Monday, June 25, 2012

Abuse in fiction

Two free days (June 25-26, 2012) for my eBook Moon Dust, which is, I believe, a strong love story of a broken relationship, but something more -- information about the repercussions on adult males from childhood sexual abuse. I know it's an unpleasant topic but when you write, part of why is to give people a good read but weaving within that some truths about life. This one came to me probably fifteen or more years ago because of some things I had seen in my own community.

Many do not understand the problem when it's boys who have been molested. Some even think-- wow hot teacher, what is to complain? Or so what if it was a coach, the kid got something out of it. We saw some of this argument with the Sandusky accusations and now guilty verdict. The boys didn't run away. They didn't tell. They didn't tell as adults. It was all very suspect to some people.

If people more understood that sexual abuse of a child is a crime of control, of taking away another person's power, they'd understand what it does and why at the time and even later, as an adult, the person can have a hard time getting past what happened. There is a great deal of reticence in even thinking about it themselves, let alone telling someone else. What many don't realize is there are many emotional ramifications of such abuse.

The story Moon Dust is about a marriage breaking up over that kind of secret. It is also about our educational system and all the conflicting demands being put upon it right now. It's about how we make a difference in another person's life-- and when we cannot.

Because it is a deep book as well as a romance, it's not had an easy time finding readers. It would probably do better in a straight literary category as such readers might be more open to such a tough topic. I felt though it also belonged in the story of a romance because in the end romances are always about relationship.

I have written two books that dealt with the adult ramifications of abuse on men. The other, a historical, has not yet been published, and I am still deciding whether I ever want to bring it out as an eBook. In that one it was physical abuse. In both cases the abuser was in the family, and that is the most common source of abuse for boys or girls. Sad isn't it!

So I hope Moon Dust gets some takers with its free days. I hope that some who read it will learn more about the topic of abuse in a positive sense as we are only victims when we can't change something. Knowledge is power. Abuse is widespread in our culture. It doesn't just happen to girls.

Trailer also available at Picasa-- Moon Dust eBook Trailer

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The reverse of serendipity is?

Tragedy struck our mountain valley community on Wednesday. It was an automobile accident that took a nice lady, community involved, mother, grandmother, and ended her life just as she was entering her middle years. In this community, she is not the first to go in a vehicle crash nor will she be the last. Always it's a shock and very upsetting.

This one had added elements to the upset as the woman's 16-year old son was driving when a head on collision took his mother's life. I only know what I read in the newspaper. But because of that and one other reason, I wanted to write about it here.

The youth said he fell asleep (odd given this was 4:09pm), drifted into the opposite lane, then corrected for it. As luck would have it, someone was already in that lane and approaching fast. That driver made a catastrophic error when instead of heading for the ditch, he went into the approaching lane. When the youth corrected his vehicle, it was all she wrote.

Who was at fault? Everybody made a mistake as I see it but that's the whole problem with driving-- easy to make mistakes. When an accident happens, everything moves way fast and what seems logical to do if you have more time to think, it's not what you might do when it suddenly is upon you. It is why I think people need to think about these situations and know what they will do it it suddenly does happen. Be prepared and always steer toward the ditch in that situation unless it would mean going over a cliff or into a river.

Every so often we have seen something like it when we were the ones driving. A driver passes right into us and we slam on the brakes, slow and move onto the shoulder if possible. That driver might then believe they had the room to pass. They didn't. Next time the approaching auto might not be paying attention at that moment. Really with driving, we have to pay attention all the time. It's not a relaxing activity but it is one that demands full awareness or somebody should not drive.

There are a lot of reasons people suddenly swerve-- reaching for their phone, changing CDs, etc. We have discussed what to do when a driver is coming straight to us in our lane, and it's basically go off the road even though it wouldn't have been our fault and we'd be the only ones having an accident. The thing is head on collisions are likely to kill people. Going off the road varies for what the result will be.

