Songs of the Sea: Dead Sea

It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of these Songs of the Sea. I’ve just been busy and haven’t had the time to go poking around the internet (or my music library). Here’s a song from the Lumineers, a band I really like. Have you heard them before? Let me know how you like the music…

Dead Sea
I stood alone, upon the platform in vain
The puerto ricans they were playing me salsa in the rain
With open doors and manual locks
In fast food parking lots
I headed west, I was a man on the move
New york had lied to me, I needed the truth
Oh, I need somebody, needed someone I could trust
I don’t gamble, but if I did I would bet on us
Like the dead sea
You told me I was like the dead sea
You’ll never sink when you are with me
Oh, lord, like the dead sea
Whoa, I’m like the dead sea
The finest words you ever said to me
Honey can’t you see,
I was born to be, be your dead sea
You told me you were good at running away
Domestic life, it never suited you like a suitcase
You left with just the clothes on your back
You took the rest when you took the map
Yes, there

Happy 4th of July- Really?

I made the mistake of looking at Facebook earlier today. I probably shouldn’t have. I saw way too many posts and videos of the LACK of freedom here in the USA. This country that we say is the “land of the free and the home of the brave”.

Where are they? All those free and brave people? Why aren’t they standing up against the horrible abuses of our constitutional rights that happen every day? Abuses we’ve ALL suffered since 9-11 gave the powers that be the excuse they needed to trick us into giving up our most valuable resources. We gave up our freedom. For tricks and LIES.

All I see is a bunch of thugs in uniform, running around like they own the place. They work for US, not the other way around! They’ve been harassing the hell out of people who are NOT doing any harm to anyone. These thugs spend all their time and energy on this sort of shit and then expect us to show respect and be grateful to them. It honestly makes me want to puke.

Seriously. Last week, while I was driving to work up at SanJac, KPFT was reading George Orwell’s 1984 on the radio. I don’t know how many of you have read it. I have read it a couple of times now. It would hope it is still required reading in school (but if it is, no one has paid a lick of attention to it).

I was crying. I felt shriveled up inside. I was hurting. Sad and angry and frustrated and humongously pissed off!

ALL of the things Orwell wrote about in that book ARE happening. Right here! Right now!

In fact, the real truth is that things are already much, much worse than George Orwell ever dreamed when he wrote that book. Yeah, really! Orwell’s Big Brother only watched you through the TV screen. You could find ways around it.

OUR big brothers (NSA, TSA, etc, etc), are watching your every move! They may not watch you through the TV screen (but then again, they may), but they keep track of every phone call, every email, every dollar you earn, every dollar you spend, your complete medical history, everywhere you go, and on and on and on and on.

And just like in the book, the vast majority of the people around me just go on with their lives. They continue to ignore the reality. They ALLOW the sick, power-hungry, vicious bastards to get away with it! Many of them are cheering it on. 😦

WTF is wrong with these people?

Just like in the book, we are at continuous war. Who are we fighting this year? Does it matter? Nope. They’ll manipulate the news and the truth until nothing really matters any more. Nobody cares. And it goes on.

People ask, how can you argue about loss of freedom when our national security is at stake? It’s not, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? The powers that be have convinced enough of us to trade away our freedom for their promises of security. Shame on us for falling for it!

WOW! I never, ever, thought it would actually come to this the first time I read that book.

Like Winston, all I can do is cry, and try my very best to find some small hidey hole to keep a tiny bit of freedom for myself.

Happy 4th of July. 😦

SNL: Trump on Comey

Saturday Night Live is one of the very few shows I’ll turn on the TV to watch. It’s not as good as it was a couple of decades ago, but it’s still pretty good. Sometimes they’ll still crack me up laughing.

I’m not a big fan of Trump, but I liked Hillary and Bernie even less. I preferred Gary Johnson (the Libertarian Party candidate) and regardless of his brain fart re: Aleppo, I still think he would have been worlds better as President than any of the other candidates. Too bad he never had a chance to get into the debates to show the rest of the voters that they DID have a real choice.

In this skit President Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) discusses firing FBI director James Comey in an interview with Lester Holt (Michael Che). I love how the SNL cast has been doing politics lately. Alec Baldwin really has Trump down pat.

I try not to take politics too seriously. In reality, it’s too just depressing to deal with. I really have to struggle to ignore it or by stress levels go through the roof.

F is for Freedom- #AtoZChallenge

F” is for FREEDOM! A particular passion of mine. I could go on and on about it (like this), but no one ever wants to listen. Here, on my blog, I can express myself. I can try to make a point and then remove myself from the ‘conversation’.

Maybe then, others will take a minute or two to think about what I am trying to communicate? Instead of talking to each other in person. Where each person almost always has a rebuttal in mind before the first person even gets finished speaking?

