Monday, April 24, 2017

Evolution of a Conspiracy Theory

The difference between a professional and an amateur in this game...


Professionals connect the dots between seemingly unrelated things that actually do have a foundation or a connection in their relationships and evaluate degrees of viability and veracity.

Amateurs simply assume there are these connections because they want them to be there, and/or they simply "believe" they "might" be there. To be fair many amateurs are semi professionals and the true issue is with those who simply do not know what they are doing, don't take the time to learn what and how they should be doing things, and throw caution to the wind, typically for benefit of an ideology or an agenda. All too typically, foolish ones.

There is also a degree of their wanting to appear smarter than they are, also typically without putting in the grunt work to build those mental muscles and skills. Then even when they do put in the grunt work, they end up building those mental muscles in all the wrong ways, leading them further from the truth rather than ever getting closer to it.

Professionals on the other hand, get better and better at their deductions deliberations. While those amateurs seem to simply get worse and worse as their beliefs become more and more far fetched.

It's rather like navigating a ship. If you chart a course at the beginning and it's wrong (because you really don't know what you're doing), in your being off by even a degree at the start, you will eventually end up in another and wrong country at the end. One also has to do course occasional corrections.

Two things conspiracy nuts typically don't seem to even know about. There are a few things one can do to avoid these mistakes. Like starting out to shoot down your accept beliefs. Searching for the "Truth" regardless where it leads you. And being willing to keep an open mind. Whenever you fun into something that seems too good to be true, because you want to believe it, be wary of that and dig much deeper.

There is truly little reason to be made a fool of, by oneself.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

1972's 3rd Earth Day (repost)

Today, is Earth Day! Hurrah Earth! One wonders how we'd like it if the Earth treated us how we treat our planet?

This is a repost of my original blog about my first Earth Day event on the third ever, back in 1972.



We really do need to push ourselves and our governments (and other's) to leave things better than when we found them, rather than abusing things for fun and profit. Existence on this planet, IS a profit for us by the way.

We need to do big things as well as the little things to sustain and fix our planet. The biggest thing we can do however is to change our ways of thinking, especially as it relates to big money and governments.

As individuals, we need a paradigm shift in our thoughts about how we live, how our community and country lives and how others live in their countries. The world is a contained unit. It's like we all live in the same room and if someone lights up a cigar, we all suffer for it through their pleasure. If someone does one bad behavior, it does have a ripple effect across the room, or the world.

Like the burning of tropical forests to plant palm trees for palm oil. A hugely destructive and yet, profitable behavior. Insects are dying off, like bees and when they go, they say, we go. Insects after all, do not need us, we need them for survival.

We need to act on climate change whether or not is is affected by our activities as there is great debate among the laymen about that, although there is not among informed people, like scientists. We need to at least think about our planet and our actions. We need at least one day a year to think about it. We need to therefore think about it, at least, on that one day.

Wednesday April 22nd, 2015 - Earth Day
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. - Wikiipedia

It's a day of respect for the planet we live on. I reflect on how we have and are treating it, and to feel gratitude it would deserve just as if it were a person. It's what we humans have to do sometimes, to anthropomorphise things in order to see the degree of respect that we should attribute toward them, for our own benefit.

Here's an interesting web site for today, EarthDay.org, the Earth Day Network. Also, there is BTNW to take a different slant on things..

I first because aware of Earth Day when it was started. I took a NAUI certified SCUBA class that year in 10th grade at and through the Tacoma, Washington Lincoln high school that I was attending, eventually to graduate from in 1973.

I started this blog only about Earth Day but then in the writing of it something became obvious to me and that was that my famous diving instructor, Bert Thomas, seems to have disappeared in history.


Allow me to say that I'm a better person for having known and learned from Mr. Thomas, as is much of the world. As a SCUBA diver and one trained by Bert Thomas, as well as having been a life long resident of such a special place as the Pacific Northwest with it's many waterways, diversity of population and life, and its amazing places to visit on land, I could only grew up with an innate sense of ecology. I also took two quarters of Oceanography in college.

So I'm going to tell you a little story and give you some background. Allow me to explain....
Bill's Boathouse 2013
When I was just starting high school, a local dive shop called Bill's Boathouse located on American Lake in Steilacoom, Washington, wanted to run a trial to train and certify local high school students toward their SCUBA certifications. This would increase awareness of SCUBA diving overall as the infant recreation diving sport that it was, as well as increase sales for the products the dive shop was selling.

Lead by Bert Thomas, world famous for a variety of things such as attempting to be the first to swim the English Channel, and successfully swimming Seattle to Tacoma as well as helping Jacques Cousteau in the development of the aqualung or S.C.U.B.A. system (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) back when Bert was a Navy hard hat deep sea diver.

Bert also swam non-stop from Port Angeles, Washington to Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and there is now a plaque on Ediz Hook indicating the location he swam away from at Port Angeles..He swam the 18.3 mile distance in 11 hours on his fifth attempt on July 8, 1955, almost two months before I was even born. 1,500 people where there to meet him when he arrived in Victoria, BC.

Port Angeles, WA
Although he had failed in his attempt to be the first person to swim the English Channel, he then not only crossed the channel from Cape Griz Nez, France to Dover, England, he was then "pulled from the water after reaching about midway on the return trip."

May 15, 1956. 
Bert was born in Durango, CO, but called the PNW and Tacoma, Washington his home.He was a Marine drill instructor in San Diego and a platoon sergeant in a demolition unit. Later he was a Navy frogman instructor at Pearl Harbor.

Odd. My first Ishinryu Karate Sensei the also great bear of a man, the great Steve Armstrong was also a Marine DI only in Okinawa. I don't use "great" lightly with either of these men, either. Bert has been described as a "human polar bear" and a "professional cork".
"Description: Tacoma distance swimmer Bert Thomas is embraced by his wife Mary at the end of his swim from West Seattle to Old Tacoma on May 15, 1956. Thomas swam the 18.5 miles in 15 hours, 23 minutes in 40 degree water battered by high winds and the tide. His feet touched the bottom for the first time at 3:05 a.m., 15 feet out from the shore. Visibly exhausted, he staggered in to shore and collapsed in his wife's arms. He appeared ghostly white with blue lips. His wife struggled to get him into his bathrobe to warm up. When he could speak, the ex-frogman's first words were "Man, it was quite a haul." Mrs. Thomas had supported him on the swim, aboard the "Sharon Two." She fed him through a tube every hour and lit the cigarette that he smoked, continuing the swim on his back. Also aboard the craft was his 12 year old daughter Sharon and Erling Bergerson. The other support craft was the "Memories," skippered by George Peterson. (TNT 5-15-1956, p.1) ALBUM 9". - Historylink.org

Oddly, coincidentally enough (considering this blog today), Bert ended his 15.5 hour swim from Faultleroy, Seattle, 18.5 miles on May 14, 1956, at the Tacoma Old Town dock (I'll get back to that in a minute) where there were 5,000 people to meet him.

Having known him personally, he and his wife also got to be friends with my mother and sister, both of whom who were motivated by my achieving my own SCUBA certification in getting their certifications. I can honestly say that Bert was a truly great man to know and be trained by. My NAUI certified SCUBA card was signed by the great Bert Thomas himself. It indicates that I had 41 hours of training and I received my certification in May 1971.

