I’ve not heard of David Swanson before, so I’ll be doing ever more research (because it’s part of who I am – yes, yes 🙂 – and shall get back to you in due time. Please, feel free to do your own and offer your reasoned (psst: reasoned) opinion.
“Someday, George, there’ll be a Fascist global society run by the corporations and the Oligarchs, with the severely religious as both their watchdogs and their propaganda pulpits. Then, we’ll both be right: We shall see that all take place in the created reality between Distraction and Force.” (imagined conversation between Huxley and Orwell – coulda happened…)
And a fine Tuesday morning to you from here on the porch. It’s been raining quite a bit these last weeks, and when it does, it’s hard to imagine something like water becoming a scarce commodity – and a commodity is how most corporations involved in the taking of our water see this precious and life-sustaining resource. Reading the CEO of Nestle (amongst others) state that water is not a God-given right for humans, but instead, a commodity to be, in his calcified mind and hardened heart, privatized, monetized, and used for profit, I just have to shake my head and wonder at what point he decided the rest of us weren’t human enough to deserve water. Currently, the corporations dealing in buying up water are doing just that. In Nestle’s case, they rape California waters on a regular basis, and corporations will buy and drain the waters in villages across the globe, leaving the local residents just poop out of luck. Somehow, now, that just doesn’t seem right…or even close to human, doing that. I call it Profit-at-any-Cost.
Nevertheless, what I observe – and have over the years – and, as a kid growing up in a big city, is that the only place we really see water is out of the tap; or the fire hydrant, where having the wrench that opened the hydrant in the summer meant a/you were the most popular adult in the street; b/no one told the cops who had the wrench; c/and, as an adult, you could make the best dang spray for the neighborhood kids by pushing your butt back against the open hydrant. But, unless a water main broke, most of us – or I imagine you – ever thought about water and its complexities.
Then, in school, I took classes on Water. I learned about rivers and river systems; water wars (for instance, the ongoing one involving Georgia, Florida, and Alabama), or the one known a bit more widely, all the issues with Water in Southern California and the Southwest. After even more classes on the topic, my thinking about Water began to be clearer…and more worrying in a way. Now, as Droughts become more frequent, and I sadly watch what is happening in Australia, where the Big Drought has been going on for years, and the nation-state doesn’t seem to have addressed the issue much – and certainly not listened to indigenous wisdoms, I realize that here in the United States, most of us have no clue.
No clue, you might say? You know all about water, yes? Are you aware of how many underground aquifers are going dry? What the difference is between water underground that is nearer the surface as opposed to deep aquifers? Have you noticed, if you live in a big city, how so much of the underground systems are crumbling? Of course, most of us know – at least, peripherally – places like Flint, Michigan. There are many more than just Flint, believe me. What I think, is that most of us don’t even think about any of it, as long as our water comes out of the tap. Those like myself, who are on a well, have different issues to keep track of. But, even with wells, most of us – as long as the well pumps and the water comes – don’t give it too much of a thought, at least around these parts.
So, I thought I’d take this week to, just maybe, think about water in our lives, how it is around your neck of the woods, eh? How’s your water? What is it (well, city water, etc.)? I’d sure be interested. Since all water is local, each of us might have a story to share. In the meantime, I’m headed to the kitchen to heat up some water in my kettle and make another cup of coffee. Join me? Water is a fascinating conversation, I assure you. Until then, from the porch, I bid you a mellow day.
An excerpt…take a moment and read the whole piece…it’s powerful and poignant and gentle and strong.
By 1967, King had become the country’s most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 — a year to the day before he was murdered — King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”
Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi,” and the Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”
By Rev. Martin Luther King 4 April 1967
Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City
I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.
Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.
In the light of such tragic misunderstandings, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church — the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate — leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.
I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. (continued in the link)
Y’know, I think I’m going to think about having chickens. Yupp. Leaning toward it – but still in the Mentally Leaning stage. This repurposed chicken coop idea is a might fine looking piece of equipment made from an old swing set. Check it out.