Anyway it happened, and it leaves a lot of people feeling sad when sudden death comes seemingly so meaninglessly. Even more so when it's a nice lady, one who has not always had it easy, but anytime I saw her, she was putting on a smile. They've had their tough times as have many out here, but they are the kind who have worked for all they have, with a good reputation for honesty and hard work.  I've never heard anything said against her. Not that it'd be okay if someone was killed that way who was a druggie or prostitute or thief etc. Either way premature sudden death is a tragedy. Having the son driving just adds onto the difficulty the family will face.

The thing is, and this is usually the case, few minutes either way and it'd not have happened. Timing is everything.

For those who want to make good out of everything-- that's not my way. I accept things that I don't like but never try to figure it was for the best or it will have a positive outcome for somebody. I simply accept it as yeah it's what happened but don't give it deeper meaning other than enjoy life while you have it as it can end real fast..

When I hear of something like this, my instinctive thought goes one other place-- where was I, what was I doing when something happened that changed the whole direction of a family's path, that ended the life of someone I knew? Sometimes I wouldn't know, not to the minute, but this time I did.

I had been writing and mostly working on trailers for my eBooks. That meant I had been playing with images. Farm Boss was outside disking a field for planting. When that accident was just happening, I had looked down at the time, realized I had missed the beginning of Chris Matthews and got up to turn on his show.

So when I was doing something totally mundane, someone else was facing a life and death situation, looking up to realize a vehicle was coming straight for them and there was no way to avoid the crash. Someone maybe even knew it was going to be the last moment of their life. Or maybe they didn't and they hoped.

It always goes a step further for me. Someday that person will be me. Hopefully not with an automobile accident, although when you drive these kind of country roads, you know that's not an unlikely end. I've been told and read of way too many of them during the years out here. The thing is, one reason or another, someday I'll be dying and everybody else will be going on as though nothing was wrong-- because in their world nothing is.

It is how life is. Mostly I don't think about it but sometimes something happens and I can't not think about it.

When I decided I wanted a photo here, something more upbeat, I remembered the foxglove were blooming down by the creek. I went down and had that kind of serendipitous happening that is just the opposite of what happened in that accident. I was there at just the right time to watch and photograph a butterfly sipping of the flower's nectar. We call that good timing and good luck. What do we call the other?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wars wars and more wars

Has anyone noticed that since McCain lost the 2008 election, he's been a bitter old man who smiles and uses any possible opportunity to try to convince people what a mistake they made not choosing him and Palin. Figuratively he regularly stabs Obama in the back. Latest example is we should get involved in Syria by sending arms to... well there you go-- which side? Whoever is fighting the dictator except is there only one side doing that?

Should America get involved in more wars in the Middle East? Should we put ground troops or even our weaponry in the hands of anybody in Libya, Egypt, Syria or anywhere else over there? Can we afford to get into another situation that escalates into us having another ground war?

Here's one take on it: Take a deep breath America

We should have learned this lesson before but more powerful nations rarely do. They intervene with what they hope will be a side more friendly to theirs (or profitable) except wasn't that the argument in Afghanistan when we helped the Taliban against the Soviets. Although technically speaking, that was not a civil war but an invaded country. Still look at who we aided-- bin Laden.

So we see these terrible massacres in Syria, and they have been terrible. We read about the election and the argument going on in Egypt with two sides trying to claim power.  

We must do something. 
 Must we? 

That's the debate we should be having. Ours is a nation that claims it has a nearly crippling debt, cannot maintain its infrastructure or care for its weak, cannot even govern itself because of the disagreement between two warring (with words) sides, and yet our people are easily stirred into thinking they need to fight somewhere in the world to right wrongs and bring peace... and you know the spiel as well as I do by now.

Can we even afford to think of getting into the Syrian or Egyptian potential civil wars. Both have a potential to get very ugly fast and pull us into another land war. Good idea or bad?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Class Divide

In discussing issues, here's a biggie. A lot of concern in the news has been over a class divide by wealth. But there is another one.

