The past few days have been sweltering with heat here in the canyon, but it is still far better in here than OUT THERE in the fake imaginary world you people "live" in.
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I still consider myself fortunate for being where I am: I reside inside a quiet eddy of sanity on the edge of the raging river of human dementia that roars unchecked, undamed and damned, throughout the world in general and the Bush2 Regime in particular.
When I collected eggs from the chicken coop and delivered them to The Big House today, I caught about three minutes of news on the television: Israeli terrorists bombing Palestinians, with a conservative estimate of 60 harmless defenseless civilians dead--- mostly children.
My mind is completely incapable of understanding how it is possible for someone to be able to push the button, pull the lever, or twist the failsafe switch to release blind indiscriminate uncaring heedless slaughter death and misery. How is it possible a human being can do such a thing?
Indeed, how is it possible someone can be capable of blindly follow orders to commit such ineffable iniquity, such villainy? When some homicidal madman orders another person to randomly, haphazardly butcher children sleeping in their beds, how is it possible for anyone to answer with anything less than "No, sir, I will not!" ? It seems to me, the best metric for testing any given human being's sanity is her and his refusal to follow orders.
The future of humanity is predicated upon ignoring "authority." Everyone who obeys "authority" is a threat to the continued existence of the human species, and many other species.
Kirk Douglas, in the movie "Spartacus," said the Roman Empire only feared one thing: the phrase "No, I won't!" Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo rewrote five thousand years of human history in those three words: it is no wonder at all that he was persecuted by McCarthy and "blacklisted" at the time, and had to work on the movie in secret.
The ability some humans have for following orders leaves me amazed and breathless with horror and dismay.
102 days until Dragonfest!
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By the gods! It was disgusting almost beyond words. Cow D11 finally had her calf today, though it was nip-and-tuck for over one hour. The calf started to come out with one front foot and a nose, but the other front leg was tucked under the calf so it could not come out. So Andrew and I ran the cow into the chute and blocked her up, then Andrew reached into her and rummaged around for the twisted leg. "This is calving class 101," Andrew said. He shoved the calf back inside, and then eventually got the two legs pointing right, but then the head was all twisted up inside the cow. Andrew reached into the cow up to his armpits, groping for calf feet and the calf's nose. A massive amount of every imaginable fluid, and some unimaginable fluids, came out of the cow, drenching Andrew and splattering me. The cow was even crying, with a stream of tears down the sides of her face, as she struggled to give birth--- her first calf.
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Andrew is uncommonly strong: much stronger than most men (I have seen him lift a boulder that easily weighs 300 pounds), yet he had to struggle long and hard to get the front feet and the nose all pointing out, and then he yanked the calf out. The calf is large: a big head and about the size of a month-old calf. I call the calf "Godzilla." If Andrew were not as strong as he is, the calf might have died and the cow might also have died. There is no bloody way I could have ever been strong enough to save the calf and cow. I told Andrew "This ain't a 101 class; it's most like a 305 advanced course." Andrew said it was the hardest calving he has ever had to do. I suspect the calf was so big it did not have room to get positioned like regular-size calves do just before birth.
Born this day, March 15 2005, at 6:22PM and 6:25PM, to Ms. Belle Goat are Belle Baby "A" and Belle Baby "B". Both are fluffy and white, happy, and getting a tongue bath at the moment. Belle Goat is very happy--- she is actually giggling with mirth at her two wee tots. Babies already found tits, though I will make sure they stay attached to them tomorrow so that they both get food.
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I put down half a bale of straw in the birthing pen, and Belle and her babies are in there. I tried to get photographs but there was not enough light.
I will take some digital images and post tomorrow.
I am melancholy tonight, as I sit here looking at Orion in the southern sky. His position there tells me that winter is nearly over and spring is a few weeks away, but the wind is howling and the smell of snow hangs in the air mingled with the cedar wood smoke of my fire. I have been here at the ranch for 401 days and it seems like I have always been here; it seems like my many lives elsewhere and elsewhen were all dreams of imagined.
