Monday, April 23, 2012

Generation X

What kind of name is that, generation X? Who named us that? I seem to recall someone saying, back in the nineties, that we were the tenth American generation. I don't really get that, insofar as the generation namers seem bored and over eager, adding a new generation every few years now. People talk about generation Y, the millennials. I heard a new name recently, for those entering the work-force now, graduating from college with tens of thousands of debt and degrees in things like German studies - I forget what name though. It seems strange to me, as it was only in the last decade that the millennials started working. I'm not sure if there is a Z anywhere in there. Whatever. For the record, I think the boomers are the weirdest generation ever.

Actually, I'm quite fond of the moniker X. It implies both danger, and a warning. Also, the unknown. Very mysterious. We came of age in a time between, between the full flowering of the boomer influence, and the information age those millennials have known nothing but. When I was a kid, Atari was a revelation. Music videos were like the voice of a god. We still had appliances that had already been working for a generation, not the trash available to us today that has to be replaced once a decade or less. There's more of that boomer influence, forced obsolescence in the name of economic growth. If it sounds like I'm headed in the direction of ripping on the boomers, well, as far as I can tell, about 99% of boomers don't yet get the predicament we are in, won't get, refuse to accept, and if you are a boomer and have done all these and are moving on, feel free to disagree.

Of course, the boomers conceived of forced obsolescence in appliances and auto's and such, and now they are paying that price themselves, many of them, forced into retirement long before they expected to retire. Even those who still have good jobs don't necessarily have savings to retire on. I've heard something like only 50% of boomers or less have enough money to retire, not least because of the financial looting of 2008 (let's call it what it was), but because they have always lived as if there would always be more of everything. They are holding onto that with an iron fist, that mythology of progress, despite all the available evidence. Who can blame them? The media is lying to them shamelessly, and themselves, but then, isn't the media mostly controlled by boomers?

I was working on the hardwood floor in my bathroom, cutting out the rotten spot underneath the old sink. The hardwoods in my house are original, 1918, but as far as I can tell, I'm the only one who has tended to them since. I was listening to NPR at the time, a documentary called Burn. It was about the oil predicament, ostensibly; through the first half, I was unimpressed. By the end of it, I was infuriated. How in the hell are Americans supposed to face the predicament we face, if the best news outlet we have is proffering lies? What lies? Like world oil production is going to climb to 110 million barrels a day, by 2035. We are at about 88 million barrels a day, which is a number that has flat-lined since 2004-2005. Flat-lined. But most Americans aren't going to hear about that any more than we heard about the housing bubble before it collapsed. 110 million barrels? That is a 22 million barrel a day increase, which is about 4 million barrels more than America will consume today, April 23, 2012! Even as no one really, not even the industry, denies that oil is getting harder and more expensive to collect and refine.

Burn might be a hard headed documentary by mainstream standards, but it is otherwise known as an egregious soft-pedal white-wash. Notice, boomers will be at about the end of their time on earth, by 2035.

Immediately following that program, was Science Friday, and an in depth discussion about technology in movies. Isn't it great! One of the techies interviewed, said, and I'm paraphrasing, “You know that movie about Marilyn Monroe, the one where she was played by Michelle Williams? Well, wouldn't it be great if instead, we could create a hologram image of Marilyn, and animate her, and thereby create a more compelling movie experience?” Excuse me? Is that the point of this existence, to replace all of human endeavor with holograms that we experience neurologically, whilst sitting on our ass? The energy analyst Tom Murphy recently had a conversation with an economist who was astonished, astonished I tell you, that Tom would not want to live a virtual life, in which he could live like aristocracy, with everything he wanted, except not a body but only a neural experience. Aside from the question, what kind of tyranny is possible if most of humanity is plugged in constantly, their entire lives; but if you can have every thing you want virtually, who is going to make and manage the technology that makes it possible?

