Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas, Mr. President Elect

Christmas I prayed for the Tennessee River, for people in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I reached out on Facebook to the groups that believe in Love and Respect for each other, for our Sacred land and our cherished water. I wrote blogs for the ilovemountains.org blog challenge, and I spent one nice day getting sun burnt putting the roof back onto the hutch after a wind storm, taking care of my small organic farm that I hope will be energy self-sufficient within five years (not twenty)with bird safe helix turbines.
I sent prayers to Gorillas in Congo, the 2000 Elephants missing in Africa, the abused baby Elephants in Bangkok, the finned Sharks, the murdered Dolphins, and sharks and whales ocean wide. I sent comments to the White House and to the EPA, and the Newspaper. I signed petitions and asked questions.
I sent love to my roadshow MTR man, the front porch App. woman, my new friend in Thailand and my old friends, silver and gold. I was going to say names, but I didn't get permission first.
I played with my baby and my Mother and started eating sprouts, seaweed and greens. I vowed to boycott coke, nestle, dole, dove, walmart, all fast food (since 1984), and I'm deciding to switch over to web tv. I mourned the death of Eartha Kitt, who's music has given me much happiness and pleasure, and I started my dream and hope notebook of what I plan to do for my country-- my future.
I wondered about a Mountain Mama Militia. I know MalcomX has much success in expressing his disdain and love-- it was very clear. I know MADD has also shared some successful results in communicating their desires for a better life. sometimes I think bumper stickers are not enough, comments and blogs aren't really getting to the point like seemingly meaningless arrests and civil disobedience or a militia could approach. Maybe a sniper approach and use green paintballs. Wish they made paint grenades.
I wondered about Derrick Jensen's comment to me what would I do if someone were raping me-- why can I just watch while they rape my land? destroy my River? my drinking bathing playing water? not just mine but the Earth's-- well, geez, maybe because they have guns, explosives, big trucks, loud mouths, lies and about 12,000 men on salaries they've never seen before--
I thought Obama can not really think he can bury CO2. what if someone would release mass quantities all at once- kill all mammals with no destruction of infrastructure and I thought maybe I could sell the movie rights before the book was even written. I thought about the Environment as a living thing, like a River is Alive, teeming with life, with stacked ecosystems, so vital to me, in all its mysteries and bounty. I remembered swimming in living water, river water- ohhh How I love it! and drinking cool mountain spring water-- how I love water! especially chlorine free sweet water; slick and sweet.
I thought, if everyone loved water as much as I do, how different the world would be. My mother thinks I want to go backwards, to the past, and maybe I do, I think we left some really important values and valuables behind; I need to go get them.
thoughts also come to me about the incredible dynamic of the American Spirit-- what got us to the Moon, what brought us together during the Great War; I don't think it was the War itself, but a solidarity in effort, and I wish we could do this now, to develop alternative energy-- alternative means NOT COAL; coal is OVER and if you say coal can't be over, then go ask the people of Buffalo Creek, and go ask the Emory River and the Tennessee River permission to walk in their shoes. All we have to do is LOVE LIFE and coal is over. All we have to do is LOVE WATER and coal is over. all we have to do is LOVE BREATHING and coal is over. We don't have to commit suicide. it is okay; we deserve to live, to love, to drink and breathe.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tennessee River-- new ingredients


Used to wash coal:

I have to finish this later-- it is making me feel strange; like a punk rocker on a rap trip

Sludge, Slurry, Coal Ash and other names for Poison

I jumped up and checked the aerial when I got my message my first message from Dave Cooper and his Mountain Top Removal Roadshow-- huge disaster in Tennessee. I couldn't breathe; I almost couldn't cry, but if you hold your breath long enough, well it feels like the world will surely end. If four feet deep of anything came down the mountain and covered my yard, my borage, my daisies and mint-- the mint from my grandmother's house that I've had for over twenty years and covered my neighbors house and let's see--398 more football fields worth of precious little nooks and niches.
I was in a really nice house once, on Maui-- it was a million dollar home; it had been renovated by an all-woman contractor crew of ship builders and it was built like a boat- as to say tight, and my friend Christine stopped up the toilet and she started squealing and I went in there and the shit was about to spill over and I just leaned over and turned off the water valve. No disaster.
Now it is time for us to start appreciating what we have here in Appalachia-- and I use the term very roughly. I know there are huge problems with Regionalism, especially it's ineffectiveness, but I tend to want to emphasize that our entire region is precious, that our entire region is in jeopardy, if not peril. Wait, I still don't have it right. I feel that the planet earth is in jeopardy and that the balance lies in the Appalachians, especially in West Virginia.