Maybe by just putting some of these thoughts out there, into the ether, someone might think ‘hey, that actually makes sense’, or ‘wow, what a thought’, or ‘maybe those nut job libertarian freaks really do have some good points’, or best of all they might start to think for themselves about why we are NOT allowed to live our lives with all the freedoms we OUGHT to have!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes (taken from google)…

I truly believe that with all my heart. I only wish others felt the same. 

And again, you can’t value freedom for yourself without granting the same to others.  

Why do so many people value ‘fitting in’, falsifying their own true selves to be ‘accepted’ by others? Be yourself! I decided a long time ago, I will not let others opinions affect the things I choose to do with my life! If people don’t like me the way I am, then the hell with them! There are over 7 BILLION people in this world, I’m sure to find at least a few who accept me and value me just the way I am. Those are the only ones for me to care about.

 

Sad, but true. For some reason, we have an overabundance of greedy, power-hungry bastards that ALWAYS manage to steal the power away from the people. We, the people managed to wrestle it away for a short time here in the US, but they’ve come back with a vengeance and stolen away almost ALL of our liberty again! Unless and until the populace starts caring again and demands their freedom, and takes it back- we will just keep on losing more and more each year until we’re basically just a slave state (again) and only ‘our leaders’ are free.

Believe it or not, but we’re pretty damn close to that state right now, today (and no, it’s not just because Trump got elected). The “deep state”, the powers behind the powers have been working behind the scenes for decades and they are sooooo close, so close they can taste it! Total control is within their grasp. We’re so far past Orwell’s 1984, it’s not even funny.

While we all just keep on ignoring the whole thing, telling ourselves we still live in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’. Repeat it enough and we’ll make ourselves really believe it’s true. Nope, that place is long gone!

Snowden tried his best to wake us up, even his revelations did nothing to wake up the majority of the people. They just don’t seem to care. Have they all been brainwashed? 12 years of government indoctrination has done the job the public schools were created to do? Dumb us down and turn us all into ‘cogs in the great machine‘, just indistinguishable tools to create the wealth so that others can siphon off most of it before we ever even see it?

 

EXACTLY! What’s the big deal? Why do so many people freak out when the idea of real freedom is brought up? They’ll bring up every imaginable excuse (no matter how ridiculous) to argue against it. Regardless of the fact that the most free societies in the history of mankind have been the most prosperous and gave the best possible lives to the most possible (considering the reality of the times they lived in).

This idea perfectly expresses the reason why the founders rebelled against Great Britain and formed the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence says it all:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

That basic principle is the foundation of our country. ALL people should be free to live their lives in whatever way they choose (as long as they don’t hurt anyone else). (No matter how hypocritical they were back then re: blacks, women, native americans). Why don’t even Americans hold to these principles anymore?

We are still living now on the proceeds of the freedom we used to have. I wonder how much longer can we last before our creeping statism (fascism, totalitarianism, globalism, corporatism, crony capitalism, socialism, etc) destroys whats left?

 

I agree (tho a clipper ship under full sail I’d count as a close second)! Take a quick look at some beautiful ships…

See what I mean? 🙂

Watch: 10 Reasons Why Maritime SUCKS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdMYEKwxTyo Here’s a new upload from maritime Youtuber …

He really makes a lot of good points. I have to agree with him on pretty much everything he says. Yes, things are much, much better for sailors than in the days of Richard Henry Dana’s “Two Years Before the Mast“, but they’ve sure as hell been going downhill since the 1960’s!

Yes, the ships are built with all the latest technology, but the crews have been cut in half and more! Our workload has been constantly increasing, with less and less personnel to do it all!

Yes, our pay has gone up- but not nearly as much as it would take to keep up with inflation. Considering all the expenses we now have added on in order to be allowed to work offshore, we’re actually earning much less than we were in the past.

Yes, communications have improved- for the ship. Not necessarily for the crew. There are still so many ship owners/operators who think of their crews as nothing more than another tool to use and abuse, not human beings like themselves. People who also have a life off the ship (if they have people who choose to stick around and wait for the sailor who may not be able to contact them for months at a time- which is not very likely now a days when everyone expects instant gratification).

I said I would never again work for someone who treated me like that, but I never in my life thought things would get this bad out there! Even with the advent of the STCW, which I immediately saw for what it was (an easy way for shipowners to rid themselves of ‘expensive’ first world crews), I still never imagined how small the box I’ve been shoved into has become!

I always figured that when it got slow offshore, I could ship out on a tugboat, or a tanker, or some other kind of vessel. Well, due to the US Coast Guard constantly changing the rules (and not always putting out the notifications they are required to by law), it is no longer possible to switch sectors like we could before.

