Archive for December, 2015

A CALL TO ACTION

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by Drogo

Reject excess, honor nature.” – Gandhi

Essay on Gandhi’s quote By Christine Maccabee for ON THE WILD SIDE Jan.2016

Depending on your political, religious or philosophical positions, you may or may not read this essay. Some say it is too late to do anything, some say it is not necessary, and still others say “who cares?”, However, many do care, and care a lot. I am one who cares, and dares to write, so read this at your own risk.

If there ever was a time for all of us to make a difference for on-going quality of life on this our planet, it is now. Of course, I and many others had those very same thoughts way back in the 1970’s. Back then, plastics still had carcinogenic chemicals in them, (even baby bottles!) and industrial chemical wastes were dumped into water like Love Canal and other places, creating severe health problems for people and wildlife living near them. Acid rain was killing off the beautiful trees in Germany’s Black forest, and here in the States many lakes were becoming too acidic for fish and other aquatic creatures to survive. If it were not for EPA regulations, many of these problems would still exist !

You may or may not be aware of the many late 1900’s environmentalists who were at the forefront of revealing damaging pollution sources and actually doing something about it. Legal groups like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have been great watchdogs and have made a huge difference in keeping our planet’s resources and wild areas relatively free of pollution. Then there were the individuals who took it upon themselves to fight against rampant environmental degradation, two of the most well known being Julia Butterfly and Erin Brockovich.

Julia was a young idealist who had the guts to save some of the last remaining ancient Redwood trees in California by camping out in the top of one of the largest (which she called Luna) and staying there for over one year without coming down ! Her goal was somewhat achieved, making deals with the lumber company to preserve the trees surrounding Luna before she descended back to the earth. After that she formed a small movement of earth caring people, and I actually heard her speak years ago at Hood college. She is one of my heroines, and a major inspiration for many others. Perhaps we too can do something , perhaps not so grand , or brave, as Julia, but SOMETHING….

Another woman who stuck her neck out in order to make a difference was Erin Brockovich. Perhaps you remember the movie made about her efforts staring Julia Roberts, the far too sexy version of Erin but nonetheless interesting and entertaining. Erin became a “whistle blower” when she discovered major groundwater pollution due to the negligence of the gas and electric company she worked for. After a difficult fight, the company repented of its ways and Erin became a heroine for all of us who care the heck what is happening to our water and our air. We may never do anything so noble and scary as she did, but the day may come when we too will be confronted with something we can do to make a real difference.

Mahatma Gandhi was a wise man, as was Jesus. Both of them said that we should, and CAN, live with less. When Gandhi died all he had in his possession were his eye glasses and his sandals. As far as I know, Jesus didn’t own anything. My question, and the question of so many others, especially young people I know, is how in the world did we get to this place where all that we own and buy, besides being way too much, is polluting and basically wrecking our planet ? These are huge, important questions for all of us to be asking, and many of us are.

Why did Gandhi feel as he did when he said “Reject excess, honor nature”? Perhaps he knew what Jesus knew…that “heaping up treasures on earth” will lead to spiritual disease. I am sure they both knew how our materialism would injure this precious gift of life we have on our planet. One only needs to see, on line, the photo of a dead pelican whose stomach is filled with plastic trash, which is filling our ocean and marshlands, to know this to be true.

Is there no remedy, no hope? Of course there is, so long as people jump in to solve the problems. After all, the most basic and useful trait of human beings is our ability to problem solve. Our children are learning to do this in school everyday, and so are we adults in our everyday lives.

So live lightly on the earth, and take action. As I always say, “Every little bit helps”, but “do more if you can.” I .

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Environmentalist

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Environmentalism, Organic Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by Drogo

An environmentalist is not purely one type of strict practice, nor does it mean that an environmentalist does nothing to pollute or kill things. Not all environmentalists are pacifists, vegans, or political radicals. Perhaps some of the best environmentalists are more strict about their actions regarding anger, diet, or society; but snobbishness is not the heart of environmentalism. Environmentalists think and act in many ways that they and others believe are good for Nature and individual habitats. This does not mean that we all do more than one type of thing towards natural goals, nor does it mean that we never do anything that hurts others or their environments, the truth is we all are consuming resources from living and non-living things on this planet; which pollutes to various degrees. The ultimate environmentalist is a non-existent person; for even in death we pollute some; therefore the next best thing to never being born, is safe, painless, and legal suicide options. Since we do not have safe, painless, and legal suicide options, and our deaths would only leave the worst types of people on the planet, we should at least do what we can, within our own capabilities and circumstances, which for some people will be more diet based, and others will be more political, and others will be both mixed or more personal and not subject to the judgment of others, because of decisions they have made that are not observed by anyone else.