And therein lies the crux, the fatal flaw of this whole human endeavor, that we think technology is going to solve the predicament of declining resources and increasing population. This is how I know they aren't going to fix it, because they are deluding themselves. Not just about available energy, and the difference between energy and technology, but about what technology is capable of. I'm not saying humanity won't be living some marvelous technological existence someday, far surpassing the limited, meager, destructive, polluting technology of our day. I am saying, it's all going to go to hell before we get there. Because they are lying to themselves. They are not being honest. They are stuck, in the proverbial clouds, pie-in-the-sky eyed and oblivious to the storm coming, which is only making the storm worse.

It's not as though boomers are the only American generation oblivious to the threat, about 800 nuclear facilities world wide, tens of thousands of nuclear warheads scattered about, and thousands of off-shore oil wells, every one of them vulnerable to economic, ecological collapse. But the boomers are in control of the world, and they have put us in this place. They want a hell of a lot more off-shore oil wells. My suspicion is, they will definitely still be around when the collapse comes, the wells and the boomers. There isn't much more awareness among the Gen X'rs, or the Y, Z, millennials – anyone. But the baton of management is passing to the Gen X'rs, and we will be the generation, I believe, that has to lead, if there is to be any recovery from collapse. The pivotal generation, the phoenix, that will have to find some way to rise from the ashes, with help from the young and the old. Are we up to it? Maybe. Maybe not. Holding tight to the mythology of progress, and faith in technology, it's not looking good.

You think the so-called “greatest generation”, preceding the boomers, went through some difficulties? That will appear as nothing, compared to what we face, and there is hardly 1% of us who are aware of it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Wholeness

This week has been a fine reminder of the potential drift of America toward internal violence. American soldiers posing with the body parts of slain militants. Rep. Alan West of Florida, saying there are 78-81 registered communists among congressional Democrats. The aging rocker Ted Nugent, raging against Obama, hinting at potential armed conflict in the event of an Obama re-election.

I think Obama is a fake Democrat, as imperialist as any President in recent memory, as intolerant as Bush, or maybe even more intolerant of internal dissent, if his raiding of marijuana dispensaries and enthusiastic support for drug testing, are a sign. What is astounding though, is the way the Right acts as if he is the first President who ever treated the Constitution with indifference. Does any one of them remember the Patriot Act? If there ever was an evisceration of first principles, that was it. But Bush gets a free pass from the Right, while Obama gets the same, from the estimated 45% of registered voters who support him, for his willingness to codify the detaining of Americans indefinitely, without trial. Such is the poison of ideology, that it blinds us to at least half of the truth.

Does anyone think our boys weren't going to go to the dark side, some of them, with us treating war like it will have no end? Those young men with their calloused souls will be coming home, you know. Many of them, having participated in atrocities, are home. Has anyone else noticed how local police very recently have come to look like an occupying military, whenever a gunman is about, or maybe just angry college kids or liberals?

Alan West gets to say what he says, because he was a soldier, and he continues to serve as such for the GOP, dividing with the intent to conquer. Joe Scarborough called him on it, but the Right's take on that was, Joe was just being “mischievous.” Never mind that America has a long history of red scares and the rounding up and incarcerating unconstitutionally, of anyone perceived to be a threat to the existing established power. It's hard to tell, if the Communist charge has any pull anymore, North Korea being about the only true communist country left, the midget fiefdom (China being more laissez faire capitalist than America by a long shot.) But my guess is, the harder the economy gets for blue-collar America, the thicker the kool-aid will be. There is at least one Facebook friend I have, downing heavy doses, with talk-radio IV's.

As for Ted: thanks, jackass. Stirring up the rednecks. If all hell breaks loose and “patriots” start killing “democrats”, I'll be sure to tell my niece and nephew, you have their best interests in mind.

I was reminded how important the left and the right are, today, setting nails in some trim-work I've been working on for a friend, and mudding sheet-rock. The left half and right half of my body are very different, the right side dominant, to a fault. I was a baseball player, and so much of the manual labor I've done, deformed me in a way, so much attention focused on my right side. That too is where most of my interior physical tension and pain reside. When I'm in a groove, as I have been on the project the last two days (on the last of my special brownies), I switch the hammer back and forth intentionally, from right to left. Too, with the mudding tools. That is when I feel the most dignity in the work I do, when I'm feeling the most balanced. I truly enjoy labor, when I'm conscious about it that way, singing and dancing as I work.

