24 November 2013

Salary Cap

edited Monday 9 December 2013

In light of the facts of industrial overshoot: society currently depends on more resources than the planet can sustainably provide for, and a massive extinction of species is underway, et al.. And considering the horrible and horrendous things (like pollution and war) that have been going on in the name of accumulating wealth: what do you think, might a salary cap, or perhaps even an overall wealth cap, be considerable as reasonable and responsible social protections? Whad'ya think?!

I recently got to speak about this with Kenrick Ward, of the Your Daily Hour With Me TV program, here's some of how the conversation went, starting at about 12minutes and 20 seconds into the episode:
YDHWM 1154 Magical Realism 131115
YDHWM 1154 Magical Realism 131115
Thank you!

Additional thoughts:
Maybe true that no matter how meritorious, nor hard-working, beyond a certain point—no amount of salary or wealth makes sense? What would seem like reasonable amounts?

22 October 2013

Recent Appearances on YDHWM

YDHWM 1099 Life is Everywhere 130921 [www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni32cUmjDaY]

Thurston Community Television program, Your Daily Hour With Me, has been taping for over three years now. I have been a somewhat frequent guest on the program for about a couple years now. Here's one of the more recent episodes where I sat down with Kenny for the hour. We look at some video, and hear from a couple regular callers, and discuss some current events.

p.s. I also just posted on Facebook about a couple of recent political events one re: atomic weapons, another re: coal exports. And I got to be at my cousin Alice and Zach's wedding this past weekend, which was great. Big congratulations to them!

04 October 2013

Beautiful Flowers (two images)

1) misty yellow

2) luscious

22 September 2013

Protect Mother Earth: Phase out fossil fuels

The technology to phase out fossil fuels has existed for years. The industry has been surviving by brute force and sheer will-power. Influence of money over politics‚ gotten rich by despoiling the environment? And then used the riches to maintain the situation? Consider the massive destruction that has swept across the face of the globe, fueled by fossil resources. Maybe the fossil fuel industry owes a big apology, and serious reparations. . .

Whad'ya think?

According to an article on Common Dreams by Jacob Chamberlain, the Obama Administration has offered $8 billion to subsidize fossil fuels on one hand, while on the other hand announcing new regulatory approaches in attempt to reduce pollution.

Last week I had the fortune to attend a hearing for the purpose of determining the scope of analysis for environmental impacts for a bulk coal export terminal proposed for Longview Washington. The MBTL (Millenium Bulk Terminal Longview) would be capable of annually moving as much as 44 million tonnes.

There were two separate afternoon and evening sessions. In the afternoon, the US Army Corps of Engineers heard testimony relating to National Environmental Protection Act. In the evening, the Washington State Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County heard comments relating to State and Local environmental protections. Comments came in from all sides, pro-coal/pro-export, and vice-versa.

What struck me at the end of the three hours, besides the frustration of having a losing ticket (in fact there were no numbers called in the 0700 range (were they lost?) —there were other suspect aspects of how the numbers came up (more than once 3 in clusters within the same ten digits...), Was that no one mentioned the utter absurdity of having to fight against a coal export terminal — when the danger of increased pollution is so great — and technology to transition away from fossil fuels, toward clean sustainable energy, has never been so advanced (though this transition should have begun decades ago.) The need to phase out fossil fuels is urgent, and will only grow in urgency, as the effects of massive consumption begin to evince themselves on the atmosphere and ocean more and more.

I used a community television camcorder to record most of the testimony, as well as the rally, and I plan to edit a piece for the station. I think there's need for community documentary of the effort to protect Mother Earth and oppose any expansion of infrastructure to further wreckless exploitation of fossil fuel resources.

In October, on Thursday the 17th, there will be the final in the series of five scoping hearings. It will be interesting to see the differences between the first hearing in Longview, and the fifth and final hearing. It will be in Tacoma, at the Tacoma Convention Center, 1500 Broadway.

Coal export supporter, we're about 30 minutes into the evening hearing.


