Category Archives: General Rantings

Alice and Ralph

and other honorable mentions

Ralph and Alice are busy prepping the nest. They are not in residence, yet. They are customizing first. Every morning they show up with their little list of “to do’s” and spend the day doing it. Then comes evening – they roost elsewhere. We’re so happy they like the location and nest. They are totally at ease.
 
Did I mention that our walkway gardens are a favorite for the rabbits to have their babies. Drives me friggin nuts. With all the landscaping available to them … they pick our walkway. I have tried to discourage them … but they know us and ignore me.  Just the other day, I was in the garage and I heard banging on the gate.  I walked out and there was Rabbit.  She wanted to come into our patio and I’m like … no.  She’ll probably have them in last years nest.  Last year we ended up with six babies running all over the place. I’d walk out on my patio (nest in walkway, but our patio and our friends, next door, are the neighborhood the first explore.  Last year I ended up having to rescue 2 … and I’m like (talking to the divine) what the frig? You know I can’t handle this type of stuff anymore!!! You know I’m neurotic about this crap. ENOUGH!!!!!  Just like the rabbit…the divine ignores me.
 
[And that’s how I found out – years ago – that the divine also has a warped sense of humor.  When we first moved here … we had birdfeeders over the place.  We spent hours and hours just watching them come and go, take a bath, have arguments, little pool parties… and I have always considered our home, the closest thing to heaven I would experience on planet earth.  And then Isaboe arrived – our resident Cooper’s Hawk – in 2003. I believe she was displaced by the Cedar Fire Complex… and has never left. She has given us more than 40 chicks – successfully raised to juvenile and leaving the area (there is always one that is last, the ‘runt’, I think a female, who mom has to force to learn to feed/hunt by actually leaving the complex. She runs away for a while.  The baby calls for mom non-stop and then will start taking little trips but always returning at night. Then one day… finally… it gets quiet again except for the songbirds and we know she has left.  Shortly thereafter, Isaboe will return and announce her arrival. I always greet her. We have a complicated relationship. In all these years, we only had to rescue one of her babies. 
BTW, once we realized we had a predator in residence, all the feeders were removed (weened) … [said to my husband that I had an “issue” with setting the birds (and other creatures that consumed seed) up for attack by a predator.  (Izzy would do a fly-by and snatch.)  We have the birdbath (that she also uses along with the crows, the owls, the raccoons, and anything else that visits us at night) in a position where no ambush can occur.  That’s why I was insistent we get another tree after the HOA took down our liquidambar.  The birds lost a perch close to the birdbath and had to fly a distance to safety across the commons. High risk for interception.  In a successful legal challenge to the HOA, we planted two trees … one, a camphor, is about 20′ tall now, and the liquidambar we planted just a few years ago – in the same area as the one they took down, is now just shy 15′ (maybe) providing the perfect hangout for the little guys and hummers. In the Camphor, we get flocks of bluebirds, cedar waxwings, goldfinches, orioles, phoebe’s, towhee’s,  that hop, skip and a jump into the “pool”.  And yes … I rinse with fresh water no less than 3 times a day. It’s the least I can do. 
We have the eager kids perched, in waiting.  Husband will be filling the bath for the late day plunge.. and they fly in,  land, act surprised to see the big human with the hose (not) … and fly back to the trees.  It’s their way of saying “hurry up”.  The hummers will come over and do fly-throughs.  
The minute we stop and step back they fly in. We call them “pool parties”.    

Exultation of Killing

Is there a distinction between killing, killing and killing

We have saturated our lives with violence and gore – in the news, in the movies, in video games, in hunting, in dog fights, in cock fights, in our agriculture industry, in wildlife “management”  … on TV, in films, on Facebook, on YouTube, and in some warped, twisted, insane, way… we call the blood fests “entertainment” or “business as usual”.

I keep hearing media mentioned the long history and culture of our country and its relationship with “guns” … and yet no one says —- yeah, but you can’t look backward and make any comparison – our world in every sense is different. The culture of death has been nurtured.  You have magazines that worship the killing of animals, skinning and disemboweling, of a beautiful animals that was slaughtered for no reason other than the person wanted to kill.

You have an industry that is churning out weapons en masse …  and accessibility for anyone who passes a cursory “check” … that are more deadly, more sophisticated, and designed expressly to do the greatest damage possible.  Again, the collection and ownership is considered “a right” and I say – why would anyone want to have that weapon to start with?  Where are you going to use it? How are you going to use it? What motivates you to want this type of weapon.

