Saturday, October 24, 2009

little birds

the maple tree in our backyard is full of these little guys. does anyone know what they are?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

this about sums it all up

from my other blog:

What experiences do you think are important for children to have?
Posted on Sep 19th, 2009 by boogie : redneck boogie
This is in Response to the Questions and Reflections for September 18, 2009:

to play in the rain and the mud.
icecream for breakfast.
pony rides.
going to art museums.
the companionship of animals.
putting their feet in the ocean.

the poem aside, there is only one thing children need, and that is to make their own decisions. we maybe can guide them and help them figure out what is best, but we can't make their decisions for them. what children need is for grownups to realize this simple fact. if we set the children free, the entire world will follow. this i believe with all my heart. every mother knows good and well that babies are not born evil, they have to be taught how to do evil things. children know the difference between right and wrong, they don't need us to tell them what to do. they really don't. it's the ones who have been abused, never allowed their own choices to make, that don't know the difference between right and wrong. if we don't allow them to ever follow their heart, they will grow into adults who are unable to hear the truth their heart speaks to them.

the most important lesson i learned from my childhood was that when the pain gets too much, that's when the angels come. the most important lesson i learned as a parent was that it's the same abuse that causes the pain that makes them go away in the first place.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

my blog is full

i don't update this blog regular anymore. not since i started feeling done with this one and went to zaadz. then i let the trolls freak me out and i deleted that blog, but then made a new one there (same website, new name, gaia). now that one's feeling full, too. i'm not saying anything new anymore.

adding more posts at this point would just be fluff.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


introducing george and ned...

aren't kids just so clever? :-)

Monday, March 30, 2009

dominance theory???

Veterinarians Concerned About Outdated and Confrontational Advice Given by
Cesar Millan The Dog Whisperer

In an article written by Timothy Kim for the VIN News Services (5FEB09), an
on-line resource for veterinarians, representatives of the American
Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) have expressed concern about
dog training advice given by Cesar Millan, on his reality TV show, The Dog
Whisperer. The AVSAB is so concerned that they have issued an official
statement (Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior
Modification of Animals -
dominance statement pdf ) to counter the unfortunate
pervasive influence of Millan's show.

In their position statement the AVSAB demonstrates that the dominance theory
which is the core of Millan's approach, has been rejected by animal behavior
experts and can actually cause serious fear aggression in dogs. In the
article, Dr. Laurie Bergman, of Norristown, Pa., a member of AVSAB's
executive board was quoted as saying "We had been moving away from dominance
theory and punitive training techniques for a while, but, unfortunately,
Cesar Millan has brought it back."

Dominance theory has typically been presented as the reason for a dog's
misbehavior. Its basic premise is that the dog is a pack animal like a wolf
and all packs are ruled by the dominant alpha male. Millan essentially
believes that in order to counter a dog's misbehavior, or as he sees it a
"grab for power," a person must be the dominant alpha male and must use
force and coercion to get the dog to behave and submit.

The article describes Millan as using a number of assertive techniques
".negative-reinforcement, or correction. alpha rolls (the dog is rolled onto
its back, a submissive position) and flooding (the dog is exposed to
something that causes it anxiety and is not allowed to escape, to
desensitize it). He also has been shown choking a dog on the end of a leash
until it fell onto its side, gasping for air." These techniques are of great
concern to the AVSAB which has also adopted a position statement on the use
of punishment for training animals
(avsab position statement pdf).

The theory of dominance hierarchy was set into motion in 1922 by Thorleif
Schjelderup-Ebbe and his research on chickens. It was popularized by the
Monks of New Skete with their publication of How to Be Your Dog's Best
Friend. This now very dated book, takes the premise that if we want the best
relationship with our dog then we should treat them like an adult wolf would
treat a wolf puppy, at least according to the Monk's understanding of that
scenario. Many of their key recommendations focus on fear and physical

Thanks to the work of Dr. L. David Mech, a senior scientist with the U.S.
Geological Survey, we now know that dominance theory does not apply to
wolves in a natural, wild (non-captive) environment (Alpha Status,
Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs pdf
Research by Dr. Ray and Lorna Coppinger (DOGS: A New Understanding of Canine
Origin, Behavior, and Evolution (Scribner, NY, 2001; Univ. Chicago Press,
2002) has helped us understand that while closely related to the wolf a dog
is not a hunter or a pack animal. Dogs are primarily scavengers and when
living feral often live alone or in very loose groups.

So what does all of this mean? It means that the dominance theory spouted
for years by many in the dog community is a poor model for describing wolf
behavior and is an even worse model for training your dog. Unfortunately,
just like there is still a Flat Earth Society there are still those like
Cesar Millan, who hang on to a dog training model that is erroneous and
based on creating confrontation and fear.

The AVSAB is not the first to question Millan's techniques. On February 23,
2006 the New York Times quoted Dr. Nicholas Dodman [veterinary behaviorist
and director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University] as saying
''My college thinks it [The Dog Whisperer - Cesar Millan] is a travesty.
We've written to National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog
training back 20 years.'' Later that same year the American Humane
Association stated "The training tactics featured on Cesar Millan's "The Dog
Whisperer" program are inhumane, outdated and improper"

