Friday Homestead Dispatch

Garrulous Impignorate Breatharian

I’m late in publishing the Dispatch today as my friends Judy, Karl, and I headed out at 5am to the San Pedro Valley near Benson to help a friend in need. Joe Marlow owns and operates Southwinds Farm and, as he’s having some health issues, he needed a helping hand. Our other friends Patti, DJ, and Kevin showed up mid-morning to lend a hand as well.

1.
Now, in San Francisco, you don’t have to worry about all the LGBT people coming to indoctrinate your kiddies. No, I’d be worrying about the folks with the Flintstone house wanting to turn us ALL into CAVEPERSONS! Yes, CAVEPERSONS!

According to the Guardian, “In a dispute that pitted property rights against government rules and played out in international media, Florence Fang, a retired publisher, defended her colorful and bulbous house and its elaborate homage to The Flintstones, featuring sculptures inspired by the 1960s cartoon along with aliens and other oddities.”

Despite local officials in Hillsborough, in the San Francisco suburbs, declaring it a public nuisance and taking it to court in 2019, Fang counter-sued. The two parties settled with a stipulation that the town will review and approve a survey of landscaping improvements. In turn, Fang will apply for building permits. The town will pay Fang $125,000 and she will drop the lawsuit.

CAVEPERSONS!

2.
It was eleven years ago that the Mt Lemmon Marching Mandolin Band paid tribute to the very fine gentleman, Spencer Block, who started the tradition to march every July 4th a decade before. He succumbed to a three year battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009. Another tradition was to meet at Spencer and Kerstin Block’s cabin after the march for a potluck and jam session.

A bit of trivia is that Spencer and Kerstin founded Buffalo Exchange in 1974 in Tucson and now have forty eight stores across the country.

The caveat that year for me was that I had a broken toe so I was only able to join in for a short period, mostly where the road leveled out. Yes, I played accordion in the band but luckily nobody seemed to notice it wasn’t a mandolin.

On top of that I was fortunate to be asked to sit in with Kevin Pakulis and his fabulous band who were playing a concert for Bonnie Vining's Music on the Mountain Summer Series. This is a half dozen years before I joined Kevin’s band as drummer so at the time he had Ralph Gilmore on drums (not pictured), Duncan Stitt on keys (also not pictured), and Larry Lee Lerma on bass. And that's Bonnie off to the side of the stage.

3.
Another article in Tuesday’s Guardian asks the question, “Can technology improve the way we meditate? At the University of Arizona, Dr. Jay Sanguinetti and master meditator Shinzen Young are using ultrasound to improve our ability to achieve mindfulness – as well as enhance our cognition and wellbeing. They believe it could revolutionize the way we treat those with depression and trauma. But as investors from Silicon Valley become interested in the technology, the pair are fighting to make sure the device is used in the right way and for the right reasons.”

I was not aware (mindful…) that there’s a lab on the University of Arizona campus dedicated to Sonic Enhanced Mindful Awareness, thus the SEMA Lab in the Center for Consciousness Studies.

On their webpage they claim “Mindfulness has been shown to improve outcomes for a whole host of disorders, such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction… the list goes on. Despite its effectiveness, compliance with mindfulness protocols in clinical populations tends to be low, perhaps due to the immense effort and time it takes to start seeing benefits of the practice. This is an unfortunate paradox keeping these populations from experiencing the life-changing effects the practice can have: In essence, mindfulness can free someone of their disorder, but the disorder keeps them from committing to the practice.”

And here’s a TEDx talk by Dr. Sanguinetti you might also find interesting.

4.
Stories you won’t see or hear about on your network TeeVee newzzzzzz…

A.
Except for a few outlets like Democracy Now, nobody is talking about the breaking story from Iceland’s Stundin that the US prosecution against Julian Assange relied heavily on false testimony from the convicted Icelandic hacker “Siggi” Thordarson. He is an FBI informant who has had numerous cases of fraud and embezzlement, and the icing on the cake is that he’s also known to have sexually molested multiple underage boys. A real charmer.

In an interview with Stundin he recently admitted to making numerous false accusations against Assange which formed a core part of the United States indictment against him. Read more here.

B.
CBS news leads with “Donald Rumsfeld, the former Defense secretary who oversaw the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, died at the age of 88.” What’s not being said is that Rumsfeld was a mass murderer, who misread the entire strategic consequences of the invasion of Iraq leading us into the Middle East quagmire that’s still being played out today.

Retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich who is the president of the antiwar think tank the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft said, “He was a disaster. He was a catastrophically bad and failed defense secretary who radically misinterpreted the necessary response to 9/11, and therefore caused almost immeasurable damage to our country, to Iraq, to the Persian Gulf, more broadly.”

C.
Speaking of quagmires, what’s up with the non-congressional approved airstrikes on Iraq and Syria? Who wanted this? Did you vote for this? I did not. And dang if it just won’t piss off more people who live there! Is it possible these people are defending their countries? We are in their countries. It’s not defense, it’s offense and it’s offensive.

Again, Andrew Bacevich on Democracy Now, “The demonization of Iran is now a well-established reality of our contemporary politics. It’s a mistake,” he says. “Over the past 40 years or so, we’ve decided that Iran needs to be classified as an evil power, and I think that that inclination makes it very difficult for us to come to a reasoned understanding of how we got so deeply enmeshed in the Persian Gulf and how it is that we end up basically in the pocket of the Saudis.”

So while we’re off defending freedom overseas, here at home there’s not much being done about low wages, fixing a broken healthcare system, and gun violence, just to name three issues. Pew Research Center pollsters asked Americans what the concern that worries them the most and 56% of respondents called huge medical bills “a very big problem” and 30% said it was “a moderately big problem,” for a total of 86%. Neither party is addressing this GIANT issue which, to me, means the political process is not working. Don’t you just love getting form letters back from your representatives?

5.
And don’t get me started on climate change…sheesh. Well, if you insist. Here’s one of Exxon Mobil's top Washington lobbyists, Keith McCoy, the oil giant's senior director for federal relations, speaking candidly about his efforts to undermine new legislation to protect the environment.

In this video, where McCoy thought he was being interviewed for work, he says, "Joe Manchin, I talk to his office every week," He called the Democratic senator from West Virginia a "kingmaker" and discussed how "on the Democrat side we look for the moderates on these issues" in their efforts to stop policies that could hurt the company's business.

At least NPR covered this.

CAVEPERSONS!

“Almost all good business practices are terrible human being practices. To be a good businessman you have to harden the humanity out of you. This is why capitalism creates and elevates terrible humans, and why we are being led into extinction by assholes.” – Caitlin Johnstone

And now…