'White Way' is imperialistic as this administration follows very closely the eugenics code set in order by daddy Bush while he was Texas Senator.
Racism has been the fault and Judge Royce Lamberth is a hero, a hero of the people. The powers that be do not want the truth, they want the way to continue .... continuity is key.
Just as I have said many time before to many people, racist should be struck with color blindness.
Change subject, Jason was right after all Rove is named as source, Novak Names Rove and the other nameless confirming source is Bill Harlow CIA. Touché

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New Links

Rational thought, logic and real are other words that might describe why real, logical rational people like me really would rather not have a label of Atheist. It is no more than saying to us we are real logical and rational people.

An Atheist Manifesto


Why Religious Law is Not the Law of the Land

Not touching Rove Novak or this Harlow but plenty if you search the blogs, both left and right side of the political sphere, yet.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Resting from Resting

Waves Wash Away
The trails of tears
of you not being here
Sun screen
Soothing is the sound washing
flooding away every worry
soothing every hurt healing
restoring fullness
of one
Memories with anguish
leaving only those of joy
Waves of worldly salts of life
soaked in sterile sun
reflecting blue the moon
joys footprints dots the sky
marking moments
remembered in time
devolving hardness
preserving purpose
enhancing the enchanted
reissuing the heart
releasing boundaries
of the soul

for more

My blog wasn't one of the coolest blogs on Sunday Morning, but some of my most fav sites were, that's ok. It's hard to make a good blog when you haven't all day or don't attend to it like a real job, it don't feed me so you can read me free. I avoid commercial ad's, but this has to be shared it is so cool, your hair to this diamond ... wow this is so cool.

What is not so cool, Russia taking our nuclear waste. Not too long ago they were bitching about the neglect of the nuclear waste already there, un-guarded and how easy it was for 'terrorist' to purchase material for their 'dirty bombs' and our Bright Brain Bush wants to give them more to ... sell. Ok rationalized this idea is not, still no great ideas on how to deal with the waste other than just don't deal with how about abandon the nuclear fuel idea and go with solar, wind and plant (not food crop) for alternative fuels..... why because the biggest battle of the oil industry that they can mark up as mission accomplished is the war on hemp. Hemp is the most versatile crop like peanuts .... products like paper (soft wood industry), oil (big oil), pesticides (Dow chemical), plastics (Eastman) - auto body parts (entire auto industry), synthetic oils (big oil) and last but nowhere least Pharmaceutical ( pharma industry) all fight the fight to hold down Iraq oil and the answers to our global wars, global warming all because of a little fear someone might get a buzz on Hemp. Nope, more like someone might get that dollar they are so used to receiving, it is the dollar. But they use your Nixonian fears of dope smoking hippies wandering the streets.

Wonder washed with waves of Water


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Get Your Tinfoil Hat On

Talking huge conspiracy here, yeah I am crazy, but this smells not of fox but of skunk stench of the Northwoods kind even possibly of the 911 kind or how's about Pearl Harbor kind. They knew, how much they knew may very well be the question, from the start they knew even before the participants knew what the hell they were getting into .... Just like ignorant Arab students didn't know, but 'they' did know. The conspiracy, to build a group from the ground up, a group of terrorist just as in '93, '01 and now in Florida again and in Canada.

New York Daily News -
Terror crew urged to hit FBI's bldgs.


Thursday, July 6th, 2006

An FBI informant urged seven terror suspects to target FBI offices throughout the country - including one in New York - and even helped the men scout the buildings, law enforcement sources told the Daily News yesterday.

The suspects, who also allegedly schemed to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, were denied bond in a Miami federal court yesterday as sources shed light on the FBI effort to ensnare them.

Last December, the FBI arranged for an undercover informant posing as an Al Qaeda terrorist to meet with alleged ringleader Narseal Batiste, who authorities say had already recruited six men to help bring down the landmark 110-story Chicago office tower. But in March, in an effort to solidify his "terrorist credentials," the informant suggested the men widen their aims to attack FBI offices in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington and New York, a law enforcement source said.

Batiste and his followers readily agreed, even taking an Al Qaeda oath at the suggestion of the informant, Justice Department sources said. Soon, Batiste and the agent began a surveillance operation of the FBI office in Miami - while the bureau watched their every move, sources said.

"The FBI made sure the informant suggested Bureau buildings and not, say, airports, in order to maintain an element of control," said a law enforcement source. "The FBI knew exactly what was going on and was in complete control."

