Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Rant Against Tyranny

I've been following Naomi Wolf for years.  Earlier on Facebook, she posted a link to this article.  Liberty is closer than ever to being lost in this country, and I went on a Facebook rant that turned out better than I thought... I think.  The copy is here:

I am thankful for all the ways you [Naomi Wolf] have helped open my eyes over the last few years. This article gives me chills as well. Todd Holladay, you are correct.  [Todd Holladay said "Funny, not ha ha funny, but every bill seems to do opposite the name (.ie the patriot act, the freedom act)."]

What are we to do? How far away is hard authoritarianism? When is the veil of democracy lifted to bare the cold steel of Executive Imperialism? Will freedom and self-sovereignty ever triumph against the parasitical holdfast of Statism, Authoritarian Oppression, and the Military-Industrial Complex? I've removed my consent. But I think a snowball of power has no regard for consent.  The only solution is to take control of our own supply lines. The more people who can provide basic livings for themselves by patterning their lives in harmony with natural patterns, the less control they have. If we can supply ourselves with abundant food and home-scale (meaning PEOPLE scale) energy, we won't need much else from anyone.

Look into the word "Permaculture" my friends. Withdraw from the sick society we're asked to submit to. Provide for yourself and your neighbors, and watch each others backs. We don't need drones, or oceanside nuclear reactors vulnerable to natural disaster. We don't need soldiers or oil, or automobiles. We don't even need whatever device we're using to communicate this message. We just need food, and neighbors, and wilderness. We need non-violence to be a universal standard. And we need freedom to pursue the betterment of humankind and the potential for good that we as a species can have on this planet.

Permaculture is the first step on this path. Please look it up. I have nothing to sell, which is why I'm not linking to anything. Just Google the word please, and approach it with an open mind.
Look it up.  It's a rant... but it's an important one.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Online Gambling Rant

Hey! United States gambling laws:

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I don't know if anyone else noticed, but it's TWO THOUSAND AND FOURTEEN. Ya, that's right, 2014 y'all.  I just received an invite to a website called cakebet, where you can gamble with bitcoins online.  Except that when I clicked the link to sign up, I got a "restricted location" error.  That's right... I'm not allowed to gamble in the United States with a currency that the United States doesn't recognize as a currency.  What the fuck is that?

I'm getting rather tired of this country.  The draconian nanny/police/puritan-state that I live in is seriously cramping my freedom... and somehow I thought that freedom is what this country was founded on.  Silly me... that was just marketing.

I'd like to write some stuff that will hopefully get the attention of some of the people in power who might be monitoring such things as this blog, so I'm going to write some nonsensical trigger words just to hope that I can pop up on the NSA tracking log or something.  Here goes:

Bombs, anthrax, presidential death threat, spying, Edward Snowden, revolution, overturn the government, freedom fighter, etc.

Do I have anyone's attention over in the disgusting cesspool of Washington DC?  I hope so.  Go FUCK yourselves.  Stop trying to run our lives.  You're part of an empire that is dying, and regardless of how much power you have now, you'll probably die alone in pain in a gutter somewhere, which is exactly what you deserve for trying to control the lives of so many people around the world.  Come drop a bomb on my apartment from a drone or something, I dare you.

Enough ranting for me now.  I'm going to go make some money online in some way that ISN'T gambling, and I'm still not going to report it or pay taxes on it, because I'm going to do it in a way that you can't trace.

Suck it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Learning and Growth Plans

I think 2014 is going to shape up to be a year of spectacular growth and opportunity.  Thanks to the generosity of my partner, I have the chance to work only about half time, and spend the some of the rest of the time taking care of household things like cooking and cleaning, but more importantly, spend my free time writing, learning, working out, self-improving, and hopefully striving towards self-actualization.  

