Sunday, March 16, 2014

Monarch Butterfly

One day when I was about eight years old, my father, standing in the front door, said to me, "Son, come take a look at this." I stepped out onto the sidewalk, looked up, and saw that our basswood tree (which was really five genetically identical, mature basswoods, from one original,) had turned orange. It took me a moment to understand what I was looking at. There were 30,000 monarch butterfly, resting on that tree, fluttering their wings; as a chorus.

As marvellous as that was, I think I thought, that is what happens to people: tens of thousands of monarch butterflies stop and rest on a tree in their yard. I looked for them every year after that, but they never came back. Not like that.

As an adult, I have planted butterfly-friendly flowers wherever I could. My garden has 200 species of plants, many of which are butterfly friendly, especially liatris, blazingstar. Three summers ago, one of my liatris had peaked, standing almost six feet tall, six stems fully flowered; from sunrise until sunset, 40 monarch butterfly feasting, at any given time, for most of the month of August. (People stopped by to film it, I heard; I wish I had; no money no camera.)

I have scattered common milkweed seed in this garden, by the bedroom, because it smells great; which common milkweed, monarch butterfly lay their eggs on, the leaves of which are the only thing the caterpillar will eat (common milkweed makes the monarch caterpillar and butterfly toxic to predators.)


For some reason, swamp milkweed thrives in my garden, which is attractive to the mature monarch butterfly, but not so much to the larvae; the common milkweed didn't take, at least not where I scattered it. It popped up in a place I didn't scatter the seed; unfortunately, where it doesn't get enough sun to bloom, shaded as it is by the neighbor's looming, aged silver maple dooming my house, and the elderberry in the corner, by the garage and the fence (keeping watch).

Last summer, 2013, I saw a monarch butterfly most days, into September. Usually only one at a time though. I rejoiced the few days I saw two at a time. One time, two summers ago, I saw a pair mating, which they did while the female was flying, the male hanging upside down, under her, like a rudder (of a ship on the sea.) They fluttered back and fourth through the garden at least six times (nowhere else in the neighborhood so friendly.) Last year, their numbers were down Continent-wide, throughout the season. This winter, 33 million over-wintered in their forest resting places, in central Mexico. Historically, there are more than a billion.

homero aridjis

I only saw as many as I did in 2013, as my garden is surrounded almost entirely by wasteland, which makes my garden an oasis. Yes, I am in the midst of a 3-million person metro; from a butterfly perspective, it is a wasteland.

Not as much the wasteland America's "breadbasket" has become. Wherever corn is grown, and corn is grown intensively from central Mexico to South-central Canada, is hostile territory to monarch butterfly. That's a long way to have to travel, everywhere toxic pesticides/herbicides, roads like an automated river of air full of deadly projectiles, nothing to eat. Add to that, last year, severe drought in Texas and Oklahoma, northern Mexico. (Severe drought this year in California.)

Monarch, leaving their heavily logged over-wintering rest, in the mountains of central Mexico, are not the monarch that return to Mexico. It's the fourth generation that returns to Mexico; the first breeds in northern Mexico, Texas lower breadbasket, bayou, dies; second generation flies to the upper Midwest, central valleys, rust belt, Atlantic coast, breeds, dies; third generation hangs around, as far as southern Canada, heads south, breeds again wherever they are, die; fourth generation catches the high winds and heads for central Mexico (aggressively-logged) highlands.

If any of these stages are interrupted, their numbers drop. Which hasn't been too much of a problem, the last 10,000 years at least (since the end of the last ice age); until humans got it into their heads that it doesn't matter what we do to the earth, 7+ billion of us now, 320 million here in America in the most turbo-charged of all nation states...

Drought in northern Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma has alleviated, somewhat. The central breadbasket is worse every year, for toxicity and loss of butterfly/wild habitat; they are forced to follow rivers, from city to city, where they can still find a few edible flowers. There has been some planting along roads, but then, they get hit by vehicles. Most people plant flowers that are great for GDP, super showy, for ego - of little use to butterflies. And city people esp in the suburbs, love their pesticides. Add in vehicle exhaust, coal burning; they have to breathe the same air we do. If you know health care is 20% of GDP, you might imagine monarch butterfly are a bit more sensitive.

