Predictions for 2017

Every year since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve made predictions for the coming year.

So let me just take the swan dive into the depressing mire and get it out of my head.

2017 will be hotter than 2016, which was the hottest on record, beating 2015, which was hotter than 2014, which was the hottest ever recorded.

First prediction is the safe one. We have passed the point of no return on climate change. Storms, floods, droughts, wildfires, all will increase in intensity and destruction.

The ice continues to melt at both poles; betting on when the Larsen C ice shelf will calve is brisk. The blue ocean event looms. The US Navy predicted 2017 as the time and I’m nothing but patriotic, so I’ll go with our Navy. Our coasts are toast.

Methane releases will surprise and amaze scientists.

Say goodbye first to the Affordable Care Act, then social security and medicare and medicaid. Our new president is not going to fund a single thing that does not directly benefit the one percent. All of the safety nets will have yuge holes in them by the end of this year. Health care is going to cost more money, so the mortality rates in the US will be rising.

Since the middle class is the only one left to loot, we shall be looted. A financial crash is certainly on the horizon; but I frankly don’t understand the craziness enough to know whether it will happen this year or the next.

All of the pipelines currently under protest will be approved and the protesters will be locked up, with the key thrown away, assuming they aren’t killed. All of the mining, all of the drilling and logging and other extractive industries will be ramped up, polluting our air and water. This will contribute to the climbing mortality rates. But, jobs.

Protesting itself will be made illegal. Four states have this under consideration right now, only two of which I can remember: North Dakota and Michigan. My guess, because I just don’t have the energy to research it, is that these laws are being written by the same people who brought us Stand Your Ground and Right to Work, aka ALEC and the US Chamber of Commerce folks, aka the one percent.

Invest in for profit prisons, because they will be growing and hiring. Of course, they won’t pay well, because, well, you know. What the one percent really wants is for slavery to be legal again. So kiss all of the minimum wage increases goodbye. States will tell municipalities what they can and can’t do, and the states are run by the butt boys for the one percent….meat puppets, prostitutes, whatever you want to call them.

Somewhere in here, the United States will be declared a Christian nation. As I’ve said previously, 2017 is going to be an irony rich year.

Suicide will increase dramatically.

At the micro level, we are a more divided nation than ever. I confess, when meeting a new person, the first thing I want to know is who they voted for. This is not all that new for me….I’ve always been accused of taking politics too seriously. It’s funny that people are now starting to catch up to where I was years ago.

In short, this year is going to suck quite a lot.

As the endgame nears, I give less and less energy to the idea that change can happen. Sure hasn’t in my lifetime. Everything I’ve marched for, protested against, written about…..it’s all still happening and now, thanks to Obama, the surveillance capabilities have grown. Dissent is about to be severely curtailed, which will be wasted energy because dissent hasn’t changed a thing in the last 50 or so years.

Human beings are killing the earth. Instead of trying to save it, we’re going to look for a new place to destroy.

As a species, we have been proven to be incredibly stupid. I don’t expect that to change.

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Ice ice baby

The ice storm started Friday night.  It didn’t melt until Sunday night.

dscn2702It was beautiful and spooky.

No neighbors were out with the chain saws.  Very little shooting, either, so it was a human quiet.

dscn2695The ice crackles.  Limbs broke.

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At night, it drizzled off and on, with fog and mist hanging in the air.  Everything seemed muffled, except the ice.dscn2698

We were well provisioned with the necessities and the wood stove added its warmth.

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As we listened to the crackling ice, and as I watched the ice laden and terminally ill trees, I wondered if a tree would hit the house.  As I walked around taking pictures, I wondered if a tree would fall and take me out.

Beautiful.  Spooky.  A little terrifying.

It’s home.

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Thoughts on Standing Rock

At this moment, it appears that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies have won.

I have admired their campaign. They framed their message and kept it simple. They used social media brilliantly. By remaining peaceful, they performed sort of a jujitsu move on their opponents, in this case, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, the tool of choice of Energy Transfer Partners.

I doubt the Morton County Sheriff’s Department even today understands what hit them. Every decision they made was the wrong one. Maybe it’s the hangover of the election, but they apparently thought that simply saying something was enough. But when the “water protectors” (and, jeez, how simple is that?) broadcasts live what the police have become in America, I think it shocked the shit out of people.

People like Wesley Clark Jr., for instance.

I’m hopeful that this is a great awakening. I’ve been hoping for a resistance to the constant nibbling and outright whacking away at the Constitution. And again, timing might be in play here. President Elect Trump has not, so far, demonstrated any understanding or appreciation for our Constitution. And a resistance will be needed.

