Unnatural Disasters

Hurricane Harvey has been pounding Houston, and from the looks of it, the water cannot drain fast enough in the face of unprecedented rainfall, 49 inches as of today, in some four days. This is usually just about the time someone gets in the TV and says that God is punishing America for its sin, or something like that. Yet, Houston is about as far down into the Bible Belt as you can get. If that place is Sodom and Gomorrah, then Washington DC is the Vatican. It just don’t make sense.

I would like to propose that it is time for our species to grow up, and accept that natural disasters just happen, and the fella on TV telling you that it is because of sin is just selling you a line with a hook at the end of it, and he wants you to send him some money. We don’t have to bring up any names here, as I am sure history will do as much damage to a certain pasture as Social Media will allow. And while Lakewood Church was pressured into opening for refugees, nobody got into the upper floors of the Mormon Temple there, and nobody complained. Yet, there was a building that could have offered shelter till the water finally crept up its steps and a few inches into the first floor. People give so willingly to these organizations to enrich them, but in a time of desperate need, do they open up? Is this natural? It sure isn’t Godly.

The one thing that has helped, and has stood out, is the response of ordinary people, bringing trucks, food, supplies, boats, muscle, and talent to the scene, and helping everyone they could for as long as they could. If there was a God in all of this, it was manifest in the work of human hands. But it is just that, our humanity that has made a difference. It is our humanity that has shone through, just as it always has, and has saved lives. It will be human hands that rebuild Houston. I hope every cent given can go to that effort, and not into the pockets of greedy men who preach salvation, but do not open their doors when the floods have literally come.

There is another aspect to address here. Humans have discovered that our activities on the planet have affected our climate. Some do not believe this, and dismiss it as propaganda designed to enrich the poor by redirecting money from the wealthy. When I was a kid who had just learned to drive, I used to sit atop a mountain over Boulder, Colorado, and watch the summer lighting storms over the plains. Always, the lighting was most intense over Denver, where the concrete city was warmer, and heated the air above it. That heat seemed to milk the rain and the lighting from the skies. It was evident that humanity had already affected the weather, before considering the warming effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Another theme the religious preach is Armageddon. The religious believe in a literal end of the world, which is horrible because it makes them complacent about, and complicit in the end if it does come. If Armageddon does come, it will likely be because of failed climate policies, failed foreign policies, or even failed educational policies. We will destroy our environment, ourselves with nuclear weapons, or ignorance before any God ever needs to intervene in our decline or demise as a species. Our lonliness on this planet is easy to see. Or God is pissing on Houston for something. No doubt someone will be on the TV telling us why in the coming days, and none of it will make sense to anyone with the sober eyes of an unbeliever. But it will no doubt bring in the donations to the greedy bastards who prey.

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Reliving The Cold War

There are tensions between the US and DPRK right now, and we are basically reliving the Cuban Missile Crisis. The DPRK has said that by mid month they will have a plan submitted to place four missiles in the water 15 or more miles off of Guam, which is unusually specific language for them. But it says a lot about the situation and the desired outcome. It says that these are negotiations. Trump has taken a tough guy tact and said off the cuff that the DPRK had better stop threatening the US, or America would rain down fire and fury, the likes of which this world has never seen, on North Korea. Still in negotiations.

The specificity of the intended target suggests that Kim wants to demonstrate the fourth piece to the Nuclear Puzzle. They have nuclear weapons, the first piece. They have a way to launch an ICBM, the second piece. They have a re-entry capability, the third piece. This last step, the fourth piece, is to show they can accurately target a location and hit it, and it is as far away as a US territory. North Korea believes they can then use this capability to strong arm the US to the negotiations table to put an end to the war dating back to the early 1950’s which has never ended in a peace agreement. Is that a bad thing? That depends on what else they want, which we won’t know till both seats are occupied at that table.

