Daily Archives: October 16, 2013

The Ghost Of America Past — The Sixties

Easy Rider’s a hell of a place to be finding something that makes sense.

Becoming is Superior to Being

Willow Springs Ranch-8228 art I blogThe Ghost of America Past — Image by kenne

Below, I’m sharing one of my favorite passages from the movie, Easy Rider. Isn’t it funny how both the political “left” and the “right” claim they know the meaning of “freedom.” This passage is often referenced by the religious-right and the secular-left, when the movie Easy Rider was a critical statement by a generation about America.

Remember how Bush used the film in his 1988 campaign as a symbol of a discarded American attitude, replaced by Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, “Go ahead, make my day!”

For me, I still agree with George Hanson, “. . . this use to be a helluva good country.” Just goes to show you that if “objective reality” exist, its definition is defined by each individual, making reality very subjective. Or, put another way, objective reality exist, but our experiences of it are subjective.

— kenne

George Hanson: You know, this used…

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What’s with the pointy nightcaps? Sensible Sleep Headgear

Last night I dug out the lesser furry sleep cap and pulled down the ear-flaps for the first time this year. Just a word to the wise should be sufficient. Jack

So Far From Heaven

Every year I wonder about these pictures of Scrooge and others wearing pointee nightcaps.  It’s a subject dear to my heart because I became an aficionado of sleeping hats when I used to do my slumbering outdoors a lot.

The function of a nightcap is to keep a person from losing his body heat through his exposed scalp and hair.  Besides doing that it needs to stay on the head while you toss and turn.  Those pointed hats do none of that.

I’ve tried a lot of different types of sleeping caps through the years and found it’s not easy to find one that satisfies all the minimum criteria:

This one’s sheepskin and I’ve used it for 30 years when the weather’s cold enough.  But it’s stiff and doesn’t stay on all that well because one of the straps for tying under the chin broke off sometime way back there…

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Reckon where we’d be today if they’d put this on the ballot in 1992

1992,the NBC News/WSJ poll asked whether voters would be willing to check a box on the ballot that would defeat everyone in Congress, including their own representatives. Sixty percent of those surveyed were willing to play 52-card pickup and start all over again with 535 new members of Congress.

Imagining a vibrant third party is a political fantasy that ranks right up there with a deadlocked national convention going to a ninth ballot. But two decades ago, there was the out-of-nowhere emergence of Ross Perot. Before Perot became known for his paranoid claims and his bizarre (and temporary) withdrawal during the 1992 Democratic Convention, he touched off an outsider populist movement with a centrist cut-the-national-debt ideology.

http://news.yahoo.com/why-republicans-should-be-very–very-afraid-192943188.html

Lessee, there’s all the banana wars, the series of gawdawful presidents and the families running US Congress probably wouldn’t have happened they way they did.  Then there’s NAFTA, millions of trainloads of Chinese toasters we’d have to do without, maybe.  Bank bailouts, auto industry bailouts, where does it all stop once you begin trying to digest it all?

Luckily it never made it onto the ballot. 

Might have, though, if anyone found a way past the people who control what goes on ballots.

All I can be certain of is that if it had been on the ballot I’d have voted.  Might even have kept voting in some of the others between then and now.  Saved me one hell of a lot of trouble, them not putting it on the ballot.

Old Jules

Well, lessee. Hmm. Reckon why the forage fish on the west coast of North America might vanish?

Climate change would be nice.  Climate change is something we can all bite our ownselves in the ass about if we believe humans are the cause of it.

Similarly, a sort of general speculation it might be overfishing works well, so long as there’s no mention whether one particular nation is responsible more than the others.  No mention, specifically of the city-sized fish factories operating year-round buying catches from any fishing boat capable of reaching them.  Japanese fish factories operating in a devil-take-the-hindmost race to see whether they can get all the fish out of the North Pacific before Japanese radiation kills them.  Stone deaf to the pleas of every nation on earth also depending on their fishing industries.

So yeah, maybe over harvesting of fish might be it.

Beats hell out of one other possibility nobody seems to be mentioning.  The 900 pound gorilla.  Personally I don’t know enough about it all to have an opinion.  But I suspect the reason those fishing job related folks don’t mention the 900 pound gorilla possibility might be a desire to be able to catch and sell fish again sometime if the Pacific coast of North America ever has any again.

Maybe those radiation leaking Japanese nuke plants are being damned by faint praise. 

 

Lost At Sea: Fishers Can’t Find Sardines and Climate Change May Be To Blame

By Clare Leschin-Hoar | Takepart.com 16 hours ago Takepart.com
 
The sardines off the western coast of Canada have completely disappeared.

No one knows exactly what has happened to the $32 million commercial fishery, but what we do know is stunning: The region’s sardine fishermen returned to port empty-handed after failing to catch a single fish according to a report Monday.

Poof! Vanished. Gone. 

Although you may not eat sardines on a regular basis, (though we think you should), the health of this tiny forage fish has had scientists worried for some time.

Sardines, along with anchovy and menhaden, form the base of the food chain for species that range from bluefin tuna to humpback whales to sea birds and dolphins. Forage fish are critically important to the aquaculture industry as well, where they’re ground up, turned into fishmeal, and fed to popular species like farmed salmon.

Geoff Shester, a scientist with conservation group Oceana says they’ve been concerned about the Pacific sardine fishery for some time and warns that effects from a collapse could last for decades.

“This is about the entire Pacific coast including the U.S. and Mexico, not just British Columbia,” says Shester. “If fishermen have stopped fishing because they’ve hit their quota, that’s one thing. But they’re stopping because they can’t find any fish. That means fishery management is failing.”

Indeed, Oceana isn’t the only group worried. The collapse was predicted by prominent scientists who said ocean conditions—including a change in temperature—and poor reproduction rates are contributing to the sardines’ decline.

At least one study has found that climate change is causing the geography of where fish are found to shift, which may be what we’re seeing in Canada, too.
 
Fishing pressures on the ecosystem also play an important role.

When sardines are in a productive cycle, they can be fished agressively and their stock can withstand it, while leaving enough for ocean predators, Shester said.

“But if you don’t respond to a natural decline fast enough by limiting fishing, you’re suddenly in big trouble,” says Shester. “It makes the crash even worse because you’ll have fewer sardines remaining. When conditions get productive again, they can’t bounce back because there aren’t enough of them to begin with.”

Canada isn’t alone in declining sardine stocks. Paul Shively, forage fish campaign manager for Pew Charitable Trusts, says we’re seeing a similar trend in the U.S. The numbers are striking. In 2007, the U.S. brought in 127,500 metric tons of Pacific sardines.  In 2010, the number shrunk to 66,817 metric tons, and by 2011 that number declined to 44,000 metric tons. 

“We can’t do a lot about the changing temperatures of the ocean and the natural cycles it goes through, but what we can do is to keep from fishing the bottom out of that. We don’t want to fish those last remaining fish,” he said.

Shively is worried about more than just sardines. While sardines are protected under fishery management plans, he points out that there are no such protections for other important species like smelt, Pacific saury and lantern fish.

“If someone wants to fish them, there are no limits on what they can take,” says Shively.

As for the sardine fishery, Shester says we should be paying close attention to the news coming from Canada.

“We’re in an emergency situation right now. Any fishing is overfishing when the stock is in this condition.”

Not to suggest if it’s actually the nukes doing it the Japanese are at fault in any way.  Any more than they’d be at fault if it were found to be their giant fish factories doing it.

I’ve always figured climate change was what caused the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  It all runs together.  Karma sort of thing.

Old Jules