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Did I really once live among people, in the cities, driving the highway morning and evening to and from work, spinning my wheels in the daily soul-abrading grind that leads to nothing but old age? Did I really own Myste; sail in the Kingdom of Tonga; sail Saint Barth's waters; hike the length of the Mojave Basin; live in an ancient tarpaper shack in Death Valley for a month; live in a bat cave in the Kingston Range for seven months; pass out from heat stroke at Old Mormon Spring; dig for gold in the Avawatz Mountain Range; wander the Great Basin looking for the lost Adams silver mine for three months; and walk a dozen ancient Indian trails that haven't seen any other footfalls for 100 years or more? It all seems like my life happened to someone else, and my memories are merely nothing more than recalling events from a book I have read. If not for the journals I wrote while doing these things, I would firmly believe, tonight as the wind cries and the fire chuckles up the stove pipe, that I have always lived here in the canyon.
And there is the reason: very few people live a life they have consciously decided to live; the events they engage in are mostly chosen for them by circumstance and necessity. Without the diligence of deliberately applying one's will, upon reflection one's life's events flash past one without recognition. The vast majority of people believe they decide how to live and what to do and when to do it, but they are at any given time merely selecting from a tiny few choices that "providence" has already pre-filtered for them.
Given the choice, I would saddle up a horse, load up my rifle, and head into the far blue mountains, never to see what passes for "civilization" ever again. I would build a cabin out of logs if available, or mud bricks (adobe), eat bighorn sheep, wear tanned hides, and drink silted water. The problem is there are no more far blue mountains left; no more bighorn sheep; and the creeks and streams and rivers are foul with industrial waste and sewage.
There has never been a time when I did not think modern American culture was insane and insanity-spawning. I have always loathed sleeping in a house, on a bed, under a roof--- I very much prefer a sleeping bag on the ground or in the back of my pickup. I prefer a desert "wasteland" to a town; prefer another high butte to climb than a computer programming problem; far better a sandy seep to dig water out of than to turn a valve on a faucet inside a kitchen. One of the many problems with living such a life is that one would have to be an outlaw: it is against the law to live on public land, hunt without a license, fish and trap, etc. How can one live a clean, free, wild and sane life when it is even against the law to build a cooking fire on many public lands, let alone a cabin?
I have very few memories of being happy. One such memory is when I was taking shelter in an old mine tunnel on a hillside overlooking the Henry Wade exit route through Death Valley. It was 118 degrees in the shade, and the sun was broiling the varnished desert with a blinding glare and one could almost feel the ground writhing in tortured agony. I was crouched over a tiny fire in the mouth of the mine tunnel cooking a pot of beans, and slicing an onion into the pot. It was so quiet under that killing sun that I could hear the flames climb over and consume the twigs of my fire. It was a moment of bliss that has stayed with me for five years, and if given a wish I would have stayed in that moment forever.
American society is too tame, too civilized, too homogenized, too specialized, and too comfortable: Americans have therefore become weak, helpless, morally and ethically degenerate, placated, thoughtless, stupid, stupefied, bewildered, easily controlled and commanded, and incompetent (I count myself in this denunciation of American uselessness). How many Americans cannot even change a tire or the oil in their automobiles? And yet we presume to tell other peoples in other countries how to live, and we use deadly violence to enforce our mandates. In a land populated by slaves and subjugated by power-drunk brutes and fiends, being free is an act of sedition.
A citizen without identification papers who catches the eyes of a police officer can expect to be interrogated, searched, and if in the "wrong" place or wearing the "wrong" color skin, can expect to be hand-cuffed, hauled away, finger-printed, and put in a holding cell for hours or days, humiliated, set free, and ordered to "not do it again or else!" This happens every day to American citizens here in the "land of the free," and no one seems to think this behavior evil, reprehensible, criminal, treasonous to the citizenry.
Ah, well. Morning will come, the sun will chin itself above the canyon rim, and I will trade my current gloom for a cup of hot cocoa and a wheelbarrow full of horse shit (in that order). America is still beautiful even though its people and its government are loathsome fetid repulsive beasts.
The little girl calf is three days old today. Two days ago she wandered away and got misplaced in the forest: I worried about her for several hours, wandering around looking for her. Andrew came back to the ranch and found her in the forest near the outhouse.
Yesterday I built a planter out of cedar planks. I did not have a table saw or jointer, so it was tough-and-go there.
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Climate Change To Bring A Wave Of New Health Risks
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
Climate change will not only bring about a warmer world, it is also very likely to set the stage for an unhealthier one.
As a result, governments and health officials need to begin to think about how to respond to an anticipated increase in the number and scope of climate-related health crises, ranging from killer heat waves and famine, to floods and waves of infectious diseases.