News outlets like CNN are in a flurry trying to present to the public information on what to expect. That flurry can easily overwhelm readers, sending them into panic about an impending nuclear war. Is there one? General Mattis has stated that any war would be catastrophic. Yet he has also gone a step beyond Trump, advising that the North Korean regime not do anything to bring about the destruction of their people and leadership.

Trump and his leadership is making it clear that war is a strong possibility. They are strong arming North Korea with the same rhetoric the North Koreans use against the US all the time. They are changing the status quo, which is a negotiating technique. They certainly have the ability to back it up. One way this is different to the Cold War is that rather than just negotiating with a mad man like Kruschev, we have our own leadership we don’t trust. We only hope they have the sense to understand that heros don’t win wars, they prevent them.

In the next week or so we can expect to see North Korea aim for their intended target and risk the embarrassment of missing. The US will also risk embarrassing themselves by trying to shoot the missiles down. It is fast becoming the only option if Kim Jong Un carries out his launch. The systems the US have at their disposal are THAAD, and a ship mounted laser, both of which may need to be deployed against the four missiles announced. After that, it is time for more rhetoric, or it is The Guns of August.

Clearly History is on repeat. What does that say?

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Changes 

Changes have been happening the last few months, and I habe not kept up with my journal to chronicle them very well.  So, here is a quick run through some of the highlights.  

Katrina and I became grandparents a little over two months ago when Dylan’s Wynn was born.  They were unsure if Whitney was in false labor or the real thing, so we went over and quickly decided that they needed to be at the hospital to be sure.  After driving them down to Logan, the contractions were inside three minutes, but her water had not broke.  They broke it and she delivered Wynn by 4:30 The following morning.  He was three weeks early, but has overcome his troubles and is growing fast, and well.  

Grandma is deteriorating.  She is getting more forgetful than she was, and having trouble making sound decisions.  I always said that with David, as his dementia progressed, he was really the same, only intensified, or in concentrated form.  She is doing the same thing now.  We mostly go to the same places every time I take her out.  That is the same as before, but she takes longer at them.  We habe spent three of the last four Fridays at Verizon.  She has bought a phone, tried it, forgot parts to it when she went to return it, then given it to someone who works at the rest home, even though she is still paying for its cost, not the line, just the phone.  Same stuff as before, only more intensified.  

Kirynie turned 9.  That kid is such a treasure to me!  She is so smart, and despite some of her proclivities to be a bit obnoxious to her sister, and to feel sorry for herself, shenis a wonderful child!  She is very helpful with feeding the animals, and she reads a lot.  

Colvin turned 19 on the same day.  I have not seen him in so long, since that day…  My world fell apart.  I hope that he has grown to be a good man.  I wt would like it if he came to me, and on his terms.  I never met my dad, and never was able to set terms for that.  I know how it feels, and need him to make his move, if, and when he is ready.  I understand.  

The farm is coming along pretty well.  There are things I am happy with, and some things I am not, but we habe made such progress on getting things in place for the animals we raise.  Yes, there is still more to do, a lot more, but the place is coming along and may one day actually be our own.  That would be very weird! I built the last animal pen, and need to build shelters and the like now to improve the situation for our little ones. 

We have totally paused the indoor work so we could focus outside. So nothing has happened inside, but I suspect we will get moving just as soon as the weather cools a bit.  It has been in the mid to upper 90’s out, and we have no cooling.  Most of the house is usually hot, especially upstairs.

Those are some of the basics of what has been going on around here.  We always have more planned, but need to start looking at what needs to be finished for winter.  One is the firewood! I have not been up into the mountains yet, and need to get up there and order to chop down some of that Maple I’ve been planning on collecting.  I also need to split a lot of Cottonwood that I had cut down earlier in the year but has been too wet to split so far. I did build a place to hold the firewood over winter where I can place a tarp over it and keep it dry unless I’m able to get a roof built over it, which I hope to do next year if not this. It was a simple build, just using pallets and placing them in a grid on the ground, then using some more to build sides to hold the wood in. That will give me plenty of places to tie a tarp down if I need to, and it will hold several cords of wood. If I stack all the wood only to the top of the pallets, I should be able to fit four and a half chords just in this future Woodshed of mine.

