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The Crock of Shit that is America

Believe.

By 

Let me preface this by saying that I’m a fairly affable and easy going guy.  I’m a loving father and husband with a happy wife and a happy kid.  I believe in focusing on the positive and do my best to not latch onto the negative – though I sometimes fail.

Those who have been reading my writing for a long time, probably understand a few other things. I have a superiority complex that may not be justified. I’m a downwardly mobile white guy in his early 40’s that no one wants to hire. I’m a pissed off former Marine who can’t believe his country has gone to the shitter the way it has. I’m a racible shit stirrer who can’t keep his mouth shut when he sees something that is fucked up.

I’m not autistic, I don’t have asperbergers, I don’t suffer from paranoia or delusions (except perhaps of grandeur). I’m a decent writer and a damn fine thinker but friends tell me that while I’m one of the smartest people they know, I have some issues like not being able to put my nose to the grindstone and grit my teeth while I do some bullshit job that makes more money for a boss than it pays for my labor.

I’m bossy and impatient with incompetence, I don’t stand idly by while stupidity reigns and I’m far too outspoken for my own good. I call bullshit when I see bullshit and it might be the main thing that makes me unhireable by all the companies I thought would offer me jobs in silicon valley – or maybe it’s something else. Maybe I don’t market myself well, maybe I’m not a good enough liar and bullshit artist, maybe I don’t take it up the ass like I’m supposed to when someone offers me a slave wage for all of my time.

In any event, America is a crock of shit and while I still love the land and many of the people – I can’t really stand what I see before my eyes. I see a country divided equally between ignorant redneck racists and utopia wielding narcissists who don’t have a clue what it means to actually live. Over both camps reside a plutocracy of merciless blood suckers that use the media, internet, and free time of everybody alive to push their profit making self-serving agendas. Business is king in America and business is anything but good – in fact, it would be closer to say that American business is the most vile form of evil to ever raise its head on Mother Earth.

Nationalist agendas are a farce that shield the all seeing hand of the corporate agendas. The corporations don’t have any desire to see you succeed – it’s not possible, they are not people, they are super-entities that don’t die and serve one purpose – to make money from your sweat. If you are worth more, they give you more, but you never get what you are really worth. Me? I’m worth nothing in America. Worthless.

While the US population watches fake reality television programs and listens to talking heads go on about the price of gold and the price of commodities and the price of whomever the real deciders put on the figurehead seat of the Presidency in 2016, the ability to work independently, live independently, or think independently is being eroded away by the powers that be. Your house and car are getting smart which means that they are telling someone else about your activities. Your phone and tablet and laptops already tell what you don’t blab about on social media and blogging.

The internet? I hate the fucking internet and social media. I’m trapped into using it because it’s the only way I’ve found to support my family since no one will hire me for a real job or if they do I end up realizing they are a churn and burn business that doesn’t care if I live or die, make my rent, have food for my kid, or anything else.

Speaking of kids – they’ve been zombified. The zombie apocalypse is on us and it’s our youth. I spent five years trying to bring my family back to the USA so we could have better health care, better education, and a better life and getting back here I found that music and arts programs no longer have funding in the schools, health insurance is mandatory and so out of our budget that we can’t afford to go to a doctor even if we have the insurance, and that the price of a cup of coffee is roughly what an ounce of silver cost a decade ago. I see five year olds playing with tablets and seven year olds ignoring each other as they look at their phones. I see movie theatres closing and laying off all the 17 year old kids that worked there and being replaced by Redbox robots that don’t hire anyone – so long video stores and clerks.

I see people competing on social media to get the most attention and nobody really has the ability to pay attention to anything at all.  I finally have a month where I earn two months rent and guess what – one month of it has to go to pay health insurance and the other month of it has to go to pay for my long held student loans because let’s face it – a job in Anthropology? Yeah, right. Only if I want to go back to school, get a Masters and then use that to teach others about Anthropology so they have to get a Masters so they can teach others about Anthropology so…so…so.