What cannot be underestimated is the extremely high moral ground of Native Americans. Their constant reiteration of non-violence and prayer; their clear message of protecting water, their clear willingness to put their bodies in jeopardy, their constant “join us” invitations…..they were brilliant. That is leadership. That is exactly what is needed. Simple. Direct. Inclusive. Creative.

I hope for follow through. I hope evidence is looked for of collusion between the fossil fuel industry and the Dalrymple administration. I hope indictments, trials and prison time follow. I hope government gets the message that we would like for them to disconnect from industry. None of that will happen, of course.

I fear our government far more than terrorists. They allow threats to our food, air, water every day, in the name of business. We should have resisted this years ago, back in the 1980s.  It might have made a difference then.

Obviously, I hope that the Dakota Access Pipeline, and others, don’t get built, or at least don’t get built near major water sources.

It’s been very educational watching this happen. I’ve been checking the Morton County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page, and this department’s unofficial motto could be “Conspiracy is unnecessary when everyone thinks the same.”

They all look alike. They all sound alike. Heavy authoritarianism, lots of testosterone, lots of swagger. This is racism, folks. Institutionalized racism. They need to do some recruiting outside the mold. They need new leadership. They need to study the Constitution. They need to understand what groupthink is.

When it was announced that vets were coming to Standing Rock to protect the protectors, there was a moment when the Sheriff’s department tried to discredit the leaders of that group.  That lasted about ten seconds.

The Military Veterans who have stepped up surprised the shit out of me. I did not see that coming. As a child of the 60s, I’ve viewed our military as an extension of our industry. When our industries need something, be it oil, rubber, or whatever, we go to war to get it. The military has allowed itself to be used as a force of capitalism over and over again. So, I don’t generally get all misty eyed over our troops sacrifice. I don’t have close friends who have served.  I’ve sat during the national anthem.

But this action, and some others, have made me re-evaluate my thinking.

I was stunned and yes, awed, by something I saw on Facebook. A small group of veterans felt called to apologize to the Native Americans at Standing Rock for the part their units played in the past of genocide and forced relocation of our First Americans. They had an audience with tribal leaders. They humbled themselves by taking a knee, acknowledged the past, mentioned a few specific crimes or sins, and asked for forgiveness. By their presence at Standing Rock to protect the water protectors, they atoned.

Maybe it’s the Catholic upbringing, but that just killed me, to see that. White men, humbling themselves voluntarily. Has to be one of the most rare, beautiful and moving things I’ve ever witnessed. I could be proud to be associated with that group.

We are going to need a resistance.

 

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Water is Life

I really don’t recognize my country anymore. Nothing feels normal, nothing feels safe. I go to bed at night, worried about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I wake up in the morning, worried about them. I check Facebook way too much, just to see if the water protectors are okay.

Energy Transfer Partners is building the Dakota Access Pipeline. First, they were going to run it through Bismarck, North Dakota*. But the white people there said, “um, no, we don’t want to be the next Marshall, Michigan or Mayflower, Arkansas”.  So Energy Transfer Partners decided to run it right near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. The tribe said, “um no, we don’t want it, either”. But, for some reason, Energy Transfer Partners didn’t listen.

Energy Transfer Partners is funded by all of the big banks. President Elect Donald Trump has stock in the project. They’ve brought in their own mercenaries with dogs and mace, and Morton County Sheriff’s Department is also at their beck and call.  This department has brought in other law enforcement as well.  Price tag is north of $20 million so far.   North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple is also on board, as well as most of the media.

There have been various confrontations between the two groups, with injuries sustained on the Native side. The National Guard has also joined on the Powers that Be side of things, as one might expect.

And now the US Army is getting involved.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been joined by other natives and other allies from across the nation. The Oceti Sakowin camp has been set up on unceded (ie., stolen) land. The government that stole it calls it Federal land.

Now the US Army says that this village (numbering some 8,000 water protectors) has to move. The US Army has designated a free speech zone where they can stay. Isn’t that special? I just love the idea that the US Army has the right to declare where free speech can occur!

2016 has been an outstanding year for irony. I suspect 2017 will surpass it.

Once again, the US Army wants to relocate Native Americans. Or, at least, try to, since the water protectors have said that they are not moving. They have also issued a call for more warriors.

President Obama has done little to intercede.

United States veterans are traveling to Standing Rock to protect the water protectors from the Powers that Be. They arrive the day before the eviction notice goes into effect.

People from all over the world have been watching the live streams. We’ve seen unarmed people being maced. We’ve heard the sound cannons and seen water cannon being deployed in freezing temperatures. We’ve seen live streams interrupted by electronic “sting rays”.