That, in a nutshell, was the message delivered to scientists Feb. 20 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by Jonathan A. Patz, an authority on the human health effects of global environmental change.
As the world's climate warms, and as people make widespread alterations to the global landscape, human populations will become far more vulnerable to heat-related mortality, air pollution-related illnesses, infectious diseases and malnutrition, Patz says.
"We are destined to have some warming," says Patz, a professor of environmental studies and population health studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
But it won't be a gradually warming world that triggers future health crises, says Patz, a scientist based at the UW-Madison Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment.
It will be a dramatic increase in severe weather events - major storms, heat waves, flooding - triggered by a shifting global climate that will wreak most of the human health havoc.
"Averages don't kill people - it is the extremes," Patz explains.
The issue, Patz says, is how are we going to adapt?
If we don't do something to mitigate the potential human health effects of climate change, the world, beginning at the local and regional level, will begin to experience climate-related catastrophe.
"In the face of climate change, what are the adaptive measures at many and variable scales that we can take to reduce the health impact of climate change? That's what we need to be thinking about," he says.
The Wisconsin scientist suggests we may already be seeing the health consequences of a warmer world:
The heat wave that struck Europe in the summer of 2004 claimed an estimated 22,000-35,000 lives, mostly the infirm, elderly and poor.
"That event was so far out of the normal climate range that one analysis pegs it as a signal of climate change," Patz explains.
"So what are we going to be adapting to? It won't be creeping temperatures. What we may see is an increased frequency of these extreme events."
Moreover, as temperature regimes change, weather patterns will be altered and increased rainfall will facilitate the spread of waterborne and food-borne disease.
And increased local rainfall also will make life easier for the insects and animals that carry some human diseases.
One strategy to mitigate future climate-related health problems, according to Patz, would be to develop and use climate forecasts and warning systems to avert disease and adverse health outcomes.
Such tools are already coming into play.
Strong El Nino events, for example, tend to trigger heavier rainfall in the American southwest, setting the stage for rodent population booms and increased risk of exposure to hanta virus, a sometimes deadly disease transmitted through rodent urine and droppings.
Such events can be predicted with confidence, and if higher risk is forecast, people can prepare by mouse-proofing their homes and taking other measures to minimize contact with the source of a serious disease.
"The key will be early detection, warning and responding to threats," Patz says.
In urban areas, steps are already being taken to mitigate the effects of warmer climate and the "heat island" effect created by cities.
Rooftop gardens are being encouraged by, among others, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and creating more reflective surfaces by painting rooftops white and using reflective materials in paving projects may reduce overall warming.
It will be important, says Patz, to avoid maladaptation.
Increased use of air conditioners, for example, will provide immediate relief and is an important protection during an acute heat event.
But the fossil fuels burned to generate the electricity to drive those air conditioners, as well as over-dependence on electric power grid functioning could potentially exacerbate the problem.
"Short-sighted fixes must be avoided," Patz says.
Improving deficiencies in such things as watershed protection, infrastructure and drainage systems would ease the risk of water contamination events.
At present in the United States, a developed nation where most people have access to treated water, as many as 9 million cases of waterborne disease are estimated to occur each year.
With climate change, those numbers are likely to go up, says Patz, unless significant steps are taken to minimize the likelihood of sewage overflows and other weather related events that contaminate water supplies.
Message from my sibling Damoclese:
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So. You think you're safe from this fascist regime's "USA PATRIOT Act"
because you're white and you support this fascist regime's atrocities and
other war crimes against humanity.
You think there's no way your mass murdering Fuhrer's fascist violation
of all of your Constitutional rights and the Bill of Rights will ever be
applied to you personally so long as you go along with the fascists and
applaud their murder of innocent children in Iraq, and you never say a
single word against the atrocities your Fuhrer is committing.
Well, honkey motherfucker, let me clue you in to a little bit of history
about what fascism means to innocent people -- and to the people who used
to support and defend the very fascism you support and defend in a little
place called Nazi Germany.