America is like that, dominant to a fault on the Right, practically unconscious on the Left. Totally balanced in it's imbalance, and not at all aware of it, most acting as if we cut out half the body, we will somehow heal. Conservatives used to care about the dignity of work. So did Democrats. Now, nearly everybody wants to get rich without working, or at least, the pay scale of empire is inverted, those working the least making the most. Collecting interest is not work, but there isn't anything more esteemed than money. When the money's gone, about 5% of America is going to remember how to work. The rest it appears, are going to go about the process of killing each other, or just dying. Or so I imagine. Maybe there are more people than I think, waking up to the reality that ideology is a tool of control, and while we are busy raging against the evil Other within, the country is being looted by the establishment, as the American empire is approaching it's expiration date. It's hard not wanting a savior to save us from ourselves, but no savior is needed if one is whole. And there is no harder work than being whole.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bliss in the Midst of Collapse

It's already Thursday morning, and I have nothing prepared for a post. Usually I have a good idea what I'm going to write, by Sunday, and I've been publishing one post every week for some time now, usually by Wednesday. I think I'll just riff for a while, and see where the drift leads.

I just finished reading John Michael Greer's most recent post, on the Gasoline War. That's what he's calling the second world war, when the lessons of the tactics of Sherman in the American civil war gained considerably greater momentum, thanks to fossil fuel. Sherman you may recall, got in behind Gen. Lee, razing the southern states in the process.

Greer apologized to those readers of his in advance, who find talk of the history of war dull. I'm of the opinion, strategizing about what to do in the face of the decline and fall of American empire is easier with a clearer understanding of history than is otherwise available, most of what passes for American history either ideologically supportive of the idea that we are the greatest Nation ever, or the worst. The truth is a good deal more mundane, and Greer is doing a fine job of telling it.

I did find it curious that he offered at the end, words from Nostradamus, about the King of Terror, as evidence of the delusion of apocalyptic thinking. I'm no fan necessarily of Nostradamus, but this phrasing is about as accurate a metaphorical description of reality as anything Nostradamus ever wrote. If George Walker Bush is not the utterly mundane King of Terror, I don't know who could be. Two ten year wars, the evisceration of the Constitution with the Patriot Act, the invention of the vicious bitch cousin to the War on Drugs, the war against Terror that is not ever meant to end? GWB may not be Genghis Khan, but Genghis Khan couldn't have been elected President of the United States, commander-in-chief of the greatest killing machine ever devised. July, 1999, I imagine, is just about the time he decided to pursue the Republican nomination.

And then there's that black savior masquerading as a Democrat. Did you hear anyone who is not a shill for Wall Street or the Administration, advocating in favor of the Jobs Act? Huff-Post, which is a fairly mundane liberal publication, ridiculed it mostly. If you are an investor, take note, because just as the recent decision by the Supreme Court in Florence vs Burlington County, is an invitation to sadism, the Jobs Act is an invitation to fraud, an absolutely cynical attempt to initiate another tech bubble. Question is, do you get in on the front end and get rich, knowing it's all bullshit? Obama hopes you will, sooner rather than later, to help inflate the economy and thereby assure his re-election. For what? You never know; Romney may turn out to be more liberal than Obama. More of the same, the looting of America, most likely.

Another tech bubble. This one's not going to be about the Internet so much, though. This one is going to be about energy. Expect a flurry of high tech start-ups infused with big bank and angel funds, rocketing up in stock price, to be later revealed as absolutely hollow, little more than an office somewhere full of business and marketing majors, preying upon the fears of energy decline, managing the vision of utopia - collapsing sometime shortly after the big banks and angels pull out all their ill-gotten gains.

