Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blogojevich and the Man

Help me out folks. I'm a little confused.
Blagojevich is a scumbag. He's a little prick who decided that he would take his power to appoint the next senator from Illinois and use it as his own financial windfall. Politics don't get any more corrupt or recreant than that. They've got him on tape. They've got witnesses. The man has been indicted on federal corruption charges.
Blogojevich at this point has no credibility at all. Mr. Obama is right; he should step down and let others serve the people of the state of Illinois.
So instead of doing what he should do, Blogo has decided to act like nothing is wrong and he's in charge of things. As if he didn't betray every citizen of Illinois AND, when it comes to a matter of senate proportions, every citizen of the United States of America. Despite all that, he thinks he still has the right to appoint whoever he wants.

So what does he do? In an effort to give himself some credibility, he appoints a black politician who has been one of his staunch supporters and then he, along with another of his staunchest black political supporters dare the media, the public and the political establishment to reject the appointment of a black man claiming that to do so would indicate that they don't want to sit in the senate next to a black man. WTF?!
This claim to me, is reprehensible. So many people fought and so many people died to take us to the point we are at now in society. Martin's dream is alive. A black man is going to be sworn in a President of the United States in twenty days. From the thousands who were lynched, to James Meredith lying in the road in Mississippi, to Martin Luther King Jr. lying on that balcony to President Obama, how can these men trivialize that war by using such rhetoric to bolster the political career of a corrupt white politician?

I'm baffled. I'm baffled that this little worm could do something so absurd. I'm baffled that anyone would fall for it, but most of all, I'm baffled that two black politicians who have decent reputations would perpetrate this act. . . I mean, these guys aren't exactly Alan Keys republicans.

So help me out here. What am I missing? I want to understand.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where does your food come from?

I've been thinking about this post for a long time and am still not sure how to approach it, but here goes:
Ever since the turkey incident with the former VP candidate I've been pondering what the level of awareness is that people have for where their food comes from. I heard all sorts of outrage over the video of the turkeys being killed. People were warned to cover their eyes and remove the children from the room. My response was "WTF?!" and then I had to go out into the barnyard and slit the throats of 30 Thanksgiving turkeys my customers were waiting for. Ya see, I raise totally organic, truly free range pasture fed turkeys and other poultry. In USDA lingo, "free range" means the birds have a place to put their feet on the ground. On my farm it means they get to go wherever the fuck they want to go. That's why it doesn't surprise me when a neighbor stops by and asks if I've seen my turkeys lately because he had just seen them 1/4 mile down the road foraging the local cemetary. My birds live happy, wild and free lives full of sunshine, fresh insects and vegetation and lots of whole grain organic feed. . . that is, until Thanksgiving and Christmas comes.
At that point, I very humanely take them into the slaughterhouse, insert them upsidedown into a “killing cone and slit their throats. After all the blood has drained from their body I lift the dead bird out of the cone by their feet and submerge them into a tub of 145 degree water for ~1.5 minutes. From there they go into the plucking machine where a big majority of their feathers are removed. After that, the plucking table where the remainer of the feathers are removed by hand. Now the fun begins. I pass them over to the dressing table where the process goes like this. . . remove feet, remove head, insert knife into abdomen and slice down along side the vent (asshole), cut around vent, cut fat and connective tissue from entrails (intestines), pull intestines from bird, reach into abdominal cavity and grab ahold of the gizzard. You gotta pull hard and hopefull the gizzard, liver and gall bladder will come out intact without rupturing the gall bladder. A ruptured gall bladder can ruin a bird. Slive the meaty sides from the gizzard and deposit in the giblet bowl, remove gall bladder from liver (this is a very precise maneuver requiring a steady hand, sharp eyes and sharp knife. I usually have a sharp knife) and deposit liver in giblet bowl (the giblet bowl is a big bowl with ice), Reach into abdominal cavity and with finger tips dig the lungs and kidneys out from around the ribs. Now spin bird around, cut skin down the neck and with one blow of a cleaver remove the neck. Trim and deposit in giblet bowl. Very delicately work your fingers around the crop and pull it out of the chest cavity. Hopefully you will remove the throat and esphagus at the same time. If not, remove. Clean out any remaining fat, go into the abdominal cavity and clean out any bits of guts and fat. Now spray bird down with water hose and get all the traces of blood and guts off. Submerge into ice water bath after removing previously killed bird and depositing it in a cooler full of ice.
Repeat . . . in my case, 25 times five days before Thanksgiving and 15 times five days before Christmas.

