Compassionate Earth Walk

Walk route as of April

Check it out! A smallish group of Americans and I think Canadians and Native North Americans is walking this summer, in protest and with an educational goal, along the northern part of the route of the Tar Sands Pipeline. I’m posting the route here, but be sure to go to the web site of the Compassionate Earth Walk at:

Bitsy can’t wait!

130408-Bitsy_Niko-ASC_3011LSLFs copy

Crawford Family Farm

Now we are talking about doing something that will benefit everyone — if we can succeed in saving our ecosystem, our country and our community. The bottom line is: there will be no room for our individual desires for peace, freedom and human rights if the whole system falls apart, and as far as I can see, for the most part, we are not individually contributing to activities that will realistically save the whole system. We are trying to save the world we grew up in — not the world that can sustainably be passed to the future.

The Crawford Family Farm in Sumner Texas is threatened by the Trans Canada

It is one thing for us to recognize our obligation to contribute to the welfare of the commons (the common need of all people for the bounty of the earth, including soil, air, water and a viable climate). It is a whole different story when the profit motive of the corporate interests are using and damaging the commons for their own welfare. We not only should not contribute, we should not condone such behaviors. If we want to actually CONTRIBUTE to the commons we would be working for solar energy – not pipelines. The problem is that most people do not individually have the ability to challenge the profit motives of the corposystem.Crawford Family Farm But we can help those who do challenge these illegal and unethical behaviors, and I think anyone who claims to care about the ecosystem, the welfare of the poor, human
rights should pitch in as and when they can to help those people who are willing to take the issues to court. You do not need an event to this, but you might want to go and meet the people you are helping.
Or save the gas and the money and send it to them.

Red Arc Farm 690 CR 37500 Sumner, TX
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Gates open from 5 pm-Midnight Friday, April 19 for campers
Gates reopen Saturday at 9 am and day show starts around 11am.
Go to website for full details:

Lynn Lamoreux

Or put your attorneys in contact with him at the
Democracy School

The Power and the Glory – The American Dream — up and down, ying and yang – all in one day, while Bitsy visits friends.

The pasture was silvery with frost under the early morning moon as I stopped to roll a fresh bale of Texas coastal hay out of my little white car to feed the horses. By the time I get to Austin, I thought, most of the little bits of hay will brush off my hair and slacks. Austin knows from nothing anyhow. A 20-mile perimeter around the town has fallen under the concrete, friends are gone and the air is worse than anything I ever met in Southern California. And off I went.

First my face turned red. It always does that when the air is filled with toxins. Next thing, my ears started to ring and then hurt and and then pop, and then they wouldn’t pop. And then we added a new symptom of the chemical smog. As we entered what I’m thinking of as the “cloud of evil,” it looked like ordinary dust, but I could feel my brain disconnecting communication from my eyes. Like — I could see what to do but had to try very hard to actually do it. Driving. In traffic. Rush hour.

I was contemplating what this might do to the developing brains of the millions of babies who are raised up breathing such toxins, when we drove out of the cloud of evil and arrived almost immediately at a new ramp someone created in formerly empty space, and with approximately half a second to choose I had to decide right or left, guided by a sign that listed two places I never heard of before, and shunted us off north, instead of south (now wouldn’t you think they could have mentioned that on the sign?) and spit us out into about ten lanes of rush hour traffic.

So it took about an hour to get turned around, figure out how to get on 35 headed south, and (I really DO KNOW WHERE I AM GOING if they would stop changing it) taking the correct off-ramp, drive up MLK to the top of the hill, pull to the right around the new (brand name omitted) Conference Center.

130131-IHHouston-asc_2237SsThere was a parking lot right in front of my face, I pulled in just as another pulled out and went over to figure out how to pay $10 for 24 hours, which is not a bad price in Austin, put the ticket on the dash and ran into the building, arriving exactly on time for the Adobe Lightroom course, given by, which I need because I signed up for a more advance course at Santa Fe Photographic, pre-requisite that I be comfortable with Photoshop and Lightroom. I have used every version of Lightroom, pre-publication, but gave up every time trying to make it seem useful. So this is my treat to myself. Plus they added a brush that changes things.