In writing this blog, I found very little record of Bert online (there are however these interesting photos and descriptions I did find). So, I thought I'd go into a little more about him out of respect so at least he will be slightly memorialized in more detail, somewhere.

My SCUBA card signed by Bert Thomas and dated 1970
Bert was a great bear of a guy and a pleasure to be around. When they opened their second dive shop, Philippe Cousteau sent a bouquet of flowers to the shop. The dive instructors were a great bunch of guys and Bert was a real character. As was old Bill, who owned Bill's Boathouse, though he was old even back then when I knew him.
Bert Thomas Obituary, 


Bert's fatal event, as it was explained to me, was in attempting to stop a student surfacing too fast during an open salt water certification dive. A new diver thing to do which can be potentially lethal, as it was for Bert. As one of his students was rushing to the surface, Bert raced up after him to stop him from getting the "bends", also known as decompression sickness, divers' disease, or caisson disease.

Officially, Bert died on Thursday, June 8, 1972, having suffered a heart attack at Tacoma General Hospital. It's been conjectured however by one of his dive instructors, that it was that event with the student that led to his passing. 

The student came to his senses and stopped on his own, but by then Bert had too much momentum and couldn't stop himself from surfacing too quickly himself. He was rushed to the hospital but didn't make it which isn't unusual in this kind of thing.

However, he died doing what he loved, diving and teaching.

Before all this happened, we had started a SCUBA club at my high school.

Lincoln High School Newspaper Oct. 22, 1971

Those teachers in my high school SCUBA class also included Mr. Vincent, my biology teacher who initially didn't want me in his class, kept throwing me out of his class (usually for good reason) and just didn't much like me. But after we had to do ditch and don in he school pool where you have to dive to the pool bottom and ditch your gear, surface, breathe, then dive and don your gear, his attitude about me from that day forward dramatically changed for the better.

Mr. Vincent, Biology Teacher May 1971
He nearly drowned (he thought so anyway, though he was fine aside from a little sputtering) and I was there to help him. Being the fish in water I had always been, I gave him some support and advice and did not make fun of him, but showed him compassion.

The Author (right) on open (saltwater) certification dive May 1971
I had several years of search and rescue experience, being a commander of others in Civil Air Patrol and before that in Karate. Yes, I was a pain in class for a teacher sometimes. But in a real life situation, especially a dangerous one, I was very effective both as a leader and a companion in arms, so to speak.
Diving in 1978 in Hawaii at a vacant Hanauma Bay on O'ahau Island.
Once he saw that side of me, everything changed between us. We never became best buds, but he did have a respect for me from then on that equaled the one I had always had for him, from the beginning.

Over that next year or so the now officially certified students of the first 1970 Lincoln High school graduating SCUBA class, all kept talking. At first we joked that our next effort would have to be sky diving and for some of us, that happened (for me nearly two years later when I was 17, then ended up a parachute rigger in the USAF years later, among other things like working on the B-52 nuclear bomber\weapons platform).

We started the Lincoln High SCUBA Club. One day someone brought up that we needed to do something to raise people's awareness of SCUBA diving and concerns about our planet, conservation, and clean up. Someone mentioned the new Earth Day.


If you lived in Puget Sound, you'd know many of us who grew up here are highly concerned about our environment.

It's like living on a microcosm of an ocean at your front door. We are seafood lovers, nature lovers, mountain climbers and hiker.


Washington state has just about everything here other than tropical environments, though we do have rain forests (I live in one), but we also have deserts, mountains, waterways and so on. You can go to where there is snow, and that same day to a desert, any time of the year.


We kicked around ideas of what kind of event to plan, where, why. We finally decided on cleaning up under the Tacoma Old Town Dock.

Tacoma Old Town Dock History
"Old Town Dock was first built in 1873 and served the shipping industry until trade operations moved to the Tideflats. After that it quickly transitioned into a popular public space. It was closed in 2008 after an engineering study found it to be too weak for pedestrians. After five years and $2.3 million in renovations, it reopened May 15, 2013."

Our thinking was that this dock had been around "forever" and had to have a lot  of junk under it that didn't need to be there. We knew we couldn't even make a dent in it, but it was a statement and figured, wasn't that was Earth Day was all about? To bring things to people's attention and in the course of that, do even a little good?

It was agreed and decided to go forward with it. It occurred to me that without people knowing we were doing it, it wasn't much of a statement. So I mentioned that if we were going to do this, someone needed to get the attention of the media, so people would hear about it in a timely fashion, or at all.

I was designated to find the attention. I wasn't exactly thrilled with that as it seemed a bit daunting for an 11th grader, but I brought it up, so...I got it. I followed through. I called TV stations. No one would bite. I'm still not sure why they found it uninteresting but concepts like Earth Day back there were still thought of by many as just "more hippy crap".

It seemed like an obvious video event to shoot and a good news piece as a human interest story, though admittedly, someone contacting the media wasn't thought about until the last minute and so I was calling mere days before the event.

One TV station suggested newspapers and so I called around from bigger to smaller. Finally I got one to bite who said they''d send a photographer. Success! They were a small publication called the "Tacoma Review (Combined with Tacoma Buyer's Guide)".


Sure enough, the Tacoma Review photographer showed up.

1972 Tacoma Earth Day Old Tacoma Dock SCUBA clean up
From the article: EARTH WEEK PROJECT - Lincoln High School's SCUBA Club and ecology class cleaned up the area around the Old Town Dock and their Earth Week project, a different approach to the ecology movement. A diver enters the water [me] and later [actually another diver] brings up some debris below the surface. An added bonus is shown in the right photo, a hitchhiking starfish is brought up to aid in the study of marine biology. - Tacoma Review photos

Under the docks we found trash, lots of it but I also found a few antique bottles I kept, some medicine some alcohol but all small at around six inches high. Within a year, I donated them to an older friend of the family, to her husband who had a bottle collection and was old and very ill. He died within a year or so but the bottles had cheered him up. Although I'd love to have those bottles now, I simply cannot feel any  regret in my actions.

LHS SCUBA Club Diver extracting under dock garbage
We also found several bicycles, and more than a few fishing poles. We assumed that people biked to the dock to fish and wind or accident found their transportation and fishing poles in the deep water, lost to them forever.


It was eerie diving under that dock, among the wood pilings encrusted with sea life, barnacles, mussels, sea anemones. That previous Christmas, I had gotten some SCUBA tanks from my parents. Duel 72 cu. in. US Divers brand, black, steel tanks. I could stay down for about an hour around 30-40' with proper and controlled breathing, which takes a little practice (first rule of SCUBA diving: "Stay Calm!" always, breathe slow and easy).
Your humble narrator diving under the  Old Tacoma Dock 1972
When the newspaper came out and I saw the diver with the dual tanks, being the only one in the club with duals, I knew it was me and that I had made the front page! Pretty cool, especially since I called them to come shoot photos of us. I got ride of the gear over the years as it got older but I still have those French, Flotante fins as well as my US Divers Turbo fins (which didn't float) and my wrap around mask, though I haven't been diving in some years.