Some might think Ive got a little too much state pride, but I assure you that I am only thinking about basic ecological principles. WV has the surface area of Texas, and it is nearly all covered in forests and it is sitting up high, which means that water flows from WV, and this is critical to understanding the importance of its role in ecological stability. Just imagine now if you covered Texas with forests and rivers, then you could slide it into the eastern seaboard, relatively undetected and sparely populated and then keep it uneducated as possible and in poverty-- then it doesn't really change, and it is potentially completely controllable. As early as the civil war, people knew that there were vast supplies of coal here and those that did know came in and bought up the mineral rights at about 2 cents an acre. It is just awful how they lied and deceived and made people think they were getting something.
Anyway, the coal companies have lied, cheated, stolen and killed-- I mean massacred the people of West Virginia and other parts of Appalachia I am sure for access to this coal, which they stole decades ago and steal all over again, and now in the last ten or twelve years have started blasted mountains to the point of theses beautiful mountains eviscerating their internal workings into the vital waters of our side of the country. No, the mountains don't spill themselves nto the stream beds-- the draglines do that. I guess it isn't an evisceration as much as a turning inside out and for scale, do we kill a child just for the kidney? I have heard it is done, and now I see it being done here, to our children.
The coal is the kidney of the mountain, and for 20 thousand years or so, coal has been the filter to keep the water tables clean and the coal keeps getting more and more of the heavy metals and other elements that are best kept deep underground, trapped in the coal. Then they burn the coal and these poisons are then concentrated in the ash-- so here is the largest component of Clean Coal's Toxic Toilet, and the rest is chemical they add- they wash the coal with all kinds of binders to pull out impurities and then they put all the impurities in OUR WATER!

So what I am trying to say is our house is awesome; it was built by Mother Nature and it is tight and it can keep us. We need to really value every little detail of it, every square inch is important. Secondly, the toilet is overflowing!! We need to get in there and turn off the valve-- coal is over.
It may mean we can't use all the power that we want to use. It may mean that entire cities should run black outs or brown outs--it is up to all of us to come up with solutions, to BE the SOLUTIONS we seek. I have my own path. I am heading toward an almost entirely self-sufficient lifestyle which I intend to reach within five years, and I urge everyone to do what they can do to achieve thier own energy, food and water goals, but as a community, as a society, we need to turn off the valve to BIG COAL-- cut off their free streams (to destroy), cut off their subsidies-- you gotta be kidding? We are paying for this?? cut off their free hall pass-- they have been BREAKING EVER ENVIRONMENTAL law in place-- We need to start allegations against every government offical who partakes in this shit- I mean flow of excrement.

I really watned to make sure I didn't start telling what needs to be done. I don't really know. But I drank some rain water yesterday that had some broken ice in it, oh man, it was so sweet-- I really love water. It is so sweet and so yummy. Water is my favorite drink, and oh, to be emersed in it, to dive down into it, no chlorine, no arsenic, no mercury, no cadmium, no lead, no excess iron or magnesium; I mean it-- I just LOVE water.

Everyone, Happy New Year! A Toast to you in Water!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Female Violence

I am hearing more and more about how the destruction of the earth is tied to the disrespect of the Mother. Mother Earth. Some people don't understand that the way our society is running right now just isn't working, AND there are other ways. Some people think if the Man isn't running things, then the Woman is, but actually, there is the idea of woman, the idea of Mother that can be the greatest influence. All women are respected. Love that. Repeat three times.

