Friday, November 15, 2013

Newspapers Can Have Very Poor Timing

We've all seen the notification that humanity just managed to drive the West African rhinoceros to extinction. Big ups there, Monkey-boys.

But get this - on November 13, 2013, within the same week this news is going around, The Forks Forum publishes ANOTHER article proving humans cannot live with animals.

Evidently a bear was "rampaging" through the area, eating farm animals, especially lambs and goats. Of course, the bear was killed, and the paper did use the term "rampaging." I'll give the reporter credit for trying to just be a good reporter, writing what she saw and heard. She actually is a reporter, unlike me, who is actually a fiction writer (admittedly social and historical fiction, but we WILL put in what we figure out - it's what we're trained to do). And us correspondents for the paper (I'm the - ahem - "West End North Correspondent." Put THAT on a nametag) do NOT write those titles. Thank you.

Considering that the Forks area has been gobbling up all the bear's habitat with clearcuts, why would anybody be surprised? One is always amazed that people try to stick farm animals into a wilderness, with absolutely no idea of what can happen when the apex predators suddenly lose their homes and food sources. Then again, I've become more and more amazed how people - even those claiming to be rural - CANNOT read animal body language, or understand wilderness forest dynamics. I swear, these people might as well have been raised in the houses behind the 7-11 in Bremerton. They're just that knowledgeable when it comes to how animals and forests actually work.

I keep my chickens in a chicken tractor. I do not try to build a completely hard, secure cage for them (although I have one, for the dead of winter, because even we sometimes get blizzards). The reason I have a light little cage is so  I can move it around - and if a starving apex predator shows up and flips the thing, the hens won't be trapped, but can scatter. Predators will kill every last animal they can catch - they're just like us, getting everything we can get our paws on - but if they can only grab one, they'll stop to eat it, and the rest will get away. 

Every time somebody whines about a mountain-lion getting their horse, you can bet a Chinese dinner somebody just clearcut next to their place. The lions prefer DEER and ELK. Not your stupid horse - those things kick! But they'll try for the more difficult meat if it's the only thing they can get.

And keeping weak domestic animals out in a field where something that eats meat - and lives by natural rules - can do a double-take and say, "OOH! Marshmallows!" is just proof the owner is stupid, not the predator is evil.

I heard a woman on A Prairie Home Companion the other day, saying she'd begun to hunt deer as revenge for their eating her tulips. WTF? What planet do these people live on? The ONLY reason for hunting or fishing is if you're hungry or cold. Period. Not for your entertainment or ego or because you need to take it out on your ex.

In Africa, the lion populations are crashing. The Masai no longer hunt them for "proof of manhood." They now guard them. How are they paid? Tourism money.

But if we keep trying to live in the 19th century because there's plenty to kill and waste, we'll all end up having to hang our heads in shame, again, because another species went under on our watch (and the West End STILL has the shame of intentionally wiping out an apex predator - for CASH!). You'd think the Christians and Jews would be on this one - the holy book they share says "steward," not "meat-headed greedy redneck." 

The Forum (you wonder if white people have ANY sense of timing) also published a shot of beautiful big-leaf maple trees with this caption - but you can't see the photo when you go there. The shot is along the Sol-Duc river. Tree-cutting is not allowed along the river, because salmon need forests and shade.

The title and lack of photo is appropriate, considering Rayonier just wiped out all the big-leaf maples along the south side of Frontier Street. This means the older folks and kids will have no place cool to walk in the summer, or see this year's crop of leaves. 

I know, you folks from California or Nevada will call us heat wimps; well, we are. We need our shade. They couldn't have left at least that little plot of land alone while clearcutting a tsunami tunnel into the back of town? Evidently, the humans mean less than the salmon - or we all mean nothing to a corporation based in Florida.

You know - where most of the profits for the death of your tourism industry are going? 

(I am so fired).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nice Man - Bad Bad worldview - Memorial Day

A very nice man runs a shop here. I like him a lot. He's a good fisherman - agrees fish aren't playthings, and we need thanks ceremonies for them. If you drop into his shop, it's a lovely place, with nice products, including locally-made things.

BUT - we Americans all have rats-bane in our heads. Mine is, I'm sick and tired of what I love being murdered for fun and profit. I'm not apologizing for THAT.

I hurt his feelings yesterday because I had to. As an American, it was my responsibility.

A conversation wound into our military. He said he didn't want to go there because his son has a "Navy career." And if his ship was fired on in from Benghazi, he had to shoot back because he was following ordrs. And "Our military isn't like it was; in WWI and WWII, it helped the economy."

I'm sorry it hurts, but if your kid is in the military, you need to face the facts, America. 

1. A military is NEVER about a "career," or "job" in the harmless definition (jobs used to be a harmful excuse are the same conversation). It's about killing and dying. Period. The fact Americans have to join to get health care or a college education is a sin and a shame, and ashes on our heads.

2. "I was just following orders" was disallowed in 1945 by The Geneva Convention

3. Bombing or shelling a city for any reason is a war crime. According to the Convention, soldiers are required to report war crimes - or be guilty of a crime of omission.

