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Profile Information

Name: Hunter
Gender: Male
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 33,391

About Me

I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.

Journal Archives

I don't have anything nice to say about factory farm meat.

But I'm not any kind of militant vegan. I've eaten a few ounces of fish this past week, and a bit of sausage.

I grew up eating fish my dad caught himself and other meat family members had killed themselves. That's why we had a freezer. My parent's freezer was full of meat, ten cent loaves of bread returned past grocery store shelf life, and government surplus cheese. Why else would anyone have a freezer?

I've killed and turned animals into dinner.

My great grandmas were all steely eyed women of the Wild West, like lions, the ones who did most of the hunting for their prides. Their husbands were dreamers fascinated by useless shit like radios or airplanes or religion or literature.

As a little kid I used to watch in wide eyed astonishment as my great grandmas cut up fish, birds, and small mammals I'd seen living for dinner, knives in their hands moving faster than I could follow.

It's just bizarre to me when the carnivore cult gets all excited about grocery store bacon.

As I write this the Inspector Jacques Clouseau of California pig hunting dogs is resting her head against my foot. Chaos follows this dog in her enthusiastic wake, which is probably how she ended up in the animal shelter from which she was adopted. She's the sort who could destroy a house chasing a mouse, or destroy a yard pursuing a gopher. God save us all when she smells a pig. She's the second dog like that we've had.


I haven't gone hunting in the twenty first century. The world just seems too small for that now, too many people and not enough nature.

About half my family is vegan or vegetarian these days, including my wife. I've taken to keeping Beyond Meat in our freezer just in case I have to whip up something fast like spaghetti that everyone will eat. My primary food indulgence is olive oil, which easily wins out over any animal fats such as butter or lard.

God Bless America!

There are so many issues here I'm often speechless.

I could write three scalding essays about U.S. American Exceptionalism in response, about our medicine (no, ours is not the best), about our legal system (no, ours is not the best), and one about manned space exploration beyond low earth orbit (no, it's a bad idea.)

Nevertheless, I am tangled up in all three.

My wife and I have enjoyed many hours these past nine days reliving Apollo 11 as it happened fifty years ago -- watching the launch, watching Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the moon, watching the splashdown this morning, and recounting all the dramas in between.

Armstrong had faith in the American dream, as fantastical as that was, look at all those white guys smoking cigars and waving flags in Mission Control, but he had one hell of a ride.

We are all test pilots of our own lives, but he was one of the greats.

In the end we all crash and burn.

I live in a community where a large percentage have honorably served in the military.

Most are happier having left their guns behind in the past.

One of my former employers became a peace activist following highly decorated service in Vietnam. He shot and killed a lot of people including the teenage kid who shot him and permanently ended all his dreams of becoming a professional athlete. Minus one fully functional leg.

My dad and my father-in-law both served in the military but have never been fond of guns. My dad was a nearsighted Radar O'Reilly clerk assigned to a medical unit that didn't end up in Korea. My father-in-law was a Navy medic assigned to the Marines and used as a guinea pig assigned to atomic bomb testing.

My father-in-law was on a ship to Korea in 1953 when the armistice was signed. From there he was diverted to military units still studying atomic bomb damage in Japan. He's one of the few people I know who has witnessed a nuclear explosion up close, at the most minimal distances of survivability, and hopefully among the last.

I did a dance with the Navy. Even after they got past my asthma and crazy, they still offered me a civilian teaching job, which I declined. Which is ultimately how I met my badass wife these 30+ years.

Sometimes a guy like me gets lucky.

My mom usually made us turn off the television before Fat Albert came on.

Was it ten or nine o'clock?

On weekdays my parents would be up at dawn and fully dressed for war. Me and my siblings learned to wake up, get out of bed, get ready for school on our own rather than face the wrath of mom. (Dad left for work earlier.)

On weekends my parents would be up a few hours later than dawn.

They'd wander out into the kitchen a bit disheveled and happy before they yelled at us to turn off the television and come to breakfast, a breakfast fit for warriors.

I don't want to hear any of that from my own kids.

It's not the sex or naked pics or pool boy threesomes.

It's the hypocrisy.

My ancestors didn't cross the seas to North America for the "opportunity."

They came here because their own homelands had turned into shit hole death traps.

That explains most human migration for a few million years.

If Trump and the Republican Party turn the U.S.A into some kind of shit hole death trap there's nothing binding me here.

Maybe they want to build walls to keep us from leaving...

Money was the stupidist human invention ever.

It's killed, maimed, and made miserable more people than guns, bombs, nuclear weapons, natural disasters, you name it...

These arguments about capitalism vs. socialism are silly.

It's like listening to Creationists explaining fossils and the geologic record.

We've created a world economy that's very brittle and unsustainable.

This thing we call economic "productivity" is actually a measure of the damage we are doing to our natural world and our own human spirit.

If we humans don't get our shit together, then the crash of our world economy is going to overshadow all the horrors of human history.

We need to make sure everyone is fed, has comfortable shelter, and appropriate medical care. Everyone needs to be educated, literate, and numerate.

Capitalism and socialism are myths, like Noah's ark.

All the "isms" are make-believe and easily corrupted.

If a society isn't corrupt, if nobody is punished for pointing out their society's flaws, if everyone has good food, comfortable shelter, appropriate medical care, if literacy and numeracy approach 100% limited only by rare forms of physical disability, then a society is successful and may call itself "civilized."

The U.S.A. is not a civilized nation.

The "freedom" of cars an illusion.

You're only free to go where you're allowed to go within the time constraints that bind you.

How often are you more than a few hundred yards from your car?

What do you see of the world beyond that?

Home, work, shopping, over and over and over again. It's hell.

When I was young and irresponsible I used to be an avid trespasser, walking, running, climbing places no one burdened by a car could go.

My own children and a good number of my nephews and nieces live in big cities. It's a joy to see them get around without their cars.

Cars allowed people who could afford cars to separate themselves from people who could not.

When the "wrong sort" of people were able to afford cars they were terrorized and harassed when they traveled.

How many relationships have become non-consensual because one of the parties couldn't get a ride home?

How many people have been killed and maimed by cars.

I hate cars.

It pisses me off every day that I have to own one to function as an "adult" in this society.

The car culture needs to end. It's killing us and the natural environment of our planet.

Chernobyl: The end of a three-decade experiment

Since the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, an area of more than 4,000 square kilometres has been abandoned. That could be about to change, as Victoria Gill discovered during a week-long trip to the exclusion zone.

"This place is more than half of my life," says Gennady Laptev. The broad-shouldered Ukrainian scientist is smiling wistfully as we stand on the now dry ground of what was Chernobyl nuclear power plant's cooling pond.

"I was only 25 when I started my work here as a liquidator. Now, I'm almost 60."

There were thousands of liquidators - workers who came here as part of the mammoth, dangerous clean-up operation following the 1986 explosion. The worst nuclear accident in history.



This accident demonstrated how humans going about their ordinary business are worse for the natural environment than fallout from a nuclear power plant accident.

And now humans are returning...

I'm quite serious.

If anyone here wants to save the world, there are a few ways to go about it, mostly involving human rights especially for women, realistic sex education, universal access to birth control, and a broad scientific education emphasizing literacy, numeracy, and respect for the natural environment.

The ordinary activities of ordinary humans are more damaging to the natural environment than, say, tritium from the accident at Fukushima.

As Pogo says, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

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