In the end, this was the end of this event. The few who read the edition of the Tacoma Review with us on the front cover knew about it, but no one called, and I didn't pursue more media attention even though we had made it into a local newspaper. Now I know, I should have followed up, but I was sixteen. The event was Saturday, the newspaper came out on that next Wednesday. And that was the end of it.

After high school graduation the SCUBA club fell apart, or at least, I wasn't around anymore. We had done the Earth Day event. We had done several group dives. And that was it. I'm not even sure if there were other dive classes, but I believe there were until I graduated and I know they had moved into other area high schools to teach, but I don't' know how that all turned out. I know they had expanded to another dive shop and were doing well last I heard around that time.

All of this led to my producing a wood block print (linoleum block actually) of a free diver. Not great but for a 10th grader with no talent for art, not too shabby either. This is the only surviving print of the eight print run in Mr. Thomas' Creative Crafts class.

"Skin Diver" print 8 of 8, May 1971
Now, getting back to the original point of this little jaunt into history back to the beginning of the advent of Earth Day....

We all need to help our most favorite planet, to consider how we relate to it, and how we should act toward it.

It doesn't have to be a large effort, some international committee you set up, or even a small Earth Day SCUBA diving clean up under a dock type of event. It doesn't in fact have to be any kind of event at all as it is more about how we act on a daily basis that most counts. It can merely be in the way you talk to others about the earth and how we treat it. Or in your posting about it, or simply in your altering your habits even a little bit toward the better.

The earth is not unlike having a car when we were teenagers. It may get messy inside that car, after all its yours and you don't have to keep it as clean as your parents car, but eventually and hopefully, we mature to the point that we realize our environment indicates a big part of who we are and how we want to live.

If not taking care of that car leads to a lack of care about more important parts of the car than just the interior, things like the engine or the brakes, then eventually things will start to break down and one day, probably when we most need it, it will simply stop working.


When I think about Earth Day, I can't help but think about my first foray into environmental activism. or about Bert Thomas. Or the waters he swam in to break those records back even before I was born. I think about our Puget Sound waters and how there are places where there is so little oxygen in the waters now that there is nothing living there. I think about the huge ball of plastic the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

I think about Japan's failed nuclear plant due not really to a tsunami but due to it's poor design and maintenance of their Fukushima plant, its radioactive materiel still floating around in the Pacific Ocean. I think about coal burning, carbon issues, war zone pollution, the killing off of the Amazon basin's forests. I wonder why we are so bent on killing ourselves, just for more money.

Take a moment this Earth Day to consider your environment, think about our truly amazing world and make a change. Or, two.

It's really not that hard to do and it's really the least we can do.

Not to mention it's really only in our benefit to do so.

#EarthDay

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The "Liberal" Media

Conservatives complain (esp., now Pres. Trump) that the media is too left wing or too progressive, not conservative enough or simply anti-Republican and anti conservative.

Not really. They are just idealists.

Why? Because that is actually their job. To report, but also to gauge their reporting. To decide what to report on .What is a story, what is valuable to the readers or viewers? I think they typically start out that way and some do get jaded because of the ugly out there.

Some are just lousy journalists to be sure, who worry only about getting a story on TMZ or some rag that sells exploitation. Fox News falls into this at times which has earned them their well deserved poor reputation. Not all of Fox News, mostly their OpEd people in many of their shows but in their news as well.

The issue therefore that angers conservatives and people like Trump is that disparity between what they do, what they want to do, what they want to be seen doing, and how reporters view and report their actions.

When you lie, when you start off on an agenda that truly is wrong, reporters simply report.

Perhaps they don't report as strongly against many of those types when they do wrong, but sometimes they do come down pretty hard on people like that. In my view, not often enough. Though that has been changing of late, finally.

Let's not however miss the point in all this.

The reason they appear to be harder on the right wing is simply because of what the right wing does, and what they want to do.

Hillary's email debacle? Or a governor killing people in Flint Michigan through the people's water supply and then turning off their water when they don't pay their bills for poisoned waters, either because they are poor or are receiving contaminated water? Which is really more important?

And we keep seeing things like this over and over. Republicans keep wasting taxpayer money over useless investigations. Investigation after investigation when nothing new is learned under the belief that having ongoing investigations sheds a bad light on those being investigated even if there is nothing there.

Again which is more important? A false crisis generated over the Benghazi embassy incident? Or something we heard of far leas, George Bush's illegitimate war that killed as one report showed, over 1 million Iraqis. An illegitimate war that should never have happened, where an American president killed 100,000s of Iraqis and yet, what is important was... Benghazi?

Wake up. Or grow up.

It's disingenuous much of the time for Mr. Trump to say how dishonest the media is, when all they are doing is railing at stupidity, at mean-spirited actions, or at out right unethical behavior that is allowed "just because" or because of tradition.

Or a despicable agenda supported by deep rooted beliefs from religion. Or the foolish ideologies of a conservative Republican party.

Monday, April 17, 2017

An Open Letter to Mr. Woody Allen

Dear Mr. Woody Allen,

Hi.

Allow me to give you some perspective on this letter and myself. I received a university degree in Psychology from Western Washington University in 1984, in the division of Awareness and Reasoning, with a concentration in Phenomenology. Along with that I study cinema and focused on Hitchcock, Kubrick and of course, your esteemed self.

I grew up watching the European Auteur directors, Truffaut and those, loving their works. Also Kurosawa of course, Tarkovsky and so on. Our local PBS station in the 1960s had on many European films, Monty Python and British shows. It was like growing up in a cinema class in some ways back then. No one I knew were watching films like that back then. But then, I was watching 1950s detective shows, Perry Mason and such as a five year old when no one was watching what I was putting on TV, or I would try to watch when no one was looking and I was supposed to be in bed.

I have enjoyed watching your career from before I even knew I was watching your career. Thank you for that. Later, I loved Sleeper and saw it many times until I had access to watch all your other works. I surveyed your films and after Sleeper I saw Bananas, Take the Money and Run.

Then, when I saw Love and Death I had graduated from fan to serious fan and student of your works. Eventually Annie Hall came out and was well praised as it deserved. Then there are your books, interviews, and so on. As for your private life, I have always tried to avoid passing judgement on those in the public eye, for what I do not intimately have knowledge of.

My beloved and late grandmother had despised Charlie Chaplin whom I loved. Incorrectly too, as it turned out all for a mistaken understanding of his life and intentions, from poor media attention and mere hearsay. From that point on as a child when I discovered that, I tried to separate an artist from their art. Otherwise we might have no artists.

I saw your film Interiors at a theater in Seattle in 1992. It wasn't a full crowd but mostly people my age or older at the time and more than a few couples. I remember several times bursting out loud in laughter in my understanding of hat you were doing as a filmmaker. Even though it was irritating to some of the audience, especially the couple in front of me. I tried to curb my enjoyment but it was difficult. I felt I was understanding too much to contain it merely by watching.

I tried briefly to explain to the couple in front of me the last time I exclaimed aloud at a particularly excellent shot of yours but they didn't seem to get it. I felt I was seeing what you were doing beyond the story with the references, the homages to Ingmar Bergman, shots that tweaked my mind and memory and instilled in me a sense almost of glee.