Now, if you work on a tanker, you must stay on a tanker or you will lose your ability to ever go back to that kind of work without paying enormous fees to be ‘trained’, (ex: $1,100 for course, $500+ for lodging, $300+ for transport, $300+ for food). To do the same thing you’ve been doing for 5, 10, 15 years in the past ! Same goes for almost every type of vessel now. Passenger vessels only want people with that specific type of experience and paperwork. Towing vessels can only take people with towing endorsements. DP vessels will only take people with DP certificates. Etc.

I’m lucky I’m not a sailor from the Philippines, or China, or any of the other ‘third world’ (meaning low wage) countries where the overwhelming majority of seafarers come from now a days. For an American, working for MSC (Military Sealift Command) is probably the longest hitch out there. It’s supposedly 4 months long. I hear from friends it’s more like 6. Those poor crews from the Philippines are working for 2 years at a time before they can go home!

Most American ships are in pretty decent shape. They’re in great condition compared to a lot of the crap I’ve seen sailing around the world from other countries. Ships with ‘flags of convenience‘. Owners flag their ships outside of their own countries for financial reasons. They can get cheaper crews, bother with less rules and regulations, pay less taxes and fees, etc. Some of them are decent, but many of them are not. Check out this report by the ITF, they do a pretty good job of keeping track of this stuff. Or this, which makes the ITF report look tame.

Watch the video for a pretty good run down of what to expect shipping out. He doesn’t really get into the good parts. But then again, there aren’t too many good parts left anymore. 😦

Any of you sailors out there, I’d be very interested to get your take on both the video and my comments on it.

Source: Watch: 10 Reasons Why Maritime SUCKS (Things To Consider Before Joining Merchant Marine) – JeffHK – gCaptain

So Cool!

I’ve always loved dolphins and whales. I always wanted to be able to swim freely in the ocean with them. So far, I’ve never been this close to any out in the wild. I’m pretty sure it’s against ‘the rules’ to get so close to them or to touch them like these people were doing. Tho I have to admit, I would have a hard time holding back myself if they came so close. I think they’re beautiful and intelligent creatures. I hate to see how much we’ve destroyed their world, and yet they’re still mostly OK with us. 🙂

Mother Whale and Calf with people on whale watching trip. Very cool to see the Momma raising her Baby to show it the funny looking humans! Like a revers Zoo, were the people out to see the Whales, or was the Momma Whale teaching her baby about humans? The big momma Whale held her baby […]

via Mother Whale Lifting Her Baby to See Humans on Boat — 2012 The Awakening

More Questions From the Alien

I know most people find it absolutely inconceivable that we can exist without a government to run things. Personally, I just can’t understand that mind frame. I just don’t get it.

Why do so many people think they can’t figure out how to run their own lives without some far off ‘leader’ making all the important decisions for them? I mean it’s ridiculous right?

Here in the USA, ‘the most free country in the world’, our government saddles us with hundreds of thousands of ‘laws’. The Code of Federal Regulations had over 34,000 pages (and weighed 340 lbs) in 2011!!!

Our leaders force us to follow their directions in everything from deciding what we can do with our own bodies (can’t decide what to eat, drink, smoke, etc), to what we can do with ‘our’ property, to what we can do for a living (and how). Their interference is never-ending!

We have laws to: fine or imprison us for drinking raw milk, force us to drink fluoridated water, regulate the amount of water you can use to flush your toilet, force you to tie yourself up every time you get in your car (seatbelt), force you to use expensive and shorter lasting lightbulbs, fine or imprison you for collecting the rain water that falls on your property, throw you in prison for using a harmless plant (marijuana), force you to pay them (government) in order to start a business (extortion), force you to pay them in order to get a job (extortion), force you to support a corrupt and exceedingly expensive medical system (obamacare), allow ‘our leaders’ to get away with NOT following the ‘laws’ they FORCE the rest of us to follow!

And there are hundreds of thousands of others. 😦

Yet, some people still believe that all this is somehow necessary. I will continue to ask WHY? Since it really is NOT necessary, no not at all! People existed in peaceful societies long before there was any such thing as ‘government’.

No, we do NOT need the government to ‘build roads’, ‘educate the children’, ‘catch the thieves/bad guys’, etc. People were perfectly capable of doing all those things (and everything else they needed to do) without any government.

I’ve been a libertarian ever since I understood what the word meant (nonaggression principle), and really since I was born. I never understood the need for ‘authority’ and have fought it all my life.

I KNOW I can run my life better than anyone else can. Yes, even tho I’ve made mistakes and will surely make more. I STILL know that no one else could’ve done better. Period! I understand that works the same for everybody on this planet (and everywhere else!).