I’m here, we’re here, and we’re fucking stuck. So don’t tell me that love it or leave it bullshit. I’m trying. I want to get us out of here before the shit hits the fan. I want to get us out of here before the corporate powers that be come after me for non-payment of my student loans, not making my family health insurance premiums, and not paying enough taxes. I want to get out of here before we get sick and have to go to the welfare hospital and before the school system finds out my daughter is African-American. I want to get out of here before the cheap empty-carb diet filled with GMO vegetables that look pretty but carry no nutrition takes a further toll on our health. I want to get out of here before the racists or the utopians take complete control and before the corporations dissolve our ability to go where we want.

America is a crock of shit. Don’t come here. Get out while you can. Pray for something to change. Shut off your devices, hug your children, and pray for rain.

 

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Ramblin’ Man: Trash

Trash
by 

One of the biggest problems our society faces is the amount of waste we produce. Our dumpsters, our landfills, and our landscapes are overflowing with waste. What is waste?
Websters defines waste as (1) Using, consuming, or expending thoughtlessly (2) to lose or cause to lose energy, strength or vigor and (3) to fail to take advantage of; lose: waste an opportunity.

I’d like to offer another definitionto add to this list. Waste is an unused resource. I’ll repeat that, because I think it’s important: Waste is an unused resource.
Our society is overflowing with waste- resources we are not using. From paper cups to food waste to no longer wanted, though once favorite toys to senior citizens who are pigeon holed into “ human landfills” depriving us of their life experience and wisdom. Why do we do it? Why is our society like this?

Let me explain. After World War II, we entered a period when the industrial base which had been built to supply a world war was turned to civilian use. After years of rationing and scarceness, suddenly there was more than one society could use. A new ethic was born, a new society was born. “ The Throwaway Society”. You’ve heard that term before, right?

The throwaway society was able to provide maximum employment and offer huge amounts of goods and services to the public at prices they could afford. Suddenly, Americans had more available to them through production and gainful employment. The key though, was to keep people spending their paychecks by providing incentives to buy “new, bigger, better” products. By building in obsoleteness, we could keep the factories in full production creating a disgusting symbiosis….people had more income to spend, and it was necessary to encourage them to spend it to keep the assembly lines rolling.
Sounds pretty good, right? Not know, but at the time it did. It wasn’t an easy thing to do though. As Americans, we’re descended from imminently practical ancestors. Ask your grandparents…it may be hard to believe now, but prior to about 1950, there were three values most Americans shared…Frugality, Economy, and Neighborly Cooperation. These weren’t just arbitrary values. Survival depended on it.

Frugality, which we look at as a bad thing,”being cheap”. In fact, frugality is defined as practicing or marked by economy…What does that mean? Well, it means making the best possible buying decision, weighing the power of your buying dollar and getting the most for it. Makes sense, right?

Ecoonomy refers to running your household efficiently, using that frugality to make your dollar go even further sot that you can buy more seed, a new plow, or maybe even splurge and get one of them newfangled telephones to communicat with your neighbors and loved ones.

Neighborly cooperation meant knowing your neighbors and being willing to help them with your skills or work- What you got in return was the help of your neighbors with their skills of work. Imagine a barn raising, where all the men in a neighborhood come together to create something. And instead of pigeonholing the women, children, and elderly at home- utilizing their skills to benefit everyone. The men, and the women who choose to, work on the structure, the other women prepare a midday meal for the workers, and meanwhile, the elderly and children spend quality time together removing plants from where the structure will go, or just learning from each other. Youth and experience, who says they don’t go together.

You see, our ancestors needed these values of economy, frugality, and neighborly cooperation….and so do we. Without them, there was and is no hope of building homes where families can grow up and prosper.