However, I didn't get the feeling that day that anyone else in that audience was seeing what I was seeing. But then I had paid attention to cinema, studied it, studied you, and felt I got more than my money's worth that day. And they were probably just there to see a good film.

No, I was not on drugs. I was on a good education, I was on the excitement of seeing beauty in film and motion.

So for that, I thank you. I thank you for all of that and so much more over these many years.

JZ Murdock
Bremerton, WA - April 17, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What to do with Sharia Law? Act Now.

I just watched a Vice News report on Indonesia and a segment about the implementation of Sharia Law.

This situation may need to be turned around and applied, to some degree, as the abusers are applying it.

We may well need a newly ratified world wide law and considered Human Right restricting ANY religion from imposing its will on ANY human being without their expressed desire or permission for it to be imposed upon them or their family.

Thereby on their discovery, the immediate disbanding of such an organization to involve if necessary, death.

Perhaps we are at that tipping point where we need to protect humanity against certain religions or sects? I know I for one am sick to death of hearing about these abuses on humanity and travesties upon human beings. I'm tired of others forcing their will on people they do not even know.

All because of a stupid and mean spirited ideology based on the ideal of an Idiot God as worshiped by a tiny minded, small sect of morons who are a very small part of a very large religion. And an idiot's view of their so called "prophet", Muhammad. Grow the hell up.

Guys, if you can't play nice with others, we can destroy you....

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monetary Distrubtion

If we consider in theory that no single person, entity, religion, company or corporation should ever have as much money as even the smallest of nations, it puts into perspective the problems we are faced with today. It is easy to lose the consideration of the individual and of those who have no power or money in the face of such vast wealth and power.

Socialism isn't our biggest problem by far. Capitalism. is. And capitalism isn't our biggest problem so much as the actuality of entities cradling so much limited wealth within their power.

Entities that have cornered the entire planet's wealth in that of a few who repeatedly do not make the best decisions for everyone. The money of the planet may belong to those who can ingeniously acquire it, but the actual wealth of the planet belongs to all of its citizens.

Even if that's not reasonable or doable, it gives one an orientation of what we are dealing with today and how much control needs to be taken back from these corporations and the wealthy.

It is not a matter of the abuse of terminology in phrases like "wealth distribution" or even "socialism", but of the reasonable allowance of the cornering of monetary availability overall.

We have suffered far too long with those such as Republicans and capitalists who twist reality to their own benefit at the disaffection and outright destruction of all others for their own benefit.

In 2015 Monaco's GNP was 5.6 billion Euros.

Only the Vatican is smaller in size but much bigger overall in wealth.


The Vatican Bank, which has about $8 billion in assets, has often been at the center of scandal and corruption since it was founded in 1942. Pope Benedict began the process of cleaning the bank up, and Francis has continued that work.Sep 24, 2015. The Vatican itself has shown deficits off and on since at least 2011 but doesn't include the value of the entire Church itself.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Traditional Conservative American Male Life View

For some...for too many men, and some women:

MAN?
 100% Important.
Sperm?
 100% Important.
Conception?
 100% Important.
Masturbation?
 100% unacceptable.
Abortion?
 100% unacceptable.
Pro Life?
 100% Important.
Birth?
 100% Important.
Childcare, education, healthcare, welfare, veteran care, social concern?
 100% unimportant
Suicide for cause?
 100% unacceptable
Cannabis for any reason?
 100% unacceptable
Logic, science, ethics?
 100% unimportant
Money?
 100% Important.
Religion?
 100% Important... or at least act that way.
Priorities?
 100% confused.


Enough of this. Try something lighter....JZ Murdock photos on Flickr

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Deep State 2.0

All this talk by conservatives about the "Deep State" got me thinking.

First, it was patently funny. There are career government employees who go on administration after administration. They run the government. Thank God for that too. Especially with this new amateur administration who is stumbling along at breakneck speeds.

They have lied. They have cheated. They may have broken the laws and they may have committed treason. Time will tell.

They have done bad things and then pointed fingers claiming the other side did it. That is important. Remember it.

Now we hear talk about a so called "deep state". Nothing like a moniker, a bad guy, an enemy. Otherwise, the Republican party might go poof into a puff of smoke and vanish.

But here's the thing.

"They" actually are the deep state. They are Deep State 2.0.

They are not conservative, or republican and surely they are not democrat or progressive. Best I can figure out is they are simply, capitalists. But even that doesn't explain all their actions. Whenever that happens one has to look beyond money, to power. To the long game. But we're not seeing a long game being played. By the Russians, yes, to e sure.

But "They" now are, as best it can be explained, the Trump administration. Now you are seeing just who they are and how easily they can pull the blinds over their supporter's eyes. But people are beginning to wise us. Still they, are smart. They will find a new crises to distract as they have time and again, even with the help of Russians.

At some point we will have to wake up and ask ourselves, just who IS running America now?

It's not the people. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. It's not the electoral college. Even though they decided the new president. As the democratic president candidate lost in 2000, so too, with a bigger and better strategy, the wrong guy won yet again.

One has to ask oneself, why does this keep happening? True, President Barack Obama was an outlier THEY didn't foresee. But they woke up from that, just as they began to put to sleep most of America. And the Russians helped. Both with, and without the conscious knowledge of those now holding the White House hostage.

How else could a charlatan like Donald J Trump become the President of the United States of America? Seriously. How is that even possible?

Well, in reality? It's not. But it did happen. It's a conundrum to be sure. One that surprised even Donald J Trump.

Yet again now with this deep state nonsense, they are once more distracting. They are the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. But they are not the kind old loser. Not by a long shot.

Why is it taking government so long to out these guys? Why indeed. Government is designed to move slow. That protects the people. But the people are not the concern anymore. They are only the smoke by which the mirrors are put into place in order to fill out the agenda of those in the public eye, those who are acting right in front of us and we can't even see it.

What are they doing? That is really the question. And it is one we will uncover very soon. Hopefully, before they can lock things down so we can never writggle out from beneath he heavy weight of so much money and power. And stupidity.

Because above all other things, our one saving grace is exactly that. That they are...stupid.

Stupid because the truth always wins out. However, the "winners" also write the history. Still, we are not a one world government...yet. We have different languages, a saving grace. Because with different languages we have different concepts, different points of view. Through those views, some can obviously see what is going on.

Stupid because people are what really matters. Honesty, clarity, productivity for all and not just for some few special ones, are what matter over corporate and wealthy individual needs.

There is a lot going on in the world right now. For two decades we've been told by those in the intelligence community that there are more spies on the ground world wide right now than there ever were during the "cold war" years.

Our intelligence analysts in America have grown exponentially. But they are actually on our side.

What about this, deep state, then? Who's side are they on? An article by Al Jezeera says progressives now see the deep state as being on their side. They too indicate something awry. They too seem confused. Why is that?

It's obvious, if you just stop to think, back up and take a look at the entire picture.

The deep state is what is actually now running things. And they are pointing fingers claiming anyone else is them. They are out in the open. Exposed. Many have fallen already. More are to come. Russia and Vlad Putin have put their fingers on things which further complicated and confused things.