When I read the article, I thought this was right. I've seen this exactly with my kids and how they are raising their kids. I was all for doing something about it-- right until I got to some of the suggestions how the intellectual class can reach down and I thought-- huh? Is reach down what we want? How about reach up?

The suggestion that we should encourage our grandkids, our kids to join the military as a way to level out classes? Seriously? Not going to happen. People join the military because they believe in it or it's their opportunity for educating themselves. To do it as some kind of leveling of the cultures makes no sense at all.  When we had a draft, assuming we did that again with no deferments this time, did that do any intellectual class leveling? Most likely the more intellectually oriented people would end up officers and doesn't the military discourage fraternizing between ranks? Do people just stick to comfortable groups anyway?

Join churches? Not going to happen. And it wouldn't work anyway. I've been in churches (not for their reason) and found eventually you simply cannot go there. It might work for a number of years even-- although wouldn't for my kids right now. But can you pretend you believe something you see as folklore just to help people value developing their intellect? Seriously?

The Obamas received criticism from the right wing (as a way to find fault obviously) that when they got to DC they put their daughters in an elite private school.  Seriously, who can blame them given the way it would have been publicity wise if they had sent them to a public school where Secret Service would have gone nuts. Those are two beautiful young girls, and they would have been catnip for paparazzi.

If we really end up with an educated and an uneducated class division in our country, can anyone not see how this goes against everything our nation was founded to believe important? The only answer I see to it is help the ones who are less educated raise up-- not lower the educated ones.

Doing that is not easy for obvious reasons. Already the right objects to 'interfering' with people and how they raise their children. They knock Michelle for promoting healthy diets for children. Surprising they didn't go after Laura for encouraging reading. Okay, not surprising.

In the end though a more educated people is to the benefit of us all, isn't it? Don't we come out ahead for knowing history, being able to communicate with others, learning science? Maybe we cannot start with adults, but we can with children. Yet many in the right would give up on public education, treat it as warehousing and not mind creating a worker bee and drone class. Good idea?

Sunday, June 17, 2012


 Here is an ethical issue that is new to the Bush and more to the Obama administrations-- the use of drones.

We saw the drones being trained when we drove south this spring. In Nevada, they were training alongside the freeway with landings and flying around-- hopefully not looking for terrorists.

I have to say it was a little eerie as when they come straight at you, they are nearly invisible in sunlight. We saw them best alongside the road over their field. I didn't photograph them as I wasn't sure it was okay and sure didn't want to get targeted myself for being investigated.

This whole idea of satellites that can look down and help them pinpoint a kill from someone flying them thousands of miles away, well it's a little dicey to think about. On the other hand, we'd prefer to risk a human life when the target is a well known terrorist? but don't you have to add-- if they are?

Then there is what the right brought up and had been in the NY Times-- the supposed inside leaks regarding them. My question would be-- how could it be classified? How could it be hidden? We saw them in Nevada. Where they are being used as a weapon of war is in other countries where they obviously will be discussing and writing about what they have seen happen, about those being killed. The idea that only a leak from the White House would tell anybody seems totally nuts to me.

Jon Stewart had a funny take on it... if you can call this sort of thing funny. The video is worth watching but there is an article there too.

It is true that this is an area of ethics that we as a country need to talk about. But the leak is the issue? Seriously? To Republicans it's all to Obama's credit to do this. Not so with Democrats; so any leak isn't automatically to his benefit. Republicans obviously don't get this!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A liberal view

A good article for lefties to think about. I think there is truth in this liberal's argument.

It drives me nuts when I turn on some of the commentators on MSNBC and they waste part of their hour with having a supposed debate between a leftie and rightie. Only the righties endlessly repeat their party's talking points (usually with no deviation) and smirk or do that phony laugh. How much better use of time would it be to have real debates over issues!  Surely they could find a real conservative and real liberal to argue the issues, not play the partisan game. We can't just find fault with someone else. We have to work for solutions.