27 August 2013

Support for Scott Yoos in the Wake of Traumatic Experience

Two years my friend Scott A. Yoos, Scotty, had a run in with local law enforcement that resulted in a lengthy ordeal in the local court system. Scotty recently took a plea bargain under an Alford clause, which allowed him to maintain the cause of innocence, while accepting a plea deal in order to avoid jury trial. He was being charged with felony assault of a police officer, after one of the arresting officers filed a report (a month after the incident took place,) in the report, the officer claimed that Scott had kicked him. Anyone who knows Scott knows that he would only kick in self-defense and when very scared. Since the incident, many questions have been asked about how police resources have been spent, and about the training police officers receive so that they are sure to be able to handle difficult situations, for example, like in the case of Scott, who is mute, and also suffers from TBI and PTSD in the wake of a vicious attack in 1984, that almost killed him and left him without ability to speak.

Now after the lengthy court ordeal, there is need for more funds to cover fines, fees, and legal expenses.

Find out more at www.scottysupport.blogspot.com

25 August 2013

Eagle Creek Trail Scene Video

I like the way the tree branches move in the breeze in this video. It's the scene from high bridge, about 120 feet up over an Eagle Creek box canyon sort of ravine.

Here's another video with a couple other scenes from the hike (it also includes the scene from the box canyon, as well as about 5 other scenes:

05 August 2013

Visit to Colstrip Generating Station

Updated 3 September 2013, http://olyblog.net/local-power-sustainability-and-democracy

The second largest coal fired power plant in the lower 48, West of the Mississippi river, is Colstrip MT. It is capable of generating nearly 2,100 MW at peak capacity.

I had a chance to visit last week, as I was driving cross country from Twin Cities, Minnesota, to Olympia, WA. I made a very brief visit, and was able to snap some photographs.

The landscape is immense, the scale of the plant seemed somewhat lost amongst the surrounding country of the Big Sky. When I read that the stacks are 792 feet tall, I was surprised. They don't look that big.

The country surrounding the plant was absolutely awesome and gorgeous. And the company town of Colstrip seemed quaint and well kept. The devastation that has been wrought by the massive development has been well hidden from the roadway. Most of the open pit strip mines and lagoons were hidden from sight on the highway. The destruction has been, however, well documented, notably so in the 1986 collection of photos by David T. Hanson, which is referenced in the updated link, posted at the top.

Here are some photos, and another comment or two:

Colstrip 9 image composite
9 image composite panorama Welcome to Colstrip from hwy 39

Beautiful hills adorn the landscape of Rosebud County, nearby the Colstrip mine to mouth electrical generating station.

Rock formations in the hills

Ribbons of road in Rosebud County

Geological Temples

First view of the station

Smoke stacks on the horizon

Evaporator steam with stacks in the distance

A view of some of the strip mines, most of the views from the road were obstructed by neighboring hills.

excavator at work

smoke stacks

wideview plant

medium view plant

close-up 1&2

conveyor belt

close-up 3&4

big shed

coal pile

on site facilities

The facility is operated by PPL Montana, and Puget Sound Energy (which is owned by MacQuarie Group international) has a controlling stake in ownership.

This plant is capable of yearly producing as much atmospheric carbon as 3 or 4 of the 1980 explosions of the mountain known as St. Helen's.

A mine to mouth operation, several open pit strip mines dot the hills surrounding the plant.

One question that came up for me was how did the land come into ownership — in particular the strip mines. To whom were the parcels sold, and when, and for how much...

One group, Coal Free PSE, has formed to oppose the plant. A project of the Sierra Club, their website is coalfreepse.org/.

It is my belief that technology exists so that human society could be powered completely with sustainable, clean, renewable energy — and that the work to phase out fossil fuels should have begun in earnest in the 1970s or sooner, perhaps from the very start of industrialization — the pollution and harm that is intrinsic to fossil fuel extraction and consumption should always have been attempted to be kept to a minimum. Efforts always should have been made to live in harmony and balance with the tremendous diversity of life that has evolved on this planet. As a result of 100+ years of intensive industrial growth, the world is being pushed toward a much degraded landscape, where the richness of life will likely be greatly diminished for future generations (see climate science twitter posts embedded below,) unless major efforts toward urgent action are undertaken as soon as possible. I like to think of it is as an international "race to the Moon" type effort.

