Are you going to eat that?

I just realized how to personally solve the argument about large-farm safety regulations being applied to small farms.

There’s a small farm here whose beef I once looked forward to, when it appeared in our town co-op.  It was clean, the animals were raised in large, open pens, they were content and well-fed.  There were no hormones or additives involved.  They were grass fed.

Then one day, as I was picking up some chicken feed from their small feed-sale shed, the owner told me he’d caught three young wandering cougars on this land, and with the advice of a forest ranger, shot them and buried them.  True?  I don’t know — but he told me so.

Another person from here is making and selling a beer in western Washington state.  But before he took off to do this, he left his cat in our care.  The cat was left out in all weathers, with access to water from the fishpond or the river, but with nothing left for us but a bag of food, that quickly became moldy in the feed area.  The two weeks I was supposed to care for the cat stretched into a month and a half.  It became clear the cat was always treated this way, and this was a former beloved pet, begging for affection.  Even farm cats get treated better, and this had been a member of a family.

So here’s my question:  if the producer of something I might put in my mouth takes shortcuts with other animals — what else might they do — or put in the food products — to maintain or raise profit?  Out of nothing more than care for my own health, if I find out there’s any sort of animal cruelty or laziness about animal welfare involved, including with wildlife, that’s the end of my doing business with the producer.  If they don’t care about their cat or a young wild animal, they don’t care about me.  I’m not here for them to make money off of, regardless of the replacement of the concept of “customer” with “consumer.”  Sorry about the GNP.

And it’s a pity, because that was damn good beef, and I was one of their best customers.

We ended up adopting the cat, by the way, and he us.  He knows who loves him and will care for him, now.


How Heatlh Care Works Now

1. Use a new healthcare industry to allow businesses to get away with lower salaries (Businesses stupidly went for this thinking it would weigh less).

2. Build a new industry and new jobs. Part of the deal was that as workers moved to new jobs, health care industry could take all their money from the last employer.

3. When baby-boomers retire, harvest their asses.

4. Let somebody else worry about all those bodies in the streets and in the emergency rooms.

5. Guess who gets to be “somebody else”? Not us Baby Boomers — YOU GUYS.

Right Wing Mindset

Starting a series of photos called RIGHT WING MINDSET.  If you can’t stand the thought that anything on this planet might be getting a mouthful of food, a board foot of wood, an inch of space, without you control it and get to dole it out, then, my friend (?) you’ve got a bad case of RWM.  Get help.  Get treatment.  Or get fucked.  Me and my little Canon will be out taking shots at YOU.
First up, we have a bus stop, on Yesler, Seattle, Washington.  Now, class, what makes this an example of RWM?  That’s right – nowhere to sit.  Because some poor, homeless boozer might be able to lie down in a dry place and get some sleep, the rest of us, including old women with plantar fascitis, children and working guys, don’t get to sit down and take a load off.  What?  A serf might be able to rest or read a book?  They’re not learning to read in our education system, anyway, so why would they need that?  Ayn Rand must be spinning in her grave (spin, Ayn, spin – preferably upright on something hard and hot).

Bus stop, Benaroya Hall, 3rd Avenue, Seattle, Washington.  Oh, look.  People at the bus stop might be able to walk into the ticket office and go the restaurant and cafe without having to walk all the way down the block and chance missing their bus.  Well, those bus people can’t eat or drink on the bus anyway, can they?  The guy with the crutches and the woman with the baby stroller shouldn’t be pounding down caffeine, anyway.



This was part of a discussion for Norwescon panels:

The problem with these panels at fan cons is that often terms are not defined before they start, and they spend most of the hour tearing the terms apart instead of getting into the meat of the subject. If somebody thinks global warming is “junk,” use the scientific method — ask them for their reasons. Require proofs. And no, they don’t get to quote scientists whom we find out are pissed about having their names used in an argument for a theory they never backed. Either GET the proof — or go back to the lab.

Most religion IS the original science, but it is based on older theories. Or equipment. For example: “I have an eye. I can see the sun move. Therefore, the sun moves, not the earth.” With math, a proof could be offered that the EARTH moved. Certainly helped with those pesky retrograde planets. At last, with space travel, somebody could stand on the moon and see the earth as the planet it was. With the original (eyeball) equipment. Meanwhile, religion stayed static, depending on the old eyeball observations. It can’t change or move because it limits the equipment.

If religion or politics want to BE science, they have to bring proofs — and then where is faith? Or economic theory?

How to sooth a religious person who thinks the Big Bank is about creation: point out that it’s ONLY really about the movement of objects through space. If they ask, “Well, what if you prove there’s a god?” the shrug is: “Then it’ll be proved.” But remind them of what Douglas Adams said. QED.

Ethiopia is MUCH more civilized than us — they divide science and religion quite happily, and don’t mix them up. That very religious country is very proud of the Lucy exhibits.


Note to the author of the Darwin Awards books and site:

Nearest and I just read Next Evolution and laughed our heads off; you have nothing to apologize for, reporting on the stupidity of the Ape That Walks Like A Bacterium.

We very much enjoyed your science detours. You’ll understand my next question as based in scientific curiosity, and not anger (well, maybe a bit, dealing with the Rejecta). I’m NOT a scientist, but I hope I understand scientific rigor:

Given that the human male seems to kill a large proportion of the females of this species (admitting that this is an unproven proposition and would need research), especially if he has a history of being rejected by females, or if any female rejects him, is it possible that this is an extreme development of a normal breeding instinct?