Maybe it's because I am a leftie, but I see more ability to cogently argue points from the left than from the right. A recent example of this inability of the right to actually look at an issue came from one right wing Congressman on MSNBC debating the supposed release of classified information and how it was done to benefit Obama and was treason. Okay, so if it was treason, then is it always?

I'd have more respect for his point if he had added it has happened on both sides (if it even has with the Obama people). The thing is, where was this guy when the Valerie Plame story blew up with an obvious connection to Dick Cheney? Why didn't the commentator ask the Congressman about the time when the right deliberately outed an agent only for revenge with no concern for who else it revealed or what secrets it corrupted?

If this latest is really so bad (not sure how some of it even was classified given one was the wantabe bomber where that kind of story seems to me to be a police event), but if it's all so bad, why wasn't Cheney charged as that went beyond Scooter Libby and we all know it.

And is there a single intelligent reader who didn't smirk when they heard someone was infiltrating and damaging Iran's computer system? I mean it doesn't take a rocket scientist or insider to think-- that's our guys doing that as one more way to stop nuclear proliferation.

But instead that right wing Congressman from California just repeated how awful this was without drawing any connection to how it's happened before when the right kept their mouths shut other than to defend the Bush administration. If he had been on a right wing cable news show, I'd not have heard it or been so irked by it. Instead he was on a liberal news show.

So the left is all worried and fretting that Obama is not doing enough, wringing their hands, interviewing those like James Carville to see what Obama should do. Well they can start by not supporting discussions of issues that aren't issues and are instead simply partisan sniping. Enough already. There are a lot of important problems to discuss and leftie news programs should be where the debates are heard. Partisan debates aren't even debates. They are simply talking points repeated ad nauseum.

Incidentally, I don't remotely think it's over for Obama despite the whining. He doesn't get swerved off course and when he was criticized by a leftie writer for having a barbecue meal out with his daughters, as though that wasn't important and only the campaign was, I wanted to tell that guy-- Obama gets one chance to raise those girls and make them feel important. He's doing exactly what he should do and more power to him for it!

I don't disagree that he needs to get tough on Romney and bring up all of what Romney stands for-- over and over again but with real issues. There are plenty of them. Romney himself provides more daily. But if Obama was doing that all the time right now, it'd get old long before November. He needs to show people he's attending to business-- which he is doing-- and that he doesn't get knocked off keel by every wind. He's doing that too.

Just to be fair I am including that article by the writer who wrote to Obama-- grow a few. It looks to me, based on how he has operated in the past, like Obama has no need for that advice!

I will add one thing though-- if Obama really believes Republicans will actually work with him if he is re-elected, he's surprisingly naive. Americans need to grow some themselves and finally start electing one party to do what it claims it wants to do. No more of this stagnation by voting. The Republicans only want him to fail, and if that takes bringing the rest of us down with him, they don't mind. 

For the next few blogs here, not sure  how many, I want to explore some issues and ideally not partisanship. Sure I know that the right wing tends to see things one way and left another but that is sometimes based on real issues. How about looking at a few?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some good news for once

Good news for Tucson and Arizona that the guy who used scare tactics did not win Representative Giffords' seat in the House-- although Ron Barber has two more hurdles ahead before he will have a full term. For me, even as someone with property there but who doesn't get to vote in Arizona, he was my choice, and it wasn't just replacing Giffords with someone who had been on her team. The other guy's lawn signs aimed at frightening elders about their Medicare were disgusting. While he talked saving Medicare, he had also talked earlier of ending it and many other government programs. It's typical for how Republicans do these days-- run with deception.

Ron Barber, who had been a former director on Giffords' staff, will (but as the incumbent since this was filling out her term) have to run in an August Democratic primary and then again in November, but he won this one by almost 7 points which is encouraging for the future.

