Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Little Civil Disobedience.

Yesterday, I was alerted to the fact that Shell Oil plans to drill in the Arctic.  I... yeah, I may not have known about this before yesterday, but global warming has certainly gained access to my brain place.  Even those of us who claim to live under a rock, have seen the recent results of that, and well?  This can't make anything any better, as far as I, and most people with a few brain cells can piece together.  My rock has gotten very hot lately, and weather everywhere, has been very strange.  That said, I will fully admit that I hadn't realized how imminent this was, until I learned of several protesters who rapelled off of the side of the St. John's bridge, supported by about 60 or more "kayaktivists" who acted quickly, in an attempt to block the Royal Dutch Shell PLC Icebreaker Fennica’s route on the Willamette River.

While there, I even met a man who could not go into the water, himself, but he was there with a kayak to lend to someone who could.  I listened to them explain the consequences of his loan; up to and including impound of his property.  He was still willing to lend the kayak.

I can't say that I have mixed feelings about civil disobedience.
There are reasons for it, and they usually have to do with money and the fact that it talks, while everyone else needs to figure out how to work around this creatively, and somehow bring attention to their cause.  I have to admire this level of creativity, because it really did gain a lot of notice.  It isn't something I would have considered.  And though it was bold, I seriously doubt anyone who participated, thought they would be directly stopping this action from taking place.  But in effect, they did gain national coverage, and that coverage may have gained the attention of someone, or maybe several someones, in a position to stop this from happening. This is, at least, my hope.

Historically, we have affected a lot of change in this manner.  Civil Disobedience has been the necessary means of dealing with certain special interests, who are, let's face it; thugs.  It has been the necessary means of gaining rights for many marginalized groups, who should have, but somehow weren't covered under the statement:  "All men are created equal."  I... kind of hate that statement, but for the times?  It should have blanketed a much larger group than it did.

Anyway... back to thugs.  How do you meet a thug?  You kind of have to do it, head-on, or at least that's what I hear.  I am no thug, and I've never met a thug, but I've seen how this works in various mediums.
 Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who try to use legal channels to receive attention and help for things, and get caught up in a lot of loopholes, and complications, and are often censored, and edited to the point that everything is lost. It happens. This is one of the reasons for civil disobedience, and it does work.  And true, This may not directly stop the operation, but it certainly calls attention to the issue, and brings people to the area, to sign petitions, gather more information, and find out how to become more involved in things. That is how change happens.  This is how regular citizens like you I, can at least do something, instead of contemplating the smell of the hippies hanging from the bridge.  (Although, I did find out how they deal with the bathroom issue, and it was surprisingly not disgusting.)

I am a lowly, singular citizen who is glad they did this, and I'm glad I heard about it, so I could be there, and at least add my name.  Every name counts.

Yes, they may have needed to resort to drastic action like rappelling from a bridge to gain that sort of attention, but no matter what people think,  It was nationally recognized, and that does count for something.

Sadly though, now, a federal judge has ordered that Greenpeace pay Shell Oil $2500 per hour the protest continues, and I hear that people are coming down, and out of the river, but this isn't over.  The more people who join in and fight the good fight, the more we can actually do something worthwhile.  In the end, speaking out is what gets results, even if that means speaking out to a lot of people, and finding the right ones to help you.  That can sometimes take a while, but if it's worth it?  It's worth it.

Adding to the present now, I just saw a friend's photo of the 
Royal Dutch Shell PLC icebreaker Fennica, on its way out of Portland, via the Columbia, as they watched from the beach.

Sigh...  It's not over, though.  Not by a long shot.  

This sign read:  "Hey Shell! The planet is not your playground!"


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The one thing I will miss about going to Spokane.

This, right here, is one of the few things I will miss about going to Spokane.  Father in law is moving away from the house he took care of for his father before him, but god damn it, it doesn't have to be his legacy forever.  I think everyone is probably glad he doesn't have to stay in that god damn house.

Anyway, the one really awesome thing about this piece of property, is the birds.  I am normally deathly afraid of birds, and well, let's face it.  They are great big scary dinosaurs with knives on their faces, that will kill me if I get too close... that's just how it is.  Fucking birds... but they are pretty, and these ones usually kept their distance.  The peafowl and I... we had a sort of an understanding.  Except for that one time Todd had to run one off, and it flew into a tree, because it was being kind of aggressive, and I screamed like a freaked out baby monkey.

This place has quite the storied past.  There were swimming pools that... didn't work out so well.  There were dams built from National Geographics.  There was a massive clear-out at one point in time, and there was also subdivisions of the property.  It used to encompass 30 acres, and was all wooded.  That was before I ever saw it, but there was still a good bit of land to explore with the kids.

Anyway, there are plenty of stories to tell about this place, but let's get to the pictures, shall we?

Lady Peahen.  I've named her Dominiqua, because she's fancy as hell.

Mac Daddy Peacock.  I've named him Kevin, because he's fancy enough, god damn it.

And this is Sylvia, and her chicks.  I haven't quite figured out the relationship dynamics of these birds, but they seemed to run around together pretty happily.