There is a part and a place for everyone to play in this necessary effort to save the world from wholesale onslaught of industrial destruction.

Sustainable and living in harmony with nature are very much necessary components to the development of world justice and peace.

22 July 2013

Cremation of Care on YDHWM episode 1014, July 2013

Ever since bringing up the Bohemian Grove summer encampment initiation ceremony, "Cremation of Care," a few weeks ago, on the YDHWM Thurston Community Television program, I have been thinking and talking more about what might be going on there with this seemingly absurd ceremony, where some of the world's most monied and powerful men gather to "Cremate" dull care, as a mock human sacrifice — when in reality their hegemonic business efforts do indeed result in tremendous suffering, and lives lost.

Here is the video from the previous blog post, where I described calling the Bohemian Club of Taylor Street, San Francisco. One other call to the Bohemian Grove was also attempted since when this video was recorded. Both calls were received by live receptionists — even the second call to the Grove, which was after 10pm. Both calls were forwarded to voice mails.


29 June 2013

The Bohemian Club for the Super-rich, and the Cremation of Care Child Sacrifice

On Friday the 28th of June 2013, Kenrick Ward and I (Robert F. W. Whitlock aka "Berd") called the Bohemian Club on the YHDWM (Your Daily Hour With Me) program. That episode is scheduled to be published next Friday, the 5th of July, and the YDHWM YouTube Channel (user name KennySandwich) shortly thereafter.

My interest in the Club, and the Summer Encampment at the Grove, was re-piqued when an age-enhanced photo of Lindsey Baum was released by the Grays Harbor County Sheriff. 10 year old Linsdey Baum disappeared without a trace from her neighborhood in McCleary Washington 4 years ago, on the 26th of June 2009. At the time, I was researching the Bohemian Grove, and its Cremation of Care Ceremony. More information about that below, along with a photo of the main-gate of the Grove (near Monte Rio, Forestville, Santa Rosa CA (about 70 miles North of San Francisco and the Bay Area,)) from a drive-by visit when I was there in April 2009.

From comment published to the article on The Olympian Newspaper:
4 years ago, Lindsey Baum of McCleary WA, 10 years old, vanished from her neighborhood without a trace.

At the time, I was researching The Bohemian Grove, a place where a couple thousand of some of the world's most monied and powerful gather every summer for the men's only Bohemian Club Summer Encampment.

The initiation ceremony for the two week gathering is called "The Cremation of Care." During the ceremony, Priests of the Grove sacrifice and burn the effigy of a young child. I couldn't help but think of recently disappeared Lindsey Baum in association with this ceremony.

Unfortunately for all of us, the activities of these powerful men have come at the expense of humanity, including many children who have suffered as a result of extractive/exploitative industries.

There is an article about Lindsey in today's newspaper, and I have several other writings about this on my blogs, at peacepotential.blogspot.com and olyblog.net/blog/berd

Age-enhanced photo of Lindsey Baum released

Entrance to Bohemian Grove

21 June 2013

Inhumane and Reckless Economics / Industrialism

What about this idea, that Millions and perhaps billions of people have suffered unnecessary harms as a result of inhumane and reckless industrialism. And even more millions and even more billions are likely to suffer increased continuing harm, unless urgent efforts--along the lines of a race to the Moon mentality--are launched to ameliorate the situation. Do the financial profits and takings for a few justify suffering imposed upon great masses of people? What do you think?

14 June 2013

June Bees


june bees, a set on Flickr.

Helpin' out wit' da bees, the awesome creatures they are.

04 June 2013

"Made for TV Movie," a celebration of death—not nihilistic?!?!