Missus has come up with a great idea for The Granary. I had suggested she use it as a store and sell her arts and crafts and such from there, but she looked into the idea of using it as an Air BnB. If we do that, then we should be able to use the money we make to improve it until it has all the functionality we would like as both a bunkhouse for our visitors, and a few utilities for ourselves, such as maybe a deck and a fire pit and a little kitchenette that we can use during canning season. It’s certainly a good idea, and something to think about. I think we just might do it. 

Kelsey I Bacon

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Resigned

Yesterday I received confirmation that I have been removed from the records of the Mormon Church.  I was baptized in when I was eight years old, on my birthday, as I remember it.  I am told that it was my choice.  I habe a daughter who turns nine today, and despite the fact that I think she is way smarter at nine than I was at eight, choosing a life long commitment to a belief system that will hold her accountable for sins against a God she is supposed to also decide is real, and will excise a tax on her income for the rest of her life at the peril of her Eternal Soul, all seems a bit much to put upon her.  I know I was not ready to make such a commitment at that naive age.  And now, 38 years gone on, and a lot learned, both in the Church, and out, I am more than confident that joining the Mormon Church, or any religion, for that matter, is a serious mistake.  Although I have not attended a meeting at a ward house in about 18 years, just being labelled as ‘inactive’ was not enough.  I was tracked down and asked for by name when I lived in a foreign country!  Since when does a belief system require hunting me?  A belief system is something that I must subscribe to.  Well, I do not.  

On the evening of the Fourth of July of this year, the last thing I did for the day was to submit a letter of resignation through an attorney to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That letter was revived and my name removed by the 7th.  Ten days after sending it in, I received my confirmation that it was done.  

How do I feel?  I am as ambivalent about it as I was about any reason or reservation I could dream up when I sent in the request to remove my name from the Church.  At the end of the day, a fraudulent organization could hold no ecclesiastical power over me.  I cannot be forced to drink the Kool-aid.  

This is the most important document I have ever had regarding religion, and especially the Mormon Church.  It is the one that declares that I am free.  It is the one that sticks a finger in the eye of those who profess it is divine truth because of its growth and membership.  Maybe I am just a rat jumping off a sinking ship, but be sure of this; the ship is sinking.  

Some day I may go ahead and write the reasons why I can be so sure that the Church, and religion in general are categorically false.  But for now, I have some things to do first.  For now, I plan to live free.  

Goodbye Religion.  You will never see me again in your halls and choirs.  Your cloisters can encase the small minded, and your curtains can fleece the fools.  But I will never bow my head to you again.

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Hello To The New Blog Editor, Same As The Old Blog Editor

This is just me testing Open Live Writer, which is what Microsoft replaced Windows Live Writer With, but didn’t mention it anywhere, but luckily some random dude did on his blog, which I happened upon after an hour and a half trying to work out why Windows Live Writer didn’t work on any of our new Windows 10 machines.  Lucky me! 

_KJB4349

Books to read…

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Moving Forward In Spite of Doom

That last post was so full of hope and optimism!  How funny!  Now, we are a couple of weeks into the Presidency of Donald J Trump, and what is clear is that while he thinks he knows how to run a business, he hasn’t a clue how to run a government.  America has followed Europe down the right wing path, and our lovely President has issued Executive Order after Executive Order, trying to recreate US Policy single handedly, and doing nothing with the Congress, where he might face a little opposition.  Instead, he only wishes to play the role of king.  And this megalomaniac has got his finger on the button?  What the Hell happened?  Did so many people forget that during the elections?  14 days after the inauguration General Mattis threatened nuclear war with North Korea.  Trouble with that is Kim Jung Il is as bad as Trump, both believing they are indestructible, and that bad things do not happen to them.  Meanwhile, are we foolish enough to believe that China or Russia will not seize the opportunity?  Would it not be in their best interests too, seeing how there is only one country that has used nukes thus far? 