We’ve seen photos of injuries. The Morton County Sheriffs Department first denies using these means of control, then accuses the “protesters” of being violent. Their evidence doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

Battalions of police in riot gear are being deployed to protect an oil company. Usually, it’s the US Military, going to a different country, to protect “our interests”. Today, it’s on home soil. This is as it should be, as Americans should see with their own eyes what we do to others every day. This answers the question “why do they hate us?”.

This is America.

All of the lies about standing for freedom from tyranny, liberty and justice for all…they stand exposed as the lies they have always been.

This is on President Obama’s watch. This is his legacy, as our first black president. Because, of course, he must stand with the Powers that Be. He is one of them, after all, or he never would have been allowed to take office.

One must always keep precedent in mind. Resistance must be firmly put down. Otherwise, it grows.

Mussolini called the merging of industry and government fascism. Never before has it been so clearly seen, so blatantly transparent, than today out in North Dakota.

 

 
*I misidentified the state, saying it was South Dakota, in previous posts. Sorry.

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Fight or Flight

Well. I didn’t see this coming.

I went to bed on election night before anything was decided and woke to a different country than I thought I was living in. And, these days later, I’m still trying to get my head around it.

How bad is it going to be? Given that the physical world is crashing, it’s going to be even worse than I thought.

Internally, a war is being fought. My gut is in full rage (ie. fight mode) and my heart is in full fear (ie. flight mode). Every person I know, the ones who didn’t vote for the Big Cheeto, has experienced a physical reaction to this “election”.

The Nobody household is discussing a move to Canada.

Canada is no panacea. It’s got people there, too, and people generally suck. What is has, that America doesn’t, is healthcare and people who didn’t vote for Trump. And, no mass shootings. Alas, this may not be so easy. Canada does not encourage old people who are not rich enough to invest $2 million or more.

I’m fighting, desperately, to keep my sense of humor and some perspective intact. I’ve been amusing myself with various scenarios of Trump being briefed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As they discuss the threats, climate change will come up quickly. Will the generals be able to keep a straight face when Trump learns that it’s not a Chinese hoax?

The Republican platform calls for America to be declared a Christian nation. I wonder how that will go. Catholic or Protestant? If Protestant, which brand? There are so many because people can’t agree.

How bad is it going to get?

As near as I can figure it, being a middle brow and all, it’s going to get worse faster.

At minimum, with Trump and Republicans in both the House and Senate and with an open Supreme Court seat, we can expect environmental destruction to proceed. Soon enough, our water quality will resemble Flint’s, our air quality will resemble China’s.  China’s air quality is so bad that it is poisoning the soil, thus poisoning food.

I suppose black and brown people will be rounded up and put into detention centers, run by profiteers. Torture will proceed. Renditions of political dissenters is on the table, of course.

It’s going to be great!

So, fight or flight?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done the marching, the picketing, the letter writing. Now that I’m pushing 60, I’m tired. It didn’t work before and it’s not going to work now. With the surveillance capabilities of today, any insurgency will be infiltrated. Resisters should be prepared for jail with long terms, assuming they even get a trial. Suicide by cop may be the only way to avoid jail.

Democrats are taking a conciliatory approach (or is it appeasement?) to our new leadership. These people are wrong, wrong and wronger.

And, I’m aware that there are people out there who say this is an over reaction. They say he won’t be so bad. But, as people learned in the 1930’s, it’s wise to take people at their word. When Hitler was elected, all kinds of rationalizations went on. Humans are absolutely supreme at denial and hopium.

Trump promised to build a wall, to deport Muslims and Mexicans, to dismantle Obamacare, to deregulate. I think we should believe him.  It’s really not hard to see him at Hitler 2.0.

Nothing he has done since the election makes me feel any better. I just love the idea of Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric the lion killer both running the Trump empire and helping daddy rule, don’t you?  No conflicts there!

I was so hoping for a few years of peace with my husband before the world crashed.

Alas. Not meant to be.

I think, without any hyperbole, that this country is headed for another civil war.

Prepare yourself. You will have to choose a side. Soon.

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Dirty Politics

This election is making people nuts. Me, included.

I now know people who are being harassed by their neighbors. People who are gay. Their neighbors are Trump supporters.

It’s getting ugly out there.

“Don’t act like this all started with Donald Trump”, President Obama has said. The GOP has “been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years.”

Yep.

“Obamacare”, for instance. That started in the Heritage Foundation, a conservative “think tank”. Mitt Romney used it for the “Massachusetts miracle”. But, when President Obama used it, it became “Obamacare.” For the record, I think a single payer system would be much much better. But that would never have been passed.

The birthers, too, came from the same swamp. Ronald Reagan was the swamp creator, or chief feeder. He spawned Rush Limbaugh and Fox News with his nutty policies. I hated that man when he was alive and I hate him even more today. I hope he is burning in hell.