MADE FOR TV MOVIE from video archive- good or bad on Vimeo.

a Reid Urban production, www.reidleeurban.org

—my friend Carl and I starred in this most excellently produced short film. Working with Reid was a great experience.

03 June 2013


Swinging into late springtime the long days are markedly discernable. Even at 9:50pm tonight there was a seriously bright extended twilight glow, and not just in the northwest, I saw it in the south and east too.

Here are three recent photos from the last few days, one is an amazing rose, blooming brilliantly, this one had a lovely fragrance as well:

The next is a chicken from my friends' house. I have been helping take care of the chickens, the next feat is to get the adult chickens and new chicks living together in harmony without anyone automatically trying to peck anyone else to death...

Finally, here is one looking into the distance with a golden sunset glow on the trees, and some electric utility poles and wires in the shot, which reminds me of what's been going on with Puget Sound Energy and the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. PSE made their annual rate increase request, although this year was a little different, for a few reasons. One was that they asked for decoupling, another was that they asked for automatic rate increases for the next three years (rather than having to return to make their case each year.) It's a long story, that I will leave for another time, although I have been posting some more on Facebook. One of the other questions I have is about their Green Power program, and their wind generating facilities. I want to know why they charge their customers a premium for their green power program when the cost of building and operating their wind generating facilities came out of the rate-base.
Trees in the distance

29 May 2013

A couple of Flickr Slideshows

Flickr recently changed the format of its website, and one of the parts that seems to have changed is the slideshow feature. I can no longer find the link to embed slideshows, so I dug up the html from an older post, one with the Star Dieppe arriving on the Budd Waterway, and used that as a template to post a couple shows of most recent sets, one from a hike to Lower Lena Lake, and another from the Peace Vigil last Friday, where there were dense, dark, dramatic clouds.

Lena Lake Trail May 2013

2013 May 24 Peace Vigil at Percival Landing

MV Star Dieppe Arrival and Docking Alongside Port of Olympia Marine Terminal Pier (as previously posted on OlyBlog)

25 May 2013


Pattern in Nature

Log Export
Original Size Version of this photo (+links to more photos of clearcuts and forests) below the fold...

Natural resources, what's the cost, what is gained, what is lost? What's it gonna look like in the end? Will the trees be all gone? Will we be blowing in the wind? Hey Mr. Business Man, where you get all those trees, owning them and selling them, how, how, how, now?!

16 May 2013

Photo Essay

I was looking for a photo in my flickr stream, and came across a few from 2010 springtime. I also came across others from different times.

Not all of these are necessarily directly related, some are just interesting ones, and it is in three parts.

101 North
101 North on the 20th of March, convertibles with tops down

Where the trail used to go.
Where the trail used to go at Nisqually WLR

15 May 2013

On the Program

I was on the Your Daily Hour With Me TCTV program a couple weeks ago, on the second of May, the program includes some footage of the MV Star Dieppe, a cargo ship arrival in Budd Inlet to deliver to the Port of Olympia ceramic proppants for fracking. That episode is one hour in length, and is posted to the internet on YouTube here.

I was on the program again today 20130515 (Wednesday 15 May.) After turning on the tapes we talked for about an hour about various topics, including religion and politics, psychology and ecology, industry and environment, wealth and poverty. It felt good, we had some laughs, and despite a couple of technical difficulties, we made a few phone calls, including to Elder Gordon and Elder Hill, Missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I had fun. That program is scheduled to air in a week from now, on Wednesday the 22nd of May, at 11:30pm on TCTV Channel 22.

Here the video from the 2nd of May is also embedded in this here blog post:

26 April 2013

Mountain Photos (and other)

I was looking through my photos on Flickr for a couple reasons, one of them to find ones of the Olympic Mountains as seen from Olympia. I want to find the names of the prominent peaks of the Olympic Mountains, as they can be seen from Olympia.

Here are a few of the photos I came across, some more recent, some less recent.


Olympics on Budd Bay
Olympics on Budd Bay (see below the fold for a larger version)


Lee Horse Logger


Waxing Crescent
Waxing Crescent (Moon)

Sunset through trees