Obfuscation and obstruction are the rules of the day. Ask yourself. Who has been doing that the most? Who benefits the most? Who claimed they would do one thing if elected and have since done exactly the opposite. Supporters still try to rationalize ridiculous actions by their hero. Still claiming hope is solid, even in the face of massive evidence that does not support that and in fact, supports just the opposite.

So no. The deep state is not out savior. But it is also not those who the actual deep state are pointing fingers at, with the help of conservatives and conspiracy nuts, who started all this nonsense and fairy tales. Which they are really so very bad at, and think they are oh so very good at.

And so I give you, the real deep state: Money. Money, and those who control it. We see our government bow down to it, again and again and again. Within confines so it doesn't look obvious just who controls what. And yet, there they are again, and again. Making excuses, using ridiculous ideologies, abusing the system to save money, or make money, or to buy power.

And there we are, caught in the middle, wondering just what in the hell is going on. For some of us, we grab whatever reason we can find, so we feel we have some control, any control and we will believe nearly anything from what we're seeing.

Delusion, upon delusion, upon delusion.

And there is plenty more to come....stay tuned.

Like you can do anything else, right?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I Think I Found an Ancient Stone Tool

I believe I may have found a very old rock tool today. Basalt possibly. It has obvious knapping strike marks on it and an obvious design. I've found these things before and they always turned out to be nothing.

But that was before college and receiving an education in this kind of thing. I remember from a bunch of anthropology and archaeology classes I took in college and this now seems to be just what I at first thought it was.

Something about the odd shape caught my attention. I had hesitated, then walked on, stopped, went back, figured what the hell, picked it up and looked at it. I couldn't make up my mind so I just shoved it in my back pocket to examine it more closely later when I got home and had better tools to examine it with. I quickly forgot about it. But better safe than sorry.

Cutting/scraping edge on top under my thumb
I had been walking along the street side, in the street, looking for things to shoot photos of after leaving a cemetery (see, Instragram for those photos). In thinking about it, in wondering how in the world I would ever figure out if this was real, I suddenly realized years ago I had been educated in this to the point that I should now be able to tell, is it real, or not?

I used to hang at the anthro lab in college which was one big party mostly. But we were taught how to knap and make stone tools, about them and their uses, etc. It was a great group of people. Some very funny people. Several of them took Speech 101 with me. I even considered changing my major to that for a short time.

Which evokes a speech on of us gave on "The Infamous and notorious 1,000 pound Canadian beaver". A speech that had half the class confused and believing it all. A quarter of the class horrified and disturbed and the final quarter of the class (including myself and a couple of other Anthro lab students), nearly on the floor. It was a brilliant speech. Basically a comedy stand up routine. I've discussed this experience in a previous blog.

I believe this stone tool may be a tranchet, or a scraper, or a possible skinning tool. If so, in looking at other examples online, this was a nice one considering how well and comfortably it fits my hand. Also, research indicated they don't even need to be that sharp to work well. I'd even considered several possibilities such as arrowhead, or spearhead, considering potential for damage over the years in it just getting kicked around.
https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-indian-weapons-tools/stone-tools.htm
"In archaeology, a tranchet flake is a characteristic type of flake removed by a flintknapper during lithic reduction. Known as one of the major categories in core-trimming flakes, the making of a tranchet flake involves removing a flake parallel to the final intended cutting-edge of the tool which creates a single straight edge as wide as the tool itself. A large flint artifact with a chisel-end, the tranchet flake has a cutting-edge that is sharp and straight. The cutting-edge is unmodified in most cases; sometimes, it is polished for increased durability and/or sharpness."

At first I figured it was a small stone axe head to be attached to a piece of wood. Hard to tell esp., considering wear and tear in between its original use and now. But it has dull ends, which could be useful not to puncture an animal skin when separating it from the carcass. That made me on the street think it might be a small war ax or something.

Kind of cool regardless. But how do you tell if it's just a stone, or a manufactured tool, and if it's a tool is very old or of more recent modern manufacture?

From An identification checklist:
"To distinguish between an artifact and a geofact (a flint that has been shaped by natural processes such as frost) use the following checklist. Don't pay too much attention to the overall shape or possible function (whether it would make a good borer or spear point) but ask yourself:

  • Is the flint uniformly patinated?
  • Is there the remains of a striking platform?
  • Is there a striking point (positive bulb of percussion)?
  • Have the edges been retouched?
  • Is there pressure flaking on the surface?"

Okay, I don't have a proper lens for something this closeup but I used my 24x Canon prime lens and took some shots, then cleaned them up a bit, cropped and resampled to a smaller size. You can't fully see what I can when I'm holding it and unless you really know what you're looking for it just looks like a stone.

But I see knapping strike locations, polished areas from use, and at this point, esp. after reading up yesterday and reminding myself of what I once knew, I'm pretty sure it's difficult at this point for it not to be what I'm now thinking it is. Too many points of verification seem to exist. I was starting to think it was real when I started to hold it in my hand as if I was going to use it. And it fit, perfectly. As if designed to be held in that way. At that point I was pretty sold on what it was. A manufactured tool.

The question now for me is, how old is it? My old Anthro \ Archaeology professor could make good tools out of stone. But you can't really make it look like this one unless you are trying to make it look real as well as old. As in attempting to counterfeit it. Polishing it on a polisher which most modern stone tool knappers don't do. Then, for it to be polished in places would take years of a lot of use. As if it were a tool used regularly in daily life.

Also I did find it in an odd place, being next to a cemetery in some sparse gravel on a road side in town. Considering gravel is hauled in to be put on roads, the original location for centuries could be out in the middle or no where until it was dumped here in town.

At this point, I'm pretty convinced that after a life time of trying to find something like this, I finally did.

UPDATE 4/8/17:
I went back to that spot and there was no gravel. About a half block away a home had some of that type of rock gravel but nothing of note. I'm beginning to wonder. Thinking for sure, I found a rock tool someone lost. Either thousands of years ago, or more recently. But in considering it was by itself, it seems odd that it would have been there by natural causes. Rather someone else found it like I did, moved it, and lost it. Or knew what it was an lost it. Or something.
thirty three new pics from today's walkabout around Bremerton.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Reality Through Personal Filters Darkly

We have to stop looking at everything through these filters and start seeing what we're talking and voting about.

I get it if you vote to keep as much money as you make on each paycheck, simply because you don't make enough money. But consider if you're thinking at all about paychecks, you're simply not one of the many who never even know when they get a paycheck, just because they have so much money to begin with. You're in a different league altogether. Certainly a different social strata and definitely a different tax bracket.

But you can't vote because you do not want to be taxed or pay for someone else's healthcare. You have to expand your awareness as to why you don't make any money in the first place. Where is all that money going?

It's not just going to taxes. Because you're not, none of us are, paying ENOUGH in taxes. No one is anymore. Even though Republicans think cutting taxes is ALWAYS the answer. It's not. When you cut taxes as they have for years, down into the meat, into the bone, into the bone marrow of our country, then we have got to stop cutting taxes and start getting that money back into the government so it can once again be functional.

So, where is all that money?

When you finally do start making enough money per paycheck, for whatever reason, then you have to ask yourself, exactly when DO you have enough? According to the tenets of capitalism, you never do.