At the Appalachian Studies Conference in Huntington, West Virginia (at Marshall) this year 2008, a man had a model that he had made of the mountains, the earth Mother and the destruction of the Appalachians personified and brought home for us at the conference. I don't know anyone who saw it who wasn't touched by the concept, wasn't reminded that this is why we love our mountains so dearly-- they are more than home, they are what nurtures and protects us, they are what loves us even when we are ugly, poor and starving, they bring us in and give us everything we need. When no one else can or will, they will be there for us. This is another reason we need to keep our mountains-- as for me, maybe I'm not getting any younger or prettier- ha ha!

And the woods, the forests and hills have always been a symbol of protection and in reality a very good defensive position for a home front, maybe like mom's dress, when under attack. consider for a moment the functional use of the forested hills of Poland during the war, and there we are again-- war war war and now the war is on us. the war is on Appalachia and the war is on women and it is being manifested on the earth, our sacred MOTHER. Even Soundgarden sings about "little brother, put his hands away, he's gonna kill our mother, and I love her" and here, little brother shows the true nature of the situation, because although the big companies have the big money, they still act so selfishly and childishly when it comes to how they behave-- with no concept of what they are doing, and no undersatnding of what the repercussions will be. Not only this, but the inherent disrespect for all living and beautiful life-giving forms is more than apparent in this envirnomental devastation.

So this is exactly what I tell people-- the destruction of the earth is a sign of the disrespect and oppression of women-- If these mean didn't hate women, they would not be able to do this to the earth. why do men hate women?

I don't know. I don't understand how they can not love the female. I look at my daughter, and I learn to love myself in a way I was never loved or taught to self-love; I see her perfection and delight. Her happiness is my highest happiness, as I see God exploring the material world through her-- she sings and dances and laughs and she loves the dirt, the plants, the snow, and rain and wind and the moon! She sees the river and says, "WATER!!" and wants to know the names of all the rivers. She says hello to big rocks on the roadside, and water falls and certain trees and groves of trees.

I call now all women to practice radical self love!! that is violent! because it violates the current bs of oppressive and negative disrespect -- I call on women to practice radical self love to raise the awareness of love for women!! Love for the earth-- big prayers for all women and woman figure and Hilde!! and fertility and even the pregnant teenage-- I mean it- when I heard people trashing these girls, I was like, HEY, where is the respect? and the girls need to respect them selves, too, but they deserve LOVE and RESPECT for being able, for being women, and for reminding the world who they are and can be-- MOTHER

Women everywhere are in such trouble. I heard recently that 90% of the Congonese women have been raped in these last few weeks. This has just got to be from a lack of knowledge, and i have to let you know, if you don't already-- you can pull the balls (testicals) off-- I want to stress: this is NOT DIFFICULT TO DO. If someone is raping you, pull their balls off; at least they won't be raping your sister next. So now, someone tell me-- what can you do to stop a drag line?? explosives? clear cutting? the DEP from giving out EASY Permits?? How do we stop the rape of our MOTHER?

I'm tired of waiting for Manchin to step up to Massey again. I'm thinking about the marching mountain mama militia-- what kind of permits do you have to have to form a militia? the black bears! okay, it must be getting late, look how creative I am!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

letter to the President Elect

Anyone with an ethical barometer is aghast at what is happening to my home; the sound of the train, the lovely Christmas lights, the glitz of the big city all become shadowed by the devastation they create behind the curtain of a snarled treeline ridge. I know what is happening because I hear the trees screaming, the bears crushed in their dens, the owls and hawks searching for their young; I hear the mountains weeping and I see the sickness in all my people and the lies on the billboards.
I voted for you and I prompted friends, family and strangers to vote for you because I heard what you said about my mountain home-- that the destruction must stop; now you must stop it. This will not be difficult to do. All you have to do is make the coal companies obey the laws in place before the evil Bush Administration sold our lives to King Coal for whatever perks will ensure his continued standard of living. One kind of critical law that ensures we all have clean water to drink just says don't dump into the stream- heavy metals or toxins that would kill the children, birds, game, fish that we enjoy and rely upon having for our future. Another law is about the same thing; it just states that you also would not dump any toxic hazardous heavy metals or unlined pollution within 100 feet of a stream. How hard is that, to keep our source of clean water protected?