How can we wonder why we have students who have just been part of, and witnessed, a mass killing and yet calmly speaking to the media about it in a dispassionate tone.  That is staggering.  No one, especially a young person, should be so detached that their response is so unemotional.  I didn’t see “shock” … I saw distance.

Yes – it is a gun … and for me it is more than just about a gun – it is a reflection of the VIOLENT CULTURE OF DEATH IN THIS COUNTRY and the glorification of it.

We have GLORIFIED KILLING and DEATH … and we have made it “acceptable”.

 

E.coli O157:H7 is in our food chain.

As a staunch animal and environmental advocate of more than 50 years … I am so damn angry at how little progress has been achieved here, and globally, in our re-evaluating how we collectively “do things”.  What you are about to read may sound familiar … like the techno thriller “The Andromeda Strain” … and other such pieces. I’m sorry to tell you … it’s real. This is something we all need to be aware of – and make sure it is change.  If I had children … I would be worried.  

My most recent investigative research is on the E.coli O157:H7 strain. If I consumed meat (of any type) – I would never eat another piece just based on what I have learned in reading USDA, FDA, CDC, Johns Hopkins University research documents (that I am going to be posting on this blog for your casual enjoyment as attachments/links) as I quote their words – that clearly indicate the risk of self-inflicted disease on our population based on things we are doing to ourselves through our practices in agriculture. It’s staggering. The fact more haven’t died is a lucky thing.  I am stunned at what I am reading that is hidden in plain sight.  It also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Population consumes very bad stuff every day in fast food joints, meat markets, and our vegetables and fruits.  Wouldn’t you be alarmed to know that our food is contaminated by our very own agriculture department – the USDA – and the practices attached to raising cattle for slaughter. In fact, one of the papers clearly states that our slaughter practices INCREASES THE LIKELIHOOD OF TRANSMISSION OF E.COLI O157:H7 INTO THE FOOD CHAIN BY THE THINGS WE INFLICT ON THE ANIMAL EN ROUTE TO SLAUGHTER.  It’s in their own frigging words.

NIHMS464337.html

The reason this particular outbreak peaked my interest to pursue was because of my experience dealing with E.coli as an animal issue.  I have enough knowledge about the virus and its properties that it came down to WHAT THEY WEREN’T SAYING that alarmed me. Claiming to be unable to identify point of origin or even distribution (when SoCal is the largest producer of Romaine in North America) shipping to Canada and US. Absolutely no mention of how did this particular ‘resistant’ strain – unlike any other E.coli strain, get on the vegetables … and how long has this been happening or was this a first.  The CDC and FDA were very careful to say Romaine and other “leafy vegetables”) when Canada clearly said ROMAINE.  All they kept saying was nothing of substance.   

When I am finished (at least in part) I will publish. It would behoove you to read. These aren’t my words. My content is loaded with their quotes. I couldn’t write more horrifying words than our own government already has.  They know what causes the virus or more accurately what intensifies these deadly viruses … and do that exact thing.  The self-fulfilling prophecy … is the relationship between the USDA, FDA, CDC, Pharmaceuticals and Health Care.  Get the people sick… then make them need the medicine… and the hospitalization in worst case scenario.  Strong allegation on my part.  Yes… yes it is.  I will include all of the referenced documents from all of the agencies – I will highlight the quotes – and other things to note.

 

They – the United States Government – and its AGENCIES … put you at risk every single day – physical risk – calculated risk – knowing full well the result can be deadly. It is done in your food chain.  Not my words – their words. Look at the diagrams of predicted transference, transmission and colonization of the deadly viruses – that are a result of our agricultural practices – and totally unnecessary.  

 

NIHMS464337.html

Here’s a brief synopsis. 

 

When you ‘warehouse’ more than 98.8 MILLION head of cattle – being grazed for slaughter – you generate a shitload of manure – figuratively and literally.  You have to do something with that all that stuff … but… it turns out that unless you careful treat the manure – for a specific period of time to eliminate any E.coli that is shed in the process of excrement (taking a shit) … or treat the manure used UNTREATED it carries the virus. It is scandalous – because in their very own documentation is specifically says that cattle are the main conveyors of the E.coli strains – because it is created in their gut. The contamination (or cross-contamination) can be accomplished several ways animal-human-human, animal-food, human to human …food to human.  It’s all in their research. It expressly says that unless you take the extreme precautions – the manure is toxic – and – the cattle being slaughtered and gutted have E.coli in their guts.  After eviscerations – the water that is used to superficially clean the slaughterhouse is flushed as used as a secondary irrigation water source.  OMG.   They speak of the use of it in conjunction with growing crops and how the virus assimilates into the plant. 