This election was another watched by out of state as $2.2 million came in for advertising. If Americans would get informed on these candidates, watch debates, read their policy papers, and listen to their speeches, then ignore the fancy ads, we'd all be ahead. That money though is something the media wants which is part of why they like close races... or so it seems to me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

up the valley

A sunny afternoon on the leased pasture for our cattle.

Although I include photos of the creek, because it is the heart of this valley, the cattle are fenced from it everywhere except one point on our own property where they can cross to more pasture on the other side. Creeks are healthier ecosystems without big bovines trampling their banks.

Up here the wildflowers are just beginning to bloom even though it seems late and is almost summer. We had a cool and wet spring which may not be over since it has still been 40 F in the mornings. It's rather as though our summer season shifted a bit and lasts now much later into what used to be fall.

The scotch broom is invasive and isn't food for animals even though it's pretty. It is something Farm Boss is quite allergic to. Because it's leased land, we aren't sure how much we can invest in grinding or pulling it off. It does help to rebuild damaged soils through putting nutrients back into the soil. It keeps erosion down but it is obnoxious especially to those allergic to its pollen.

It's easy to see why the cattle enjoy their access to this place. It lets them feel they are more like a natural herd in the wilds. Cows love to explore, to move through grazing areas with their usual spots to ruminate. Not a bad example for humans actually.
This last photo is on our own land. Farm Boss wanted a photo illustrating how he brings in the sheep these days.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Private sector is doing fine

Oh woe, Obama did it again-- they call it a Biden Moment. He said, the private sector is doing fine, rather like that time he said some people cling to their guns and religion. The Republicans and media gleefully jumped on him both times.

How dare he came from the righties-- the man is so out of touch. *rub hands together with satisfaction*  Oh woe if it was a leftie-- we're going to lose we're going to lose *wring hands*. Either way, those few words were the story.

How could he say the private sector is doing fine when the unemployment rate is still so high? Try this--

The problem is Obama tries to say something that is true and give Americans credit for understanding it's part of the story. That is always a mistake. Never give humans too much credit.

Everywhere I go in my part of America (which means throughout the West), I see new construction, businesses expanding and scratch my head. How can there be so much growth when we are supposed to be in so much trouble? This much building and new businesses isn't enough? If not, what would be?

Part of the problem is with this new growth, new business strength, rise of the stock market, some people have been left behind. Some of this always happens in times of growth as markets and needs change. There are multiple reasons.

The workers left behind were trained in something that is no longer needed. 
Their manufacturing can be done cheaper overseas. 
The government has not done anything to make it unprofitable to close a company here and reopen it in a Third World Country or in some state where there is a tax policy that has been created just to draw the company to them. 
The government has not helped when a company goes bankrupt and actually is rewarded by tax policies while the feds pick up the pension and the investors walk off with millions. 
Retraining workers costs money. Some don't want to spend it.
Some workers don't want to do it (or can't meet the needs of the new markets).

If you are a Republican, you can't really elect a president who will fix it anyway because you don't want the government doing anything-- free market and all that, right?

As for Obama, he needs to quit apologizing, figure out his story, learn how to tell it like Republicans (with zero deviation and no logical extensions of where that leads) and maybe he can get the zombie vote also!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Occupy -- grow up!

As usual, Bill Maher nailed it last night and will infuriate a certain number of lefties while doing it. His point was that Occupy needs to take on the system by working and getting into the system. This business of camping, marches and singing folk songs just won't change either Wall Street or Congress. They probably look down from their lofty heights and chuckle because when that's happening, nothing real will be done to change anything.

If you have time, watch the video. It's, as always, worth viewing. Anybody who disagrees with it, please come back here and tell me how camping will change things while getting our own 60 some members into the House wouldn't.