Then of course you have international finance in control of most of the breadbasket/growing places; all that free QE money (same way they are trying to take the Ukrainian breadbasket; that and debt; you control the food, you control the people.) George W. Bush returned millions of acres of fallow, semi-wild CRP land (Conservation Reserve Program), to big ag, GMO corn, and broad spectrum poisons, esp Monsanto Roundup glyphosate. Obama acts more like a monarch than a butterfly. EPA?; see aforementioned International finance, bank, corporation, Monsanto etc.

In other words, the monarch butterfly is on the verge of extinction.

More horrific than that - the monarch butterfly going extinct - who cares (if the 23 people making 35 comments to this article is any indication?) Stupid bugs. Congratulations Science, Church, Commerce, you have successfully separated people, psychologically, from the natural systems all life depends upon.

Monarch butterfly extinction, would break a lot of hearts. Including mine. And, canary-in-the-coal-mine extraordinaire, THE bellweather: it would be clear at that point, esp if people are mostly indifferent, this megalith we call civilization, will collapse before it will question BAU, Leviathan, Great Beast, even unto all species extinction, even unto our own...(as if Fukushima isn't canary enough.)

I hope that doesn't happen, either the extinction of the monarch butterfly, or the extinction of people. So, in good faith, plant flowers that monarch butterfly need, if you are in their path; any flowers with nectar; there are all kinds of butterflies, moths, bugs that need flowers, people too; the best way to fight bad bugs is with good bugs, lots of flowers/habitat. LOL. Plant flowers wherever you can, anybody. If the monarch butterfly survives, it won't be because of big banks, big corporations, or big government. It will be people, casting seed, tending flowers, even housing the caterpillar or the chrysalis, to keep it safe.

Which is where I have failed the monarch butterfly, insofar as I didn't save any milkweed seed last fall, when I could have. Floating about, with it's parachute-like filigree, in the fall (I know two places close by.) Hard to find in the spring, the seeds scattered.


I'm planting several gardens this spring. Here, @ Off The Grid in Minneapolis; the second, surrounded by corn; the third, urban like this, but wilder and younger. Fruit trees and big gardens, grape vines, berry canes; even citrus.

If you have any common milkweed seed, let me know. (Maybe besides good monarch butterfly habitat we need to create good people habitat too...) 



Friday, March 7, 2014

Feedback for Obama

I got an email from the White House. They wanted some feedback. For the record:

The White House
We're looking for your feedback
As a subscriber of White House email updates, you get messages from us from time to time to keep you in the loop on the President's priorities and what's going on at the White House and around the administration.
Today, we want to hear from you.

What's the most important policy area to you?

Energy & Environment:

There is no serious, nor honest conversation going on about either energy or the health of the earth in America, in the mainstream. Cornucopian abundance is the only topic that can be discussed. Fracking exempt from the Clean Water Act? Fracking as a new energy revolution? LOL. Fukushima? Anyone? Anyone? Aging nuclear all over America. Systemic pollution? Loss of habitat? Extinction of the monarch butterfly? The only thing that matters to this administration and most of the American people, is economic growth. To hell with the health of the earth. Burn up it's resources as fast as possible, to maintain growth. Growth, growth growth. Like it's the ONLY thing that matters. Well, guess what, there aren't resources enough to keep this leviathan going. But, ever the word in the media, and from the Administration - American Energy Independence, the economy is improving!