But the point is; it takes a lot of hard work and the spilling of lots of blood and guts to deliver that fine piece of meat to your dinner table. You should think about that the next time your satisfy your carnivorous desires.

The next day, I deliver and collect a crisp $100 bill for each turkey. That evening, I bemoan the fact that it just isn’t worth the effort when all I do is break even at best.
Yes, I sell these turkeys for $100 each and only break even. My chickens are $20 each and I only break even. . . sometimes, not even even.
Now go down to your local grocer and see how much he charges for a fully dressed turkey. $20? $25? WOW! How do they do that?!
Well, I’ll tell ya. They raise em in big pens containing thousands of birds. Each bird has a small area to move around in. Chickens are kept under worse conditions and laying hens, for those eggs you love are kept in tiny little cages they can't even move around in. They feed them all a specially processes feed for each stage of their life. The feed is full of cheap grains, which are grown with tons of cheap chemical fertilizers, vitamins, growth enhancers, “animal byproducts” (you don’t wanna know what that is) and all sorts of things that when you read the label you just wonder WTF they’re feeding these birds. They grow em fast. Factory chickens are raised in 6 weeks. Yup, that chicken you bought at the market last week was six weeks old when slaughtered.
The slaughtering process I described above is done with respect to the living animal and with the least amount of trauma to the animal as possible. No animal ever sees another animal killed on my farm. The way animals are killed on factory farms is reprehensible to me. There is no respect. The animals are treated like some sort of manufactured product, which is basically how they are raised and delt with their whole lives. I won’t describe the horrendous conditions under which these birds are slaughtered.
So yea, they grow em fast and cheap and use a big bag of tricks to do so.

How bout that cheap beef you get at your store. Same deal; fast and cheap. Lots of antibiotics, because when you finish off cattle in close proximity feed lots that are nothing but mud or dust, they tend to pass around some nasty bacterial infections. For feed, they get lots of cheap corn grown like the grains described above with all sorts of artificial chemical growth enhancers and growth hormones. And like above, the slaughtering process is horribly brutal.

How bout the politics of food? Do you know where the beef comes from when you bite into that cheap fast food burger that’s full of cholesterol and carbohydrates? Much of it comes from South America. Remember back in the 90s you heard a lot of screaming about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest? Well, it’s all for the beef. You see, they cut down huge patches of rainforest and up pops lots of forage for cattle. They populate those patches with lots of cattle to eat this abundance of new growth. Unfortunately, this new growth doesn’t last too long as the soil in a tropical rainforest is very low in nutrients nutrients and depends upon the constant natural cycles of growth death and decomposition to remain viable. Clear cutting the forest halts that process, so after a year or so, the cattle farmers have to abandon those once forested patches and move on to another.
Like I said, in the 90s there was outrage, but then it kinda dried up when the rethuglicans took over. Hmmmmmm. Wonder why?
So every time you chomp down on that fast food burger, be aware of where it came from and the consequences. Wanna save the rainforest? You can start right here at home.

Shall we talk about how that cheap fresh brocolli or those fresh Apples are raised? No, you’ve probably heard enough,. but believe me, when you bite into any veggies you buy frozen canned or fresh from the store you’re getting a good dose of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals used for the fast and cheap production of food. Unless it’s clearly marked as “organic,” there’s no telling what’s in it. Oh, and those “all natural” labels mean absolutely nothing.