So, back to the 1950s. In order to get people to support this new “ throwaway society”, the simple values needed to be replaced with a new ethic. That ethic was a different sort of economy…the government realized that in order to make it successful, the capital had to be in a constant flow, from employers to employeees, from employees back to the employers. By building in the concept of consumer debt, they ensured that people would need to keep working in order to satisfy the need to “ keep up with the Joneses”. In short, it worked, in a very short period of time economy, frugality, and neighborly cooperation had gone out the window.

The self made man replaced the community leader as role model and the new model replaced the trusted old car. The new products rolled off the shelves nearly as quick as they were produced and dreams of utopia inspired newer, bigger, and better replacements even quicker. Which brings us to today.

We’re starting to see the drawbacks of this “throwaway society”. Consumer debt is at an all time high. Instead of working less, we’re working more. Do you realize a family with one income used to typically be able to buy a home, raise multiple children, and still have time to enjoy the home and kids? Now it’s all we can do to have two incomes support a rental home with one child– and forget about time to enjoy either.

The key to this problem lies in our perception of waste and the three values I’ve been telling you about.

For example: a few years ago, I started paying attention to the amount of “waste” I produced… amazingly, I was producing more than 15 pounds a week! Me, a single guy! What did I do? I started by recycling. Jars, pizza cartons, packaging, bottles, scrap paper. Next, I started to compost. My food scraps now create healthy soil for my garden. I was still producing to much waste. So I started to pay attention to packaging, refusing to buy overpackaged products. I was still producing several pounds of waste every week- so I started thinking of ways I could use waht was still going into my garbage…instead of tossing it. As an example, I’ve found over 70 uses for plastic grocery bags! Isn’t that amazing?

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Ramblin’ Man: Fun With Spammers #2

rambling man columnFun With Spammers #2 
by 

I’ve been answering Fuck Yes! to a variety of employment offers and many other things that have ended up in my mailbox. Since there are so many, I will post them when and if I get a reply. I have also just heard from the original spammer I said Fuck Yes to.

—– Original Message —-
From: tae tim <tim.k750i@yahoo.com>
Subject: Towards Purchasing Your Item…

Thank you so much for your understanding,explaination and honesty, and i will like to let you know that you do not need to worry about shipping of the item because i have on behalf of my client contacted a shipping company that will be coming for the pickup of the item .

This means the payment of the Check that will be issue and send to you will include the (shipper’s charges and my commission as an agent). My client has said he will not be able to raise another Check for my commission and the shippers charges, that is why he will be including both my commission as an agent and the shippers charges all you need to do as soon as you get the Check is to cash the money Check and decuct the price for the sales of your item and the left over will be wire transfer via Western Union Money transfer to the (shipping company ) for the home pick up from your house to my client if you are ok with this,kindly send me the below information of yours to mail out the money order asap
NAME
ADDRESS
CITY
STATE
ZIP CODE
COUNTRY
TEL #
FINAL ASKING PRICE
With the above information my client will be able to issue out the Check and send it to your address once you provide your address in your next mail
SO I WILL BE AWAITING YOUR INFORMATION TO MAIL OUT THE Check ASAP
Regards

This is the reply that I have just sent back.

Inddeeedilydo yes thins I has been waiting for so I repeat and re-empahsize FUCK YES! again for you and your godlike client which seems to be exactlsy the person that I have committed to and predicted with great understanding and curious anger. Please send the too big check as soon as you can and I will photocopy and post it on my blog because spam and money laundering and overpaid pricing of things so that advantage can be taken is some sort of sport. . Please many readers have I who are waiting for this check and all thejoy it can bring. My item is $16,000 dollars in U.S. Dollars. This is a wonderful and very magic item. It might put you in incarcerated position. My address verily

***

Now we will wait for the fake money order to arrive.