So here are some of my plans for 2014:

  • Take an online class in climate change, and try to learn more scientifically about something that causes me angst.
  • Find a therapist.  I've been listening to a new podcast recently (www.freedomainradio.com), and many of the listener call-in shows have inspired me to think about some of my own demons.
  • I'm going to be writing more on this and my other three blogs.  The other three are about homesteading, eating paleo, and saving for retirement.  I'm sure that writing for those will help me learn quite a lot... specifics to follow.
  • I'm going to work on becoming a spectacular "householder."  I am already pretty good at cooking, and I can clean well when I put my mind to it, but I want to become more efficient at taking care of the daily chores.  Not only because I don't want to be sitting down at 1030pm writing a blog post for the next day like I am right now, but also because it's going to be even more important on the homestead when I have a lot more work to do.  Additionally, I think being an efficient householder helps save money, which can help you retire earlier.  More on these ideas at permieretirement.com, my retirement blog.
  • I'm going to learn as much as I can about human health and nutrition, specifically for myself.  I believe in the self-experimentation ideas behind eating paleo or "bulletproof,"  and I want to be a well oiled machine by the end of 2014.  A main "ingredient" in eating and living better this year is going to involve preparing, storing, and eating fermented foods.  Much more on that topic at paleopermaculture.com, my paleo blog.
  • I'm hoping to finally take a Permaculture Design Course this year.  Homesteading in a way that integrates with nature as well as possible is my life's passion... in fact all the blogs I write, wanting to save money, wanting to self-improve, all that kind of stuff, is conceived of and done in the interest of making money quicker, so I can buy land sooner, so I can take care of my family and the environment around me better.  A Permaculture Design Course is where the rubber meets the road, and I can stop only writing about this stuff and start doing it.  More about my permaculture thoughts and adventures at permiehomestead.com.
  • Along with eating well, I'm going to weigh 185 or less at the end of 2014.  This is the year I lose the weight I've been planning on losing for too long of a time.  I'm not getting any younger, and it's not going to get any easier, so I need to do it now.
This kind of turned into a resolution-type list, and there is a lot more swimming around in my head that hasn't quite formulated enough to write down.  I just feel like 2014 is going to be a very good and important year in my life.  Big, good things are going to happen, and I want to steer some of those things as best I can.  

Thanks for reading and for your support.  I'll get back to some rants this year at some point too, so don't worry, but in the meantime, let's all take a positive approach to 2014 and see what happens.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Monkey Walker Chronicles: Redux. A New Year, Some New Ideas

2014 is going to be a big year for me.  My domestic situation has changed... my partner is now an actual nurse rather than a nursing student, which means she's gettin' PAID!  With this being the case, I've stepped down to about half-time in my current job (being able to do so, by the way, makes it feel SO much less like wage-slavery, but more on that topic in another post), and I have so much more time for activities!

With all that extra time, I'm going to be writing a lot more.  I have 4 blogs that I want to update on a regular basis, and this one is one of them.  I also have some other writing ideas, like some pamphlets that I'm going to publish using Kindle Direct Publishing, and some paleo meal planning that I hope to eventually sell.  Also, with all this extra time, I'm going to have a lot more time to think, learn, philosophize, workout, rage against the machine, and other such things.  Lucky for this blog, all of those are things I feel fall within the scope of this blog.

Seeing as how this blog is sort of my personal journal, I can't really say how often I'll post.  I'm going to try to update my other three blogs about 2-3 times a week, and they're all subjects that I think if I'm consistent I can generate some money.  This blog being where I'll generally rant and rave, I don't know how I can possibly monetize it, but I'll probably try.  Overall, this blog will still be about my path to awareness, becoming a better person, and what I think should be done about some of the problems with the world.  There will be posts about global warming, there will be posts about good books I read, there will be posts about random thoughts I have, and there will be posts about innocuous personal shit.  Most importantly though, there will be posts, which is something that has been lacking since I bought this ridiculous domain name.

So come along for the ride.  I've had about 2 people in my entire life tell me that they "love the way my brain works," and I plan on dragging other people along for the ride as well, willing or not.  I can't promise that you'll ever read anything that helps you live a better life, but I can at least promise that if you keep reading, then at least once you find my personal flavor of crazy a little entertaining.  And what else can you hope for in this life, if not to be entertained by someones personal maladjustment broadcasted for the world to read?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Rule

I know it's probably not very important to anyone but me... which is why I'm posting it to this site.

I've decided on a new rule for myself.  I really really want to live in the Gorge area of Oregon/Washington, and it looks like that's not going to happen for a while. SO, I'm not going to cut my hair or trim any part of my beard until I do.