We are smart. We went to the MOON! We went and we came back, and we can take digital images and send email and so I KNOW we can collect naturally occurring energy like sun, wind and rain to produce all the energy we need, and if those coal hounds want in on the action, they need to switch over now or go to jail for the war crimes they have committed against our country-- they have been breaking the law! killing people! killing resources! killing centuries of our future!
What are we going to do after the rapists have left and our land has been salted and the water a mire of mercury and lead? lakes of sludge impoundments that half the county doesn't even know exists yet?

I hope it won't take 100 days to stop this destruction; I would hope that you would protect the water on DAY ONE and then go see about those boys with human debris in their ice shipments over seas.

And because the Corp of Engineers has broken laws and has not upheld other laws, they should be completely dismantled and replaced-- kind of like the air traffic controllers were back in the seventies, except that this time, there is a good reason and the people will be behind your decision. Replace them with something like the GI bill incentives-- give education in green technology and pull them off the streets of Success City, Detroit, where the old economy has created such hopeless-ness and give America back to us.

the rest of this letter I got from ilovemountains.org, who was kind enough to put together a form so that I could write directly to the President's office-- where they are reading the mail! isn't that something! I love that-- I guess it should not be a shock, but after having a boot in the face for the whole of my youth, I guess I am just relieved to still be human.

I envision a country that would never allow destruction of natural and cultural heritage for its energy needs. Mountaintop removal coal mining is one of the most devastating practices perpetrated in the United States today. Please do the following to ensure we stop this egregious practice:

* Reverse the Bush Administration's weakening of the Stream Buffer Zone. Allowing coal companies to dump their mining waste into America's streams completely legitimizes the devastating practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.

* Enforce the Law: Hold the EPA, the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement, and the Army Corps of Engineers accountable for enforcing vital protections like the Clean Water Act and the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.

* Urge Congress to Pass the Clean Water Protection Act: The Clean Water Protection Act is necessary to permanently protect drinking water and to protect Appalachian coalfield residents who face frequent catastrophic flooding and pollution as a result of mountaintop removal.

* Prioritize Appalachia in America's Clean Energy Future: Some mountaintops in Appalachia have huge wind power potential and would be more beneficial in that regard than as flattened landscape. Please make Environmental Impact Assessments and economic analyses mandatory as part of your New Energy for America Plan. With finite and declining coal reserves and jobs, please ensure Appalachia receives attention and support as part of your $150 billion dollar investment in green, union jobs.

I look forward to seeing you take a leadership role in fighting mountaintop removal. Please visit www.iLoveMountains.org to learn more about mountaintop removal.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Identity Crisis, part two

The Department of Environmental Protection, DEP in West Virginia got an award for having a great website, they have beautiful glossy brochures and at the Sustainable Fair, their booth was giving away bundles of free trees, although no one was there the three hours that I was there. I went to a public meeting, but we weren't allowed in the building until just fifteen minutes before the meeting started, so there was no real congregating, socailizing, or meeting of minds. We were escorted to the rooms in small groups, giving the experience an aire I associate with places of hidden agendas.
An insider told me that if they really did their job, they would be fired. But I found it encouraging that they also said that they would like to help protect the environment, but they need to have numbers of people with passion speaking out emphatically. I took it they have plenty of encouragement to back the coal companies agendas, and not much other ground on which to stand, but I thought they were the agency set in place to protect our environment. Oh, it's not that simple.
What they do do, it seems, is sell permits to destroy the environment, in increments, and it's very very cheap! The amounts of sludge that can be impounded is like a ton or less is 34$ and a ton and more is 60$, but there is absoultely no gradation in monies accepted for 300 billion gallons and numbers that are actually being used. And the standards set forth to protect Underground Injection Sites in other states with liners and critera for disposal is just turned on edge to allow coal companies to dump toxic waste directly into the water table! Recently, the DEP issued a permit to Massey Coal to blast and take down Coal River Mountain, a designated top-notch Wind Farm location, although years of research is showing the feasibility for wind farming-- a leader in Green Clean Power and a place to put West Virginia at the lead of the Nation in Technology, just like what Joe manchin spills on Television in his commercials, so why is this happening?
The DEP has an identity crisis just like many others in this countryside. They know they are named the DEP, but they think it means the Department of Easy Permits, and we need to help them remember they are responsible for Protecting our Environment. It's probably not their fault that they forgot; the leader is appointed, and might have to deal with more than one puppet string. It takes alot of co-ordination to make a puppet move exactly how you want it to, and they can get tangles up when they try to make a move on their own. I know someone who plays scissors rock paper really well, but we know someone might own the paper too.