And that in itself is wrong. NO ONE ever should have as much money as a small nation because we live in a closed economic system. Either within our local municipality or nation or our entire planet. IF some take most of all the money, that becomes destructive to the whole, illiberal, unfair, and it should be outright illegal. Who fights against that? The wealthy, the powerful and then they convince the poor to argue in their place, and for their benefit.

We are so caught up in our concerns and considerations of "freedom" that we cannot even see all that to be true.

Belonging to a nation is a responsibility. You do not just get to live here for free, but you do have some inalienable rights. The wealthy want to live for free. So they must be held accountable. These grey areas that conservatives fight against in healthcare, judicial representation, and civil protections for police, fire and emergency care, should simply be rights. These are not and should not be privileges.

Because we have other things to pay for besides corporations or our massive military budget.

What the problem is here is that for many decades now, our priorities have been skewed from what they should be. We have heard too much derision and disinformation about socialism for instance. Before that it was communism. Before that probably a fear of freed slaves or of freeing slaves.

We have evolved and bettered ourselves and now we are at a point of backsliding and we need to stopgap it. End it. But fake news, the bastard child of spin has overtaken our media and our citizens.

Those who wish to stay in power have found it useful to abuse our political process and we find we are stuck with them. Beyond what is right. Beyond what is reasonable. We have had our taxes cut to where education has gone downhill. Easy access to instant media has polarized our beliefs. Beyond Russian dezinformatsiya (disinformation) which the Republican party has absconded with and made their own. Then they have turned about and blamed what they have done, when used against them, as "fake news".

We need to re-attenuate our own mental filters with real information, accurate news, truth and what is reasonable. We have to allow our ideas to fail, when they are bad ideas, rather than doubling down just to win, especially whenever it is in the worst interest of the country. Our method of democracy has been damaged, hopefully not permanently, but the abuse of politics and the discovery of disinformation.

We now have to deal with cyber attacks, hacking from Russia, China and elsewhere to a lesser extent from places like then North Korean hermit kingdom. So it is even more imperative that we get our beliefs, our filters, straightened out and correct.

It all stops with agreeing on what a fact is, on seeing the filters we use having the same basis in reality, the same criteria for what is fake and what is actual, and on our priorities being agreed upon.

Because aside from our filters are our priorities which have been broken for many decades now.

What are we, who are we first and foremost? Nationalists against all other countries and all other humans? Theists against all other religions or religion itself? Right or left leaning politicians against all others who disagree with us? Or just greedy or power hungry against all those we can walk upon in order to raise ourselves up above all others?

We have to decide these things. And we need to decide them very, very soon.

Friday, March 31, 2017

America as merely Tin Coated, or a Still Great Nation?

Pres. Trump is building America into a tin coated, cost cutting version of its once great self.

Mr. Trump's process for "making American great again" is simply telegraphing to other countries like China and Russia, both long passed but once great nations in their own right, that it is finally possible that one of them can replace America as the world leader for so very many things.

By reverting from culture to only economy, we quite diminish ourselves.

For other nations to see the course we are taking, we tarnish our reputation to that of cheap corporations. The mere devices and toys of greedy businessmen.

For those other nations to view us as second rate, is to wake them up to the potential that once again, as for France, they could again be the cultural center of the world.

For countries like China and Russia, in considering their political sensibilities we could be forcing on the world just such failed philosophical leaders as of those two primary and once failed communist states.

As these things make other nations shy away from us, we truly need to have a very open and very real discussion on just who thehell we seem to think we are as America!

Monday, March 27, 2017

If It Weren't for Irony, Would I Have This Appreciation?

I was married once upon a time, or two. I had met a woman I found quite amazing. She, for some reason, found me quite amazing. That happens in life sometimes. More for some than others, to be sure. We were together for a while. For a while things were, amazing. Then? Then they simply weren't.

It's an old story. Many have lived it.

We split up. It wasn't pretty. She was, however. It wasn't. In fact in some ways, she wasn't. I was miserable. she was angry. And no, I didn't do anything anyone would say is something. What happened can be understandable. But any adult would see that what happened was unethical, immoral and fattening. And not in a good way.

The thing is, what is important is... after she left, after it was all over, other than the fact that we had a daughter between us, I continued living in our house. I wanted continuity for the kids. And maybe for me some, too. After a while the kids were fine and we really needed to move. But I didn't. You see, I didn't get that. That they needed to move, that I needed to move.

Finally I tried to sell the house. But the housing market bubble burst. This was back in 2006. That's when it started to go south for me. The house dropped $140,000 from where it was. It had doubled from where I had bought it, and it lost a lot that next year or so. Eventually, with two mortgages, I was under water. I couldn't sell. It sucked. Ten years later I tried to sell it again.

And it sold this time. I didn't make much on it but at least I got out from under it, I got out from under the second mortgage, I got out from under living in the house my ex wife and I bought together.

During the week I moved out, my SUV broke down. Back in 2000 I had bought her the SUV. She'd had a Ford Ranger truck for years and it was falling apart. The paint was peeling. She had used it all up. She was an internationally certified horse trainer and riding instructor. She used up that truck that she had gotten before she had even met me. She deserved the SUV. It was nice, fancy, dependable. It looked nice, it had the extras package. And it wasn't cheap.

When she left it surprised me that she said she didn't want any of the cars. So I got them.

Long story short, during the time when I was moving after having finally sold the house, during the week I was moving to a new house, the SUV broke again. Several hundred dollars later, it broke again. A few hundred later it broke again that same week.

I finally had it. I parked it and called the dealer where I have taken my cars for years (and shameless plug for Liberty Bay Auto in Poulsbo, WA). Another long story short (I was actually able to get it started again and simply drove it the whole mile over to their shop), I traded in the originally $32,000 1998 Nissan Pathfinder LE to them for $100 and got myself a nice and much newer little car that I love now oh so much.

My point in all this being?

I'd had my heart ripped out by my ex. I lived for years in the house we had decorated, had remolded together and had bought together. I had two of her cars, both of which broke down before I moved and one had to be towed, while the other had to be traded cheaply in on another car. I had also had another car too. A turbo, vroom, vroom. What a car! But the engine blew.

So I finally moved out of that house we had bought together.

Finally I had a new house, new car, and no more old cars breaking down anymore. I also have a 2006 Harley which I bought a few years ago and it's mine, all mine. I have no major remembrances of my ex any longer swimming around my mind. I had a house in the woods, on a couple of beautiful acres. I now have a house on maybe an acre, with an awesome view of part of Puget Sound.

Nothing about this place reminds me of my ex.

And then after we moved in, across the street from us, in the house on the water with a dock, a new family moved in. At first I thought, fine. Good for them. And then it happened.

They pulled up and parked a horse trailer out front on a road too small so that it was technically illegal to park it there. It sat there, day in and day out. We live on a tiny paved road with not lots of room for cars parked on either curb (no curb anyway) and two way traffic still needing to be able to amble along. I checked the law. Parking on this road is illegal. You need to have a driveway. Odd. I know.

So it's extremely obvious it's sitting there when we come and go. Or I look out a window.

See, I have a huge picture window with an awesome view. And right there, right out front, day in and day out, unable not to see it... is that horse trailer. Which by association requires that the people, or at least the woman wearing riding gear type clothing must be another "horse person".