As most — if not all — males fight and/or kill males of their species to prevent the other males from passing on their DNA (even though — or if — unconsciously), could the killing of human females, contingent on a given male being rejected or otherwise not allowed to breed, be an attempt to make her unavailable to another male to pass on his DNA?

Taking into consideration of “unnatural” environments — as the roebucks described by Konrad Lorenz, that gored fenced females and young because the males could corner them — is it a natural human instinct for the male human to kill the female he cannot impregnate?

Does the “unnatural” human environment actually PREVENT many deaths through education and societal controls?

(You probably recognize the Garbage Brain that can lead to being a scientist, or an engineer… or a ham radio operator).

(Possible reference: the 1989 Montreal selective killing of females).

Thank you for your time.


Thanks for the advice

How DARE they?

It’s being demanded I sacrifice for a war, when I’ve been sacrificing all my life for the environment, and the people who want the war have never tried until now.  I’m just a bit ticked off about it.  I’m not swearing because I did all my swearing at the radio last night.

The Downscale people are finally coming to the conclusions the Upscale people have known all the time.

Downscale, of course, are those childish minds who think they can solve everything by war:  The Kill To Cures, the Patriots, The Right People.  They voted for Reagan and smugly smiled when he tore the solar panels off the White House.  They didn’t know the deserts they were damning their own kids to.

Upscale are those of us who can’t be classified because we can actually think.  Our opinions look gray because they’re based on the situation at the moment, on questions based on more than just one Approved Truth.  I buy the solar panels from the Danish and Swedish companies who used to be American companies but lost their funding under the Oil War presidents.

Downscale loves war.  They think they can simply wipe out the Bad Guy and burst their problems like a pimple, instead of keeping up a schedule of regular hygiene.  They never seem to get it that both sides think they’re the Good Guy.  They get all surprised when the other bad guys shoot back and start wiping out their DNA.  They don’t start thinking until they’ve lost the chance to have grandchildren.

Upscale knows that war is what happens when you screw up.  We don’t need to be “forged in the fires of experience” to figure something out.   We know that interfering with other people’s lives will lead to instability, social collapse and war.  Bullets kill.  War is expensive.  Lots of women and kids get killed.  Soldiers – when they come back at all – come back crippled and/or screwed up in the head.  Both sides lose, lose, lose.

We’ve lost every war we’ve been in.  We lost the war with Great Britain; it was only a war to loosen up taxes and give the right of choice to white males.

We lost the civil war, a war the Upscale would never have fought, because Upscale knows slavery is wrong.  We don’t have to see our fellow human beings whipped and degraded to know this isn’t what a decent human being does.  Downscale is still mad about it, and doesn’t want any more colored immigrants; they had to have their Jim Crow laws taken away from them like a handful of linty candy.

We lost our wars with the First Peoples – the people we call the Indians.  We’ve been left with a shattered environment we hardly have the resources to repair, and our wars with sick, dying peoples have made us think we’re invincible.  The First Peoples have known who we are all along, right out into the islands of Hawaii, and the northern territory of Alaska.

We lost World War One when we got involved, and stirred up the pot that would just lead to more bad soup.  We lost World War Two when our men came back and started to act the drill sergeant to their children and families; our children are raped in huge numbers and wander the streets just to get away from Dad, and blame our gay communities because of what their own blood did to them.  We beat small, exhausted countries who had already been battered to pieces against another empire and added to our own legend of invincibility, in our own minds.

The women of Japan tied their babies to their backs and jumped into rivers and off mountains when they heard the Americans were coming, because of what the American Marines had done to Haiti in the 1920’s.  America practiced torture in all the defeated countries, gaining experience for the Cold War.

We lost the Cold War when Russia went down the path we’re going down now.  Our belief we’d won chained us to them, and is dragging us toward the same cliff.  For the same resources, in the same places.

I won’t have to list the following quotes for the Upscale, but the Downscale might want to know before they start thinking their own experience is special.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Experience is a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.”

Goethe said, “He who will not hear, must feel.”

Robert Frost said, “War is for everybody, for children, too.”

A Simple Lesson In Economics

There’s a lot of confusion up here over this, so I’ll keep it simple:
Capitalism works on a straight line.  It gobbles forward using worker base, resources, whatever, until it uses everything up and smashes into a wall.  Then it has to stagger around and go find something else to eat (see buffalo, cod, grazing land, fossil fuels).

Socialism — sometimes called “Communism,” although this is rare on this planet, at least since the industrial revolution — works in a circle (And before anybody starts squawking about the Evils Of Communism, that thing Stalin ran in the Soviet Union is now being called “State Capitalism.”).

This system goes:  take out, put in — and try to put in a little more than you take out.  Eat the big fish, not the breeding fish, and don’t destroy the wetlands that produce them.  Leave land and people and societies fallow occasionally – let things rest and recover and get going again, while using other recovered resources.  Basically, don’t kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

One form of socialism that everyone uses is the biggest part on your car: the road.  Socialism also needs to cover transportation, health and education because EVERYBODY needs them.

When Capitalism works in a circle, it’s like a snake eating its own tail.  It eats all the big fish, then when they’re gone, the next smaller, fish, then the NEXT smaller fish.  It’s why the middle east — once a garden of fruit trees — has been eaten by goats and sheep.

And WHERE does our society come from?

Capitalism keeps wanting a bigger and bigger chunk, until the providers peel away to the next good deal.  It leaves behind those who can’t keep up — and yet if the pirates fall from the yard-top, they’re the first ones to dive into social services.  We ALL get sick and old, or have bad things happen.   We need someplace to rest and recover.

The fish need wetlands to rest and breed in.  Surely we’re as deserving as fish?