 

But with 98.8 Million cattle being grazed for slaughter … and millions and millions of tons of manure that unless allowed to dry and become benign … or is chemically treated – it is used – even though contaminated – in agriculture across the US  … across corporate farming enterprises (and even small community farms), and unless treated, in the bags we buy at Home Depot and other stores. The virus can live comfortably in the manure. 

 

And the real kicker — not pun intended — horse manure does not. Horse guts do not contain significant levels of the two waterborne pathogens of greatest concern to human health risk, Cryptosporidium or Giardia, neither do they contain significant amounts of the bacteria E. coli 0157:H7 or Salmonella. … People seldom encounter or handle horse manure.”

 

So what does the USDA in conjunction do with our horses (wild and bred) we export them for slaughter – and we wholesales the bovine manure that does carry the virus. Are we nuts? 
We should only be using horse manure with agriculture.
The alternative which everyone will just love – is to give bovine and other animals (lamb, veal, etc.)  antibiotics while they’re alive…. (oh yeah… that so not good) to kill various strains – with one small caveat – there is no cure RIGHT NOW for the E.coli O157:H7 strain.  It was first identified in 1986 … but latest research indicates it existed off continent for years in specific locations. 

 

 

 

Then …

Murder of Chris Lane

Many know how I feel about murder – but murders that I call cold killings.  These guys are the scourge of the earth.  They had dead eyes – like sharks.  They killed a dog earlier – and when that wore off… they killed a person who didn’t have a clue what hit him.  My brother was killed in a similar manner.  The person who killed him, killed for fun.  There is a sector of our society that is drugged with violence.  This killing just increased their street worth in their twisted, useless lives that contribute nothing the betterment of humanity.  They are the ultimate parasite.  They are the scum.  Don’t bother trying to “reform”.  Sentence to life in prison, with the finest of food, best medical support, total comfort in summer and winter, so that they live a very very long time – in total silence.   That should be the sentence – that they are never spoken to again.   Nothing will ever make sense to Chris Lane’s family… nor should it.  These were the scum we have to deal with on planet earth.  Scum have varying levels —- and even people in 3-piece suits can be scum.  It’s all about the soul … and they are soulless.

MY RANT ON KILLING

I am opposed to assault weapons or automatic weapons except in a military environment.  Since there has never been a time of true *peace* in the world… people that enlist in the military understand that there is a 50/50 chance they will engage in lethal combat.  Unfortunately, we have to look at the BIG picture here.  Since the 1980’s I have told people about a magazine run out of Switzerland called Armada.  It is the magazine of every piece of weaponry that has been built by any country and manufacturer – for purchase.  Want a tank?  Fact is if we are going to have a real discussion about gun control —- it’s an onion with lots of layers.  Killing machines are part of a global industry.  Go check out http://www.armada.ch/  

We as a global society have appended different meanings for killing and the type of killing.  In some cases we sanitize it – as a source of justification.  That is particularly true of hunters.  One favorite is… ‘They care more for the land than so-called environmentalists and animal advocates because they thin the herds’… except they don’t take down the sick and the old … those they leave for the so-called *natural predators (and by their own distinction, the human hunter is not a *natural predator* – but it definitely is the most sophisticated predator).  They go for the biggest and healthiest — so stop the bullshit, ok. Wildlife manipulation by humans has resulted in how many extinctions?  We actually have agencies that remove natural predators like big cats, wolves, etc., so to  inflate the herds or flocks – to justify the need for hunting.  It’s called the DOI and its daughter agencies of the USF&W, BLM, BIA etc., and killing for them is a business.

Say it for what it is.  And while we’re on the subject of killing – in this case animals – I don’t consider a guy in fatigues, in a blind, covered in urine, with a semi-automatic rifle & scope or power bow … hunters.  How about you match your size and weight – with just a knife – against those animals.  If you can take them down by strength – then you are a hunter.  Right now – you are a killer using technology.  No skill here folks.