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Ramblin’ Man: Fun with Spammers #1

rambling man columnFun With Spammers #2 
by 

As you guys might know, I sell used books. I place a lot of ads on craigslist to find buyers…and it never fails that nearly every day (sometimes multiple times in a day), I get badly written offers from far off places offering to buy my ‘item’ with a bogus money order or check that is for too much money so can I please send the check back? I’m tired of saying no. I’m going to start saying yes. Fuck yes! Here is the first of many offers I am going to reply Fuck Yes to. Incidentally, you should probably read Fuck, Yes!: A Guide to the Happy Acceptance of Everything since it will make your life infinitely better.

—– Original Message —-
From: tae tim <tim.k750i@yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday,

Subject: ABOUT YOUR BOOKS.

Hello ,
Am Mrs Tim,, a dealer from China, and my agent in Cotonou just informed me of the urgent need of this item, After several consideration over the advert placed on the website and i will like to know:

1. Do you accept Money Order/Cashier’s Check as a mode of payment?
2. What condition is the item right now?
3. What is the final asking price?

If you will accept this as your mode of payment for this item just get back to me now..and i will like to inform you that our private shipping company will be coming for the pick up of the item, So you don’t need to bother yourself about the shipping.

Thanks

Here is my first Fuck Yes reply:

Fuck Yes! this is good. send the money order. I will make change when you make it too large. This will be a very fun transaction. Your agent books can ick me up and make good time for everyone. bogus informative makes happy children and you and I will be springtime for Hitler in Germany. Thank you so myuch very and XiaXia to you and your happyu client. Mt address is verily:

***

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Ramblin Man: Possibly the best spam I’ve ever recieved….

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The Best Spam Ever
by 

Usually I have something to say, but this spammy email pretty much says everything for me.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All things come to he who waits. Try not to become a man of success but a man of value. The truth shall set you free, or The truth will set you free. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
You can’t free a fish from water. Purely bluster and no substance. Fation is a form of Ugliness, so in-tolerable that we have to alter it every six months. Honey catches more flies than vinegar. This may be attributed to Niccolo Machiavelli. From William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, act II, scene 7, by William Shakespeare

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Home is where the heart is. Honey catches more flies than vinegar. If wishes were horses Migs would fly. ‘Well done’ is better than ‘Well said’

Kill two birds with one stone. Nothing succeeds like success. Those who lost dreaming are lost. There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip. Christian New Testament Christian New Testament
Jack is as good as his master. If you were born to be shot, you’ll never be hung. A cobbler formed the shape of shoes on a wooden foot shaped last. If it lasted long he was happy Possible Interpretation: All style and no substance. My Son is my Son ’til he takes him a Wife, my Daughter’s my Daughter all her life. Simple things amuse simple minds Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Don’t take life too seriously; you’ll never get out of it alive As California goes, so goes the nation.

That I have no time for After a storm comes a calm. As California goes, so goes the nation. Beware Greeks bearing gifts
Variant: When the gods want to punish us they answer our prayers. –Oscar Wilde Don’t cross a bridge until you come to it. Possible interpretation: Everyone’s tastes are different. This is often misstated as the proof is in the pudding. When in Rome do as the Romans do. (or more, commonly, just When in Rome…) Alternate: If at first you don’t succeed, perhaps skydiving is not for you. Possible Interpretation: fancy way of saying that we should play as a team and not as individual players.

Same shit, different day. abbreviated SSDD In the Bible, John 8:32. What goes around comes around. Alternate: If something is worth doing, someone will have already done it. Great oaks from little acorns grow. You can’t grease a pig so many times that he can’t be greased one more time.

Interpretation: A flawed article will require a lot of effort to work with Not worth ! you wont get. Make yourself worthy. (Manu MR) Don’t remove winter vests (undergarments) until summer arrives. The head and feet keep warm, the rest will take no harm. Variant: Ornithological specimen of corresponding plumage congregate gregariously

Glazing like a Stat. – [Cornish] Glazing == Staring, Stat == Stoat, so you would be ‘Staring like a Stoat’. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Theakston me, but Theakston my brother and you’ll have God to answer to Alternate: If at first you don’t succeed, give up; it probobly isn’t worth doing There’s no place like home.Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. From the Robert Frost poem ‘Mending Wall’. Never, Never… allow anyone to persuade you to suspend your common sense. You can’t judge a book by its cover. Many a mickle makes a muckle Meaning: Admit it when there is some good in an adversary. Rule #1: Mom is always right. Rule #2: If Mom is wrong, refer to rule #1. Whiskey on beer, never fear. Beer on whiskey, mighty risky.