Did I mention my ex was a horse trainer? And riding instructor? That when we were first living together I had moved into her apartment in the front of a huge modern horse barn with over sixty-two horse stalls, a round pen, an arena, washing stalls, offices, a couple of modern apartments, etc., etc., etc. It was a sizable horse farm.

My ex had worked so hard, before sunrise to long after sunset, that on Sunday mornings at 5AM I would get up in my bathrobe and even in the frigid winter air, in my bathrobe and slippers, push along the wheelbarrow and feed all of the horses for her so she could sleep in one day a wake. Myself, I had to commute an hour each day into Seattle and it was a brutal commute.

We lived upstairs in the barn. So I could go out through our back laundry room into the upstairs part of the barn above all the horse stalls. I could go to each stall above it, drop down hay, timothy, grain or whatever the horse needed according to its note on the stall chute, and then go to the next horse.

Then I'd go back to the apartment, crawl back into bed, freezing in the winter, next to a lovely warm and attractive naked body that would appreciatively snuggle up next to me to warm me in appreciation. Something I always found amazing, as I was freezing at times I'm sure. But such was the appreciation she felt for my efforts. It was just one of those experiences that both found incredibly rewarding. That made life just a little bit better.

And now, all I have is that horse trailer that simply won't go away.

UPDATE: About a week after I wrote this, they sold the horse trailer! And my new experience in my new life finally, continued on.

Monday, March 20, 2017

No More Spankings

I have said this before, but perhaps it's time to mention it again. I will say this. And I try not to address this very often as many parents get upset in thinking they are being attacked. About that.

None of us knows what we're doing raising kids certainly for the first time and kids can be very different. Forcing them into a cookie cutter format is foolish, like with most K-12 schools. We do our best, love them a lot and that seems to work. So some bad ideas come off as good ones. Most parents deserve a lot of respect for a hard job that last at least 18 years.

Parenting is simply picking a path and being the smart one in your parent/child relationship.

It is fundamentally choosing a point of view from which to raise your child and then following it. Walking that path with them while being more clever than them. All while making the child work well for both yourself and the child theirself.

It was explain to us in psychology in college (I got my degree in psych), that once a child understands words, spanking becomes abuse. Why punch someone when words will do, for instance.

For one, pain does not need to be inflicted on a child at all ever. Just the perception. That also goes into S&M sexual behavior. MOST people don't need pain involved, just the perception of it, pressure suffices in most cases to enhance sexual release. If the pain is necessary that gets into deeper issues and can go awry. Just as with spanking with some parents. Some seems good, more is better when it's simply not.

A spanking is typically considered to be repeated strikes when only one is needed. A proper spanking should be one swat on the butt, half a second later, the word NO sternly spoken to associate pain or perceived pain with a verbal comment. So then you can just say NO, and it serves the same purpose. So why hit a child after that. Or after the child can understand spoken language?

What's our most primal response? Fight or flight (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response). What does your parents beating you invoke in you? Fight or flight. Why in God's name would you invoke that response in your own children? Ah, some might yearn for old school, biblical child rearing, the fear of God concept, or of the parent.

Well, I'd argue that's counter productive in the end. One can manage by fear or love, it's our choice. But you have to ask yourself if you choose fear, and in considering that love does work. Why would you choose fear? For most, because it's quick and easy and considers the child's point of view the very least.

As parents we can become inured to our child's needs out of our own exhaustion and frustration in raising them and in our not having enough freedom and pleasure because we are raising them. Some parents even resent that and will rationalize abusing their child even if ever so slightly over that consideration. We just have to be sure we don't put that on them, when it should be on us. Just because it works for some and we don't see all they do to their children, doesn't mean we should do it ourselves to our own.

There is one more I would add to that: freeze.

IF you're that scared that you can only immobilize, like a deer in headlights, you are literally traumatized to immobility. Again, why would you invoke that in a child you love? If ever you see that response in your child, immediately back the hell off and take another course. You've gone too far.

Or perhaps something else is going on with your child and you need to look into that. In some cases it can relate to their being abused by someone else, if not you if you do not realize it. We all have varying levels at which we react to things. In punishing one of your children the same as another, one might need far less stimuli to invoke the response you are looking for, while another might barely respond to anything you try. To apply that to both, could traumatize one of them and work against the better interests of both parent and child.

When my son was about 3 or 4, spankings never worked with him anyway. I stumbled upon something better. I sat him in the middle of the living room and lectured him for 20 mins on the physics of why he shouldn't do what he did wrong. It was hard to get him to sit, but I walked around him talking, keeping his attention. I was polite, happy, energetic, positive. This was about education, not punishment. I thought it would kill him, so did he.

A couple of days later, he did something just as bad. He didn't want to stop when I asked him to. So I asked him just on a whim to see his reaction, "Son, do you want a lecture again?" He immediately stopped his bad behavior and yelled, "NO, daddy please I don't want a lecture again!"

That worked far better then spanking OR yelling at him, which I also didn't do. Though his mother, esp., after we broke up when he was 4, continued to spank and scream at him. When I got him back at 5, it took years to fix the damage she did in only about 18 months.

Years later in junior high, he did something I needed to punish him for. Instead I talked to him about what he had done. I explained all around the issue trying to sell him on my point of view. Then I assigned him to read a book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".

I made it clear it wasn't in any way supposed to be a punishment but that his bad behavior came from a lack of understanding and knowledge. He still took it as punishment. After a while though he didn't and started to see what a cool book it was.

It took him a while to finish that book. He even read it while with his mother part of that summer. By end of summer he had read it all. When he told his friends about it back at school he got two responses. One, they thought that he got an awesome punishment. When he pointed out it wasn't punishment...second, they thought he had an awesome dad. A nice bonus. The point is it did so much more positive and eliminated so much negative in that kind of situation.

He was an unusual child to raise, nothing easy about it. We both had ADHD but his was worse than mine. So I had needed to find different ways to raise him because like me, he saw the world differently.

I got the full gamut of old parenting skills as a child. Whippings, hair yanking, being grounded, etc. My son got "grounded too" in removing stimuli not so much as punishment when young but as some resetting his stimulation levels. The trouble with him like me, was that we just adjusted to the new norm in being grounded. Which robs the parents of any benefit to punishment.

The belief that so much of what is bad today in young people has to do with not spanking then as child is confused and incorrect. There are so many other issues involved in what is going on today. Like every kid getting a trophy for instance, which is just as if not far more damaging.

Spanking as abuse, after they can understand words, comes from not knowing what else to do, frustration in the parent, and parents not having time, energy, or information about what else to do that does work better. In some cases it has been shown that never spanking with some children ever also works.

For one,one cannot claim that all things work for all children. Also in parents screwing up in raising their children, so much can be forgiven if the child feels well loved. The father being in the child's life has also countered much damage in child rearing.

It's a more complicated topic than spare the rod spoil the child, a biblical belief written by ancients who themselves were quite ignorant of so much and a belief system that has damaged the world more than was necessary.

Yet though it served its purpose for thousands of years, it also in part led to the dark ages, and it's dark side rears its defective ugly head from time to time. As we're seeing in American and world politics now. Now it needs to be replaced with something much better. We're getting there on that.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2017!