Burning Down The House is playing downstairs right now.  Yes.  Soon. 

I could go on for hours about the politics, but I need to have a space away from that because not everything is politics, and frankly, life goes on till it doesn’t anymore.  So, in the spirit of keep on keeping on. 

I am saving up some money to replace this slow old computer I have from 2009.  It is time.  I plan on going used.  I also plan on using it for relatively little.  Yes, blogging in one thing, and Photo management.  E-mail, obviously.  I need to keep the machine pretty clean for the sake of keeping it running up to spec.  I’d like an Office suite as well.  That’s about it.  If I ever do get a weather station, I would like to hook it up to the computer too.  This biggest thing is properly running my farm sites and putting up more informative things for others to read and learn.  What else is life about?  My kids, of course.  Missus too.  The farm itself, too.  Look, blogging about a farm is a popular thing to do these days.  There was hardly anyone doing it when I started in September 2010.  But even with so many people doing it, our voice and style is unique!  So, onward! 

_KJB4319

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T’was the Night Before Election Day

Tomorrow brings an historic day, and an important day.  Tomorrow America votes, and finally puts to rest this seemingly endless charade we have called the 2016 Presidential Campaign!  And should Hillary Clinton win, then the loud, clear message will finally be heard, that the Presidency is no longer limited to only half of the inhabitants of this country.  After tomorrow, little girls will be able to dream of one day becoming the elected leader of this country, and those girls with their dreams will have to be taken very seriously.  To that end, all I want is equality and humanity! 

On the other hand, America may not vote to pass the mantle, but to toss the club to someone who will likely bash the whole nation over the collective head, and run away with all the money.

Too tired to keep going now.  Sleep required! 

Kelsey J Bacon 

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Rocket Girls

Today I took the girls out into the little pasture and let them each take a turn at launching a model rocket.  Kiry went first, and we lost that rocket after the chute failed to deploy.  Khallie launched the second rocket, and we retrieved that about 500 to 600 feet from the launch site in the Robert’s field behind the house.  I launched the second rocket a second time, having the girls spot it, and it came down in the direction we thought the first rocket went in when it got lost.

Oh, also, when we left our place to search for that second rocket, I ducked the barbed wire first, then turned to check the girls as they came through, but forgot about the electric cow fence the Roberts keep.  I would not call it painful, but it sure as Hell wasn’t what I’d call the shock I got.  I hit that wire, and that sonofabitch hit me back like a ton of bricks.  It jarred me with such force that even now, 13 hours later, I can still feel the jolt throughout my body.  

This evening while we were feed ing the animals and watering the plants, I spotted the first rocket in the front yars, about 50 feet from where we launched it.  How did we miss that?  I’ll never know.  

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Scattered Clouds, 72°F

800-942 Fairview-Franklin Road

These last few weeks have been busy, and hot. We have been feeding three Jersey calves. At leat one of them has nearly died. We have been cleaning out the granary too. It has been overfilled and pretty much useless to us in any capacity other than storeage. I have been retrieving firewood frm the mountains when I can, and bringing it back, splitting it, and piling it up. Missus has been working on sorting the stuff from the granary, and painting in the house. We bth did the girl’s bedroom, and moved rooms around so everyone is sleeping and eating somewhere new. It has been so much that today I took the day to rest, because I coud not push through the grog an yuck of the day. I hope to be up for it all tomorrow. There is so much to do to prepare for winter still. I want to be more of a help than I was today!

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Clear Sky, 67°F

800-942 Fairview-Franklin Road

Laying in bed, thinking about tomorrow’s tree chopping expedition, and trying out this journal writing software.

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