I don't know what it will take to get lefties off their duffs and finally realize this is a battle for the direction of this country. If we lose it, the wealthy will grow wealthier and our grandchildren will have very little chance for the kinds of lives we believed we could have just 50 years ago. It is not too late. Someday, sooner than we think, it could be! One more far rightie Supreme Court Justice of  a young age, and you tell me how long it will take to eliminate our remaining rights, and when there will be any chance to get them back.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

American division growing

The writer in this link takes the view that what we need to get anything done in this country is more moderate Republicans.

First of all dream on. Even the so-called moderate Republicans who I know, the ones who would support gay marriage, who don't believe in probes before abortions, who see value in helping the needy, who do they vote for? They vote for someone like Romney who claims to be moderate while he said he supports a federal ban on gay marriage, supports personhood bills which would make vaginal probes unnecessary as there'd be no abortions, isn't worried about the poor as they already have supports; then adds on his desire for tax cuts for those who already had them and no regulations on anything because everybody knows the corporations only care about the best for fairness and human life on this planet.

I know too many lefties who think like they did when they voted for Nader-- both men are the same. That's so ridiculous that it's hard to know where to start but let's look at Gore v Bush. Anybody really believe Gore would have put us into war with Iraq? How about cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans? Gut environmental regulations?

Frankly it's not just getting moderate Republicans elected in a time when the Republicans can only think of revenge and blocking Obama and they are electing Grover Norquist pledge types to do that, it's even getting Democrats to realize what is at stake.

To have any hope of turning this around to something healthier for the country, we need not only Obama as president but also control of the House and 60 real votes in the Senate. IF I keep hearing that ridiculous-- he had that control in 2008, I will scream. The House had it and passed a lot of legislation through its body, but the Senate even with 60 votes had too many Democrats in Name Only types. They would not vote for single payer or a better Stimulus plan. They pretty well managed to make what they did vote for worthless. Many of them are now gone being replaced with extreme Republicans.

Obama has to govern in the real world. He has to operate in foreign affairs with things as they are. He cannot deal with a dream of some idyllic future where we all sing Kumbaya and sit around thinking what can we do to make this world a better place. Not happening not in a time of greed and viciousness.

So Democrats, we must see what happened in Wisconsin as a good warning to us. Obama can lose. Romney can not only win, lies or not, and he could end up with the House and Senate under the thumb of those like Norquist. If that doesn't inspire Democrats to work for our own beliefs, we don't deserve the country we were born into!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Disappointment that money talks

Well Walker won in Wisconsin due to massive influx of billionaire money which proves to those oligarchs that they can control the vote and win whatever they want by using their millions (which for them are like dollars would be for working class families).

Unions lost and working people lost but the working people, who voted for Walker, don't really get it yet. They voted as they did because they were convinced it was all about the other getting something that they were entitled to instead. They became convinced they were on the side of Walker and the billionaires. Interesting to see how that works out for them.

So we shall see if the same 10 to 1 spending in a national presidential election can do the same thing. With a lot of Democrats down on Obama for not going farther left, it might.

I liked this quote, which lays out what is at stake. It was in Andrew Sullivan's blog--
 "Suppose for the sake of argument that our national debt has become a huge problem. How did it become a problem? Because of the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq War, and the recession (which, whatever its root causes, came about under Bush). Suppose for the sake of argument that future spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security has become a huge problem. How did it become a problem?

"Because of massive increases in the cost of medical care, which has been exacerbated by Republican obstruction of national health care policy (the US spends about 50% more on medical care as a proportion of GDP than other western countries).

"If Romney wins, and uses the so-called debt crisis to end collective bargaining rights, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as we know them, it will be nothing less than another Reichstag fire," - "Metrosexual Black AbeJ," Balloon Juice.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


 As expected, we as a nation are bombarded by conflicting facts where it comes to natural gas and whether it's our energy salvation or will doom our land. If you are a right winger, get your info from Fox, you see it as a money pool. They pay people, who own the land money to frack under it. That can amount to $800 a month or even hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on how much land. The beauty of it is that you okay it but you have no liability for the damage it might do to someone else's water supply (likely not even your own).