Let me say first, that today, I will not for the first time in many years, be in Seattle celebrating St. Pattrick's day like I have so many times and as I did with my son in 2010, for his first time. I originally posted this blog in 2011 when I again celebrated the day with my son at the Fado Irish Pub.

Now it is 2017. So many changes. A questionable human being has been elected as President (Donald J. Trump). We are now living in Bremerton,m WA after I sold my house of sixteen years, last year and then on 9/11 retired from many years in IT work. All so I could concentrate on my writings and filmmaking.

Tomorrow, I have an event I will be attending of creatives in Port Orchard. A gathering of filmmakers, writers, artists, photographers and creatives. My daughter (a musician, artists and photographer) and her boyfriend )an artist himself) will be going with me. Director and friend Kelly Hughes is throwing the event, our second after our successful first event last month. Everyone wanted another so this one should be bigger. I have bought a lot of camera equipment to restart my old LGN Production company I started in 1993.

My son and I had a great deal of fun on St. Patrick's Day in 2010 and duplicated the effort in 2011. Perhaps today we will stop by the High Fidelity Lounge up the street from home here for some lunch and drinks. But sadly the event tomorrow is curbing my celebratory activities today so I won't be trashed for tomorrow evening.

Someone said today on Facebook to me that: "St Patrick was a murderous son of a bitch anyway. Like most of the canonized Roman Catholic scumbags, Mother Teresa included."

My response was: "May be the case, I don't really care. I'm not celebrating him anyway. I'm fine with changing the name but good luck on that one. Besides, Celtic Heritage day just doesn't have the same ring. For that matter I'm anti religion. I still like Christmas, and St. Patrick's Day celebrations. It's just fun. I agree, it's good to know reality and what things are based in. But again, I'm definitely not celebrating St. Patrick, but the day of reveling in my Irish side of my heritage and the fun loving and positive aspects and nature of the Irish."

Anyway from here down it is my blog from 2011 (yes, I forgot to write a blog for today for this year).

I'm not much of one for parades, but there's no end to them during this week. There is even one Saturday here in Bremerton.

Flag of Ireland

There are some good links on this blog today for things Irish and St. Patty's Day oriented. I'm not saying anything about the bars I'm mentioning, I only go to those two (and a shout out to the Owl and Thistle) as I take a ferry over from Bainbridge Island and you walk along a path straight to Owl & Thistle or Fado, and then it's a straight shot to the left on 1st Avenue to Pike Place Market and Kell's. That way no car is involved. I can actually take a bus if I wish to and from the ferry and home. Then you can even hit the bar at the ferry terminal, Commuter Comforts, run by some of my favorite people.

Regarding those who are suffering around the world, they have my most powerful and earnest excessively positive thoughts to them all. May they all be soon dancing and happy once again and their troubles be put far behind them and never to find their address in the dark of night or light of day!

But on one day a year, no matter how bad things are, it's good to take the time to celebrate and forget about your woes and the world's troubles. A tradition that was once in Ireland, far more important perhaps, than it is now; albeit now is not so great either. Where we had the "Great Troubles" before, we now, in Ireland, have the "Financial Troubles" which is troubling, but after all, no one is kneecapping you over your credit rating, or blowing your friends up at the local pub.

March 17th, is St. Patrick's Day. It is a high holy day of drunks, Irish and party goers the world over. They say on St. Patty's day, everyone (who wants to be) is Irish. It's a grand day of sharing community and inebriation. Always have your toast "Sláinte!" ready at hand as its commonly used as a drinking toast in Ireland (and Scotland and the Isle of Man), literally translating as "health". And here health to ya!
Saint Patrick (c. 387–461)

It's also a special day for Catholics. But they have their blog, I have mine. I have celebrated St. Patty's day all my life. As far back as I can remember. My mother, when I was younger than five, had a cut out streamer hanging from one side of our ceiling in our living room, to the other, saying: "Erin Go Bragh!" Meaning, allegiance to Ireland or typically, "Ireland Forever". It is probable that the English version was taken from what was a "dative" context, such as Go bhfanad in Éirinn go brách ("May I stay in Ireland for ever") or Go bhfillead go hÉirinn go brách ("May go back to Ireland for ever").
This was funny because, she is Czech, but I think she was just a "party girl" and liked celebrating a day that was all about, well, celebrating. Her husband at that time, wasn't my dad, who was Irish, but her current husband, who was always proud of saying he was English. We never got along. Of course now, for some reason, he claims Irishness. I've no idea why. He claims he never made a big deal out of being English, nor did he ever decry Irishness. But he did.

Odd to say, my mother has done that too. In telling her once I stepped over my brother's prostrate form, on the living room rug, watching TV, she made me step back over him because, "if you step over someone, it means they may die." She denies ever saying that now. Strange enough, a few years after that, he died.

Back to St. Patty's day.

And now, our Wikipedia moment:

"Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It originated as a Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 17th century. It has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Irish culture.

"It is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Montserrat, among others."
According to legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish people.

Wearing of the green

Originally, the color associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, in hopes of making a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name.

Now that that's all out of the way....

Normally I would probably go to Seattle's Kell's Irish Pub at Pike Place Market. Have some lunch, get a T shirt ($20 entry fee).

I do so dislike that they use plastic cups but worse, that they use cups that are not a full Pint. So you have to pay extra and get two "pints" on St. Patty's day if you want one. The up side of that is that you end up with more than a pint, but it's God awfully expensive that way.

There is a lot to enjoy however. People are there early, at the Fado this year, they are starting by opening their doors at 7:30AM. It's always fun once in a while to have a pint first thing in the morning (but please, be sensible, eat breakfast, drink a glass of water between each pint).

Now most pubs are celebrating all week long, staring the previous weekend, and ending the following one. But I just celebrate it on the Day.

I love Irish music, especially if it's live, and its always fun to have some good clean laughter, good times with interesting people, friends and loved ones, or at least strangers who treat you nicely. And St. Patty's day is all about being nice to strangers and having a pint with them.

Sláinte!

On a side note, it always helps to have a few Irish blessings under your belt for St. Patty's day. If you can belt out a few of these you will be the life of the party Here are a few I have hanging on my walls:

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

Now a few quick ones good for a toast in a raucous room of rowdies:

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember
Those that have stuck by you.

May the enemies of Ireland never meet a friend.

May the roof above us never fall in.
And may the friends gathered below it never fall out.

Here's a toast to your enemies' enemies!

For those religious types:
May the Lord keep you in His hand
And never close His fist too tight.

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let's all get drunk, and go to heaven!

May your troubles be less
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.

May the luck of the Irish
Lead to happiest heights
And the highway you travel
Be lined with green lights.

May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
And quick to make friends.
But rich or poor,
Quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May you have food and raiment,
A soft pillow for your head,
May you be forty years in heaven
Before the devil knows you're dead.

May the face of every good news
And the back of every bad news
Be forever toward us

May I see you gray and combing your grandchildren's hair

And finally....

There are only two kinds of people in the world,
The Irish, and those who wish they were.

Okay, that was just a jest for fun, maybe yet one more....

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.