Thursday, November 21, 2013

Less Ranting, More Doing

I bought 120, 170mg potassium iodate (KIO3) pills online, yesterday. For those not in the know, potassium iodate or potassium iodine, is to protect the thyroid from cancer, in the event of radiation poisoning.

Why did I buy potassium iodate tablets? Because I woke up yesterday to a 20 minute report on NPR about a rogue nuclear program. What rogue nuclear program? Iran's, of course.

Three days ago TEPCO, the company responsible for the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility (Japan), started removing fuel rods from reactor 4. There are more than 1500 fuel rods in reactor 4, many of which may be damaged, nobody seems to know for sure. Some, they do not even know where they are. It is being called by others the most difficult engineering task ever undertaken, and reactor 4 is apparently going to be the easy part. Worst-case-scenario but entirely plausible, is total meltdown, the evacuation of Tokyo, nuclear fallout raining down on America. And here in America, there is almost total information blackout about it. I couldn't even find mention of Fukushima in Huffpost, on the main page, Green, Science or Tech pages. 

Am I in danger of radiation poisoning, from Fukushima? I have no idea. I do know, the company that is responsible for fixing this problem, TEPCO, is the same company that was storing new and used nuclear fuel rods, on an ancient river bed above streaming ground water, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, on the Ring of Fire, ON THE TOP FLOORS OF THE REACTORS. This is the same company that lied about 200-300 tons of nuclear water pouring into the ocean every damn day for 2.5 years. The same company that had record profits last quarter, despite their lies and incompetence. I have ZERO faith that TEPCO is going to fix this. I have exactly that much faith that my government is going to protect me from TEPCO. The American MSM is mostly silent on Fukushima, with a decided lack of urgency when they do report it, NEVER questioning TEPCO's ability to follow through effectively, it being heresy in this country to seriously question corporations; while the MSM cannot report enough on Iran, is suggestive to me of this government's (and assorted ruling elite) treatment of the people as stupid children who must be manipulated.

It's not just Fukushima that I worry about, but every one of the 400+ nuclear facilities on earth, esp the two 35 miles on either side of me, on the Mississippi River. Do I think Xcel Energy, which owns both facilities, which is storing massive amounts of spent fuel at both (at Prairie Island, on a flood plain on an island in the Mississippi - do you remember those unprecedented biblical floods recently in Colorado?), which has extended the life of these facilities to 2030 and beyond despite mounting problems, despite being more than 40 years old already (with the complicity of this state government and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)) - is Xcel a more honest company than TEPCO? I think Excel is like most corporations, convinced of it's righteous infallibility, masters of the universe status. I'm certain Xcel believes nothing seriously bad could ever happen to any nuclear facility they own. I believe Xcel as a corporate "person" does not care about ANYTHING but quarterly profits no matter what. No amount of biblical flooding anywhere apparently, is going to convince Xcel or the state gov of Minnesota or the NRC, that storing nuclear material on a flood plain island in the Mississippi is a bad idea.

Anyway, when I heard NPR on Iran, and surmised their lies of omission, I was like, that's it, I'm buying some potassium iodate. It's a small thing, something tangible I can do to protect myself and my family, giving me at least a little peace of mind, knowing my government and this nation's corporations care more about short-sighted self-preservation, about maintaining political hegemony in the Middle East and globally, than they do about doing what is right.

Fukushima is a cancerous tumor releasing toxins into the body of the earth. One might imagine humanity stopping everything, to heal. But all goes on as if there is no problem, as if the profits of TEPCO are more important than the health of the body of the earth, of the health of people.

Well, at least if TEPCO fucks this up worse than they already have, and there are Fukushima nucleotides raining down on America, we'll have a first-rate Health Care Industry to take care of us. Eh? LOL


What budding fascism did I wake up to today? Apparently the FDA has decided spreading manure on farm fields is bad. The current "organic" rule, which "organic" designation is already next-to-meaningless by government/corporate fiat, is that if you put manure on a field, you can't sell market greens for 4 months. They are saying 9 months now, but of course only for those businesses that have more that $500,000 in sales, per year. In other words, the FDA is in the process of KILLING any remaining non-corporate, food production competition for uber corporate Agri-business. Never mind that near 100% of pathogen related, fresh green problems arise out of uber Ag, pretending to be organic or not, sending those greens all around the country.

Evidently, the FDA is chock-full of lackies who shill for corporations, just as the USDA is. See, 4 tons of topsoil loss per acre/year is acceptable. Atrazine in the water, no problem. Gigatons of fossil fuel derived ammonia spread on the fields, is what God intended. Pesticides that devastate honey bees, other pollinators? According to the FDA and USDA, it isn't agriculture if it isn't laying waste to natural systems, genuflect before corporate efficiencies.