Do a google search on what your regime's "enabeling act" consisted of,
and get a good look at the body count your previous support and defense
of fascism resulted in. Then catch a glimpse of your current Fuhrer's
"USA PATRIOT Act" and you'll note that the two are virtually
Ah but you honkey motherfuckers who support this mass murdering monster
will never perform the minimal amount of research needed to understand
what it is you support and defend. You're all redneck racist hate
mongering Christian bigots who refuse to accept what history tells your
intellectual and moral superiors -- and besides, you all think that the
murdering, rape, and torture of American citizens and innocent foreigners
committed at the hands of your Fuhrer's brutal regime is happening "to
all the right people." Without a doubt every last one of you honkey
motherfuckers won't read either documents because you refuse to accept
the fact that not only _can_ it "happen here," it already has.
I thought my sibling did a damn fine job putting the Bush2 regime into perspective. Hote that Hitler and Stalin did the same thing Bush2 is now doing: turning on his supporters and defenders now that they are no longer needed. Did these silly bastards REALL believe that siding with the devil would innoculate them against the devil's terrorism and tyranny?!
This morning I dreamed that I was dating Crystal Bernard. In the dream, she and I walked through forests, grassy hills, beaches, and town streets. She would look up and grin at me now and then, and squeeze my hand. We were comfortably in love with each other, and did not have to speak to communicate. When I woke up, the dream stayed with me for a few seconds, and I was filled with a bliss and joy like lava in my veins as I anticipated getting out of bed and going to see her. Then I realized, as I looked around my lonely, isolated, remote, and peopleless cabin here in the forest, that it was a dream. My mind-searing happiness crashed into a deep, tar-black despair when I realized I had merely dreamed of her and I loving and cherishing each other. It was the first and only time I have ever been happy in 40 years of living, and it lasted five seconds and was the result of a dream.
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I tried making chili rellenos today but they turned out badly. Of course I ate the ruin anyhow.
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Then Andrew and I went to feed the cows. We loaded up the pickup with bales of alfalfa and headed to the lower pasture, honking the pickup horn along the way. I yelled out the window "Free hay! Get your free hay here!" while Andrew honked the horn. Andrew yelled "Not free! Five dollars a bale! Get your five-dollar-a-bale hay here!" The cows heard the honking and came at a walk or run, depending upon the whim of the particular beasts. I started yelling out the window "Get your hay here and now! All it will cost you is your children, which we will rope, throw, brand, castrate, tag, then sell to the meat packing house! Give us your sons and daughters and we'll give you hay!" We stopped at the lower pasture and while I drove Andrew broke up the bales and tossed them off the pickup. 43 cows showed up: 6 did not. Tomorrow the bulls get fed.
AFFIDAVIT --- DAVID M. RICE
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CASE # HEMO 14371
State vs Keith Henson
Original Date: Friday, November 17, 2000, 4:20 AM
Revision Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 11:22 AM [See Footnote #1]
My name is David Rice. I am a citizen of the United States. My residence is indeterminate due to my employment as an international boat delivery captain: I am currently acquiring visas to work and live in French Polynesia. [See Footnote #2]
I have never written an Affidavit before, so please excuse my form if it is improper.
This Affidavit is in regard to the State's contention, based upon false claims made by spokespeople of the Scientology organization, that the civil and human rights activist Keith Henson took GPS (Longitude and Latitude) readings, or caused to have GPS readings taken, of various structures on the Scientology property at Gilman Springs, near Hemet, California. The activist Keith Henson was not a party to this event and deed, and had no knowledge of the deed prior to its occurrence.
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This morning the horse CJ attacked the dog Roark and took Roark's bucket of milk away from him. She then stomped on the bucket. Later, JB tried to shove CJ away from the horse feeder and CJ attacked JB, driving him off. I'm glad to see she doesn't always submit to JB, but trying to nip and stomp Roark was a bit much. She also kicked and nipped Thelma yesterday.
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For lunch I dumped four pounds of the crappy Ragu pasta sauce into a bucket and gave it to the goats. I let Rama Goat get first crack at it--- she lapped it up, spreading it around her face, and licked her chops wildly: she liked it a lot. (Goddess knows why: the stuff is HORRIBLE. Prego is much better; Ragu is far too sweet.) I then let the other goats fight over the rest. (Belle Goat now has red marks on her hair, which looks like blood.) Then Roark Dog licked the bucket, then Jeannie Puppy licked whatever Roark Dog missed. Andrew is going to see the spots of red on the ground and on Belle and think she was injured. I have four more pounds of Ragu, which will go to the goats also. Why the fuck did the makers of Ragu make it like candy? It's DISGUSTING.