In a precursor, I heard a woman on Minnesota Public Radio advocating for the Smart Grid this morning, a high tech update to the existing electrical grid, except you will have to buy all new appliances, and these will be more expensive, and they still won't last more than ten years, and they won't be repairable. I knew she was rotten when she started off by saying, "you don't have to be a hippie, or a granola type," to care about the smart grid. These are the sort of people who put those traffic signals on the corner light posts, that talk to you in that command and control tone like you are an idiot: wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Great for blind people, but blind or not, who wants to be treated like you are stupid? The grid, smart or stupid, is doomed.

Public Radio is just about the worst of all the media outlets, when it comes to advocating for the economic delusions of empire - precisely because they should know better. I can hardly listen anymore, particularly to Sound Money, or Marketplace, the propaganda is so thick. It seems every time I tune in, someone is advocating for the idea that despite everything, humanity is much better off now than we ever were, and if we would only believe it, utopia is indeed the logical end of global economics, technological progress and American hegemony. As if there aren't about 2 billion more desperately poor people than there were a hundred years ago. I actually heard a woman on one of these programs recently, telling America's young that they have to start thinking about their college degree like people used to think about the high school degree, as if anyone ever came out of high school with $100,000 of debt, firmly entrenched in economic bondage. This idea of hers is not a new one, but it sure has import now, that so many people are coming out of college with a mountain of debt, as the economics of the last 30 years at least are revealed to be a kind of madness with no future. You will drink the Kool-Aid, and you will believe it, because we are acting in the public interest!

Oh, and then there's that 25 billion dollar mortgage settlement for the American people, that has lead to a radical increase in foreclosures. So wtf was that 25 billion for, and for whom? Light is dark, and dark is light, and the Banks and your Attorneys Generals are acting in your best interest, and renting is better than owning, because it is better to buy your food than grow it. And maybe if it comes to it, you can grow the food, but they will own it - along with you?


My fruit trees arrived yesterday. The UPS man made mulberry jam last year; I recommended the mulberry margarita. He didn't think we could grow peaches here in Minnesota, but there is precedent with the Contender. Which is why I planted it on the south half of the yard, where there is more shade, where the ground will warm up later, so the blossoms don't come out too early and freeze. We had a freeze the last three nights, and more to come next week, more typical April after a March like late May or June. The fruit harvest all across the northern half of the country is imperiled.

Only six of the eight trees I ordered arrived; the Grimes Golden and the Honeycrisp apples were sold out. I did get the Calville Blanc apple, the Clapp Favorite and Summercrisp pears, the Stella sweet cherry and the Mesabi sour cherry, and the peach. My neighbor stopped by as I was planting, asking how I could plant fruit trees and then put the house up for sale. It doesn't make any sense, I agreed. But little that I do, does. If sense is defined by the culture, I want next to nothing of it. Planting those trees was one of the most joyous things I've done in recent memory; I sang to them, as inspiration grew to delve into fruit tree propagation.

There isn't any more guarantee that the house will sell, than I won't come up with the money to pay for it. The issue is, I'm 38, and all my adult life, I've gone out and gotten whatever job was available. Does it make less sense to plant fruit trees on land I might not own by the time they take root, than say, manufacturing poison, or bombs, or high tech junk that breaks down in ten years or less, or spending the next several years going into debt bondage earning another degree, or taking any job doing anything I don't believe in, so I can plant fruit trees? There are jobs I do believe in, I'm looking into. I'm making some money, building things, landscaping organically. But mostly, I'm writing books, and treating my yard like a canvas. I don't want this house or this land, if I'm not able to do that, to follow my bliss. I am following my bliss, and I will continue to do so. In an empire that is so clearly unraveling, what else really is there to do?

Whatever happens, I will need help. We all do. Whether that help comes in the form of an employer providing the funds to pay for this house and land, or people reading my books, or whatever, I can't do it alone. And if the funds do not come, and I become destitute, and all is lost, so what? What does anyone care, if I decide the pursuit of my bliss is more important than my doing some mundane part in helping keep this ridiculous ship that is American empire afloat? Who is to say the collapse of globalism is not precisely what humanity needs, and any attempt to maintain it is an attempt to help destroy the biosphere, thereby guaranteeing collapse?