Who doesn’t love shrimp? Don’t we all? Do you ever buy those relatively inexpensive bags of frozen shrimp or those big “tiger shrimp” in the grocery store? Most of them are labeled “Product of Thailand” or Indonesia or China. How bout that crap meat they’re trying to push on folks these days called “talapia?” “Silverbrite Salmon?” All those products are farm raised in some fairly unsavory circumstances. Who regulates what they are fed over there in China and Thailand? Shrimp will eat absolutely anything. You could throw whole dead dogs into a shrimp pond and they’ll strip it clean. How much antibiotic does it take to keep those silverbrite salmon alive in those cramped enclosures that line bays from Washington to China?

Speaking of China. . . after all that has happened in the past year with Chinese products, would you knowingly feed your family anything that is a “Product of China?” Read the labels. You’d be surprised what gets sold in the grocery store from China. Everything from fresh garlic to canned meats. Chweck you apples thoroughly. The Washington State apple industry is being wiped out by cheap imported apples from China.

I could write hundreds of pages on this topic. I’ve just barely scratched the surface. The point is that you should know where your food comes from. Ask your butcher. READ PRODUCT LABELS!
Apply your own moral and ethical standards to your food purchases.

I'm tired of all the killing. Killing in the cold, killing in the rain. . . the past five weeks have been a bloody mess filled with entrails and body parts. I need a break. I'm going to Floriduh till after the New Year. I'll sit in the sunshine, eat some good food, watch beautiful women in sexy bathing suits. . . mostly my wife, cruise around in my boat, I'll fish, then kill the fish, rip their guts out and eat them. . . it never ends.

Y'all have a good holiday.

Be in the moment. Pay attention to what's going on around you. Enjoy the peace it brings.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Be Conscious

I think the first step in learning to be in the now is attaining some level of consciousness. Consciousness is another of those concepts that I learned about a long long time ago and thought was a good idea but really didn't have a clue.
What is consciousness? Let me try to explain what I know of consciousness today.
Consciousness for me begins with being aware of myself.

Consciousness of Thought

Am I being conscious of what I am thinking? Too often I react or have reacted to base emotions. I feel anger so I lash out, I feel jealous so I pout, I feel fear and I retreat. I do these things without even thinking about them or recognizing the anger, jealousy and fear. I don't stop and say "I feel angry" or "I am afraid" because I don't even realize it. Why would one not realize such a strong state of emotion? We are conditioned to react rather than to think. If I were confronted with a life and death situation in the wild, I'd need to react instinctually and instantaneously. Although I live a very rural life close to the land, I have been in life and death situations on very few occasions. Therefore, I don't have to react instinctually, but when I do I often end up hurting others or myself.
If I stop before I react or open my mouth and ask myself "What does this feel like? What emotion are you dealing with here?" my response becomes tempered or better yet, I can have no response.
Being aware of my emotional state will almost always explain why I am thinking the way I am. It will lead me to examine why I am reacting emotionally. If I am feeling anger, I can become aware of what emotion is driving that anger. Then I can become aware of what sparks that emotion inside of me. My reactions and emotions are never a result of what YOU are doing to ME. They are always a result of what I am doing to MYSELF. I can use you as an excuse for my behaviors, but it all comes down to my feelings and my emotions.

Consciousness of Action

How many times have I blurted out some simple declaration without thinking about the consequences, let alone my own self centered motivation.
"Well, he pissed me off" or "she really hurt me" always seems to be the justification for my hurtful and often brutal remarks. I attack without consciousness.
If I stop and consider my thoughts, consider my feelings and emotions and ultimately, consider my actions before I react, my world becomes much better place. If I think before I react, I will almost never alienate people. If I think before I react I will almost never hurt those I love.
I must think before I react.

Consciousness of Others

Once I become conscious of my own feelings and actions, I can become conscious of other's feelings and actions on a level beyond its effect on me. Becoming conscious of myself gives me the ability to be conscious of others. I can have an appreciation for why they might be reacting the way they are and what they might be feeling. When I am conscious of others, the things they do and say take on a whole new meaning. I am no longer effected on a base level by their sometimes hurtful remarks and actions. I can begin to feel compassion for others when I might otherwise have felt distain, resentment or disgust. By understanding myself, I understand others.

