May 31, 2011
In my last blog I identified a cow parsnip as angels lace and I appreciated the correction.
A showy plant that grows very well in this cool, wet area. A Western Garden book would help, but its huge in a small motor home where space is at a premium.
Yesterday, we curled in with our books. Into reading John Lescroart legal thrillers. Took a swim before dinner and it felt good. The pool has a unique design, two shallow ends and the deep part in the middle. Today is also moving day.
I read a lot. Sometimes junk, sometimes serious stuff. And, I thought the following essay by Will Moore had some interesting things to say. He is a political junkie and a member of the World Affairs Counsel.
Humans are a predatory species. We got to the top of the food chain on this planet by preying on everything else. We prey on animals, fish, on mollusks, and the other predators in the seas. Humans don’t eat a lot of insects, we prey on them for honey, silk and certain beetles whose shells we use for dyes. We prey upon many more killing millions and millions of tons of insects in the process of agricultural competition with them. All those millions of tons of insects are the food supply for birds, fish and other species, so we’re preying indirectly on those species as well.
We prey on everything including other humans. We no longer kill and eat other people, but we prey upon their products, their labor, their lands and their resources. Humans preying on other people is the source of all the wars that are going on.
In the old days raiding distant lands and “lesser” peoples seemed like a good idea. It was profitable. The world has changed. The idea that we have a God-given right to raid and cheat “others” and plunder the earth is an idea that has outlived its time like cannibalism and slavery have gone with their times.
Wall Street is now the top predator on this planet and the working man is the prey of Wall Street imperialism for their mental resources, their labor and the products of their labor.
A lot of anti-liberal, anti-socialist, anti-communist small government advocates think that socialism is evil and capitalism is good. They seem to think that the government is the enemy of the people and Wall Street is our friend. That isn’t true. We’re the prey species in the unholy marriage of Washington and Wall Street.
There is no such thing as a power vacuum. If you take a bone away from a dog some other dog will take the bone. If you take power from one force in a power struggle, the power struggle doesn’t end. Some other power will immediately fill that power vacuum. We’re going to have a government whether we want one or not. If we don’t have the government we have, we will have something else. We will have a warlord, a dictator, a military junta, a panel of judges, a Pope, or something else. That something else will be Wall Street. We will have a corporate plutocracy, a corporatocracy (which is where we are going). If Washington takes a penny from us in taxes, everybody knows about it; it’s a visible tax. But we actually get something for that tax penny – roads, clean air, fresh milk, mail delivery, police protection, paramedics who will rush to your house when you have a heart attack, and many other services that we all take for granted. There can be such a thing as enough taxes. There can never be such a thing as enough profit. The corporatocracy is trying to diminish, defund, demolish, dismantle and disenfranchise the government we have with no clear idea about what is going to replace it. The government we have is legally limited in how predatory it can be and it has a constitutional mandate to serve the “general welfare” of “We the people.” Those who are trying to dis-empower the government we have are merely handing more power over to Wall Street capitalism. They are granting an unrestricted license to the primary predator on the planet to prey upon ”We the people” with no legal limits and with no mandate to serve the “general welfare.” Yeah, taxes are high, but government for profit will be ever more onerous. Perhaps we can agree that there can be no real freedom for debt slaves, and that the greatest threat to us all is the unholy marriage of two powerful predators, government and capitalism and that we should work to dissolve that marriage.
Food for thought.
March 6, 2010
From Mary’s desk.
Many of the 10,000 deported Acadians, (shortened by use to Cajuns) found their way to St. Martinsville, Louisiana. The State established a Memorial to them and Evangeline, an Acadian by the name of Emmaline LaBiche. Her story is told in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called Evangeline.
The tree above is called the Evangeline Tree, supposedly where Emma LaBiche met her long separated love after the deportation. And, supposedly the most photographed tree in the world. Hmmm! I live by Calaveras Big Trees State Park and I’m doubting that “factoid.”
The garden above holds a replica of the deportation cross erected in Nova Scotia, the coats of arms of the initial families that rekindled life here, and a wall of names of all the families and their decendants that settled here. Jim and I both looked for our known family names since we both have French Canadian ancestors. I found several from my geneology.
The St. Martinsville Catholic Church is on the National Historic Registry, unchanged and unique. Its hold over the community again makes one glad that our forefathers saw fit to separate church and state.
This site also houses an African American Museum that tells the history of slavery and accomplishments of people of color during the 1800′s.
This musical instrument was made of cowhide and common twine. Enslaved people were encouraged to sing and chant to form some sense of community and stave off fear of their predicament as they were herded like animals to their destination.
Most enslaved Africans were sold by other Africans dealing in human flesh and came from the West Coast of Africa in what is now known as Senegal. The slavers from France had the lowest mortality rate on their ships; the Brits, the highest. Since 2001 France has commemorated the abolition of slavery on May 10th each year. A group called the Shackles Of Memory Alliance are attempting to get other countries to do the same and honor the 15 million Africans sold into slavery.
Before the Civil War, free people of color enjoyed many of the rights of whites. They worked hard, bought plantations, (in some cases owned slaves of their own, but more often to free relatives and friends.) They operated their own businesses and regularly won judgements against whites in court. After the Civil war, all of those rights disappeared for “elite” people of color. Laws on the books from then to the 1960′s repressed all people of culture.
The town of New Iberia has an old historic Rice Mill that we also visited. More about it tomorrow.