I have not seen Mostly White Kitty for three days. I suspect Lord Coyote came by Tuesday and got her, though she might be staying somewhere else but danged if I can think of where. If she were still alive she would be at the goat de-milking pen every morning as usual.
The horses all have winter goats on, and Belle looks like a huge, fat sheep. I call Belle "Winter Version Belle."
A tiny bit of snow fell last night. I had expected more.
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Saturday, December 04, 2004
The baby goats have met their freezer destiny: they were lead into a tool shed along with their mother, and waited there while Andrew sharpened his knife. I got to say "Good-bye" to them, and took their photographs as a memorial.
When the knife was sharp, mother goat was set free to wander away so she would not have to watch her daughters get their throats slit. To mask the noise of baby goat screams, Andrew fired up the gasoline-powered yard cart. Even still, I heard one of the baby goats wail and cry like a human child when its throat was cut. Goddess and Andrew only knows which one cried: the one whose throat was cut or the one that had to watch her twin sister get her throat cut. The two baby goats were quickly murdered, then strung up on a rack by their hind feet, their life's blood draining into two large buckets.
Where the goat's were slain, the snow is splattered with blood. The walls of the shed have blood splattered on them, and much of the shed's contents is splattered with blood.
While hanging on the rack, out of sight of the other goats, the baby goats had their hides ripped off, and then their front legs were removed with a hacksaw. All four dogs got a goat's front leg to chew on.
The livers were removed, and Elizabeth made paté out of them. The heads were also removed and put in a bucket for the coyotes, and then the carcasses were wrapped in plastic tarps and hung up in the root cellar at The Big House.
How human beings can do such a thing is a mystery to me. I have not eaten meat for almost thirty years and I have never missed it.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2004, 6:15:22 PM
Binga had a headless bird today. Good thing it was a wild bird and not a "ranch" bird, but still it's a bad thing for her to be hunting and killing birds.
Jeannie still wears the muzzle when she is let out of the dog yard. She seems to accept it as a condition of being free. She and Al spent about four hours of unsupervised roaming around the ranch. They did not kill any animals as far as I can find. Jeannie uses her muzzle as a kind of prosthesis--- digging and shoving things around with it.
Sunday, October 10, 2004, 8:52:32 AM
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The animals' water dishes were covered with ice this morning. Winter is almost here!
Early this morning I was moving the water hose up at the flower gardens when I heard Elizabeth's hen screaming, joined by Roostie the rooster. I ran over to see what the problem was and saw a hawk harassing the family (hen, rooster, seven chicks). Hawk didn't like me running at her so she flew away and perched on the tree limb that holds the wind chime. She sat there waiting for me to leave, so I just stood there until the chickens got under cover. The hawk flew away when the chicken family was deep in the brush.
The mud on this canyon floor is perfect for building adobe bricks: hard as fired brick when dry. The problem is, when it's wet (which is MOST of the time), it sucks like vacuum; clings like a priest to a fat alter boy; clutches like lawyers to a dead man's wealthy estate; grips and grasps like a neurotic to his mother; it snares, seizes, snatches, and squeezes like a dope addict to her sugar daddy. Cloying. One sets down a booted foot and then struggles to lift it back out of the glom. (Damn good word, that.) Walking through it (through, seldom on top), one's knees soon protest and wail at the abuse. Fucking FORGET about driving on the shit. It's blood red, thick as blackstrap molasses on a winter's day; when I slipped and fell, I got to my feet looking like I was fresh from an axe murder.
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I want to make a "National Flag-burning Day." Set aside one day a year, by Presidential proclamation, Senatorial edict, whereby people throughout this great nation (that's AMERICA, pal!) go to the nation's city parks and camp grounds and toss national flags onto the pyre. All national flags: Mexico, USA, Mexico, France, Mexico, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Mexico, Turkey--- what ever national flags people have made or purchased for the occasion. Great speeches shalt be uttered; orators shalt articulate poetically upon the need for opposition to the State Nationalism Patriotism and other socially repugnant social diseases. There shalt be much revelry, boisterous merrymaking, cavorting, carousing, copulating, festivity, gaiety, jollification, merriment.
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Eventually include a "National Kill The Rulers Day," wherein all the rulers of America (corporate CEOs, Boards of Directors, Presidents, Senators, Legislators, etc., etc., and etc., all put to the sword. Replace America's current kakistocracy kleptocracy with a PURE DEMOCRACY for the first time in its history.