Time’s “Person of the Year”: teenage activist Greta Thunberg

Climate activist Greta Thunberg photographed on the shore in Lisbon, Portugal December 4, 2019

Resisting the temptation to shout at Time Magazine, “How dare you?” (wry smile)

So, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s 2019 “Person of the Year.” The cover has a dreamy-eyed Greta standing on the edge of the rising sea level ocean, gazing mystically into what one supposes is meant to represent the future. Well, on one level, I suppose she deserves it, in the sense that – for better or for worse – she’s become a household name, and the face of climate change activism. But, leaving sheer publicity aside:

Who better for person of the year than a petulant, hysterical adolescent, angrily chastising adults of many decades more life experience and vastly greater education and knowledge of the world, after generating more carbon pollution by crossing the ocean in a high-tech sailing yacht as part of a publicity stunt than she would have if she’d simply taken a seat on a jetliner like anyone else?

(We’ll leave aside a growing body of evidence suggesting that, a) climate change is primarily natural, as it has always been, not anthropogenic, and b) the cycle seems to be swinging back in the direction of cooling, not warming.)

And of course, she’s being lionized in the same year in which Left-wingers excoriated – and in some cases made death threats against – another adolescent, a boy who exhibited remarkable coolness and composure in the incident in question, for “smirking” at a Native American activist who had invaded his personal space and was drumming in his face.

Related image

Welcome to 21st century America… 🙄

 

“After climate change apocalypse, kindness will be most important survival skill” | Lexington Herald Leader

A survival skills teacher says that in order to survive in post climate-change apocalypse, we’ll need empathy, generosity, and courage to survive. Kindness and fairness will be more valuable than any survival skill.

Source: After climate change apocalypse, kindness will be most important survival skill | Lexington Herald Leader

While I do not believe in “climate-change apocalypse,” per se (that’s a discussion I don’t have time or space to get into, here), what archaeologist and wilderness survival instructor Chris Begley describes here applies, as he points out, just about any imaginable apocalyptic scenario: “climate change, neoliberalism, authoritarianism, zombies, or a meteor.” He left out X-class solar flares, but yes!

Surviving in a post-apocalyptic world “will be harder than we think, and we will need different talents than the survival skills I teach,” Begley reminds us, and continues,

“I study how people live and how societies change, in the past and present. I cannot predict the future, obviously, but no likely disaster scenario fits our fantasies. No tragic yet convenient event will allow us to discard our complex, messy, and ever-changing social reality and live out our rugged individualistic fantasy. We will not be by ourselves, with only the people we choose, avoiding those we do not understand or trust. We will not be free from the need to cooperate and compromise…

“While the wilderness survival skills certainly can’t hurt, it will be empathy, generosity, and courage that we need to survive. Kindness and fairness will be more valuable than any survival skill. Then as now, social and leadership skills will be valued. We will have to work together. We will have to grow food, educate ourselves, and give people a reason to persevere. The needs will be enormous, and we cannot run away from that. Humans evolved attributes such as generosity, altruism, and cooperation because we need them to survive. Armed with those skills, we will turn towards the problem, not away from it. We will face the need, and we will have to solve it together. That is the only option. That’s what survival looks like.”

Yep.

That said, we may have to draw firmer boundaries than our present culture gives us the luxury of avoiding. Resources will be limited, and no one can save everyone. Deciding who to let into our circle and who to exclude, and why, will be one of the tougher, but also most essential, decisions which post-apocalyptic survivors will (if the worst happens, from which, God defend us!) have to make.

 

“When men stop seeing women as mothers…” | Holy Motherhood

“When men stop seeing women as mothers, sex loses its sacredness.”

— Mary Pride

To which I can only say… Amen!

 

“They’re Trying to Wipe Us Off the Map” – Small American Farmers Are Nearing Extinction | TIME

Mary Rieckmann with her son Russell tending to their cows on Nov. 20, 2019.

A perfect storm of factors has lead to the biggest crisis for American farmers in decades. Here’s what it’s like to be an American farmer in 2019.

Source: American Farmers Are in Crisis. Here’s Why | Time

Read this article. It’s important. Yes, it’s filtered through the requisite anti-Trumpism and climate alarmism of the mainstream media. But the reality it describes, for small family farms in America, is one which needs to be understood:

“In the American imagination, at least, the family farm still exists as it does on holiday greeting cards: as a picturesque, modestly prosperous expanse that wholesomely fills the space between the urban centers where most of us live.

“But it has been declining for generations, and the closing days of 2019 find small farms pummeled from every side: a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization, political polarization, and corporate farming defined not by a silo and a red barn but technology and the efficiencies of scale. It is the worst crisis in decades.

“Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies were up 12 percent in the Midwest from July of 2018 to June of 2019; they’re up 50 percent in the Northwest. Tens of thousands have simply stopped farming, knowing that reorganization through bankruptcy won’t save them. The nation lost more than 100,000 farms between 2011 and 2018; 12,000 of those between 2017 and 2018 alone.”

That is dismaying, to put it mildly. Indeed, for those of us who can see past the surface numbers to understand the implications, it is deeply frightening.

While there are a number of factors contributing to this crisis, I believe that the threatened demise of American small farms is at base an attack – and I would argue that it is in large measure a concerted and intentional one, by an unholy alliance of convenience between Big Government and Big Corporatism – on food sovereignty.