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Ramblin’ Man: 9/11 – The Day the Terrorists Won

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9-11 – The Day the Terrorists Won
by 

You might think you know what I’m about to write, but chances are that you are wrong. The terrorists didn’t win because they killed thousands of innocent people, they didn’t win because Bin Laden got away, and they didn’t win because we are mired down in wars that we never should have been in. These are all factors but they don’t constitute the victory.

The victory came when the American people reacted like predictable assholes and demanded revenge. The victory came when Americans took the goodwill of other nations and turned it to bitterness and disdain. The victory came when the United States decided to abandon the concept of justified war in favor of preemptive war. The victory came when America chose a course that would cause untold death, destroy lives, and give legitimacy to a handful of extremist murderers.

On the day after 9/11, I saw my countrymen turn from shock to rage. I saw ignorance and hatred and xenophobia raise their heads. I watched violence wash over the soul of my country. I stenciled my bed sheets with the message…”No retaliation. Enough have died. Feed them into submission. Drop bread not bombs” or something similar and hung them beside busy roadways in normally peaceful and left leaning Portland, Oregon. Then I watched and cried as motorists pulled over and ripped my sheets to shreds. The news was filled with threats to Muslims all over the country. I saw a woman freak out when she found some Thai Baht in a phonebooth. She called 911 and said she had found some terrorist money!

I saw mainland America awash in American flags that more than anything represented a collective desire for revenge and genocide. I knew what would happen. I knew we would invade Afghanastan and Iraq. I knew we would kill countless thousands of innocent people way out of proportion to those we had lost. I knew we had lost.

America is dying and the death began on 9/11. It was the day the terrorists proved that America was made up of petty people and that her ideals were only so much rhetoric. The 9/11 attacks were disgusting and horrid, but not as disgusting and horrid as the reaction of what was once called ‘the greatest country.’

 

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Ramblin’ Man: The Questions You Ask

The Questions You Ask
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rambling man columnHave you ever known someone who asks everyone they meet the same question? For example, if my friend Jason comes to your house for the first time, within seconds of coming inside he’ll ask you where the bathroom is. Then he’ll sit down and do whatever everyone else is doing without going to the bathroom. If you ask him why he asked, he’ll respond, “I just like to know, just in case.” Seems wise, if strange.

A certain guy I know has been known to ask people if they’re a virgin or when they lost their virginity. He seems to be unaware of the fact that his question makes a lot of people uncomfortable, or at least he pretends to be unaware of it. To his credit, his other question is less intrusive: “What are the three things most important to you?”

One of my best friends asks people, “Can you tell me something good?” Usually people aren’t sure what to say, though with some prodding, they can usually come up with something. I like this question because it forces people to acknowledge the positive things around them. I’ve heard answers like, “My mother just recovered from back surgery” and even “Puppies.” Good stuff.

Another guy I know likes to ask everyone he meets, “If you could do anything in this life, what would you do?” It’s interesting to hear the answers that people give. Some people focus on the immediate and give answers like, “I want to go to Paraguay” or “I want to go skydiving.” Fair enough, though the deeper answers always seem to be a little more interesting, though harder to achieve, such as, “I want to make the world a better place.” Some people are even more specific: “I want to meet the woman of my dreams, have three children, and become a doctor specializing in hemorrhagic fever.”