The argument from the natural gas industry is that the fracking is so deep that it cannot hurt water for wells which is not anywhere near that far down. So when someone turns on their tap and can light the water with a match, it's coincidence. And if you are a right winger, you believe that or just consider it worth the price.

If you are a leftie, you see it quite differently. You want the facts on what is happening and facts are hard to come by. Dollars easy. Facts hard.

We watched GasLand, a documentary on fracking and the price some are paying for others to have a rich pool of natural gas.

What's to not like? This is a win win, right? Well, not so quick. GasLand goes after another aspect of it-- the price to the environment and human stories of what it has done to individuals. And what it makes someone like me wonder when I see how much of the US has this natural gas under it.

Right wing-- yeah who cares on individuals. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet right? It's about dollars, cheaper fuel, and energy self-sufficiency.
Left wing-- Fracking has hurt people, made them sick, spoiled water sources.
Right wing-- not enough to matter besides-- coincidence.

People only watch a documentary, award winning or not, like GasLand if they truly care about the natural environment and don't trust the system. They should not watch it if they already have high bp as the next morning because despite mine having been down for over a week thanks to the meds, the morning after, it was higher than it should be again from stress.

I say I can handle politics without it stressing me and generally I can, but GasLand is about families, individual people and their experience with finding the system failed them and didn't really care about what had happened to them. Being a country living woman, who has a well, who lives on a creek, I related to all of these people who form the bulk of this documentary.

 Of course, the right wing has put out protesting sites to explain how Josh Fox was all wrong about fracking. The Natural Gas Industry Goes on the Attack. If you are a rightie, that's all you need to hear-- that a corporation says it was perfectly safe and justified. Of course, the corporate powers would not do something wrong. Naturally a leftie film maker would cheat or play the hearts and flowers theme.

After all, go the arguments from the foxies, think of all the good that can be done from this lush source of natural gas (school buses and all trucking may be all running on it soon-- bye bye diesel and ethanol). So what if there are a few families with poisoned wells, bodies, and lands (they call that collateral damage or a coincidence). In most case they would be paid off cheaply by bringing them filtration systems or water but not because the process did it. Just out of the goodness of their corporate hearts. You know how warm-hearted corporations are.

From Delaware River Basin Commission Votes I got this map of where in the US this will be and is an issue:

The powers that be, who have managed to defund more and more regulatory bodies who might look into the truth of what fracking has done, naturally say it's not an issue and never really damages anything including wells that suddenly put out water that catches fire or is totally black or full of enough chemicals that my chemist husband (who doesn't blanch easily) blanched and groaned with disgust. Most of us do not know what these chemicals are. He does.

Here's the thing. The rest of the nation is being convinced it doesn't impact them. Corporate interests can do this fracking (explosions) and it won't put natural gas into wells. After all the deposits are way below the wells. Couldn't possibly relate.

Would they lie? Would they care that people get sick? Not if they can pay them off and shut them up with confidentiality agreements.

If you thought Love Canal was behind us because we learned from it. If you thought the Gulf Coast was a one time deal. If you thought that Mustang gas tank, that they knew could explode but were caught saying it was cheaper to pay off victims, couldn't happen again. If you thought any of that was in the past, you are kidding yourself. If you think this won't impact you because you don't live over one of those fields, you are also kidding yourself. This is about an attitude. An attitude that doesn't care about people and is making drones and zombies out of previously thinking Americans.

Dick Cheney had a lot to do with getting regulations gone so that this kind of thing could be done with no concern over past scientific wisdom. Now the right argues that there was no rule about fracking for him to take away. True but that's the problem. It had not been regulated and now it never will be. Cheney used the same excuse he used to take away our Bill of Rights. We need it. And we, the selfish people that we are, if it keeps us safer, makes our lives easier or cheaper, we don't give a damn what it does to someone else.