The course was excellent, but the room was a festival of toxic fumes emanating from about 400 or 500 people (perfume and whatnot) as well as the chemicals the hotel puts into the air in an attempt to separate your sense of smell from your brain so you won’t know you are surrounded by that festival of toxic fumes. So I was standing up in back, trying to get a breath of clean air. (The air was MUCH fresher in the smoking area.) No point complaining; I knew what to expect and was not surprised. But here’s the thing, this instructor sitting clear across the ballroom, apparently noticed me standing there and called someone to unobtrusively ask me if I didn’t have a seat. I said yes, explained, and the hotel A/C came on in a few minutes so I was able to return to my seat in the back row, where I got what I came for. Excellent instruction from Mr. Kos-low-ski.

There seems to be no food at the new (brand name omitted) Conference Center for someone on a half-hour break. They have two gourmet eateries, where I got an excellent cup of coffee, found a bag of peanuts, but as 5 pm approached after 5 hours of instruction, I was EXHAUSTED. Sometimes I forget I am an OLD PERSON. So I asked the (brand name omitted) Conference Center how much it would cost me to just crash there overnight before heading home. $250. As I said, Austin knows from nothing.

130131-IHHouston-asc_2245LsSo a friendly co-student gave me a little map of how to get out of Austin the other way, and I went out to my car, which did not start. Another friendly co-student jumped the car, he knew what he was doing and did it well, and off I drove feeling guilty because he was still trying to put HIS car back together, and got lost again in rush hour traffic by getting into the wrong lane and then assuming that Riverside is on the north side of the river, which it is not. I think I was on Cesar Chavez. The road was clearly familiar, though I couldn’t remember why, and was much more friendly than 35, so I kept on going, ended up crossing the river almost in front of the Austin Hostelling International (, stopped and went in and had the best night’s sleep in the cleanest air in the cleanest facility in Austin unless I miss my guess. Nothing toxic except the air itself. And so then I drove home, the sky becoming bluer as I approached the Brazos Valley, my ears beginning to un-swell, my eyes and brain back to normal.

And then just as my little white car reached the Brazos river, a bright yellow airplane swooped low overhead, completing its turn before going back to spraying some kind of poison over the spring crops that will eventually end up on your breakfast table.

Moral: If you are going to Austin, take a plane, rent a car and stay at the International Hostelling. It’s at a pretty spot on the river, only a few miles from the airport, is very clean, and the people know up from down.

Moral #2: If you want to travel anyplace else in Texas, there is a bus company offering a promotion. $1 to anyplace. Nice big bus with internet access. That’s what my roommate was doing. But I was VERY VERY TIRED and missed the name of the bus company.

Moral #3: There are lot’s and lots of nice people, even in Austin.

Moral #4: When your hunger finally talks you into stopping at McDonalds for a burger – and they WON’T SERVE YOU A BURGER, and you walk out laughing hysterically because the world has flipped upside down, and when the employees don’t get the joke – you know it’s all over.

Moral #5: When you are staying at the hostel and they serve pancakes – eat.

Recommended Reading
Poisoning our Children. Nancy Sokol Green

FYI-Tar Sands Pipeline Blockade

Bitsy and I will attend the Blockade of the TransCanada Tar Sands Pipeline in Nacogdoches on Monday 7th. Let us know if you would like to come along and are willing to obey the “rules” that have been defined by the Tar Sands Blockaders. Or better yet go for the whole training program that begins on Thursday in Livingston in the snow and rain!!

Bitsy just gave me a dirty look and stuck her nose under the bed covers.



de·moc·ra·cy n

“the control of an organization by its members, who have a free and equal right to participate in decision-making processes.” (Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.)

If Mr. Flores would ask me to help prevent someone (anyone) from expressing his point of view in a “democratic” meeting, I would wonder what Mr. Flores was trying to hide. If Mr. Flores then pointed out several times that the police were there to keep order — and he posted a couple of bouncers near the person who wanted to speak (you can see their bottom halves in the second photo) – I would make a big effort to find out why Mr. Flores didn’t want this person to express his opinion. Knowledgeable honorable people who are looking for solutions to real problems – such people are not afraid of ideas.