All I know for certain, is there isn't anybody with perfect knowledge of what is really going on. I'm of the opinion that humanity is facing an imminent reckoning, and we are increasingly going crazy, rather than facing it directly, desperately hanging on despite all the available evidence, to whatever we have known. Those of us who are facing it are trying to prepare, but how can one, really?

If there is anything to do but be present, with people, with plants, with whatever is my bliss, I don't know what that is.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Window Into America's Soul

These are windows I replaced with an identical set for a client years ago, during the housing boom. There were actually four of the shorter windows, which were all in one large frame. They had built-in shades, with built-in storm glass as well. The original purchase price was about $3000. The primary frame had rotted out, and the replacement windows, which were identical but about a dozen years newer, were $6000, not including the install. The tall ones don't even open. I tried to sell the whole lot for $25 last year at a garage sale, but no one would take them.

I started tearing this one apart, as I wanted the glass but not the frame. Double pane glass can be excellent as a greenhouse glass, provided it's not clouded between the panes, and it's not UV resistant.

Here is one with the wood frame still intact for comparison.

The trouble is, the glass is inset into the aluminum cladding, and there is as much toxic puddy and adhesive by volume holding the glass to the aluminum cladding and wood, as aluminum.

It was nearly an hour process, pulling this one window apart. Resulting in adhesive and puddy covered glass, toxic crap on my hands, and all that aluminum in the background of this last picture, unsalvageable. There is no recycling aluminum with so much crap attached to it. I gave the rest of the windows to a neighbor who is going to cart them all the way to Colorado to put in his cabin.

Was all this toxic puddy and adhesive necessary to the performance of the window? No. Why was it there? For the same reason that modern building codes led to so many houses built after the 1980's rotting from the inside out. Subconsciously terrified of nature, we built houses that were entirely closed systems that could not breathe. Moisture trapped inside turned the wood frame to mush. Here in Minnesota we were forced to tear down whole neighborhoods that were not a decade old.

Not only that, nearly everything in the modern house is toxic. From the plywood or ASB sheathing, to the adhesive impregnated LVL (laminated veneer lumber), to the carpet, to the paint, to the synthetic clothing in the closet, all of it off-gassing chemicals into the stagnant air of those balloon-like houses.

It was Autism awareness day Monday. There has been a radical increase in autism diagnosis in recent decades. The experts are stymied, except to say the increase has nothing to do with anything but increased reporting. Some parents blame vaccines, though official science has said this is nonsense. I'm no scientist, but I know that American industry creates more than 100,000 different kinds of chemicals and chemical compounds regularly released into the environment, of which the government regulates something like nine. What has science to say about that? Next to nothing. Science is the thing creating those chemicals though, with the money provided by industrialists and CEO's and governments, under government protection. But then, are Americans saying anything about chemicals? Ask most people about yard care and they will tell you which chemicals they use by trade name. What do you use to clean your house? A female Facebook friend posted the other day, in all seriousness, "Calgon, take me away."

I'm not saying all those chemicals cause Autism, but I am saying it's a hell of a lot easier to make chemicals than deal with them once they're rooting around in living systems. And there's one hell of a lot more incentive to make chemicals than deal with the consequences that Science either can't or won't figure out. And it is asinine to say there are no negative consequences, releasing so many chemicals into the biosphere - but there's plenty of motive.

I'm no saint in regard to chemicals. I sprayed expandable foam around some windows I installed for a friend recently, though I didn't buy it. I'm thinking about using some glyphosate from that hideous monster of a corporation Monsanto, on the crab grass in my yard, using the rationale that I didn't bring that damn grass to this continent, but I have to fight it constantly in my gardens, which is a flimsy rationale, subject mostly to my time away from the garden. I probably won't use it, but I'm tempted. I sometimes eat food I suspect contains industrial residue. But my neighborhood only has food outlets that sell industrial food. It's a long way to the nearest co-op, by bike, and I don't have a trailer - yet.