4. Whether the other wars helped an economy or not - there are plenty of links for that conversation - the idea that ANYTHING is valid because it "creates jobs" or "helps the economy" is, in the end, a dangerous idea. Kentucky has banned private prisons for more than one reason. However, wars are ALWAYS for resources, land and borders. Soldiers aren't called cannon-fodder for nothing. Think of them as Washington State loggers who risk getting a leg off while all the money goes to Florida. 

We are in an OIL war, and have been for decades. We've destroyed democratic societies, destroying their educational systems, because decent, educated people would have protested our presence in their countries. Their children grow up ignorant, angry, and violent - as now, do ours.

5. If you're a parent or spouse or any relationship to anyone in a war, if you really had loved your DNA, you'd have prevented it going into a war zone.

6. Soldiers are not the heroes of war. The women and children attempting to live in war zones are the heroes, but we're unable to see them, for the same reason Lewis and Clark thought they were pioneering when they were fed by women caring for children. Soldiers are not the point. When they come to think of themselves as the point, they cause the same problem as bad cops, who also think they're the point. Soldiers continue and support wars, especially today - because they all went willingly. It is their fault, private to general.

7. War is for stupid people. If you're in a war, you've fucked up. You have no excuse. Somehow, both sides have screwed up. Everybody involved is stupid, lazy and unable to think his or her way into the future realities. 

8. If your kid gets killed in a war, everybody who supports that war - for any reason, even if you support that war because you have some twisted idea you need to because it ate your kid - you are in collusion. 

9. Generals very often cannot retire at pension rank unless they've participated in a war, as part of their "career." War is their job, in their own heads. 

Happy Memorial Day - maybe next year, we'll have fewer new crosses, and fewer damaged or murdered women and children in the war zones.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Greens, Ghosts - and Fake Greens.

Goddesses just do what they want.
From about 1998-2002, I did a comic strip series, "Rental Goddess," for the magazine PanGaia. I forgot how many I'd done, because most of the pages went to San Diego State Special Collections. 

So out of the blue, the proofreader for the magazine sends me paper copies of all the strips, including the introduction of the Deity Kun-Rah, Goddess of Not putting Up With Crap. Damn, these are funny. And what timing! As soon as my lovely new friend scans 'em, I can post 'em at Webcomicsnation

So I guess I'd better get to the work of Not Putting Up With Crap, because Kun-Rah says so, and I don't want to meet her third ritual.

There are two futures for all of us - and I do mean all.

If you're a Green, if you really try to limit your footprint on the earth - regardless of how completely successful you may be - if you realize your position as a human on the earth, then you're going to survive, or at least the younger people around you have a better chance of survival. 

Admittedly, there will be a couple generations of misery, if any of us do make it, but we can remember who survived - and who didn't - and why. Greed will be of evil memory, and a terrible warning, the province of ghosts.

The Greeds will all be Ghosts. And your chances for making it into the future will depend on what you really do, not what you pretend to be. It doesn't matter if you're a Fake Green. A lot of Greeds are realizing it's good to come off as a Green. Why? Do they think we'll be more likely to feed them, in the coming bad days? Of course we shall - but their own shortcomings are taking out their DNA, even now.

But you can spot Fake Greens, because they don't walk the walk.

1. You may be all artsy, hippie-dippie and spiritual, but if you puff yourself up over your brother who killed a cougar, bragging how long its tail is (and how Freudian is THAT?), you're a Fake Green.

2. If the first thing out of your mouth about the end of food stamps in the US is how people in Australia showed up in sports cars to scam the system - assuming that, if a few people are butt-heads, everybody should starve - you're a Fake Green.

3. If you tell people nobody has to worry about local conditions - endangering their future - because your god told you "there would be no tsunami," you're definitely a Fake Green. And a mean one, at that.

4. You're Green, and you start "intellectual discussions" on why the 2nd Amendment can't be updated or nothin'? I think I'll just stick to the reason gunbillies are going to end up Ghosts; practicalities. I have a scary feeling they think they can get sulfur and saltpeter by just running down to the local garden store. They're all into the Frontier, but seem to forget the Frontier was the creep of civilization - and even Mountain Men had to come back in every 6 months or so to get flour, sugar, salt, coffee - and gunpowder. If the environment REALLY collapses back down onto a handful of gasping humans, we're going to all find out how hard it is to get salt, let alone sulfur. If you really want to be Green, you might want to start figuring out how to build a really good bow and arrow - by hand, not bought at Wal-Mart - or, more simply, learn to make nooses and nets and fishing line. Start now; it's not as easy as it looks, and takes a lot more time than you think.

On the other hand, if you don't think of yourself as Green, but you feed the poor, save animals, clean beaches, take only what you need and try to give back and be grateful, and can make a Hoko River splinter knife out of what you found on the beach - you're a Green. 

Greens party better, and we're going to survive. Come to the verdant side.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Good Morning, Seattle PCC Natural Markets

Sent to PCC this morning:

"Good morning, PCC;

Living in Clallam Bay for 10 years, I still remember PCC fondly from my Seattle days, and appreciate your continuing efforts. 