What is a Town Hall Meeting?

“A town hall meeting is an informal public meeting which gives the members of a community an opportunity to get together to discuss emerging issues and to voice concerns and preferences for their community.”

Mr. Flores meeting, of course, was not a Town Hall Meeting. When a person talks for a couple of hours without discussing, that is not a town hall meeting.

“dis·cus·sion n
Talk or a talk between two or more people about a subject.”

When we the people go to a town hall meeting, we expect a discussion. What can we do in a supposedly democracy in a fake town hall meeting when we are not permitted to have a real discussion?

According to a recent publication of the TEA party: “I understand that the local and Brazos Progressives will be out in force preaching more class warfare.” It sounds to me like the TEA party leadership also does not want a discussion.

I can’t speak for the MoveOn Leadership in DC, because I walked out on about their fourth sentence, because up to then nearly every sentence contained the word “fight” two or three times. Well, yes – if you want to end up in a fight, then you should fight. However, fighting will only make our problems worse.

We have very serious problems that are out of control, and the only way to control them is to deal with their causes. Beating up on someone else (passive-aggressive or overt aggressive) never solved any real problem over the long term. Beating up on other people only makes more enemies. I think Jesus and Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and the Buddha all agree on this point, and I believe they have accomplished more that is worth accomplishing than almost anyone else I know about. Winning doesn’t solve problems. It’s fun, but it only makes more enemies. If we really want to solve problems more than we want to have fun – well, our behavior labels us. Clearly we don’t.

And anyway, there is no way to win ourselves out of this particular problem in which we find ourselves. There is no way to solve it with fake town hall meetings that concentrate on economics in a fake democracy that does everything in it’s power to prevent us from understanding really what our problem is. So that we could actually get together and solve it. So, the meeting was all about economics, but – I’m not an economist, so here is the definition of economics.

“ec·o·nom·ics n
1. the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services (takes a singular verb)”

So – economics studies the relationship between supply and demand. Nobody talked about that in the town hall meeting, even though the root cause of our very big problem is the relationship between supply (from this good green earth) of everything we need to stay alive — and demand (by humans).

The real problem is that we are running low on supply and our so-called economics is trying to solve that problem by selling more stuff. And borrowing money. Neither of which will solve the problem of a limited supply. Does it make sense to try to produce more when there are fewer resources? Not even to an economist, but if we only had those two choices in a condition of low supply – well, I wouldn’t do either of those solutions, I would tell the people what is the real root problem and ask them to help solve it. But as that solution seems not to be on the table, surely borrowing money can’t be nearly as toxic as trying to make more stuff when we are running a bit low on resources.

Even I know that outflows are only one side of the economics problem. And inflows do not come from people. They come from the green mother earth. If we want to try to fix our very big problem we can’t do it by focusing only on the outflows. We will have to think, talk and share ideas about the inflows, where they come from, and how we plan to get enough without destroying the green mother earth that produces them.

God made the world as he made it. God did not make supermarkets. He made the earth to be fruitful with carrots and potatoes and corn and wheat and apples. He did not make economics. He told us to be honest and kind and compassionate. He did not suggest that we use trickery and chicanery to get what we want by causing harm to others.

I say to MoveOn and the progressives and the TEA party that you are all fighting over ephemera, and if you don’t start looking for real, factual information about how God did make this world to operate – then you will all lose. And so will I.

I say to MoveOn and the Progressives and the TEA party, and especially Mr. Flores, you are all wrong when you fight over some “democracy” that is dead and gone and never was like you say it was. You should be working together to learn the real facts about how this good green earth nurtures and feeds us – learn where our real supplies really come from and how — so that you all can help to build a more bountiful life style for the future. Instead of just having a fun game of king of the hill.

If Mr. Flores were to ask me to help make sure that someone doesn’t have a chance to talk – that his ideas should not be heard, I would wonder what Mr. Flores is trying to hide. Here’s my first guess. I guess he’s afraid we folks in the audience will figure out how much he does NOT know about our world and our country and even our economy. And how much he does NOT know about what is needed to make our country honorable and fruitful once again.

So I think it would be better to ask. That guy who didn’t get to talk might have had a good idea.