Where are the non-toxic options? Rarer than Catholic saints. Why? Because on the whole, humans do not give a damn about the Earth. Those of us who do care can't buy what isn't available, and much of what is available is at best dubious. The cradle-to-cradle concept championed by some has been around for awhile, but the Earth grows more toxic every year, notwithstanding what the industrial, corporate apologists have to say about it. And what do a people who do not care about the Earth get? For one thing, corporations and banks and industries and governments that don't care about people.

Did you notice the recent Supreme Court decision saying that invasive strip search is constitutional, even if you didn't do anything more than get hauled in to the county jail for say, unpaid parking tickets, or drinking too much? What do you suppose the verdict might have been, if Scalia or Roberts or Kennedy or Alito or Thomas had to suffer the indignity of a strip and body cavity search, for such a crime? Don't you think they should have to consent to going through a strip and body cavity search, before making such a judgment? Perhaps they should ask themselves if it is just that there are 13 million people or so incarcerated every year in America? But Kennedy and Roberts and the rest of the conservative ideologues on the Court would have to give a damn about the rights of people, other than those "people" that are private banks, corporations and industries, i.e. private institutions, and the few actual people who own and run them, who they presumably pal around with. What's good for them is good for America, yes? Or is this just another twisted remnant of our Puritan origins, and a statement about the punishment of sinners? Spare the rubber glove and spoil the child?

I'm guessing plenty of corrections officers find applying the strip and body cavity search undignified. Others find pleasure in the humiliation, no doubt. To what extent the justices find pleasure in rendering a judgment that is a license to and affirmation of sadism on such a grand scale, I can only guess.

Did you hear about Tim DeCristopher, the young man who was sent to jail for bidding on mining rights, though he had no money? He bought $1.7 million in claims; but when he did have the money later, the government wouldn't accept it, even though the auction was a George W. Bush fire sale at the end of his term, and most of the sales were subsequently declared illegal. Tim just got out of isolation, after a 20 day stint. Why? Because in an email, he asked his friends to corroborate a rumor he'd heard, that one of the contributors to his defense fund was moving jobs overseas. If true, he said he would "threaten" to give the money back. A Congressman who shall not be named (apparently) found out about it. The twenty days isolation was punishment for use of the word, "threaten." Very gratifying for that Congressman, I'm sure.

We are an increasingly punitive society. Have you heard how many Americans are under the thumb of law enforcement? Almost eight million under direct supervision, a good deal more millions arrested every year - officially. A full five-fold increase in incarcerated American citizens, since the advent of Saint Reagan. That probably doesn't include all those Mexicans and central and south Americans in our modern day, sanitary concentration camps. What do you call the rule of law when your government has provided law enforcement with near impunity, incentivizing it with the profit motive, your government incarcerating more per capita than communist China, or lawless Russia, or any of the other multitude of countries ruled by despots? That, and there are millions of Americans who cannot vote because they have non-violent felony drug records, but if you are a college level (or professional presumably) football coach with a penchant for gaining the trust of, then raping boys, or a sociopath investment banker bilking clients of hundreds of millions, you get the indulgence of the court, and maybe a trial, someday. Maybe. Get caught with a few marijuana plants in your house, or psilocybin mushrooms, things that grow wild in many places on Earth, and it's a fast track to a cage, and law enforcement can confiscate everything you own.

The punitive application applies only so far up the social hierarchy. Dominators stick together, no matter how foul they might comport themselves in private.

We live in a police state, masquerading as a democracy. The demand is to get in line economically, and play your role on either side of the ideological divide, and freak out about the evil Other whenever you are expected to, and if not, or even if you do, like a good little parrot, you are potential fodder for the law enforcement industry to generate capital, to make more arrests and incarcerate and disenfranchise more people.