Second most Important:

National Security:

The Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific trade pacts being negotiated in secret, are treason. Patriot Act, NDAA indefinite attention, the killing of Americans, suspension of Habeas Corpus? Drones soon to fill the American skies? NSA into EVERYTHING. Sixteen, Sixteen "Intelligence" agencies! A Constitutional Lawyer President has overseen the construction of a total surveillance state. All that is required now, for totalitarian takeover of America, is a crisis. Congratulations. But then, most of consumer America seems content with it - except for all those guns the people have been buying. (I don't own one, so don't send the swat team in, please; just sayin'.) BTW, all those 40cal hollow points you Feds have been buying, all those executive orders to streamline the plans for martial law, I know you know a crisis is coming. Lame duck prez, it's well past time to be honest with the American people. Your legacy is in the balance; it doesn't look good for you at this point, all those banks bigger than they were, that asset bubble they've been building in the stock market, car loans, the rental housing market, that military/police state that is now such an integral part of the recommendation is, nullify the Federal Reserve and start a new currency. But that is never going to happen, is it? Well, best of luck. Starting a war with Russia, over those neo-nazi's in the Ukraine, and the desires of the IMF and International financiers, by proxy to get into Syria and Iran. Best of luck, seriously. You are going to need it. That, or better yet, divine intervention. :) 

What would you like to see more of in White House email communications?

What would you like to see less of in White House email communications?

What would you like to see more of on the White House website?
News about steering Law enforcement away from petty non-violent offenders particularly about cannabis, toward the masterminds of this economy, gov, total surveillance military industrial complex. The Decriminalization of cannabis. Degrowth. Decentralization. (Hey, a guy can dream ;)

What would you like to see less of on the White House website?
Propaganda, the same tired repetition of stale, ideological issues, divide and conquer.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? :
I already published this on my blog @, and @, where I am an administrator. So if the FBI, or the IRS, or any other of the like show up, it will get around. Best of luck, really, I am on your side. And I don't mean I'm a Democrat, nor a Republican; I'm an American. I love my country. I love the people of my country. Blessings. :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


So I've been thinking about this Ukraine thing...

So here are the rumors: Ukraine is deeply in debt without any domestic energy resources in any volume to accommodate Ukraine consumption. The IMF "offers" a deal, here is cash for a pittance of what you owe, austerity for everybody but the oligarchs and secured bondholders, a free-for-all for Western monied elite in your breadbasket, find your own fuel. Russia sayz, 3x's the debt forgiveness, a third decrease in the price of natural gas. Neo-nazis ever eager to kill, hired to sabotage Russian/Ukraine deal, by EU/America/IMF. Like Al Qaida in Middle Eastern countries.

Mayhem. Petty Yanukovich ousted, free-for-all for monied western elite still possible.

Official story: Putin is anti-gay, anti-freedom, imperialist bad guy. America is the good guy, supporting the good Ukrainian's pursuit of Democracy.

Pardon me if I find clarity in rumor. It seems to me, Western monied interests are investing, to the bond subservience of my sister's kids, and their kids and beyond.  Everything and everybody on planet earth. Using guys like that and much worse, to keep everyone in line when "necessary"...


I was at one of the houses I help manage, today (after a clothes dryer that started to smoke, in a different house, that I fixed - a bad wheel-guide and belt; holes in the walls at another house, a thermostat cover ripped off.) A door had been ripped off the medicine cabinet. Medicine cabinet is something of a euphemism, for the pharma stock hold, to manage the moods of the clients. Autistic people can be volatile; one of them broke the fake fingernail of one of the staff recently, with his teeth.

I replaced the hinges of the medicine cabinet, and the lock, changing the code to 1776. When I told staff what the new code was, and why, one asked me, are you patriotic? I told him I love my country. I said too, I didn't love what my country had become. I think now as I sit here in my house, high on cannabis and drunk on apple cider from apples I gathered and fermented, I love that I can sit here and type my thoughts for the world to read (erasing half of what I type.) I don't love that the whole of what I say and don't say, is recorded on some database somewhere. 

Fuck it. Three bottle(s) of cider and smoke until...


Pandora keeps cutting me off, because I don't pay.  But never cuts me off fully, just because I don't pay.

I marvel, so much, at the technology. I want to keep all of it. What about this culture we have!? I want to throw my hands up into the air, and believe...

Then the commercial break. Because I don't pay. My reminder. The consumer cost.


There's a limit to what I can consume. Before I don't make sense.