I have a question like that, though I don’t ask it to everyone I meet. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to hear all the answers people would give, but sometimes it’s just not the right situation to ask such questions. My question is a trick question. I like to ask people without any sort of context, “What do you want?” I get answers that range from defensive to whimsical. From “I don’t want anything” to “I want to be free.” I like to leave the question open for the person hearing it to interpret without specifying whether I mean right now or next week or even in the next life. The best answer I’ve gotten to this question came from a Buddhist monk I met outside of a sacred cave in Laos. He said, “I want what I have.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if that was all we wanted? I’m certainly not so enlightened as he is. My answer depends on my mood, where, when and in what context I ask myself. That’s why it’s a trick question. Maybe instead, I should start asking people if they still masturbate.

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Ramblin’ Man: Throw Away Society

THE THROWAWAY SOCIETY
by 

rambling man columnOur society faces some problems! One of the biggest is the amount of waste we produce. Our landscape is overflowing with “waste”. What is waste ? Websters defines waste as (1) using, consuming, or expending thoughtlessly or (2) causing to lose energy, strength or vigor.

I’d like to offer one more definition– waste is an unused resource.
The waste which fills our dumpsters and our lives is actually quite valuable. I know a man who collected peoples “trash” from alleyways in Los Angeles for five years, storing it in a building which was slated for destruction. When LA finally decided to tear down the building he sold all of his “waste” for over a million dollars! Another friend rescued two hydraulic tools from a dumpster and sold them for nearly $72,000 dollars!

On a much smaller scale, I personally have pulled blown amps and old computers from dumpsters and sold them for $100 or more.
The point is, there is enough “waste” in the dumpsters of America to feed, clothe, house, and educate everyone. Why does it happen?
After W.W.II, our wartime factories converted to civilian production, suddenly there was more than we could use. A new society was born. “The throwaway society.” The throwaway society provided maximum employment and plenty of goods and services. Americans had more available through gainful employment and massive production. The key was keeping people spending by creating incentives to buy “new, bigger, better” products instead of keeping trusted ones. We introduced the concept of planned obsolescence.

Some of the drawbacks of “the throwaway society” ? Consumer debt is at an all time high and instead of working less, we’re working more. A family with one income used to be able to own a home, raise children, and enjoy some time at home. Now, it is all we can do to have two incomes pay for a rental home, raise one child, and keep food on the table. Another drawback is obvious, the environment. Look around, anywhere…..

Here’s the key, think about the value of what you’re throwing away….is it trash or is it an unused resource….you wouldn’t throw away cash, would you?

 

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Ramblin’ Man: Friends of the Trees

Michael Pilarski and Friends of the Trees
by 

rambling man columnMichael Pilarski is taking action to save the worlds forests.Inspired by Richard St. Brubaker, who promoted tree planting internationally; Pilarski helped found Friends of the Trees Society (FOTS) in 1978.

FOTS mission is to double the worlds forests, inspire, enable, educate, and assist people to live in harmony with forests and trees, and publish positive visions of a sustainable world with strategies to get there.

Rather than just sound the alarm about threats to the environment, FOTS emphasizes immediate action..

“We are a part of the pro-active wing, we have solutions,” Pilarski said.

FOTS operates at local, regional, national, and international levels. They have distributed over 170,000 seedlings, thousands of seed packets, and sponsored events which have brought information to thousands of people. Currently they have over 10,000 people on their mailing list. FOTS and Pilarski have played a huge part in forming the Bellingham Permaculture Club which combines practices of urban and rural sustainability and meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

The overall system of agriculture and living which has a minimum negative effect on the planet. FOTS has also created The Travelers Repair Network (TERN) which links travelers with individuals and organizations in other countries around the world who are involved in sustainability.

Is Pilarski satisfied with FOTS progress so far?

“Heavens no, the world is heading hell bent for disaster, but the good news is – more people are aware we’re heading there.”
Pilarski offers some everyday steps people can follow to help save the planet: plant trees , look for ways to reduce consumption of the earth’s resources, and support the restoration of nature.