(I defend Minneapolis cops wherever I can. But they are people, and while most people are basically decent, ten percent are basically sociopaths, and that's who most people these days follow.)

Meanwhile, what are Americans freaking out about? With respect to the family of Trayvon and of George, there is something almost infantile about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman debate. It has all the hallmarks of a witch hunt. Is it a tragedy? Most certainly. Is it more than the tragedy of two young men growing up in a country that glorifies violence and dominator behavior, with few models of mature masculine available, trying to prove how tough they are? Trayvon lost his life, but do you really believe he didn't try to prove to George Zimmerman how tough he was? And George has pretty much lost his life too, now that he is a symbol of all that is wrong in America, a Latino with a white boy name as proxy for our clueless rage against the machine. We Americans recently fought two ten year wars - we're still fighting one of them - which have helped bankrupt the empire, which we accepted a tax cut to wage! The Supreme Court has affirmed, you can't show the vagina or the penis in mainstream movies or video games, but there is no violence that is off limits. What do the children of Empire have to say about that? Porn is at least a 4 billion dollar industry, and rape is endemic.

What is the Supreme Court really up to? One question: how can the Affordable Care Act be unconstitutional, but the Patriot Act is not - or the recent decision (by Congress) to let the military incarcerate Americans indefinitely without trial? The Court is falling firmly with every controversial decision, on the side of private institutions, the super rich, and law enforcement. Trouble is coming, as these decisions, and most of what comes out of our Congress, and declining resources make life harder for more people. In the future, you may have the liberty to work for a public or private institution, or be incarcerated, or desperately poor, while eating and breathing and drinking toxic food, air and water. Who isn't positioning themselves for the decline of civilization? If you were a rich jurist, wouldn't you want the police on your side? If you were an elite dominator afraid of the mob, wouldn't you send a message about what we can do to you?

(Can you imagine the colonies, before the revolution, if King George had subjected his American subjects to strip and body cavity searches? What would Tom Paine have said about that? And yet conservatives everywhere, like good little ideologue idiots, are in love with their tyrant Court.)

It may be, the only way they are likely to rule against the Affordable Care Act, is that they decide it is bad for insurance companies. And don't be surprised at all if they start invalidating environmental protections. Because such protections interfere with the rights of industries and corporations to make money, and there is clearly nothing more important to this Court (and the rest of our government) than the rights of people who aren't people. Your health and the health of the Earth is inconsequential. And really, what do Americans know about health, but the financial kind? After all, the sicker we are, the more healthy the Health Care industry, which is the healthiest sector of the economy, keeping the economy afloat. Right?

(But aren't we superior to our ancestors in every conceivable way? That must be why there are more than a hundred million prescriptions for anti-depressants in America.)

And the Affordable Care Act? Government requiring everyone to carry health insurance, at the same time it subsidizes and enforces all the industrial and corporate output that makes people ill. And you pay not according to your health, but according to how much money you make. If you are 500 lbs and you make nothing, you pay nothing, or about $2180 less than someone who makes $27,000 a year, who is trying to live a frugal, ecologically responsible life, and visits a hospital or clinic once a decade (The Justices believe, and the whole of our government, that $22,500 for a family of four in America is not poverty). If that isn't coercion, it surely is madness. But it seems almost as if the only reason the majority of Justices care, is that those who make more than $250,000 a year pay anything at all.

How do I cope with this absurdity? I bought $100 of seeds and seed potatoes and asparagus roots today, to plant in my garden, which will translate into about $3000 (approximately) of food, and immeasurable amounts of Joy, as long as I'm able to stay in my house. I'm hoping to get a job with a non-profit helping people with a record get employment. That feels about right. I hope it works out.

The Realtor was over to look at the house today. Which is part of the reason I'm a little pissy. My apologies, for my hostility, though not for what I'm saying. Plus, I'm out of weed. I'd be growing that too, and shrooms, for personal use, and gifts. But I don't care to be fodder for the sadism of jurists, politicians and lawmen, or feed for the righteousness of my fellow conservative Americans.