I want peace in my life. I don't want to feel anger. I don't want to live in fear. I don't want to let resentment eat me from the inside out.
The only way I know how to prevent all that is to become conscious of myself and of others.

Consciousness of Being

Not just my being, but all that is. The world is a wonderful place. It really is. No matter where you are, no matter who you are, there are things going on around you that are natural, right and beautiful. If I am paying attention to the world outside myself as it really exists I can see those things.

If I am thinking about what I'm going to do tomorrow or how I'm going to get the next thing I want, if am contemplating revenge, if I am replaying some past event or conversation over and over in my head and going through the useless exercise of how it should have happened or how I want it to happen, I am totally unconscious of the things around me.
How can I see the beauty of the world when I'm not looking for it and locked into the past or future?
I can not. What I see does not exist when I am looking at the past or future.
What I see, often doesn't exist when I am constantly judging and interpreting the things I see around me. How can I really listen to a bird sing if I am obsessed by the thought of how beautiful the bird and its song is.
I want to live in reality, therefore I have to view the world around me as it really is without judgement, without constant analysis and without interpretation.
It simply is what it is.

When I accept the world around me as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment in time, I am able to deal with it much better equipped than before.

Be conscious of yourself, others, and all of that which surrounds you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Say hello to the present

Embrace the now.

As I grow older I begin to consider what is really important. It's much easier to do when one has a lifetime of experience.
Lately I've been thinking about a concept that I learned decades ago but was never able to comprehend. Perhaps nobody explained it to me in a simple form that my mind could understand. I will try.

We all spend a lot of time thinking about the past and contemplating the future. We might think about the good times we had in the past or the pain we suffered or others suffered. We look to the past as justification for our actions and we look to the future for salvation from our pain or past deeds. Either is a waste of time. We only have the present. The past and future do not exist. They never have.
But SagaciousOne, I was there. I saw those things happening. I felt the experience.
You were not in the past, you were in the now. You felt those thing in the now; in the present. It was the present. Nothing has ever happened in the past or future. There is only the now. The past is a memory in your mental database and the future is mere speculation or projection.
When your mind is always busy thinking about the past and the future, you are missing what is happening now around you.

I once spent some weeks hiking and canoeing with a Peruvian native woman who was a guide on the Amazon and in the Andes. She told me she didn't understand Americans because they would be sitting on a boat gliding through the Amazon jungle or riding on some mountain trail with vast vistas and they'd be listening to their WalkMan and reading a book.
I really loved traveling the river and walking the woods with Amelia. She would look, listen and feel rather than talk. She also didn't understand why, after having spent weeks in America and years around Americans she knew nothing of the natural beauty in America that I was showing her. "Why are so many Americans in therapy when they have all this" she would ask me.
She was in the now. She understood that it was all we really have.

Therapy is a wonderful thing. I've enjoyed it's benefits at times, but there comes a point when we enter a bottomless pit of self discovery uncovering every little event and consequence of our lives. If we are totally present in the now, what difference does it make why our anger drives us. What difference do the actions of our fathers or mothers decades before matter? Be conscious or where you are, what you are doing, what is going on around you and your reactions to those things, but don't react. Just observe and note. If we are conscious of our now and ourselves within it, those actions that are driven by unconscious pain can not control us. Accept what is and is happening. There is little you can do about any of it. It simply is what is happening in the now. You can do one of three things about the things around you, you can accept it and watch it unfold, you can accept it and remove yourself from it or you can accept it and try to be a positive influence upon it. Anything else is pure insanity that will at best have no effect and at worse, have tragic results. I walk away from almost all things that I find irritating to my now.

We spend countless hours thinking of what will be or what has passed. If you are like me, you can sometimes carry on conversations in your head the way you wished things had transpired during some event or conversation you had decades ago. Or, you can spend hours contemplating conversations you might have when this or that event finally arrives. Maybe you spend days fantasizing about how some experience is going to look or feel when it finally arrives only to find that when the experience does arrive it is nothing as you'd planned or imagined. And when that experience or event does arrive, it lasts but a few minutes or even seconds, but you have spent the past week, month or year worrying about or anticipating its arrival.