Here is my response to anyone that says you have to practice only one type of eco-thing, or all types of eco-things, to be environmentalist; you see it starts getting like Christian ‘Sin’ to shame all those not practicing your particular belief, and claiming that one branch is superior to another because they have figured out the ‘word of god’ more than others… Certainly i believe vegans are good little environmentalists in their own ways, just as vegetarians and omnivores do good for the environment by not just eating meat products exclusively; but to say that someone is not an environmentalist because they do or do not contribute in some ways to the system is fucking bullshit. Why? Because the issues are more complex within and without any system; for example no one thing in this World is the cause of everything in this World, FOOD, MONEY, JOBS, TRANSPORTATION, POPULATION all are pollution factors but they are also connected and not exclusive to all environmental problems.  – Drogo Empedocles

Commentary on the ‘Fourth Turning’

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2015 by Drogo

Critical Commentary about the book ‘The Fourth Turning’ by William Strauss and Neil Howe.

“In spite of their claims being little more than unscientific cyclical theory, they are currently taken seriously by a lot of conservatives and liberals alike, because their theory offers conservatives the hope that society is on the verge of cycling out of the social changes of the 1960s and 1980s and back to the social conservatism of the 1940s-50s, and liberals the hope that society is on the verge of cycling out of the Reagan-Bush era of deregulation and privatization and back to the New Deal and Keynesian economics of the 1940s-50s. But first, of course, society has to go through the Big Crisis that comes along every 80 years and is coming again, soon according to the authors.” – Rational Wiki article

So yes most of us can agree that history is cyclical, however i do not think that the results are the ‘same’ enough to predict how exactly things will change by simply using logic. Now if they are using a higher power like God or angels as their influence, then sure anything is possible lol. As authorities on generational history i commend the 4th Turning authors, as history indeed repeats itself in various ways, few of which are predictable regarding how vast and major the changes will be, and when they are predictable, they are only predictable in vague ways by a few of us freaks.

I think that generational cycles have more to do with simply not wanting to obey our parents, and the fact that we have WARS all the time because we allow demagogues and soulless corporations to control our governments.

It is fun to think that we could actually fit like porcelain-dolls into a cabinet of categories in perpetuity, very Aristotelian; but as most philosophers know such artificial constructs are easily picked apart by later skeptics who examine reality in respect to other important relative aspects.

For example here is another way to look at how change could be enacted and sustainably stay changed. – An ideal national government for SCOD would have a council of presidents from each time zone, fund the national guard more than a standing army, with an emphasis on individual citizens rather than obedient slaves to the system, increase credit unions and decrease bank power, increase funding of public lands and decrease corporate well-fair, and fund education to encourage students to study what they want as long as they want. Next time you hear the word “Entitlements” used to degrade government support of poor people = Please remind people that certainly those that use that word for poor people on government support, should eventually realize that rich people have many more entitlements that are not earned as they are far too grand a scale relative to other humans.

SUNSHIRE – SCOD Ecovillage Game

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2015 by Drogo

Cooperative Communal Winning!!!

Goal: Win by working together to build and maintain a thriving eco-village. Make the village within 12 years (turns), and keep it for another 12. Survive 24 years of life-changing events and start a legacy of stewardship for the Earth!

Sunshire Game Board

Start: Pick a color building to start with. Blue Long-house; Red Brick-house, Black Herb-House. Blue has 1 savings & 3 income, Red has 3 savings & 2 income, Black has 3 savings & 1 income to start with.

Play: The game is played by keeping a ‘character record sheet’, rolling 2 (6-sided) die each turn, reading the results on the ‘result table’ aloud, and following what it says. Mark each turn on the ‘character record sheet’ to keep track of how many turns have been taken. The result roll will determine your actions each turn. IMPORTANT: At any time any player can give any other player savings from their account, or make any transaction that is mutually agreed upon; this allows cooperation by those with excess savings to alleviate the suffering of others. Trade, Gifts, or Building Dwellings can take place once per turn.

Character Record Sheet: Must be maintained each turn.

Player name & Start color:

Turns taken (game ends in 24):

Savings (start color #):

Income-bill Ratio (start color #):

Dwellings (as you place them):

Income-bill Ratio = Net Profit added each turn to your savings (gross-bills)

Savings = monetary or resource amount you have in storage reserves

*

Result Table (this takes the place of using cards)

mark a turn after each roll, and add your income/bill ratio rate to your savings each turn.

2 = Share a Harvest [+1 savings, and +1 savings also given to a friend]

3 = Harvest natural resources [+2 income, +1 savings]

4 = Discount Dwelling using all free materials [-3 savings, place any dwelling]

5 = Commute to Volunteer Job [-1 savings, -1 income]

6 = Lucky Harvest [+3  savings, and +1 income]

7 = Renovate property for maintenance [-3 savings]

8 = Commute to Job [-2 savings, +3 income]

9 = Pay medical Bills [-5 savings]

10 = Guests!!! Pay extra special Bills [-3 savings]

11 = DAMAGE on your property!!! [lose all income for this turn, & -5 savings]

12 = Long-house has an event that raises +5 in total savings (share).

*

Place a Dwelling: when the result table tells you to ‘place a dwelling’, pick from the dwelling icons and place it on a yellow circle on the map. Also mark on your character sheet that you have a dwelling and how much resources or bills it adds to your sheet.