” At Friends of the Trees, we believe in multiple functions for single elements, in other words, one person can do more than one thing at a time.”

“Friends of the Trees is not a radical group,” Pilarski said , “We’re not into extreme action, we’re into promoting non-violence and less consumption.”

In addition to founding FOTS , Pilarski has edited Restoration Forestry: an International Guide to Sustainable Forestry Practices and compiled The Third World Resource Guide with Michael G. Smith. Currently FOTS is sponsoring workshops on gathering local herbs and edible wild plants without damaging the environment on the eastern and western slopes of the North Cascades as well as the Puget Sound lowlands.

On August 16 and 17, FOTS, The Herbalist (Seattle) and Wonderland Tea and Spices (Bellingham) sponsored The Northwest Herbal Fair at the River Farm near Bellingham. This event’s focus was showing people how to use local herbs in their lives. For more information on Friends of the Trees, Permaculture, or current events in sustainability contact Friends of the Trees Society at (360)738-4972.

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Ramblin’ Man: Reader Rants Revealed!

Reader Rants Revealed
by 

rambling man columnI realize some of these reader rants will be a little dated, that is because my deadline creates nearly two weeks of delay between writing and press time. It is beyond my control.

Additionally, I reserve the right to edit mail to its minimum size while still preserving the spirit in which it is sent, in order to maximize space. Keep em coming!

B’ham Man, How did the boys who lit Whatcom Creek become heroes????? Mayor Mark Asmundson tried to put a positive spin on the boys’ contribution. He was motivated, I am sure, by consideration for the boys’ families. The media motivated by the thrill of a good spin, jumped on the bandwagon giving these children the ludicrous oxymoron tag of “Accidntal Heroes”. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Heroes are people who make a conscious choice to put themselves at risk for the good of someone else. To apply this term to boys playing with a lighter, demeans the word “hero”. It could have been an even bigger disaster, but that does not make the boys heroes, accidental or otherwise. I don’t agree as the mayor said to justify his position, that it was inevitable that it would be ignited. We will never know what else could have happened. Life is funny that way. A friend of mine was given a card once after getting out of a particularly bad relationship. It read “ If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” On behalf of parents everywhere trying to teach their children not to play with matches and lighters, please don’t make heroes of the boys who did. They will serve us all better as a horrible warning. Also I can’t believe people are so upset there is a pipe line in our community. Yes, be upset that it was not maintained, inspected and evaluated properly. You don’t have explosions in Everson, Anacortes, and Whatcom Creek all in the same 2 year period if any of the people working for Olympic or charged in its regulatory oversight did their job well. By all means be pissed at them. We are gas dependent. Like it or not, when we have a place to go we most often put gas in our cars to get there. It would be lovely if we didn’t but we do. Olympic needs to be held responsible and pay for everything that can possibly be done to restore the environment and compensate the families destroyed by their negligence. The farther away we remove the pipeline, the more expensive our gas will be. Would the same people so indignant that there is a pipeline in their community be happier if it doubles the price of gas to bring it in in some safe way? —J.L. Goolsby

J.L.,

You’re absolutely right. Why do we allow the media to direct our emotions and feelings? I think Mayor Asmundson was practicing the Bing Crosby Method of Accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, Latch on to the affirmative, and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between. The boys were not heroes, but how does a community cope with such a unnecessary loss? Personally, I’d prefer to see righteous outrage than sheeplike acquisence and apathy. We are gas dependent. The reason that pipeline is there is because we use gas, jet fuel, and oil products. It would be nice, if people used this as an incentive to decrease dependence on fossil fuels. My personal opinion is that the price of petroleum products should be tripled or quadrupled to reflect the environmental and personal damage which our dependence has caused. Thanks for the rants. –Bham Man

Let me know what you hate, what you see in our society that has you worried, and what’s on your mind. Until next time remember….WHAT ISN’T WORTH SAYING OR DOING ISN’T WORTH THINKING ABOUT.