To whomever reads this... I'm sorry you did.  This post was unimportant and a waste of your time.  I just needed somewhere to publish my thoughts.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Climate Change Implications

I've recently been reading a lot about climate change.  I got a book called The Long Thaw (Kindle) by David Archer, which to date is the best book I've ever read at laying out the very basic tenets of how CO2 affects changes in our atmosphere, oceans, and soils, and therefore our climate.  On top of that I've been reading some scary things over at Nature Bats Last (particularly this, and this, and it is easy to get lost in the comments of these posts reading from link to link as well) and trying to come to terms with what I believe about the possibilities of Near Term Extinction (NTE) of our species and how I should respond based on my conclusions.

The problem is, I'm not really that smart, especially compared to the people I'm trying to learn from.  I can read a basic book like Archer's, and get a sense of some of the cycles our climate works with, and how CO2 is believed to affect them, and come up with some basic conclusions about a range of possibilities for our climate.  The problem arises when I read Guy McPherson talk about NTE and how he believes we're basically going to cook to death within about 50 years at most.  Then I read Carolyn Baker talk about how we might not, and we need to be responsible for guiding the generations to come in proper earth-system sterwardship so they don't make the same mistakes, while she also stresses the importance of watching after our poorly watched after nuclear facilities and waste.  Then I read and have email correspondence with Paul Chefurka about NTE, and he tells me he believes we probably won't go extinct within the century, but it's possible, and keep going at permaculture and such so there's hope.  But I read his comments on other blogs such as the ones above, and it sounds like he really does believe in NTE but he was being nice to me since I was new to the topic.  Added to the worrisome mix above is the comparatively sunshine and rainbow reports we get from the IPCC, which makes it sound like living in Portland will be more like taking a vacation in Mexico within the next few decades, but no worse.  Then the NTE folks remind me that the IPCC and many standard climate models do not include positive feedback loops such as methane releases and rapid ice-sheet melting Heinrich Events that crazily raise sea-level and trigger rapid warming, etc., etc., until my head spins.

These people are all WAY smarter and better educated than I am.  Some of them give me a best case scenario, some of them give a worst case scenario, and some of them give a REALLY worst case scenario, with inferences derived from their insights and assumptions into human behavior, worries they have about nuclear reactors, new economic models that predict future economic growth based on current energy consumption, and on and on.  I try to wrap my head around it using the lens of permaculture, and use permaculture as a decision making model for things like having kids, designing land, and building my life.  The problem I run into is when I consider the possibility that NONE of those things will matter if most of the Northern Hemisphere is lifeless by the time I'm 55.  Why should I bring kids into the world, toil away at building regenerative systems, work to pay off debts, etc., when the entire ecosystem might collapse out from under me and all of those other things in 25-ish years.  But how do I know?  The people who are all way smarter than I am can't totally agree, and they study this shit for a living.  Really I know that they don't truly know the answers either, and this is one of those cases where you won't truly know the answer until it's way past the point of doing something about it.  It might already be.

On top of all this, I have always held a firm belief that as special as the times I live in are, I should assume TOO much about how special they are.  There are MANY generations of people who have believed they were living during the end-times, all for various reasons.  In fact, I'd venture a guess that in any generation of people, there are a good chunk of them who belief that it's soon to be the end-of-the-world, or at least the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it.  Because SOOOO many people before me have been wrong, I feel like the odds are in my favor that the doomers of this generation are wrong as well.  Except in this case, unlike many of the other cases, it's the scientists who are the doomers, and not the religious crackpots or uneducated smallfolk of the world.  This all leaves my head spinning a little more.

So here I sit.  I have a dream of owning land, planting forests that produce food for myself, my family, and my livestock; building regenerative systems that are self-supporting or easily repairable in the long-term, and reconnecting my family to the land in a way that I am thinking more and more of as "going native."  Kelsey wants kids as a definite, I want kids if it's prudent, but not if NTE is a sure thing.  Combined we have about 12 years worth of debt to pay off once we pick up a mortgage on land, and then we're basically free to homestead and live our lives on our own terms.  But those dreams fall apart in the face of NTE.  Why shouldn't I just say "fuck my student loans" and save up a few hundred bucks at a time, then use it to cycle-tour the country, or thru-hike the BIG trails like the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide, or just walk around the fucking world if I feel like it?  If we're not going to be here very long, I might as well enjoy it while I can, instead of slaving away to the machine.

The problem is I don't know what's really going to happen, just like everybody else.  If I choose the latter route, and I'm wrong, then I'll be part of the problem and not the solution.  If there is no solution, then at best I'm tilting at windmills, and at worst I'm bringing human life into the world when it could be extinguished within a couple likely to be furiously harsh decades.

