16 Replies to “Hug this”

  1. Thanks, Rachel and Dick. Yes, this can’t be modern American, can it? The word/idea “self-righteous” seems quite out-dated. If Americans are always, in fact, right, how can we possibly be self-righteous?

  2. Thanks. For what it’s worth, the owner of the hand – a fellow tree nerd – was busy measuring the circumference of the tree, a tulip poplar in an old-growth stand near here.

  3. Thanks, Marja-Leena. I don’t know if the difference in bark is clear from this picture, but the two trees in the foreground are both eastern hemlock. The one on the right has been drilled by a yellow-bellied sapsucker.

    Tulip poplars grow fast, straight and tall, and can get very old. They are like white pines in being shade-intolerant, first-succession trees which can also live long enough to form old-growth stands.

  4. Happy Earth Day ?

    (…damn, stupid hippies)


    …This brings us to the issue of collateral. We’ve borrowed so much money the lenders are getting nervous. Back during the Johnson administration Charles DeGaulle demanded the United States collateralize the loans owed to France in gold and started carting out the bullion from the treasury. This caused several other nations to demand the same and President Nixon had to slam the gold window closed or the treasury would have been emptied, since the United States was even then in debt for more money than the treasury could cover in gold.
    But Nixon had to collateralize that debt somehow, and he hit upon the plan of quietly setting aside huge tracts of American land with their mineral rights in reserve to cover the outstanding debts. But since the American people were already angered over the war in Vietnam, Nixon couldn’t very well admit that he was apportioning off chunks of the United States to the holders of foreign debt. So, Nixon invented the Environmental Protection Agency and passed draconian environmental laws which served to grab land with vast natural resources away from the owners and lock it away, and even more, prove to the holders of the foreign debt that US citizens were not drilling. mining, or otherwise developing those resources. From that day to this, as the government sinks deeper into debt, the government grabs more and more land, declares it a wilderness or “roadless area” or “heritage river” or “wetlands” or any one of over a dozen other such obfuscated labels, but in the end the result is the same. We The People may not use the land, in many cases are not even allowed to enter the land.
    This is not about conservation, it is about collateral. YOUR land is being stolen by the government and used to secure loans the government really had no business taking out in the first place. Given that the government cannot get out of debt, and is collateralizing more and more land to avoid foreclosure, the day is not long off when the people of the United States will one day wake up and discover they are no longer citizens, but tenants.
    The following map shows the current extent of all lands grabbed by the government under the guise of environmentalism.

    click for full size image
    In short, the United States is in deep trouble.

    Love and Light, (…and keep your powder dry…)

    Crystal Dave (The Wizard of Wyrd)

  5. Dave, thanks for the comment, but I have to know – are you defecting from the looney left to the looney right?

    Would that we DID have “draconian environmental laws”! The few we do have are barely enforced. But one point on which most leftists and rightists can probably agree is this: TAKE AWAY ALL THE GODDAMN SUBSIDIES and 90% of the most egregious forms of pollution and habitat destruction would vanish.

  6. TAKE AWAY ALL THE GODDAMN SUBSIDIES and 90% of the most egregious forms of pollution and habitat destruction would vanish.

    That is a compelling statement. I wonder what Missouri’s worst subsidies are.

  7. I don’t know, but Missouri is doing one thing I approve of highly: levying 1/10th of a cent tax per gallon of gasoline to pay for land conservation. That’s a model we could all do well to follow, but so far, I think only Arkansas has followed your example. Both states have protected a lot of land from envelopment that way, from what i hear.

  8. I wish I could explain to you the reasons for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s power and autonomity. I think they are structural and historical. I appreciate the positive feedback on my homestate. I do find your “subsidy” sentence provoking and I wish I had a sharper grasp of these things, without having to read Chomsky, not that I might not find him enjoyable. I guess I should just steel myself and get accquainted to some of the horror by reading the Riverkeeper Kennedy’s book on looting the public trust, since I happen to have it in my library. A friend has lent it at my request, but I turn from it.

  9. Bill – If that sentence grabbed you, then you definitely need to read Mr. Kennedy. That’s one of his favorite themes. “Show me a polluter, and I’ll show you a subsidy,” he likes to say.

    Your state dropped the ball with its recent pronouncement on cougars, saying that they were officially unwelcome while admitting that they were present. More people die from dog attacks every year in the U.S. than have ever been killed by cougars in all recorded history, but no one announces a fatwa against dogs!

  10. I missed the cougar edict. Glad you’re down with Bobby Jr. I’ve read half now and it’s outrageous and surreal. I sort of float off, unable to touch bottom. When he refers to Delay as Gingrich’s “consigliere” I’m off to movie-land and visualizing sweaty mobsters. My sense of responsibility for enviromental damage is much more personal as I consider my private life-stlye choices. The person is the only place this stuff seems real. “All (real ?) life is encounter”, as you quote. Outrage is so volitile. It is not a sensibility. But I salute your interactive political practice. I hope to do better. Now this tiered Internet thing!

    We have neighbors several years ago came out with the news that a pair of juvenile cougars had spent the late winter in an abandoned shed on their property. Unaccompanied toddlers were the first family members to see them at close range and they walked back to the house with news of really big cats.

    We have the odd bear on the highway sighting. Not me though. Then there is the poor soul who shoots the bear who has gotten into his feed shed because he is afraid for his dog who is attacking the bear. Eight shots from a twenty-two took care of it.

  11. Bears, we got. Haven’t seen one so far this spring, but last summer and fall the mounain was crawling with them.

    Your point about outrage is well taken. There’s a reason why I don’t do posts like the one I put up today (on the bid to trash network neutrality) very often. I am a bad activist.

  12. Good, Bad, whatever score you give yourself, the things you address are real, not surreal. Neither are the events Kennedy describes surreal. They too are real. Pehaps what they also are is abstract? So one goes to meetings (I don’t personally but I think you do) to discuss issues and coming events with others to draw maps, show slides and somehow bang a clangor of the concrete into them.

    During my fever I had an inspiration. An elective self- euthanization movement. It was going to be my Qarrtsiluni futurist fantasia. Many of us humans had decided choose to give up our seats to a bluebird, and so make an opening for a future recovery. An idea like that has no relation to the problems of dealing with President Cheney. The fever is gone but I still like my thinking. It’s where my heart is, I just couldn’t carry off a piece on it. It’s a tuffie.

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