It is simply impossible for anyone else to have all the knowledge that I do about my life (same for everybody else). Without perfect knowledge, there can be no perfect decisions. Since I have the MOST perfect knowledge, then my decision is the BEST one possible. Period.

Until there is some all knowing, all powerful, perfect being (some say there is- God- but that’s another issue I don’t want to get into now), then there is NO justification for letting ANYONE else control YOUR decisions about YOUR life. PERIOD!

The US Constitution tried to create a ‘proper’ government. One where the PEOPLE were sovereign, as they should be. The principles behind the Declaration of Independence and written in the Bill of Rights were a great start for a great country.

The first ever formed specifically and only to guarantee and protect the rights of the individual. Our founding fathers understood that those rights were inherent to every human being and did NOT come from any government.

Too bad we’ve decided to disregard all that stuff. We’ve decided to throw our heritage of freedom and individual liberty in the garbage and become like every other socialist country in the world (most of them failures in many ways). It’s just a matter of degree.

We used to understand the difference between individualism and statism. Not any more. We’re all statists now, everywhere around the world. We’re lucky we’re still living on what we were able to create when we were still fairly free and able to be creative. Those days are fading fast.

I liked how the little alien from my post the other day asked such great questions. Here it is again with some more to make you think…

Pirates Christmas

Getting into the Christmas spirit around here. It’s Christmas Eve already- wow! Here’s a fun little video by Tom Mason & the Blue Buccaneers. It’s another Song of the Sea too. 😉

Yo Ho Ho (Pirates Christmas)

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And out on the sea…
Continue reading

Government Explained

I was at our weekly Tuesday Meetup of the Campaign for Liberty. Last week was one of the better ones we’ve had in a while. We watched a couple of pretty good videos. Here’s one…

We all got a good laugh out of it. I would love to see this thing played in every school in the country. We really need to do something to get people to think about this kind of stuff!

Personally, I’ve never understood why so many people think they need someone else to tell them how to live their lives. Or why so many people think that someone else actually has some sort of right to do it.

As a libertarian, I believe every person has the absolute right to live their own lives in the best way they can. The way they choose. They have the right to do anything they want, as long as they don’t hurt anybody else.

So far, no one has ever been able to give me a good reason for not having things that way. A lot of excuses, a lot of fears, a lot of “what-ifs”, but no reasons.

I’d really like to see someplace, even just one place in the world, try to form a society where people could live that way. The US tried. They came very close when they came up with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. But they never truly followed it. If they had actually treated ALL people the way they said they should, we might actually have a free country today. Too bad they weren’t ready to go that far. 😦

I do see a few people around the world trying. The Seasteaders, the Libertarian Party, the guy over in Europe who’s trying hard to create a really free country, even the Freedom Ship was originally intended to be a place where people could have real freedom (tho it seems to have mutated).

I’d love to be able to find somewhere like that to move to, so far they are all out of my reach financially at least. In the meantime, I keep on trying to find ways to make things better here, but it sure does get frustrating.

Videos like that help cheer me up, for a little while. 😉

Chaotic: African Fire Drill

I checked into my new hotel this afternoon. When I walked outside to take a look at the beach, I noticed a column of smoke not too far away. Actually, it was pretty close.

I went to see what was going on. As I got closer, I could see the flames shooting up.  Spreading quickly up the thatched roof of a nearby resort.

#fire at a beach resort in #Zanzibar

I went over to see if I could help (as a mariner I’ve been training in firefighting for the last 30+ years).

The scene was complete chaos.

#fire and #emergency at a beach resort in #Zanzibar

Like a ‘Chinese fire drill’, but no Chinese around. It was an African fire drill, but not a drill. A real fire, and a big one!

#fire at #beach resort on #Zanzibar

There was a huge crowd milling around, taking photos and selfies. European tourists in bikinis and locals from the nearby village. 😦

#crowd watching the #firefighters

Someone decided to be ‘official’ and ran a bunch of yellow plastic crime scene tape around the area. Best I could tell, the waiters were trying to fight the fire. There were a couple of groups of guys trying to get the fire hoses straightened out.

Dozens of people- locals, Maasai men, workers from the resorts, and a few tourists (including me)- joined in to help fight the fire and keep the flames from spreading.

One hose ran all the way from my resort- at least a half mile- there was no water pressure. The same situation on the other side of the building.

It was a large, mostly open air, building with a palm thatched roof. From the gear scattered around outside, I assumed it was the kitchen/dining room. There were tables and chairs, serving bars, small refrigerators, serving platters and condiment trays.

On my side of the flaming building, there was a small market and massage business. People were moving all the paintings, carvings and tables further away from the fire. On the other side, there were about 2 dozen little thatched palapas between the fire and the next building.