Enjoy where you are right now. Do you have any problems right now? Probably not. You have the luxury of sitting in front of your computer reading this. You have no problems right now. You may have situations that you will need to deal with tomorrow or the next day or even an hour from now, but they are not happening now. Most things outside ourselves that cause us grief or pain are very short lived events which we can do little to change. Enjoy where you are right now at all times.
When you are driving your car, drive your car. When you are taking a bath, take a bath. When you are having sex, simply have sex. Don't go off into some never neverland where you think things will be better or brighter. It never is. The best and brightest is right here where you are now. Experience life in the now.
Open your eyes and ears to what is, now. Embrace your now.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Playing For Change: Song Around the World

Maybe we all ought to stand by each other a little closer these days.
I will.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More bad news from American industry

Boeing delays Dreamliner flight, deliveries
NEW YORK – Boeing is delaying the first flight of its highly awaited 787 Dreamliner jet to the second quarter of 2009 and won't ship its first delivery until the following year due to the impact of the recent Machinists' strike and production glitches.
Prior to the strike that halted much of Boeing's commercial airplane work this fall and cost the aerospace company $100 million a day, the 787 was to make its first flight by year-end. First delivery had been slated for the 2009 third quarter.
The Chicago-based company says the delay also is linked to replacing fasteners on some early production planes.
Boeing Co. says it is evaluating the delay's impact on customer deliveries and financial guidance.

This better be really good and worth the wait. Airbus already has it's 380 in the air, delivered and making commercial flights.
Are we watching the final demise of American aviation dominance?
There used to be three major airliner companies in the USA. Now there is only one and it can't seem to keep up with the Europeans. Compound that with the number of companies that used to make all sorts of airplanes in the USA compared with the few that do now. . . . g'night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Governor Addict

Watch this guy Blagojevich. According to transcripts of his conversations supplied by the MSM, he is desperate for money. He is willing to quit the governorship to go to work for some fantasy 501(c)4 so that he can make more money. He has thrown all caution to the wind and is blurting out things that no sane human being would even consider saying in public.
He even looks hollow and unhealthy.
He will be entering rehab sometime in the next few weeks. Maybe today or tomorrow.

You heard it here first.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Spoiled liberal granola chewing punks

Liberals voice concerns about Obama

Carol E. Lee, Nia-Malika Henderson – Mon Dec 8, 4:22 am ET

Liberals are growing increasingly nervous – and some just flat-out angry – that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices.
Obama has reversed pledges to immediately repeal tax cuts for the wealthy and take on Big Oil. He’s hedged his call for a quick drawdown in Iraq. And he’s stocking his White House with anything but stalwarts of the left.
Now some are shedding a reluctance to puncture the liberal euphoria at being rid of President George W. Bush to say, in effect, that the new boss looks like the old boss.

Will you cry baby uber-leftist whiney granola chewing upper and upper middle class white critics just shut the fuck up?!

Obama hasn't even taken office yet but you're already whining like the spoiled little twits that you are. Why don't you just shut the fuck up for once and let the man work his administration. Contrary to what you believe, you silly fucks have no clue about what Obama is doing and how he's going to handle issues . . .and here's a clue for ya; you are not know-it-all gifts to humanity.
This isn't MoronMonkeyBoy Bush the Chimp who appointed whoever his handlers told him to appoint and then sat back and let it all happen while he ate pretzels and drank beer in the White House. Obama is going to run his presidency. He is going to tell his people what to do and how to do it.

Now let me ask this: how far would he get if he went out and picked a whole bunch of left wing radical whack jobs to be in his cabinet? If he's going to get anything done, he needs the support of some of the republicans in the congress. Alienating them before he even gets started will spell doom for his administration. There is a long list of US presidents who got nowhere because they were blocked by congress every step they took. And don't forget, the democrats running the congress today are the same ones who handed Bush the Chimp everything he wanted from the start.