Now it has been posted that the EPA, the National level Envirnomental Protection Agency is getting new power and how we were so excited to hear this until the ruleing about how they will calculate emissions hit the internet-- it seems that the EPA is forgetting who they are too, and may not be the Environmental ally I had hoped for. It is so strange to think of iving an agency power to work in your behalf, then realizing it was just a ploy of the mysterious five who foresaw the need to pacify with this agency, but also the foresight to buy them out first. Oh King Coal, did you really kill the Kennedy's? and let the Stones blame it on us, because we buy your products?
Maybe it is our fault, using electricity, but many with their lights on have really been in the dark about how it is sequestered, and all the dirty process and bad politics and twisted arms that go into "keeping your lights on". Sleep well, America, the new dawn approaches and you will need your rest.

Coal Identity Crisis, part one

I have a comment conversation going on a YouTube video about Mountain Top Removal that is haunting me. A coal miner is promoting the devastation of our mountains and insists that he is doing an important job for America. He wants to keep his job at the MTR site, and he says he doesn't want to have to work outside the state again-- or drive a truck (living in a truck on the road) Yuck. Living in a truck when you'd rather be home with a loving wife and precious little children, is not an option I'd even consider. Why does he? He's a coal miner and that's what he wants to be. He doesn't want to be a trucker. I see a problem that reminds me of smokers trying quit.

Quitting smoking for many people is more than the habit or the addiction, the biggest problem is the identification with the behavior. I am a smoker. I am a nonsmoker. I am a coal miner. What I do is who I am. This faulty thinking is probably not his fault; it is generations in the making. I am generations in the making too; being seventh generation American living in what is now West Virginia, I come from a long line of people who lived close to the earth and to the seasons. My Grandfather, Everette Barnard, was a diary farmer and took his DDT back to the store when he read the package, saying, "this product is no good for the fish and it kills the birds too". When new regulations made small diary operations unfeasible, he tried a small store and finally, a Roller Skating Rink. He didn't identify himself with his choices, he identified himself on his principals for making choices. I wish everyone had principals like my Grandfather, and had a self imagine and identity that were adaptable and grounded in fresh air, clean water and home grown food.

But they don't. The recent political leaders in this country seem to look to West Virginia as their own personal pantry, they have kept the doors closed and the lights out until they come to take something. Some aren't guided by an identity or by principals that I can understand, but by some system of perks, points and positions that add up to profits. Mark Wenzler, a clean-air guy for National parks says, "The administration's staunch commitment to coal is so deep that they're willing to sacrifice our national parks on the way out the door." I don't think Wenzler sees the whole picture; it is not a matter of sacrifice to them, because the park doesn't have any value in their points and perks game. It's kind of like those little puzzles of the states: Iowa is corn and West Virginia is coal and that is the only value they give our mountains and our people. They have been telling people you mine coal or you leave. You mine coal on our terms or you die. Mother Jones was jailed in West Virginia at age eighty for organizing unions for miners. Blankenship, the CEO for Massey Coal, was quoted as telling a reporter with a camera, "you're liable to get shot for taking pictures of me" and that denotes a distorted self- image and possible lack of coherent principals.

My sense is that when people know the laws of the Universe, and the principals inherent to life, much of these destortions and dellusions of this identy crisis will disappear, and solutions will manifest. First we need to call Coal Black, and don't let them say Green is the new black or coal is green or clean. More on the identity crisis of coal tomorrow.