Luckily, the wind was blowing pretty much directly towards the ocean and not to either side. If it had been, it would have been a complete disaster. As it was, they were very, very lucky it wasn’t a lot worse.

By the time I walked from my resort past the one next door to the one where the fire was, the fire had spread from one end of the building to the other. It was not just the thatched roof now, but a raging inferno as the fire consumed all the interior furniture, framework, etc.

#fire at beach resort in #Zanzibar

Outside was still complete chaos. There was still no water pressure. I kept wondering why didn’t they have a pump set up? They could keep one set up in the little shack there on the beach, keep a couple of hoses nearby and they’d have all the fire-fighting capability they’d ever need with the ocean right there.

I noticed the manager (or the man who seemed most to be in charge) and offered to help. Put some of those decades of experience to use, but he was too agitated to bother with me. I feel sorry for him. He told me they had just had a drill 3 days ago.

I’m not sure what the problem was with the water pressure, they did eventually get the hose to work. In the meantime, I was helping the women in the bucket brigade. We were filling any containers we could find in the swimming pool, passing them through the kitchen, through the palapas, to the men who would throw them onto the fire.

#bucket brigade to fight the #fire

Other men were working on trying to take down the palapas, to keep the sparks from igniting them and spreading the fire to the rest of the resort. A couple of guys got hold of a water hose and were doing what they could with it.

tearing down the #palapas for a #firebreak

I noticed a fire extinguisher and wondered why no one had thought to put it to use?

All I could think about was what a waste. The lack of training was so obvious, it was sad. These people were doing their best, many were plainly very upset. I noticed tears on the faces of a few of the women. The men were yelling and pointing and extremely agitated. I wish I could speak their language, but I’m limited with just English.

I tried to catch someone who spoke English, to give them a few pointers (since they were not fighting the fire very effectively). I hoped no one would get hurt when they went inside the building (with barely enough water pressure for a garden hose) and no protective equipment. Most of them were in shorts and flip-flops.

There is always the danger of re-flash and yes, the fire did flare up again a few times. A few  men kept up throwing buckets of water and sand on the thatch when the women were told to get back to serving lunch (WTF???).

I would offer to do some drills with them while I’m here, but somehow I think they might not appreciate that. I’m sure it would help to just get everyone confident with a fire extinguisher. I’m not sure what started the fire, but since it was in the kitchen/dining room, I assume it started in the kitchen.

Grease fire? Burned the bacon? I’d like to know what really happened. I sure do hope they review this incident and get some ‘lessons learned’. I’m glad no one got hurt, but from watching the whole episode, that had to be pure luck.

PS- I heard today that it did start in the kitchen. They cook over open flames mostly here. The story I got was that the cooking fire somehow caught the gas bottles (in a small room) and then there was an explosion.

Halloween Villain Video Conference

I love scary movies! And not just for Halloween. I really liked this little video. Can’t you just imagine this happening? Enjoy. 🙂

Paints and Politics

Tuesdays are usually busy days for me. I get up early so I have time to check email, take out the garbage, eat breakfast and get out of the house by 9:00.

I’ve been going to take painting classes at the Art & Science Center every Tuesday morning (if I’m not able to go to work in Houston). I’ve missed quite a few classes, but I can still see some improvement.

I have only completed 2 paintings so far. I’ve started a few others, but not close to finishing them yet. I don’t really like any of them very much so far. One friend of mine told me she really liked one abstract (mess) I was working on. I thought about it for a while and then turned it into an alien jungle scene. Kind of reminded me of something Rousseau might have done. Here’s the before…

I had it framed and gave it to my friend. I wasn’t all that surprised, but she liked it better before I added to it. She thought I ‘ruined it’. Here’s the after…

Which one do you like best?

The other one I’ve finished was the 1st one I started in this class. I’ve really been trying to learn how to paint water. I found a picture in one of the art books in the classroom and tried to get the technique down. It didn’t turn out much like my reference, but I think it wasn’t too bad for my first try.

Today, I was trying to finish up a couple of others I’ve been working on for a while. This will be my last class since I’ll be at the TBEX next Tuesday. I still have a long way to go on both of them, but I think they’re shaping up nicely.

I especially like this one (below), the photo doesn’t really do it justice. 🙂

I really get the feeling like I’m out there on the water. I wish I really was. 🙂

So, that’s what I do Tuesday mornings.

Tuesday evenings I go meetup with my friends from the local Campaign for Liberty group (ex- Ron Paul meetup group). We like to talk politics over dinner at a local restaurant. Lately we’ve been meeting at the Bella Roma on highway 332, next to the old skating rink. They serve large portions of pretty decent Italian favorites (pizza, pasta, etc). I usually get either ravioli with Alfredo sauce or the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. The Italian Cream Cake and Cheesecake for dessert is good too.

