Walk Forward; Love All Life


January 20, 2021- In the end, there were no Cabal Trials-and most likely, there is no Cabal, at least not the widespread, nefarious and nearly impregnable network. In the end, the 45th President of the United States took his ball, his fig leaf and whatever memorabilia he chose to bring with him, made two fairly benign speeches and left what his successor described as a “generous” letter, before taking what is likely his final ride on Air Force One, going to his rest haven in Florida.

The transition was well-guarded and peaceful. There was a gentle Inaugural Address from the 46th President, not rambling and with only a few stumbles in pronunciation. I doubt I’ve have done any better. It was essentially what the nation and the world needed to hear. There were heartfelt, well-delivered prayers. A widely popular Country & Western singer offered “Amazing Grace”. An equally popular Pop singer served up “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful”. A gifted singer, who once opted for the outrageous in her performances, gave a stellar rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The youngest prominent American poet in decades, gave a heartfelt recitation, as our first National Poet Laureate.

What does not change is the need to examine major issues facing the country from all legitimate angles. The environment is not immune from human influence. Some aspects of climate change are cyclical and would be catastrophic, regardless of the levels of pollution and wanton degradation. There is, however, much that we can, and should, do to safeguard our planet-and by extension, our solar system. Personal attention to conservation begins, as the late John McCain once said, at home. Recycling, in an era of concern for its cost, is tricky, but still must be consistently endeavoured. Water is an essential part of any community development, and requires careful usage, particularly in areas beset by drought. Air quality is likewise a key concern.

Our dietary health is essential. Despite claims from large corporations involved in genetic modification of foods, and their pop culture shills on television and social media outlets, human beings are not meant to subsist on a diet of monocultural crops, nor are such commodities helpful in soil conservation. A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, consumed with or without a modest amount of meat, and preferably grown organically, represent the best regimen for disease-free living.

No human being capable of thought and reason deserves to be deprived of the right to make decisions which affect life and well-being. Women inherently have the right to decide what happens with their bodies. The issue can, and does, get messy when it comes to matters of sexuality and procreation. Education is the only path to informed choice, when it comes to abortion and the practice of circumcision (genital mutillation).

Each of the above issues has become fuzzy, due to the influence of deep-pocketed economic interests. Large corporations, such as Monsanto, and financially-driven nonprofits, such as Planned Parenthood, have exercised their influence, in promoting practices that are not necessarily carried out with the interests of individual human beings, including pre-born children, in mind. So, it falls to a widely-based coalition of citizens to build and carry out education programs that can counteract the propaganda of monetized interests.

The current administration has already shown concern for the environment. Its positions on the other two issues are less clear, thus pointing to the need for truly extending its path forward towards consideration for holistic health and the promotion of strong, healthy parents, children and families.

The Road to 65, Mile 165: Seeds


May 12, 2015, Prescott-  I planted seeds of confidence in a young girl’s mind, this morning, and she guided the lot of us to revisiting a small detail, which made all the difference in a key part of the lesson.  This evening, the concept of seed banks and libraries was shared with thirty of us, who were gathered at a Slow Food chapter meeting.

I am into the sowing of seeds- of vegetables, fruit, grasses and ideas.  Sowing friendship seeds is the best such activity, and I am getting better at that.  The physical seeds will most likely wait until next Spring, but I will check the planting calendar, and see if an early July planting will work for this mountain climate. The seeds of amity can be planted anytime, and are well worth watering.  The seeds of ideas must be planted, and watered daily.

A gentleman at tonight’s meeting offered the opinion that individual seed banks are critical to preventing a USDA/Monsanto joint takeover of our food supply.  While the Feds are big on Genetically-Modified anything, I don’t see that ending well, for anyone.  Any given individual has a hundred places to hide seeds, and after all, the “success rate” of the war on drugs is not exactly earthshaking.  We who seek to grow our own food will be just fine.

This brings me to the bad seeds:  Suspicion, closed-mindedness and power-craving.  The first grows out of, and feeds, the second.  Both are a natural reaction to the the third.  The more those in authority overreach, even with the best of ill-informed intentions, the more those on the ground will push back, overreact and invite more overreach.  See the tiger, the dog, the snake chasing their tails?

Monsanto is responding to a reasonable request from the State of Vermont, to label Genetically Modified Organisms in foods sold there, by dispatching an army of attorneys, to sue, appeal and obfuscate- thus wasting millions of dollars and months of man-hours, while complaining about the cost of such labeling.  Then, there is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade Trojan horse, by which the President, and at least two of his predecessors, hope to use to force the GMO-free nations of east Asia to buckle under and get with the Monsanto program.  Go figure.

I am not against science.  The research ought to go on, move beyond monocultures and poisoning of the soil and water, and get over the idea that revenue, the building of fortunes, alone, should be the be-all and end-all of the accumulated knowledge.  We ought not eat what we can’t digest, no matter whose children are being put through college, with the generated profit.

I digress.  The seeds of knowledge, as well as those of sustenance, belong to all mankind.

The Road to 65, Mile 106: For Profit


March 14, 2015, Prescott– I spent much of today organizing my photos on my Flickr account (https://www.flickr.com/photos/86298326@N07/).  Those who wish to check the various albums out, are welcome.  Further progress occurred in settling my de facto client, into a positive living situation.  He feels welcome there, and has secured a niche.  I gained more insight into the depth of his personal suffering, so the healing is taking root.

My focus for this evening, here, is the mercantile nature of just about everything, these days.  Some in government believe it is their agencies’ duty to support the economic aspects of their particular area of purview.  Mental health agencies, and some hospitals, place the profits of insurance companies and of their umbrella agencies above the well-being of individual clients, patients, participants- or whatever the nom de jour of their clientele happens to be.

While having dinner this evening, in a local restaurant, I overheard the people at the table in front of me noting, with some disdain, just how mercenary the government, and multinational companies have become, about everything from water to one’s last rites.  I know that Nestle has tried to take over drinking water supplies in some small communities and has sued the people, to force them to give up their water supply to its bottling arm.  I haven’t heard anything on that matter lately, so maybe Swiss rationality has drawn the conclusion that this is overreach.  Monsanto has sent its legal eagles after other small communities, and small farmers, to force its seeds and farming practices on them- with the ever-present threat of a lawsuit, or an unwanted visit from Bill Nye the Science Guy, to intimidate and dominate.

I have heard, more than once, that the mission of the US Food and Drug Administration is to protect the economic aspects of  our nation’s food and pharmaceutical supplies.  This, naturally, means protection of large industrial concerns, in those areas.  Here, it is a wave of contributions to re-election campaigns, rather than attorneys threatening to bankrupt the little guys, that does the trick.  I don’t make any distinction here between the Koch Brothers and George Soros.  Both camps are quite capable of pushing their own agendas on the political class.

My dining neighbours questioned everything from bottled water to 401K’s.  I tend to agree, more and more, with the idea that one can make do with relative simplicity.  Having spent my last night on the road in a campground, in perfect contentment, I will be glad to expand on that more, in weekend jaunts later this Spring.  Having become quite good at stretching my meals, while still achieving satiety and maintaining health, I am confident this regimen will continue. My IRA will stay healthy, with or without the scaredy cats on Wall Street.

The coming months and years will see a re-working of the term “For Profit”.  Real profit is a tide that lifts all boats.