Every single one of the factors listed in the article – “a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization, political polarization, and corporate farming defined not by a silo and a red barn but technology and the efficiencies of scale” – can be traced directly to one of the two entities mentioned above, in some cases both.

So, where does food sovereignty come in – and what is it, anyway, and why does it matter?

Well, food sovereignty is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally-appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” It is in its essence localized and dispersed, rooted in family farms and local communities.

Big corporations hate this because it interferes with their profits, and big government hates it because it interferes with their control – thus the alliance-of-convenience mentioned above.

And yes, some of the factors that affect small farms are (presumably) unintended consequences of other issues – but the responses, the proposed “solutions,” by government and corporate interests alike, are always in the direction of greater centralization (“get big or get out,” or variations on the theme), greater industrialization and automation, more control, less human input and contact with the land, less local sovereignty.

The underlying reality is that food sovereignty is the basis of sovereignty, period. It doesn’t matter what your system of government is – capitalistic, communistic, or anything in between – you are not sovereign if you cannot control your own food supply: if you have to rely on someone else, state or corporation, to provide your food and to control what food is provided, and when, and how.

Now, obviously, most of us (by choice or necessity) are willing to trade a little sovereignty for convenience – we are no longer (for better or for worse) a nation of farmers. But the further we get from local agriculture, rooted in small family farms that are closely tied in with their local communities, the less sovereignty we all enjoy, and the more we are at the mercy of Someone Somewhere Else turning off the tap.

In other words, the demise of small, local, family farms is not just a shame – although it is! very much so – and it’s not just less healthy for consumers, communities, and the environment, although that is also true. It’s also dangerous, for our rights and freedoms, for liberty, sovereignty, independence.

Who controls the food, controls those who rely on it for survival. That’s the bottom line.

Robert Ruark: Something of value

Robert Ruark – Something of value

“If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them.”

— Robert Ruark

QOTD: Really Real Reality | Stately McDaniel Manor

There are two striking similarities between teaching high school English and being a police officer: many people lie to you, and you must deal with reality.

Source: California: Really Real Reality | Stately McDaniel Manor

Gotta love Mike McDaniel, and his blog, Stately McDaniel Manor! The article itself is an interesting, if depressing, one which I encourage you to read, if only to appreciate how bad things are getting in California (which has historically crowed, “As goes California, so goes the nation” – let us devoutly pray that is not the case, in these days). But this quote is pure gold:

“There are two striking similarities between teaching high school English and being a police officer: many people lie to you, and you must deal with reality.  I’m speaking of real reality, like the laws of physics, not jumping off tall buildings due to the recognition of gravity, there are only two genders, men and women are different, heterosexuality is normal, Islam isn’t a “religion of peace,” evil exists, not everyone wants peace, God – not man – is in charge, and if you like toilet paper and eating, you’ll hate socialism. That reality. Real reality. Really real reality.”

Beautiful. And so true!

 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells”… and a piece of original fiction by Yours Truly!

For some reason, whenever I hear this, a tale something like this runs through my mind…


Christmas Eve, A Year In the Near Future.

Santa Claus – Sinter Klaas, St. Nicholas – approaches the [pick an adversary country, preferably a godless and oppressive one like R_d Ch_ina] border, cruising at near his maximum operational altitude. Already the sophisticated Elven instruments on the dashboard of his sleigh can pick up the first brushes of their ACCM (Anti-Christmas Counter Measures), like the prickly whiskers of a restlessly slumbering, evil dragon.

They had been getting better, with each passing year. Last year, the unthinkable had happened: they had actually managed to exclude him from their airspace! Multiple probes had ended in failure, and the danger both to his increasingly disoriented and weakening reindeer, and to the undelivered presents intended for countless boys and girls, had compelled him to stop trying to penetrate their shields.

But that was then. This was now. The Elves had worked night and day for nearly a year to craft his newest sleigh: a Mark VI, the newest, best, and most powerful sleigh he has ever possessed.

A full moon shines down upon the earth below, as Santa calls to his reindeer for a last effort, takes the sleigh higher, higher… and then into a sweeping dive-roll that would have done a jet fighter proud, straightening out into a low-angle, sloping dive right for the defended perimeter. He can feel through his reins the heart the reindeer put into it, racing faster and faster through the night sky, driving relentlessly at the hostile border.

With his off-hand, Santa’s gloved fingers play across the controls, and around them a coruscating nimbus of Christmas magic takes form. Those who might glance up from below would see only an exceptionally bright meteor, with a teardrop shape and a tail like a comet, sparkling and flashing in crimson and argent.

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen! Now, Rudolph – FULL POWER!!!

A few moments, a deep breath… and the powerful Mark VI, surrounded by its protective nimbus, hits the ACCM perimeter like a thousand bolts of lightning. For one shuddering moment, in which time itself seems to stand still, the vile shields hold. Santa can feel, with senses beyond the merely human, as the malevolent dragon awakes… but awakes to a blinding flash of crimson-silver light, before which it recoils, helplessly…

And then they’re through, the defenses shattering, crumbling, falling away, the evil dragon dissipating with a raging, howling wail that fades to a whimper – and then, to nothingness.

And below them, millions of sleeping children stir happily in their slumbers, breathe a bit more deeply… smiles flit across their sleeping faces… a few of the more perceptive ones half-wake for a moment, then subside into peaceful rest, with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.

This year, Christmas is coming.

 


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This work of original fiction by Thomas H. Harbold is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND). Please click the link for more information.