Today, there is a Supreme Court nominee who won’t be confirmed. The GOP holds the House and enough of the Senate hostage to their do nothing, know nothing, reality be damned swamp of hate.

Today is October 17 and our temperature will be a record 91 degrees.

Donald Trump has said that global warming is a Chinese hoax.

Bwahahaha!

Even crazy people are right once in awhile, though. Trump has said that the election is rigged. I think he is absolutely right, but probably not in the same way as he’s claiming.

The electronic voting machines are hackable. No question about that.

The “debates” have declined in quality ever since they were taken from the League of Women Voters in 1988. The parties decided, behind closed doors, that they wanted control.

Well, here we are. And thanks.

Third party candidates have little voice. The Supreme Court upheld Citizen’s United, agreeing that money is free speech. Way back in 2000, we saw an election stolen.

But now, the media is upset with Trump for saying what most of us know….the system is rigged. Oh dear, how horrible! People might start to think they don’t need to vote (for one of the two candidates we are allowed to vote for) and that would be bad.

These two candidates are particularly onerous, if you ask me. The Democratic National Committee decided that Hillary was it, despite the baggage she carries with her. Personally, I don’t like her, don’t trust her and think she will be, at best, a one term president. She likes fracking and the fossil fuel industry and is firmly in bed with Wall Street because she is so insanely personally ambitious that she doesn’t care about water, soil, life, health. She has said that environmentalists need to “get a life.”*

So, bad choice or worse one.

We are the land of the free, though, right?

We have free and open elections, right?

Liberty and justice for all, right?

Unless something happens between now and election day to make me change my mind, I will vote. I’m going to hold my nose and do something I haven’t done in a long time….vote a straight ticket.

And then, I may never vote for president again. It makes me feel sick to participate in such a fixed “race.” I will vote and then come home to take a shower…..a long hot shower to try to get the slime off of me.

A pox on both of you! Democrats. Republicans. You both fucking suck!

*Wikileaks and the speeches to Wall Street that were behind closed doors.

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Pussy Riot

I can’t wait for this election to be over.

It so accurately reflects the stupidity of the American public, which is not an accident, that it’s painful to watch.

These two people (because only two are allowed) are the best and brightest this country has to offer. Or, these two people are the only ones allowed to run by the powers that be. The shadow government is what really rules. Eisenhower and Kennedy warned of them.

As usual, I will vote for the candidate I hate the least. Both suck. They just suck in different ways.

One party acknowledges climate change and does nothing. The other party just denies it. The net result is exactly the same.

We are so fucked.

While we watch the show, ice continues to melt. The oceans and trees continue to die. The globe continues to warm.

We are so fucked.

Both candidates love Wall Street. Our financial system, globally, continues to wobble before it crashes, yet again. Nothing has changed there.

The media is owned by members of the shadow government so we talk about pussy instead of the real threats.

America. You just gotta love it, right?

And Columbus Day is just around the corner. Jesus. It’s 2016 and we are still celebrating a mercenary slave trading genocidal white man who got lost.

We are so fucked that it doesn’t even matter anymore who we elect. We will continue to war on poor people of color. Most importantly, we will continue to rape and pillage the earth until there is nothing left. Then we’ll try to get to Mars or someplace so we can continue our destruction on a different planet.

That is who we are. We are homo sapiens, the wise ape. Bwahahaha! So wise, so smart, so superior to everything else on earth that we destroy our home! We worship printed paper based upon nothing to the exclusion of, well, everything else.

At this point, I’m just hoping to live long enough to see the whole thing crash. It’s kinda like watching the ice calve. A crack here and there. Then, ice the size of Manhattan detaches. To our simple brains, it seems slow and gradual, but the rot or melt is continuous, even when it’s not visible to the eye.

We are so fucked that we can’t even see how fucked we are.

Neither Clinton nor Trump is going to do a damn thing to stop the ice melting. Neither of them is going to do a damn thing to stop the contamination of water and air. Neither will do a damn thing to alter the redistribution of wealth. Neither of them will address over population or fossil fuel consumption. Even if they could, they wouldn’t.

To think otherwise is to be deluded.

And, don’t get me wrong. I understand how attractive delusion is! It is far less painful than to live day in and day out with the truth of our situation. But, delusion or no, the facts remain. There are too many people on the planet and we are all consumers, though some of us consume more than others (like, Americans).

Who wants to hear about that? That’s Debbie Downer territory. That does not uplift the human spirit.

So. Pussy it is.

And the kicker is, we probably haven’t even hit rock bottom yet.

How low can we go?

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