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about how we’ve managed to come so far from our beginnings as a free country. Last week we were watching a slide show, but as we kept stopping to discuss various points, we didn’t finish the whole program before they started closing down the place- it didn’t help that we had one extremely socialist guest. 😉

I do like to argue, but this guy put me to shame! I think the only thing we all agreed on was that the ‘banksters’ were screwing us and the entire world.

The more I learn about what’s really going on, the more frustrated and depressed I get. At this point, I think the only way possible to really live as we’re meant to- is to get completely out of the ‘system’. I don’t know how to do that, or if it’s even possible any more. All I know is that I’ll never accept the way things are now (even tho I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall most days).

So, I go to the meetings on Tuesday nights, just for a change- to talk to a few people who mostly do ‘get it’. Yeah, we still argue about things, we still struggle to understand- but we try mostly to inform people. We’ll never fix what’s wrong with this country or the world as long as the vast majority prefers the status quo.

Yeah, OK- call me a ‘conspiracy theorist’. But what if it’s true?

Shrimp Packs a Punch

I saw a video from National Geographic about this peacock mantis shrimp in my Twitter feed today. I thought it was pretty cool and deserved a wider audience. 😉

This little shrimp really is an amazing creature. It’s colors are beautiful and it’s punch is strong as hell! I wouldn’t put it up against any human boxer, if it was our size it would really be scary! TKO any heavyweight champ in a NY second!

I do love nature and all the wonderful plants and animals we share the world with. I think the natural world is beautiful and fascinating. I love to spend time wandering around in any forest, beach, mountain, etc. I really wish more people would take a look at the bigger picture and not stay so tightly focused on their own self, family, tribe, etc. We are killing off so much of our world, just so we can fill it up with billions more humans. Seriously, I don’t understand why.

A to Z: Voluntarism

Video

 

Today’s post for the A to Z challenge is: voluntarism.

vol·un·ta·rism
ˈvälən(t)əˌrizəm/
noun
 
  1. 1
    the principle of relying on voluntary action (used especially with reference to the involvement of voluntary organizations in social welfare).
     
  2. 2
    PHILOSOPHY
    the doctrine that the will is a fundamental or dominant factor in the individual or the universe.

I’ve always been extremely passionate about the ideas of freedom and individual liberty. Since the A to Z challenge is almost over, I’ll take this opportunity to post about it again. 😉

I consider myself to be a libertarian. I usually vote for the Libertarian Party (even tho I mostly think voting is useless since the system is so totally corrupt).

I believe in the non-aggression principle (NAP). I believe each person owns their own life. Think about it for a minute, if they/you don’t, then just exactly who does?

I believe each person has the absolute right to decide how they want to live their life. That each individual can do anything they choose as long as they don’t hurt anyone else (and they are responsible for their choices).

Since I believe all of that, I am also a proponent of voluntarism. I do not think it’s a good idea to force people into doing things they don’t want to do. I believe if you can’t make a good enough argument, if you can’t convince someone to do something with the use of reason, then whatever it is you’re trying to do probably is not a good idea in the first place.

You ought to be able to convince people to follow your suggestions voluntarily- through their own free choice. Otherwise, just exactly why should they do what you want? Simply because “might makes right”? Is that really the way things ought to be?

I say no! Hell no! That is not how things should be and I don’t like it that it mostly still is that way. I think it’s sad that in this day and age we’re still acting like brute force is the best ‘idea’ we can come up with as a way to manage human interactions.

People always come up with all kinds of arguments and excuses as to why these ideas won’t work. The exceptions to the rules. I answer, don’t we have exceptions to the rules we follow now? Don’t people break the ‘laws’ we have now?

I think we would all be much better off with more freedom and less force, with more liberty and less ‘law’. People need freedom to grow and to truly flourish. It’s a human right and a human need.

Look around the world and see where are the people most prosperous and well off (physically, emotionally, spiritually)? Places with the most freedom: Hong Kong, Singapore, parts of Western Europe, the USA (tho we are still benefitting from the freedoms we used to have here, most of which are being stripped away daily).

 

A Tuna Eats a Seagull (Then Spits It Out)

Funny that they just happened to catch this…

Source: A Tuna Eats a Seagull (Then Spits It Out): VIDEO | The Maritime Network

This Morning’s Floods

I drove up to Houston this morning to go to work. It was nice enough when I left the house about 0530. It started raining just past beltway 8 on the way in. I made it to the intersection of 288 and 610 and they were turning people around. I tried to go ahead and get on to 59, but the water was too deep and I had to turn around.