The terror suspects never performed reconnaissance on the Sears Tower or any other FBI office, including the one in lower Manhattan that was also targeted in a 1993 plot to blow up New York landmarks. They also never acquired any of the explosives to carry out their attacks, authorities said.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Love A Parade

FOCUS William Rivers Pitt: The Example
"Lionizing a Founding Father on the Fourth of July is a simple task, to be sure, but Benjamin Franklin turns this process on its ear. He represents all we can be and all we should be, and likewise represents all we no longer seem to be or care to be today. He is worthy of admiration, which is easy, and worthy of emulation, which is not," writes William Rivers Pitt.

George Beres Alarms Fit the 4th of July
"What does Daniel Ellsberg have to do with Paul Revere," asks George Beres. "The 4th of July holiday reminds that both took personal risks by sounding the alarm about problems with the country's rulers. Like Paul Revere of the original 4th of July, what they reveal and what they urge is in response to malfeasance in government. Citizens must know the truth if they are to act against lies that increasingly keep them captive. That alert once came from Paul Revere. His modern incarnation is Daniel Ellsberg. We must listen - and act."

_True patriots are apostate and infidel!_
Since it is the Fourth of July, it seems only right to post something from the Revolution. Our reading for the day is the Age of Reason, by that fierce freethinking firebrand, Thomas Paine. All national institutions of churches,...
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Jimmy Carter We Need Fewer Secrets
"The US Freedom of Information Act turns 40 tomorrow, the day we celebrate our independence. But this anniversary will not be a day of celebration for the right to information in our country," writes Jimmy Carter. "Our government leaders have become increasingly obsessed with secrecy. Obstructionist policies and deficient practices have ensured that many important public documents and official actions remain hidden from our view. The events in our nation today - war, civil rights violations, spiraling energy costs, campaign finance and lobbyist scandals - dictate the growing need and citizens' desire for access to public documents."

_Fourth of July thoughts_
This article originally appeared on July 4, 2005. Back in May, I was in Bethesda at a meeting. Because of my interest in World War II history and because I hadn't been to Washington since its completion, I was very...
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_One last Fourth of July thought: Are we a "Christian" nation?_
Besides our current President, the other factor that has done perhaps the most to drive me from the Republican Party over the last decade has been its falling under the sway of Christian fundamentalists who want to impose their view...
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_Grand Rounds on the Fourth of July_
A special Fourth of July edition of Grand Rounds has been posted at RangelMD. This time around, given the holiday, Dr. Rangel has arranged the posts as a theme, namely a focus on the problems in the U.S. health care...
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E.J. Dionne Jr. A Dissident's Holiday
"The patriotism of the conservative goes unquestioned. But the progressive and the
reformer have a problem with what passes for unadulterated patriotism. By nature, the reformer is bound to insist that the country, however glorious, is not a perfect place, that it is capable of doing wrong as well as right. Most reformers guard their patriotic credentials by moving quickly to the next logical step: that the true genius of America has always been its capacity for self-correction. I'd assert that this is a better argument for patriotism than any effort to pretend that the Almighty has marked us as the world's first flawless nation," writes E.J. Dionne Jr.

Anti-War Protesters Begin July 4 Fast

National Organization For Women: Food for Thought: On Fourth of July, National Organization for Women Fasts for Peace

FOCUS Cindy Sheehan: Bombs Bursting in Air
"The star-spangled banner does not fill me with pride: it fills me with shame, and that flag symbolizes sorrow and corruption to me right now," writes Cindy Sheehan. "The flag represents so much lying, fixed elections, profiting by the war machine, high gas prices, spying on Americans, rapid erosion of our freedoms while BushCo literally gets away with murder, torture and extreme rendition, contaminating the world with depleted uranium, and illegal and immoral wars that are responsible for killing so many. A symbol that used to represent hope to so many around the world now fills so many with disgust."

Chip Ward Fireworks Deferred: Divine Strake, Hellish Repercussions
"Shock and awe is coming home," writes Chip Ward. "The Bush administration is planning to conduct future preemptive wars with 'mini-nukes' and, to that end, wants to set off a nuclear-sized explosion at the government's Nevada Test Site. Those unfamiliar with the nightmarish ambitions and skewed reasoning of the nation's wannabe nuclear-warriors may find Divine Strake unfathomable. Sadly, the inhabitants of America's original Ground Zero - where our nuclear and chemical weapons were honed during the Cold War - know that thinking all too well. It's a
dirty shame..."

and ....

Happy 4th

I hope your day is better then it is here. We are getting rained on and there is talk of severe thunderstorms this afternoon with winds up to 50mph and 3/4 inch sized hail. With the bad weather it is a good time to reflect upon our nation - where it was and where it is. [...]

The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States of America
The Bill of Rights

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