We are the frogs being slowly cooked in heating water and most of us don't even know it.

Whatever you believe, whatever party you support, this is one issue on which Americans should go out of their way to inform themselves.  The people who would do this to those people with homes near those wells, those same people will do the same kind of thing to you over something else. They just don't care about anything but their profits.

You are about to vote for one of them to be your president...  and no, it's not like Obama has been a lot better about fracking (although it was begun before he took office), and he is hamstrung by Americans who vote in right wingers to balance power.

Except what that balance of power actually does is make sure nothing can happen-- good or bad. Why not elect people who care and will work for our good-- not just to get lower taxes but clean air, water, quality education for kids, safe roads, the services we already depend on but are being slowly leeched away like regulatory bodies for environment or economics? There is one reason why not-- money.

Watch GasLand (it's on Netflix) and when you have or if you already have, let me know what you thought.

Saturday, June 02, 2012


When our children were small, we grew tired of dragging around all the required gear to tent camp and bought a little vacation trailer. It was 15', had no facilities to speak of although we put a porta-potty in its closet. The water was provided in a single sink with a pump handle. Hot water? You jest.

There was a small refrigerator, gas stove. a small floor furnace, a dinette, a sofa and a shelf that was above the dinette where we built a bunk for the kids. We dragged that thing all around the West. Many years we would head for Arizona in May taking along school homework and we vagabonded it with no reservations, no set places we had to be. I used to think I could live in that trailer with say a canopy alongside it, and I still believe I could have back then.

As our family aged, with teen-agers, we went back to tent camping. When the kids grew up and out, we had an Astro van and Farm Boss and I used it many places again around the West. All we needed to sleep was a wide spot in the road. We cooked meals over a sterno stove. I have some wonderful memories of those years along creeks or sometimes in campgrounds. A few unusual ones too.

The van grew undependable; and frankly it had a major drawback-- no inside facilities which is a bigger deal in grizzly, moose and elk territory. The truck didn't provide a comfortable bed in back. So for awhile we mostly left behind camping (with a few memorable exceptions) for renting vacation houses or staying in motels. That was less than satisfying as it didn't allow us to sleep in the areas we most wanted to be.

We talked of buying a trailer because we had a truck that could pull one. I was not that confident Farm Boss would have enough time to use it; so we held off. We'd look once in awhile, but we waited until the time seemed right.  That time came in May as he is slowing down his taking of new projects.

We actually thought we'd get a trailer that was 22' up to 25' but we wanted the capability of taking our cats-- or at the least our oldest cat, the one we hated to leave home for fear he'd die while we weren't there. To find that capability required going one foot bigger than we had planned, but it is a very nice unit, well-built, and would enable us to live in it if that ever became necessary (I'm always thinking that way for some reason).

There is always a little guilt feeling when you think of pulling a rig this size in a time where gasoline is an issue-- but if we take it somewhere and stay with it, it might end up less fuel usage than driving from place to place. 

I am now doing research on places we can boondock-- which means camp where there is no campground and where the law permits which is most of the BLM lands in the US-- Rules for BLM Use.

This kind of camping, out in the open, with the wilderness around us, maybe as much as a month at a time, ideally mountain or desert, that's the kind of thing I love most and look forward to roughing enjoying again.

The fancy trim above the windows is going. Not my style. It fell off one (second photo) before it got home. I like that better.

The view inside is with the slider open.

It is fancier than I had in mind but not remotely as fancy as they get (think granite counters), I think this one is in the middle for luxury. In a few weeks (there are things to do before we can take it out like sheering sheep) it will have dust all over it-- I hope ;)

Oh and if readers haven't already discovered it, Trolley, has made me  jealous inspired in this endeavor. This blog has reminded me of so many good times. Give it a try if you haven't already been reading it.