Reading your latest insert in The Stranger (or it might have been The Weekly; I pick them both up), I discovered the recommendation in "What's in Store."

Under Ganapati Studios and Positively Green, you note, "use paper sourced either from managed forests or post-consumer waste."

"Managed forests" is a prettified term, covering that paper products from wood are always toxic and environmentally heavy. I say this as someone who grew up in the pulp industry. I saw the paint peeling off homes near Scott Paper in Everett, a result of the heavy fumes from the chemicals required to cook down wood to release the pulp fibrers. Not to mention the huge amount of water required in the process.

Paper, pulp, or other secondary products are the worst things we can do with trees. There's little enough actual wood left on the planet, and using every last scrap of a forest, including saplings instead of carefully-managed selectively-harvested adult trees, ignores the fact that trees are a large part of our own survival systems, that include oxygen release, carbon sinks, and planetary cooling. Trees are not corn.

You may not be aware of what is happening on the Olympic Peninsula, right now.

Please, for the good of your customers and all our futures, note these links:

Lollipop law (use of friendly terms to cover dangerous practices):

Out-of-State pulp company, presently tearing through the "managed" State Trust Lands:  

(Note that they have a hunting page AND a real estate page. As soon as animals are driven from their homes, in a state of confusion, hunger and homelessness, they are hunted down - especially cougars. Yes, the bushmeat system - logging then opened hunting - is going on right here on the Peninsula).

For the past couple of years, I've been collecting incidents, photos, etc., on the situation. I am a fiction writer and artist. I admit this is about me writing in a comical style, and not attempting to be a legitimate reporter. But what I've seen, I've seen.  I am serious when I say the next target will be the National Parks. 

Thank you.

Donna Barr
Author of "The Desert Peach" comic book series"

Monday, November 04, 2013

Warning to the Logging Industry

I'm not allowed anyplace near a clearcut, because not even reporters are. The logging, oil, mining and other eco-net-destruction industries keep even professional reporters away, and threaten them, worldwide, as they try to report on ongoing ecological disasters.

The clearcut is creeping closer to us. So here's the promise of what I will do. If any judge asks me what I'm doing, the reason "guilty" nor "not guilty" but "self defense." 

1. I will need tranquilizers to fight nerve damage. I have nerve gas damage from the army, and the realization of what this clearcut will do to my future health - and the health of this whole area, human and animal - is impinging on my health.

2. The local real-estate person thinks the loss of the forest will have no effect on my real-estate values. Maybe not, but she only sells to local people - and as their jobs disappear because of the ecological destruction, they won't be able to afford to buy here, or anyplace - and how to sell to more knowledgeable people who won't be fooled by the logging industry's excuses?

3.  I'll have to take this to court, even if it's only a small-claims court. I will lose, no doubt, because the area is owned by these industries. But I can begin the process of showing people how to do it.

4. If the Olympic National Park is torched, I'm going to make sure the authorities know the Forks Forum constantly described the profits made in the logging area, the last time the park area burned. Of course there's freedom of the press - but there's also reckless endangerment. Prosecutable? Perhaps only in the court of public opinion. And that doesn't have any access to eyeballs all over Facebook, does it?

5. If H.R. 1526 is used to cut down the National park, under the excuse of "community and forest health" - both of them specious - and any of you whine and moan about it, I'm going to "I told you so!" too. 

This goes for any organization that didn't try to stop it, Wild Olympics, the Elwha tribe, whoever. We let 'em get away with this, this time - fuck all of us. 

Why not? We're fucked anyway. I'm tired of hearing people blame kids for hanging out on the net all day when the poor kids don't have the oxygen levels we did. Wake up.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

I Can Read Their Minds, Now

A few years back, we helped rescue a dog from an abusive cage situation, by one of the Sheriff's deputies.

The same guy keeps cougar-hunting dogs in the back yard.

And a very cute miniature horse.

I shall now bet a Chinese Dinner that, once the clearcut releases the starving resident cougar, and guts the horse, the guy will use that as an excuse to not only hunt down a refugee bush-meated animal, but will teach his daughter the reason the horse was killed was because predators are evil vermin out to get her favorite pet, rather than that Daddy was a psychotic bully with about as much empathy - and understanding of how the planet actually works - as a crab parasite.

I expect egg-rolls with that, mind you.

Man needs a mirror. And a shot of human DNA more recent than the ice age.

List of idiot excuses for clearcutting; as they read this blog and get more desperate, they start trying to sound Green. Like they have a clue how to do that:

1. The forests are being sprayed with poisons by the government, so the logging companies have to save everybody.

2.  The forests are all going to be killed by the Fukashima radiation spreading across the Pacific, so they need to be cut down now.

3.  Forests need to be managed by humans, because there was no wildlife in them until White People got here.

Oh, poke them, and watch them come up with more excuses. All I know is, in 20 years, when the place is going to pieces again, or they're screaming to be allowed to knock down the national parks, I ain't taking the blame. They made this soup, they can swallow it, without blaming the nearest environmentalist for everything from why they can't get a job to why their kids are all on meth. I'm going to make sure they SWALLOW the soup they mixed up, no matter how hard they whimper.