So why don't all you whiney despicable trust fund babies shut your big fat well excersized pie holes and let the guy proceed.
Sometimes it's really embarrassing to be a white liberal with dumb fucks like you shooting off your mouths ever chance you get.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The death throws of American industry

Ford, GM, Chrysler. . . they're all that's left of a once diverse auto industry in the USA. I remember Studebaker, Henry J, Pontiac, Nash, American Motors, Rambler. . . as American buying power increased, you'd have thought that the American economy would have diversified. It didn't. Corporate greed caused it to shrink into a few major players in all market sectors. The chemical industry, electronics, everything from TVs to boat motors to pianos, the playing field shrunk while the Japanese came in and trumped the American companies with higher quality products.

I sorta had a front row seat to the demise of the American corporation. When I got outta college back in the early 70s there weren't any decent jobs for a biologist and you had to be an Ivy Leaguer to get the piss poor ones that were available, so I had to join a mega corporation in their R&D dept doing chemistry. They were huge, world class and they spent lots of cash on R&D. Back then, they knew R&D was the lifeblood of the corporation and the whole country was immersed in a culture of research and development. This was only a year or two after the end of Apollo. America knew that R&D could take you to the Moon. All our CEOs and Presidents were R&D guys. They'd come down from headquarters now and then just to look around and visit their old buddies.
In the early to mid 80s that all began to change slowly but surely. R&D began to get pressed to show how they directly affected profitability.
More and more we were doing process optimization work rather than letting our brilliant PhD scientists come up with wild assed and often lame ideas which every once-in-awhile resulted in an break through product that made hundreds of millions in profit.
Ya see, research and development isn't something you can measure against next quarter's profit and sadly, the focus of the company began to center more and more on next quarter's profit. They began a profit sharing program where every quarter we'd get a cut of the profits (more like a token). There were all sorts of profit incentive programs which were kind of baffling to those of us in R&D, but they were peddled to us anyway. It became clear that WE were not making money for the corporation and that WE were part of the problem. In the 70s and 80s my salary rose big every year. From the late 80s on, my salary was adjusted for inflation and that was about it.
Soon there was very little research going on. No one seemed interested in 3, 5 or 10 years out. Before long, the company CEO was a bean counter. Some prick from accounting. Our world class technology company was being run like a clothes pin company. By 1999, after some horrendous blunders by top management, we were bought out by a company that had always been a competitor, but far behind. Now they are shipping most of their operations overseas to places like China, India and the Middle East.
Greed. Short term profit. Both those things killed our technology company. Both of those things have killed the American auto industry. But why? Why should an industry die just because the economy turns sour? Why does six months of bad sales put huge corporations into bankruptcy?
To answer this, ask why the middle class family, whose bread winners had good jobs for many years is now being forced out of their house after being laid off for a few months. Why didn't THEY have the cash set aside to get them through hard times?
Greed and the pursuit of junk. Same as the corporations. CEOs making hundred of millions of dollars, share holders demanding their cut, every executive getting inflated ridiculous salaries while the people in the trenches sucked air.
I knew accountants who had degrees from local colleges making twice what PhD scientists from Ivy league schools were making. It got all twisted up and fucked by the time the end came. . . but I digress. . . When shit hit the fan a few months ago, the auto companies had NOTHING to hold them over. Pardon me folks, but isn't that piss poor planing? Isn't that REALLY piss poor planing? What is it they say about piss poor planing on your part?
Yea, it's going to get ugly when the auto industry folds in America. Really ugly. I don't even want to drive through the upper mid west. I suspect we'll see a lot of migrants from that area in the rest of the country. It'll be really, really ugly on so many levels, but ya know, fuck Ford, Chrysler and GM. The strong survive. If it's so bad you need the gov't to bail your asses out, what possible motivation do we have for throwing good money after bad? I suspect Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Nissan, Hyundai, etc., will fill the void quite readily and with much better, more technologically advanced vehicles. They'll employ many of the workers who were abandoned and ravaged by 200 million dollar executives and their million dollar lackeys. We'll adjust. Yea, it'll be ugly, but we got a lot of ugly times ahead of us.
Hell, if American corporations can run the gov't, instigate wars, etc. as their last act in America, why can't foreign industry come in and occupy our land?
Welcome to the New World.