This of course is related to the TPP and the TAP, which if you aren't familiar with, is Fascism in America 2.0. The Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic trade pacts being negotiated in secret which Obama want's to fast-track into law, will effectively negate all consumer protection law, all Internet protections, all environmental law, anything protecting anything, EXCEPT that which protects the right of corporations to make a profit. In real terms, that means, if international corporation comes into your neighborhood promising jobs, and they pollute the water supply sickening your children, you can go to Brussels and talk to the tribunal of corporate lawyers masquerading as judges. If you think I overstate it, well, I've stated much the same in the past and I have seen nothing to suggest that I am wrong, if these trade pacts become the law of the land. There is a reason why they are negotiated in secret, that not even Congress can look at it, that they want to make it law before anyone who didn't write it gets to see it. A full corporate attempt to destroy the sovereignty of governments, exactly what anyone should expect, if you treat corporations like demi-gods. How long have we been hearing, "you should run government more like a business!" Well, a corporation is a fascist, totalitarian anti-democracy. What did you think would happen to government?

If the TPP and the TAP are passed, it will be effectively illegal in America or anywhere in the world, to criticize a corporation. No more ranting. :)


 What good is the ranting for anyway, but crazy making? I drive through the suburbs every day, and I know well the denizens of that habitat pretty much all think corporations are GREAT! The NPR crowd? Not one whit less enamored of corporate everything; NPR is like a boomer lullaby, yes everything about your existence is well and good, justified, sleep tight. The Tea Party Patriot? LOL. Whenever I hear a libertarian/free market-er going on about freedom and liberty and personal responsibility, I hear "I want to be free from government interference to participate as I please in the ongoing rape of the planet."

I keep heading in a different direction. I keep thinking plants, greenhouses, rocket stoves, scaling down. Brew my own brew and grow my own food. Because I expect at any time the whole facade of this current arrangement, i.e. the currency and the fossil fuels that drive it, are at the precipice of breaking, so what is there to do but practice living with less? I'm better at ranting. LOL.

Anyway, I keep working on my apple obliterator. I have seeds planted in my garage greenhouse. I have a plan to insulate the garage and build a rocket stove to heat it, and if that works, retrofit this house. That might be worth reporting on, eh? How about a humanure pile to feed my veggies, piss-off FDA, city inspectors? LOL. If the garage greenhouse works, attach one to the house?

Less ranting, more doing.


Saturday, November 9, 2013


Where was I?

Oh right, blogging.

I forget sometimes. Or rather, I try to sort out the ten thousand and one things I would like to say, and then say nothing (there being so little good to say about anything right now, on the global stage; there being the urge like Lao Tzu to walk out the city gate to go live with the wise ones in the mountains.) Perhaps if you are a long time reader of alternative media, you are burned out on contemplating doom/collapse? Situation normal for just about everybody, progress ongoing, growth for all eternity, resources are infinite, the economy is doing so much better. It's evident at this stage, the vast majority of humans will never question the stories that sustain the culture they inhabit, no matter the evidence, least of all in the West, particularly here in America. Onward progress, growth until death. If we turn the earth into a radiated desert planet, at least we didn't give up! LOL.

What have I been doing lately, other than trying to avoid thinking about what a toxic predicament we are in? I have a new job; I am no longer employed by uber retail center. I am now maintenance man, maintaining the structural integrity and appearance of 12 houses for a small company managing care for the profoundly autistic. It is a perfect job for me, in some ways, insofar as they simply let me fix what needs fixing, build what needs building, with little oversight, not many questions, occasional and sufficient direction. I make my own schedule mostly. It is a company almost entirely run by women, beautiful, strong women, staffed by extraordinarily beautiful people, who seem content to let me be, trusting that I will get the job(s) done, and seem grateful when I do. It's the only job I ever had where I've felt like I'm doing something truly good.

Several of the houses have up to an acre and more of land surrounding each, much land to plant fruit and nut trees, big gardens. I'll write a business plan; I already have an investor willing to pay for the trees, for a cut of future harvests. The only drawback to the job thus far has been the driving, 75-125 miles a day generally - all the houses are in the suburbs, two at least 35 miles out. Not having owned a vehicle in five years, I think sometimes - as I am driving through cornfields and suburban sod wasteland, the vast sheets of tar surrounding every corporate building, the fields of new McMansions, the 4,000+ sq ft houses that are being built as if we are not ratcheting up the polluting of the waters to heat them (fracking), the expanding of the highways to 4+ lanes at every outlet of the metro, as if oil remained @ $20/barrel, as if we are not piling on the debt building these doomed things, as if there will be economic growth for the full term of the 30-50 year bonding that "pays" for it - that I might have been happier scaling down, working part time living close to work and writing novels. Anyway, this is what I am doing now, fixing holes in walls, broken appliances, doors off hinges, etc. Autistic guys are hard on houses.