From the Back Porch, Blues Vues. 🌹
Whether you have an old swing set laying around or know of a broken down set that will inevitably end up in a junk yard or landfill this is a great way to turn one man’s trash into another one’s treasure; all the while helping the environment and becoming more self-sustainable. Backyard (and frontyard) chicken enthusiasts as well as those who love repurposing will be tickled pink by the following project…
— Leer en realfarmacy.com/repurposed-swing-set-chicken-coop/
You can’t even sit out on the back porch, really, without thinking about Climate Change. Things are different. The weather is different. The temperature is higher or lower – extreme – wherever you might be. Here, in the Deepest South, it’s been warm – they say it’s the warmest July on record so far, in the warmest year. I know one thing: the bugs like it. Hell no, they love it. The tics, which have no regulation of their internal temperature that I know of, must be procreating like crazy in this nice, warm weather, because they’re all over.
All manner of bugs are proliferating. The scorpions – and I don’t know much about their mating habits or makeup – are finding their way into all manner of nook and cranny. (anyone know what a cranny is, by the way?) And, oh, the ants. It’s a yearly seasonal battle that has been getting just plain awful over the last few years. What the heck kind of power does that Queen Bee have, anyway!? I want to bottle it and sell it – and use it! She gets all those males and workers to do exactly what she decides she wants. They must have had a Queens’ meeting and decided that my house is a great party house. No matter if there’s food about or not, Lord, they just claim a free space and party. My Bug guy and I are on a first-name-come-for-coffee basis.
So, back to Climate Change. I actually like the term Climate Destabilization. Global Warming is a once-upon-a-time title, when we really didn’t know quite so much about what was happening…except the Biggies did. Exxon-Mobil knew. Big corporations dependent upon us not having a real clue as to the reality of Climate Change knew. But they couldn’t let us know; because they might have to change their dang profit-at-any-cost ways. I figure they’ve found another planet to live on already, so they can rape and pillage and plunder this planet at will because their progeny won’t be living here. They just keep on pushing the oil and smashing the possibilities of Solar, Air, and Wind….not quite enough profit in it, you see.
All that oil…petroleum…now we know we have to change our ways – get off the dang stuff. Okay, we might buy an electric car; or recycle plastic bottles (anyone ever consider buying glass, then repurposing, reusing it?) Hmmm…
So, here it comes; Friday’s question: How many things in your house and your life can you name that come from Oil/Petroleum? Whole or in part? Think about it. One? Thirty? Go outside and head to work. Then, when you’re done, it’s Friday. Go out and have a good time. Through which part of the day did you find you did not need to use or make use of a petroleum/oil-based thing.
It’s just one of the random thoughts you have when you’re rocking on the back porch, doing a favorite activity…thinking. I’d be interested in hearing from you, queridos. Thanks.
‘Til next time, I’ll be right here on the back porch waiting for you, with a beverage at the ready, and maybe we can chill and have a conversation.
Thanks, Delta airlines, for giving a generous grant to ensure that the MLK Center would remain open in the face of the government shutdown.
Afterward, amongst other things, there will be a community discussion on bridging the racial divide.
I remember listening to Andrew Young and some others having a discussion a while ago about how Dr King was a guy that didn’t look for being at the Center…that he didn’t seek all that happened and he became…but he knew that – in each of us, all fallible humans – there is a Moment of Choice, when you are called to be more…called to be the change you say you want to see in the world. He answered.
There are forces and groups out there – and it’s done with many folks who step up- in the years after they’re gone – who actively work to whitewash (pun intended) the ones like Dr King – to make YOU/US think we could never be like them. It is deliberately done as a tool to make you sit down and do nothing, because you’ve been spun to believe you ‘cant .’ Hogwash.
Organize. Strategize. Stand up together.
Change the world. THIS is Love in Action.
Bernice King used ‘Love in Action’ in her talk. Yes.
LOVE IS AN ACTION VERB.
Time to stand up. Let’s honor Dr King and others by NOT believing the whitewashing efforts to render those who have stood up as something different. We are all One; and together we are powerful.