I had to backtrack to beltway 8, took that to 59N and then tried again. It was close in a couple of places, but I made it all the way up to work only to find out the power was out there and so they had cancelled classes for the day.

Yes, they had sent out emails, but I have to leave the house at 0530 to get to work by 0700 considering traffic, weather, etc. I don’t have any way to check email once I leave the house. 😦

I’m fixin’ to turn on the weather to see if it’s still predicted to be dangerous to drive in to Houston. I’ll still plan on heading in, but will try to call a friend who lives near there to see how things are. I hope they’re working tomorrow, I can sure use the money.

Here’s what it looked like…

 

I’m sure glad he was able to rescue that armadillo! 😉

 

VIDEO: HBO Series Highlights Problems with Genetically Modified Crops

Reblogged this from ascendingstarseed, which is a VERY interesting blog. Check it out if you’re willing to look beyond the mainstream news.

Source: VIDEO: HBO Series Highlights Problems with Genetically Modified Crops

They keep trying to convince us that GMOs are the same exact thing as plants and animals that have been bred by farmers through natural means (sexual reproduction). If it was the exact same thing then a farmer would be able to find a way to bread a fish with a tomato. Not happening! So, no, it’s not the same thing.

Daily Prompt: Toy Story- Sea Snark

Daily Prompt:Toy Story– What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?

I’m not sure if my sea snark qualifies as a toy but playing with it (sailing) was my favorite thing to do while I was growing up (other than reading).

I used to take my little sailboat our almost every day, usually after school. Sometimes, I would even sail it TO school 🙂

Made out of Styrofoam, it was indestructible. Unlike the Titanic, it was actually unsinkable 🙂 We DID test that quite regularly 😉

I had SO much fun with that little boat. 🙂 I would go by myself. I would take out my friends. My brother would run circles around me with his outboard powered dingy, but I didn’t care. I always loved just sailing. Letting the wind drive me where I wanted to go. It was so engaging, so peaceful, so enjoyable. I STILL love sailing and go out every chance I can.

As a kid, I never would have imagined that I would wind up ‘sailing’ for a living (that’s what we call shipping out- ‘sailing’). I was on track to be a doctor back then. My grandparents were both pharmacists. My fathers mother was one of the first female pharmacists in the state of NY 🙂 (I definitely take after her) 😉 I made straight A’s in school and I did love studying all my subjects in class, especially math and science.

What happened was: I got sick and tired of taking the same classes over and over again in school. For example, I had been taking algebra since at least 5th grade. I always made straight A’s. I just couldn’t see the point of taking it AGAIN in 9th grade.

So, I started skipping those classes that I’d already taken. I was still making good grades. I could still keep up with the work. After all, I HAD already taken those classes (more than once). I’ll never understand why parents put up with the school systems dumbing down their kids so much!

Eventually, my family got tired of hearing about my transgressions from the school district. My grandmother decided I needed to go to a boarding school, to keep me from skipping 😉 Well, I give her credit. She tried. She really did.

Along with my Aunt Helen, my grandmother and I went on a road trip from Freeport NY, up through Niagara Falls (loved the Maid of the Mist) into Canada. We came back down through the Detroit area (went to a concert there- grandma wore earplugs 🙂 ). Visited family friends near Chicago. Stopped at a dozen fancy schools before we made it back to NY.

I have to admit, I was a total BITCH the entire trip. I didn’t want to go to any fancy-schmantzy rich kid boarding school! I would never fit in. I liked my life the way it was. I loved my town where I grew up and I could spend my days hanging out with my friends on the beach. Sailing, swimming, fishing, even sometimes jumping off the bridge to let the current carry me out to the Gulf so I could swim back in 😉

Yeah, I was also hanging out at the amusement parlor and the pool halls, sometimes the bars 😉 I was drinking and other things I wasn’t supposed to be doing.

It was really a lucky stroke of fate what happened when my grandmother got me back to her place in Freeport. She was so fed up with me after that search for an acceptable school for both me and her, she took me to the library and threw the book at me. Literally! She told me that it was a book listing ALL the accredited schools in the country and if I could find one in there that I liked, I could go there.

The book landed on a table in front of me. Opened to a page with a picture of a square-rigged ship in full sail. I was hooked! I grabbed that book and started reading that thing like my life depended on it (turned out it really did in a way).

The book gave details: the Oceanics School (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310&dat=19720827&id=nN1VAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5eADAAAAIBAJ&pg=6581,6541976). Based in New York City, the school would charter these large traditional sailing ships for months long cruises with their students aboard. The ship sailed around the world and the students learned to operate the ship. They held classes on navigation, seamanship, oceanography, cultural studies and languages of all the countries the ship visited.