In that same context, I truly feel that if a person had to engage in hand-to-hand combat in a struggle of survival – that depended on sheer human strength – and not weapons – we might see less violence.  For all the sophistication of weapons – globally – we have just become more lethal unnatural predators and killers.  The religious radicals want to take out as many people as they can.  Many of their plans begin with Strap on Explosives.  Do we call them deranged or mentally ill?  Why not.  I think they are and hiding behind some deranged interpretation of *religion*.  I don’t care if it was Crusaders, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Shiite, Sunni, Seik (sp?) Hindu – whatever.  Killing is killing.  It is removing the lifeforce of something or someone.  It should be treated with the gravity of what it is.  OK – I am what is considered extreme.  I attach persona to just about everything… trees, flowers, ants, bees, all creatures great and small, human and non human.   Animate and inanimate.  I think my home has feelings… which is why we are waiting until we have amassed funds to restuff and upholster our LR & DR chairs because they deserve better than being tossed in a landfill.  I have adopted abandoned teapots that no one wanted because it was chipped.  Sure I could buy a new teapot … but why?  I use this one and it has a second life.  For me – life is incredibly precious – not just human – but all life.  I recognize what it means to kill, want to kill, or have someone killed that you love.  Up close and personal.  So I need to ask what distinguishes a guy in Israel who blows himself up in order to kill as many Israelis (Jew and non-Jew) as possible, and the guy in Connecticut who did the same thing but his target was adults and children – and his mother.

I think anyone who wants to kill – humans or animals – is mentally questionable.

Killing is killing and in that moment, that person has achieved supreme control – taking life away.  Hollywood has sensationalized killing – they have to own that, and stop with lame CYA *excuses*.  They mock – truly – Rockwellian (or whatever the term is) values.  They aren’t just *entertainers* — they are *influencers* and have to own it – good or bad.  Once upon a time – there was some kind of review board before films could be released.  I think someone has to monitor the lack of common sense in all medias, all types.

I am opposed to parents that permit their children to become obsessed with violent *games* that enable them to – in a virtual reality – kill whoever the enemy is, rather than teaching them how to care for the elderly, children, animals, friends.  How many parents have essentially used these *games* as pseudo-babysitters.   I am equally opposed to parents that encourage their children to kill animals under the guise of being environmental conservatives, and it is a fight I will never stop.   In some states children can have access to guns before a permit to drive.

Under the flag of free enterprise, we have permitted an industry to blossom that’s sole purpose is to create more violent, realistic, shoot-em films.  We have a place called Hollywood that gives awards for creating films that terrify and scare audiences.  The more gore… the better.  Clearly, left to our own discretion… we don’t know what is bad.

I think we need to recalibrate our internal compass.  We need to stop lamenting about how sweet, innocent and simple life once was… as we indulge in all of the trappings of a throw-away society today.

The *PC* crowd has made it unfashionable to question or critique dubious behavior or conduct.  That is a big part of the problem… this *anything goes* society is realizing that maybe not so good afterall.   Those that know me know I will never turn away from bad behavior, especially if someone or something else is being intimidated or remotely threatened.

The Divine & Magic

I do not understand this religious issue in this country.  Some religions are *sacred* while others are up for assault and condemnation.  For me – I pray every day that there is something more intelligent out there than what is occupying planet earth at the moment.   The human species is a parasite on the planet, consuming *renewable resources* until depletion and then extinction … everything is secondary to the * human species* and thus expendable. I truly wish that these *great* religions would stop promoting life-after-death and promote “good behavior” on this plane, this incarnation, this lifetime.  Stop taking all of our planet for granted as if it was put here for our enjoyment and abuse.  The planet is more than a rock with a lot of creatures living on it.  It, we, and all *living things* including the planet and its core, are part of the fabric of this planet.  We’re not visitors and there isn’t another option out there at present.  Life after death is still a little sketchy at best – so for those *faithful* that want to kill as a means of entering paradise… that’s fine… just don’t take others with you.  It’s a personal choice.  I also don’t resent the organized religions and their individual expression of *holy days*.  I do resent those who feel threatened by them and the attempt to remove *divine* from our lives and landscape.  Any religion who does good, who embraces tenderness, love, caring, stewardship and responsibility doesn’t threaten me.  Any religion who espouses death, martyrdom, assassination of non-believers – IS A THREAT to me.  God isn’t threatening… the human species is.   I hope there is a God… actually, I pray there are multiple deities that take mercy on our collective stupidity and bring enlightenment.  I want to believe that. I want to believe in the magic