Kim's article concludes with a statement by Dr. Sophia Yin, a member of the
AVSAB executive board, warning dog guardians to avoid dog trainers and
others who: continually tell owners that they have to be the "alpha," warn
owners not to use rewards too much, and uses pinch collars or shock collars
on dogs in a training class. "The AVSAB recommends that veterinarians not
refer clients to trainers or behavior consultants who coach and advocate
dominance hierarchy theory and the subsequent confrontational training that
follows from it."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"they will come for you anyway"

that very well may be. threats of horrible punishments cannot turn me into a docile sheep, or quiet my voice, because that is in contrast to what my inner spirit tells me i must do. if they wanted me in jail, or dead, for that matter, i'd already be there. and what good would it do their cause? to get rid of some housewife in tennessee that isn't bothering anyone. imagine some faceless army marching up the street bearing machine guns, coming to take me and my children away, what a joke! how could they possibly spin that into anything other than a hollywood fairy tale that the public would never buy. it is not my decision to make, what anyone else might choose to do. what is my responsibility is to decide for myself (without fear of any threats) whether to continue to live in fear and remain silent, or to speak out, at the top of my lungs, if i have to. i choose to believe that i am making a difference, not by giving my power to some group in the hopes that the group has my best interests at heart, but by standing alone and using my power to change my world in a way that benefits everyone, and not just a select few who are members of the right group.

the group has only the "good of the group" as its goal and purpose. that is how the groupthink mindcontrol works. and we don't like those words, do we? no, we don't. words like that makes us cringe, makes us cower in fear, don't they? the group tells you that individually, you are weak and pitiful and you need someone else to help you, to teach you, to lead you, to give you the right answers, because you aren't worthy of making any decisions for yourself. when you join the group, you give up your right to disagree with the majority, regardless how foolish it might be what the majority thinks. my version of anarchy is the opposite of that. it's each individual human being, no matter who they are, believing in themselves. freedom means that we get to make our own decisions for ourselves. autonomy. it means that no group, no organization, be that in the form of church or state, has higher authority than each individual's own innermost guide.

and society tells us we are wrong to believe in ourselves. we need the system. we have been so sorely abused by authority that we lose touch with that inner voice, we forget how strong we are. but there's lots and lots starting to remember. because the only way world peace will ever happen is for all of us to stand up, alone, individually, for everyone else's right to do the same.


problem is, the political system does not work. it never has, except to benefit the few at the very tippy top of that pyramid. we want to think it works, don't we? we want to believe in the "american dream" (sure you all have something similar on that side of the pond, don't you? that if we play their game well enough, we can come out on top ...well, never all the way to the top, but we can "succeed" - we can rise above).

so we are divided up into groups, building blocks, as it were, to support the pyramid, the heirarchy of power and control. and the higher up that pyramid we go, the more people we step upon for personal advance, the more we think we are better than them, those who are "beneath" us. a pyramid made entirely of sand would never support its own weight. the sand has to be mixed with lime and aggregate, made into concrete first. and how is this accomplished? mostly with what is popularly known as "education" - indoctrination into the system of control and abuse. and we are told that we should believe the good of the group comes first, and our individual freedoms matter not.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

coal ash

the water filter that would usually last a few months, is clogged after having been replaced just a few weeks ago. the water smells funny, and there’s this light-colored powdery substance left behind…. ick

Tennessee Spill: The Exxon Valdez Of Coal Ash?

Morning Edition, December 31, 2008 · There aren't a lot of answers yet about what caused the catastrophic Dec. 22 spill of coal ash from a Tennessee Valley Authority plant near Knoxville. But the disaster has raised lots of questions about whether regulations of coal ash are strict enough.

Coal ash is the stuff that's left over after coal-fired power plants generate electricity and strip out pollutants. Plants produce about 130 million tons of it every year.

"That's enough to fill a line of railroad boxcars stretching all the way from the U.S. to Australia," says Eric Schaeffer, head of a watchdog group called the Environmental Integrity Project. He says he's been watching the growing heaps of coal ash stored at 440 electricity plants around the United States.

In the case of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant, the waste had been accumulating for half a century. The mountain of sludge covered more than 100 acres and rose 65 feet into the air before an earthen dam burst, spilling 5.4 million cubic yards of ash that fouled homes and about 300 acres, as well as a river.

Glen Pugh manages solid waste for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and is in charge of regulating the landfill. He says that despite the accident, the regulations were adequate, and TVA was following them.

"I do think our regulations provide for the proper checks and reviews and evaluations," Pugh says. "Something happened here that was unexpected."

Schaeffer says the accident came as no surprise to him.

"We saw this several years ago in Pennsylvania. A little town named Forward Township got buried in a landslide of fly ash," he says. "We went in and tested the ash, and it turned out to be toxic, also full of arsenic just like the TVA site."

Schaeffer says disasters are waiting to happen in other places because coal ash isn't subject to strict federal regulations that govern hazardous wastes. Instead, it's up to states to regulate it — and some don't. Most treat coal ash as though it's not toxic.

"The prevailing myth is that it's safe," Schaeffer says. "We have EPA buying into that for years and really refusing to regulate this material for what it is, which is highly toxic ash that leashes metals like arsenic, cadmium and mercury into drinking water and rivers and creeks."

In 1980, Congress asked the Environmental Protection Agency whether coal ash should be regulated as a hazardous waste. The agency said no in 1993, but kept researching the question. In 2000, the EPA said it should be regulated, but as a nonhazardous waste. So far, however, the agency hasn't produced any rules.

Matt Hale, head of the EPA's solid waste office, says the agency has been studying the problem for 28 years. It's taken so long because, he says, "there's been a significant amount of technical work. Simply, the process has required this amount of time."

Some people think federal oversight is unnecessary. Jim Roewer of the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group says states are doing a fine job of regulating the hundreds of ash pits around the country.

"I think that we've only seen four of these rather spectacular events over the last 50 years would underscore the fact that this really isn't an epidemic problem or trend that would call for federal intervention," Roewer says.

But environmentalists say the TVA ash slide will become the Exxon Valdez of the coal industry — and force government to finally regulate coal ash storage.