One other thing I've noticed, on my travels through the suburbs, are the apple trees no one picks. If I had been more organized about it I could have brewed 50-100 gallons of hard cider, more than the four gallons I've brewed thus far. Not that I'm set up to brew that much, what with my mashing of the apples with a sledge hammer. I don't like the idea of using a food processor or old garbage disposal like some people do, there being cyanide in the seeds, not wanting to obliterate the skins, but I didn't have a proper apple obliterator to go with my prototype press, nor the $700-1500 to buy one. The sledge hammer is a bit exhausting though, most of an afternoon and evening involved in these less-than four gallons, not including the picking. I have 11 more 5 gallon buckets equivalent of apples to obliterate and press.

This is the obliterator attachment I am making for my press. It is missing a few pieces, as I am modifying it after a test run. Long term plan is to make one to hook up to a bike, because the hand crank isn't all that much more efficient than the sledge hammer. (That is the four gallons brewing in the carboy.)

I built this green house with scrap I had around, three sliding glass doors I scavenged, acrylic glass I pulled out of a dumpster. I might have $50 in this thing, but who's counting when the 2x3's I've used on half a dozen different projects. The plant rack, I'll roll into the greenhouse during the day, back into the garage at night and cover, a shell within a shell, with plastic commercial veggie oil containers painted black filled with water, underneath, radiating stored sunlight all night.

 I have this old stove in the garage (traded for it, for an 18 pack of Michelob Golden Draft), but it doesn't burn efficiently, needs to be modified, and I might just incorporate it into a rocket heater design, maybe.

My house is for sale, technically, though as you can see I am still living in it. That seems to offend many of the people who come through here. I receive an email feedback form, after most showings. Most people don't know what to think about the 'lawn' except to tell me to clean it up, and the house doesn't feel like a condo in those teevee shows/media commercials - "it doesn't show well, the house should be staged; messy, dirty" - i.e. remove any evidence that someone actually lives here, plant sod. They all seem to agree the house is over-priced @ $25,000/15% less than I bought it for 7 years ago, despite all the custom tile work, custom paint, revealed hardwoods...funny how people will believe TPTB when we are told the economy is better/stronger/healthy, contrary to the facts in our immediate presence. Most people don't think, they just respond to authority.

In fact, I ran into some old friends at the bar the other day, who were keen to tell me what a piece of shit, dumbass, idiot, pathetic loser, milker, waste of a life, failure at everything I've ever done, how could I be so fucking stupid to think anyone would buy my house with all those weeds everywhere, etc, resources are abundant, bankers make the world go 'round, God is on their side. Another guy I am more fond of hanging around with, at that same bar told me, when he was driving by my house recently with his landscaping boss, he pointed out my house and said, "hey, I met that guy," and his boss exploded, raging that he had "called the city 3 times on that fucking mess of a house.

So now I'm like, why am I not ratcheting this up a few notches, now that I might have the income to do it? Why shouldn't I build that recycled glass attached greenhouse? Rocket stoves to reduce the natural gas burn, so on and so forth? What was that I was saying, about taking this house off the grid, all those years ago when I started this blog?

Then again, there is an offer on the house. A third of what we bought it for in 2006. $30,000 less than we owe on it. We made a counter offer. No word yet. I am ambivalent about it. As ideal as this new job is, as beautiful as so much of the staff I work with is, as much as I like many of the clients, as much land as there is for me to permaculture, driving 75-125 miles a day through the suburbs doesn't feel like a step in the right direction, and it hasn't been very good for my mental or physical health either. In fact, it feels like a regression in some ways, like I felt in 2006 when I was contract remodelling during the housing bubble. All those names those old friends called me the other night, were names I called myself back then, which I've been doing again, frustrated with traffic, with petty mistakes I make, contemplating a society I can't fix. It is exhausting, and mean. It would be easier if I could just puff as I please, bop around in my van all day singing and grooving. You know, attitude adjustment, like the other day when I went to do some plumbing in one of the houses, but realized, what should take ten minutes will take 3 hrs because the "official" plumber thought he was clever, but only fucked it up and made more work for me; and then I was at the plumbing supply store and I saw that huge mountain of garbage on the bank of the Minnesota river, and then I got to thinking about the nuclear facilities on either side of the Metro, and then I got to thinking about all the florescent lights which there is no real protocol to dispose of and they all have mercury in them and 97%+ of them end up in places like that mt of garbage, and the goddamn companies who manufacture them have no responsibility whatever for the...spiralling...deeper...deeper...blinding...see, if I could just have puffed and turned on the music, but we all know what a hideous, awful, evil thing that is, (ever repeateth the fascist.) Never mind, half of the people driving in those suburbs and on those freeways, are on some kind of fukitol pharmaceutical peddled by rapacious, predatory capitalists, to obliterate their moods, which is fine apparently. Good for the economy. They won't ever have to think about... See, there I go again. Can't do anything about that, so I take it out on me

Sorry to be such a downer. Just being honest about where I'm @. It's the late fall going into winter. My pond was partially frozen over the other day. I cope as I can by doing.


Some time ago I mentioned writing a Prospectus for Sustaining Universal Needs (SUN) non-profit. The SUN website is up and running, not yet grand opened, as we are building content, but in progress. The Prospectus should be available to read sometime next week.