I had a zen moment yesterday morning while reading Archer's book.  In the chapter on geological time scale climate changes, I realized that none of this really matters.  Warming and cooling has been going on for the entire history of the Earth.  The period of time that the genus Homo has been on the planet compared to it's entire history is comparatively shorter than the nanosecond it takes me to type a period when compared to the entire time to write this blog.  And the time that Homo Sapiens has been in it's current anatomical form is even shorter, even when only compared to the time since land plants first evolved half a billion years ago.  So, in light of the infinitesimal amount of time our species has been around, and the infinitesimally smaller fraction for which I have been, and the insignificance of my life compared to the 4.5 billion year history of the earth, or even the 250,000 year history of our species, I realized that none of it really matters.  Even if we don't all go extinct in 25 years, I'm going to die in only 15-25 years after that.  I had a moment of gratitude for what I was experiencing in that moment, like petting my dog, looking at a tree, smelling the grass.  I was, for a few fleeting moments, at peace with it all.

But then I consider other things.  What about kids?  If I knowingly bring a child into a world that might be about to go extinct of multi-celled life, isn't that something akin to abuse?  Or if I choose not to, am I depriving that future life the opportunity to experience the joy and gratitude I had in that moment yesterday morning?  Am I depriving Kelsey of an opportunity for great joy in child-bearing and child-rearing?  Would the joy of having the child in the good times outweigh the pain of loss if NTE arrives?

Probably I'm putting too much pressure on myself.  Never in my life have I more truly understood that ignorance is bliss than once I learned about the possibility of NTE.  But I can't unlearn it now, and so I'll have to do my best to reconcile it with what I should do with the rest of my life.  Until then, I hope I can continue to get better at finding blissful zen moments like I had yesterday morning.  If I find a key to those, you can be sure I'll share it with you.  Thanks for reading this enormous and thoroughly windy, confusing, and poorly thought out post!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wounded Knee... a Wound Festering Around the World

I just read an article by Johnny Barber of Common Dreams via The Permaculture Project Blog, likening the tragedy at Wounded Knee and of the Lakota people to the tragedy of the other peoples suffering from our imperialism abroad (ie Iraq, Iran, Palestine, etc.)  I think it's well worth a read.

Wounded Knee 122 Years Later

After I read this, I took some time to reflect upon my belief that this type of imperialism might begin to circle back around in this country, only this time is will be along class- and socio-economic divisions.  Look at what the banks, the federal government, and the "ruling" class of this country are doing.  From my perspective at least, it appears to be a systematic attack on human rights, liberty, the Constitution, and the wealth of the middle and lower economic classes.  College students are converted into indentured servants with student loan debt, and work for serf wages that will never be able to service the debt because jobs are so unavailable due to the failing economy.  People are being thrown in jail by the millions for victimless drug violations.  Habeus corpus has been suspended.  Barack Obama weeps alligator tears for 20 children in Newtown while all but personally killing hundreds more with drones overseas.  Our police forces and the Department of Homeland Security are hoping to use the same drones over American skies.  Deliberate steps are being taken towards eliminating ALL of the protections laid out in the Bill of Rights, not just the right to bear arms.  Protests are being violently broken up, protesters are being arrested, people are being detained without just cause, and the list goes on and on.

Read the article above.  Do some of your own research about the Lakota people and the history that led up to this tragedy.  While you do, allow yourself to feel remorse for the imperial actions taken by my ancestors and yours.  Try to empathize what it might have felt like for a way of life known for 10000 years to be destroyed only a couple hundred.  Feel if you can, what they felt, and in doing so also take the time to realize that those actions might once again be visited upon a people soon to be as helpless as they were to do anything about it... you and I.  Once you reflect on this, if you believe me... if you're a little bit scared and a little more angry, take the time to do something about it.  Share the article I linked to above, or share this post.  Talk about it with people who will listen, and try to talk to at least one person you think won't.  It is time to make the elite and the government of this country, in the alleged words of Admiral Yamamoto, fear "to awaken a sleeping dragon, and fill him with a terrible resolve."  We The People are that sleeping dragon.  We need the resolve to say "to here thou shalt come and no further."  What will it take to wake you up?  Once awoken, do you have the resolve to awaken others, and demand a change?