7 Dwellings to Build & Rent: A-Frame, Tree-Pole, Dome-Shingle, Glass-Metal, Yurt-Teepee, Adobe-Cob, Under-Earth

Yurt-Teepee House = canvas tents and hides on frames [-4 savings, +1 rent income]

Adobe-Cob House = clay brick & stucco straw-bale [-5 savings, +2 rent income]

Under-Earth House = hill-side walls & sod roof [-6 savings, +2 rent income]

A-Frame House = cedar gable log-cabin [-7 savings, +3 income]

Tree-Pole House = up in trees on stilts and wedge beams [-8 savings, +3 rent income]

Dome-Shingle House = below the trees with decks [-9 savings, +4 rent income]

Glass-Metal House = geodesic, clear and colored glass [-10 savings, +5 rent income]

7 dwellings

  • That’s it!

Return to Sunshire

Posted in Fictional Stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 1, 2015 by Drogo

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Sunshire, a SCOD sister community, owned and run mostly by women; survived the apocalypse as well our own East-Coast SCOD shire. Sunshire was in the Mid-West, amid farmland as our area once was, before the devil-lopers came and destroyed most of our farms and wilderness. The tale I will tell now, is how we were able to make contact with the inhabitants of Sunshire again, after the collapse of our high-tech communication systems.

Mamma Karebear and her daughter Ranger Tess contacted me before Armageddon, about building a SCOD style eco-village in Misery, Kansas. My first thought was that is a terrible name for a county, and reminded me of Stephen King’s horror novels. However sometimes people make all the difference in why we do things. Karebear and Tess were good-hearted, kind, and creative people. They had already been developing their homestead as a working animal farm, but wanted to attract more people to build more of a community that lives there, which would help preserve the acres of natural land also. It was because of their dedication to sustaining cooperative communication, that we were able to draw up some plans and work together.

Karebear and her husband Brock, were first generation hippies. They were artists and farmers, and when they purchased their land in the 1960s, they began restoring the old german farm-house on the land. What little money they had came from their contract work with graphic art companies, and they made friends with everyone in the area that was the least bit friendly, as well as artists and naturalists. Some of their friends were famous environmentalists, and they hosted parties to encourage involvement in the Green Party, and other alternative ways. Their land became a sanctuary for hundreds of animals, and they raised their children to share their food and beds with dogs, cats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and mice. The animals were like human family to Karebear’s family, except that some of them they killed and ate.

Tess was raised in this creative zoo, as a wildling steward. Tess made her own clothes, and her preferred garb was medieval style (SCA). Tess wrote stories and made videos which she published. She suffered from intense stomach pains, until she became deathly ill, and had to have medical doctors at a hospital operate to fix it; and so her life was saved. Her doctor bill afterwards was 10 billion dollars, so it is lucky that the Apocalypse ended bill collecting, as both phone lines and the national economy had been made obsolete by global mass conflicts, plagues, and famines.

In the early 21st Century, we designed and built a number of alternative architectural structures on their land using SCOD theories that fit their family and land. We began with repairing old sheds, building a green-house solarium addition to the old house, and smaller new out-buildings and follies that were affordable. Then we kept collecting materials and raising public funds, and constructed a small hobbit house, a-frame barn, and tree house. We were gearing up for more constructions like the medieval longhouse, and glass pavilion; when we heard on the news that WW3 had started, with terrorists and rebels over-throwing governments from the inside out, in mass attacks. The Mid-West did not see as much conflict as in larger urban areas of population, but it did not escape plagues, and did not need to be a metropolis to feel the effects of being cut off from public utilities.

I was not living there full time, and had only helped part-time over the years, a few months at a time. Since Armageddon started in late summer and fall, I had already returned to the East-Coast shire. That was the last time I would hear anything from Sunshire for many years.

As I learned later, Karebear and Tess had gathered all their nearby friends and family to Sunshire; and began survival plans to deal with the new reality that was emerging. Trade soon became more economically important than cash or credit, regarding outside transactions. It became quite clear that distance would be as problematic as it was before the industrial age. Ranger Tess had a plan, which involved horses and magic.

to be continued….

I Worship at the Altar of Creation

Posted in Poems, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 1, 2015 by Drogo

I worship at the altar of Creation.

Call me pantheist if you will

but labels cannot describe

the mystical connection I feel

while gazing upon the faces

of myriad aster flowers

or hearing the songs of birds

which live in my Sanctuary

where its altar is strewn

with diversity of flora and fauna,

on this Earth filled with infinite species

numbers still not counted

and wiser than any human

fabrication of religion

or material contraption.

I worship at the altar of Creation

not just at the all too human

cloistered inside chapel

where hymns of praise are sung

but air is filled with stagnant odors,

windows closed to the great Outdoors.

Give me more ! the outer air,

the sweet perfume of springs mimosa

the healing aroma of every flower

entwined together as if by plan

all singing in harmony

with profound profusion

in this Sanctuary where I dwell,

my Mystic Meadows.

 

  • Christine S. Maccabee