I was so excited. I told my grandmother “that’s it!”. That’s the one I want to go to!! She was aghast!! She told me “no way”. “No way are you going to ruin your life with those damn boats like your father did!!” Up til he bought his dream boat, the “Island Girl”, my father was an engineer. A ‘respectable’ professional career man. My grandmother would never forgive the Island Girl for my fathers decision to quit the corporate world.

When I got home and told my dad about the Oceanics school, he was almost as happy about it as I was. He said “you’re going”, and “while we’re at it, we’ll send your brother too”! “You can’t skip school when you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean” 😉 So, soon enough my brother and I were off to sail around the world. We had some absolutely fantastic adventures sailing the 3- masted schooner Ariadne from Athens to Martinique!

That trip changed my life. I returned without my brother to sail the Ariadne again from Martinique back across the Atlantic. I had some incredible experiences with some wonderful people. It DID change my life.

I will be forever grateful to the Gallaghers (especially Stephanie) who took a chance on me and then helped me SO much. Even after I graduated from the Oceanics, Stephanie was instrumental in getting me set up in the Ocean Marine Technology program in Texas that got me started on the way to earning my license.

Because of the chance to go to the Oceanics, I am STILL sailing. Almost 35 years later.  🙂 I recently upgraded to Master Any Gross Tons and can sail pretty much any ship on the ocean. I still love the traditional sailing ships best but there just aren’t enough of them around to make a living on. Too bad 😦

So, yeah, you could say my favorite plaything when I was young is still my favorite plaything now. 🙂

Here are a couple of great links. The first one is by Tim Harris of the ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl which he sailed on as a cadet with the Oceanics in the early 70s. The next one is of the same ship in a storm. The last is a link to the ship itself, in case you’re interested in sailing her 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iokDVlHybtE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_YWgRBmVtY

www.lehmkuhl.no

PS- the featured photo is one I took at the Maritime Day celebration in Galveston last month. The ship in the background is one of the ones I sailed as captain on (Ensco 8500 series). I started with the sea snarks and worked my way up to those!

PPS- I forgot to add that I posted this to Terri Webster Schrandt’s Leisure Link the other day. She has a cool blog, this is the first time I’ve seen the leisure link. I’ve seen these blog ‘parties’ before but still not sure I’ve got the hang of it. Check it out over there and join in. 🙂

Songs of the Sea: Fishing With Seminole Winds

I found this video the other day when I was fiddling around looking for something else by this band. I really love Donna the Buffalo. I have a couple of their albums at home. I just got a new ipod (since I lost my old one somewhere) and I don’t have any music or anything on it yet. I was trying to find some good stuff to play.

I love this song. The words, the music, the story, and the video too. I saw that video and it reminded me so much of home. Not where I live now, but where I grew up in Florida. It was filmed in Marathon, down in the keys. My dad took the Island Girl down that way for a few years and I stayed there one summer with him.

I had a blast! The video brought back a lot of good memories. Fishing, diving, hanging out at the Dockside bar, sailing, hanging out watching the sunset with so many interesting fun characters.

It’s a sad song too, and all too true. Florida is not much like it was when I grew up there. “Progress came”…

Seminole Winds 
by John Anderson
Ever since the days of old men would search for wealth untold
They dig for silver and for gold and leave the empty holes
And way down south in the Everglades
Where the black water rolls and the Saw grass waves
The eagles fly and the otters play in the land of the Seminole

 
So blow blow Seminole wind blow like your never gonna blow again
I’m calling to you like a long lost friend but I know who you are
And blow blow from the Okeechobee  all the way up to Micanopy
Blow cross the home of the Seminole the alligators and the gar

 
Progress came and took its toll and in the name of flood control
They make their plans and they drained the land
Now the glades are going dry
And the last time I walked in the swamp I sat upon a cypress stump
I listened close and I heard the ghost of Osceola cry

Repeat #2

111 Feet Up–Climbing the Main Mast of a Fully-Rigged Tall Ship … at 9 Knots

I got this post from Gcaptain a while ago and was going to post on my blog about it. Indian Rocks Bridge beat me to it, so I’ll just re-blog. 🙂

PS: Indian Rocks bridge (not the blogger, but the actual bridge) is located very close to where I lived when we first moved to FL. I spent a lot of time at the shipyard there working on our schooner the Island Girl.

On another note, the Oceanics School (where I went to high school) used the Sorlandet for their school ship after I graduated. SO sorry I missed it!

Indian Rocks Bridge

Here’s a video posted by Norway’s Stiftelsen Fullriggeren Sørlandet academy showing first-person view of a climb up the main mast of the world’s oldest full-rigged tall ship Sørlandet.…MORE

Photo:

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