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Maiden Voyage: Lift off. October 2, 2015

My first excursion in Louise was like cruising the universe on a rogue moon.

Having quantum-leaped free from the gravitational jurisdiction of my native solar system, Friday last I set course for St Louis and the flux was on <smile>.

Aiming to be off the launchpad between 8am and 9am, completing the pre-escape checklist took a bit longer than anticipated, partly because I kept thinking of specialty tools that would make life more comfortable at all of the little stops along the way.

The item last grabbed at 10am as I shared mega-hugs with eldest son, Adam, was our family’s old campfire-soot-stained 8-cup percolator.

“You know, that wouldn’t be here for you to take if I hadn’t rescued it from Sassafras,” he chided.

I smiled at him, over my shoulder, reflecting backward with uber warm-fuzzies on the last time the percolator was used, on a family camping trip, fifteen years ago, to a nook in a cranny of the Ozark Mountains that we named SassafrasWilds.

Then finally, with the turn of a key and the engine purring like a quick-witted tiger on the prowl, five years of hoping, dreaming, wishing and navigating through the passage of my off-springs’s young-adulthood and my liberating emancipation from the work-a-day world to that stage of life we call ‘retirement’, I was cruising.

Wow… What a hoot!!!

Time of arrival at friend Vicki’s abode, where I was to backyard boondock for a couple of nights and which the google-gods calculated to be 346 miles north-northeast of my start, was estimated at 3pm to 4pm.

In fact, according to Louise’s instrument panel, we logged 354 miles portal-to-portal, with no digression from route. And for those (like me) who care about such things, Louise got just a hair over 13mpg on this first leg of our journey, which was all on U.S. Hwy. or Interstate with many long and sometimes steep grades.

Coupled with my penchant to ‘take things slow and easy’ (average speed was 60-ish) and my self-awarded liberty to stop whenever the spirit so moves me, actual travel time was 10 hours… which included 1 stop to check tire pressure and fuel-up right after leaving home, and one to refuel along the way, plus several to just to get out of the driver’s seat, have a snack, stretch my legs and take a potty break.

Truly, for me, an enchanted way to travel.

Chumming with Vicki – who I met at a conference which she coordinated in 2011 — was grand. Our friendship was seeded by our respective independent advocacy work on issues pertinent to social justice, professional accountability, individual equality, civic well-being and family health — my personal role in which has mainly been that of journalist: reporting on programs, events and activities being forwarded by various organizations that, in my cultured opinion, deserve to make print, and sometimes volunteering as the communications director or public relations person with organizations that are doing what I see as critical work in the fostering of healthy, happy, vibrant communities.

In this instance, my test-run with Louise included piggybacking my penchant for advocacy with my desire to travel and visit family and friends. To find out, experientially, how capable I am to maintain the pace requisite multiple consecutive days on the road, including the doing of routine operations (like dumping the tanks and hooking-up shore power) plus the daily housekeeping of my mobile mini-mansion, while at the same time driving upto to 300 miles a day -and- doing the things that I actually want to do.

Thus for two days Vicki and I dug into the subject matter of the organization she now serves as president: Women Against Registry, aka: WAR.

Our first task was to draft some written copy for new brochure to succinctly articulate the organization’s purpose which, in a nutshell, is to insist that society look at and do something about the harm being done to whole families and most especially to young children, by laws that were – with the best of intentions – intended to protect everyone.

A tenet I personally find to be too true in too many aspects of our great nation’s justice system today.

Thus a good measure of the time that Vicki and I shared – reaching back to include several months of email correspondence — was given to detailing plans for an envisioned conference that we’ve lovingly dubbed JAKE, which stands for Justice, Accountability, Knowledge, Equality… and which to us, sorta says all of everything about what we want life to be all about for everyone, all of the time… just and fair, with each of us accountable for our own actions being grounded in an understanding of the complex dynamics of social interaction and thus resonant with the quality of respect amplified by the tenet, “Do unto others what you would have others do unto you.”

So, there you have it… <smile> Phase one of my weeklong test run went great. Louise operated fabulously well on self-contained systems from Friday morning through early Monday afternoon, when I checked in for our first night together in a real RV park… my experience of which will I shall elaborate upon soon….

Until next time, (choose to) be the peace, love and joy that makes the world a friendlier, happier, healthier place for everyone… especially yourself… because you (and all of us) deserve it. (((hugs))) ~Christine

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Abuse October 13, 2011

Been too long since I’ve taken time to reflect, assimilate and digest. Contrary to profuse and numberous distractions, however, life is good — at least in the grander sense and bumps in the road aside.

For reasons related to a lot of things I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ‘abuse’…. what it is… that is, what defines it… where is the line crossed? what are the objective dimensions of that line and where does subjective experience enter in…?

What I’ve arrived at: it seems that we — society as a whole, that is — have developed a type of cognitive dissonance about what we classify (or not) as ‘abusive’… and how we deal with it. Take for example the actions taken by officials in Topeka, Kansas, to unadopt a local law on domestic violence due to a budget crunch… A sane person who has studied the facts would be hard put not to wonder why ‘domestic violence’ (which typically victimizes women and children) was targeted and not, let’s say, the prosecution of cannabis (marijuana) crimes where there is no victim involved?

What does this say about ‘us’ — the Great American Society? 

 And if actions really do speak louder than words, how do we turn this into a win/win/win….???

 

Nobody knows nothin… June 21, 2011

Filed under: CIVICS 101,COMMUNITY,EDITORIAL — gozarks @ 6:59 pm
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The facts are coming in regarding the circumstances which resulted in the shut-down by the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office of the Arkansas Family Muisc Fest held near Old Joe, Arkansas, on Saturday, June 18, 2011. (See: Home To Roost) And they are confusing.

For example, we have learned that there is NO ‘noise ordinance’ in Baxter County. We have learned that at least one of the neighbors who was rumored to have filed a complaint did NOT. And we have learned that NONE of the local law enforcement agencies has any record or knowledge of the festival being closed-down by their agency.

Most disheartening is the report from one local resident who tried to find out why this happened and started making phone calls: “They (the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office) knew nothing about it and told me it was Marion county and I told them it was most certainly not so they said it was Stone county, so I called them and they said that it was Izard county who once again told me it was Baxter!”

I mean, do we really get it… That if NO law was being violated and there was NO ‘probable cause’ (evidence that a crime was being committed), then the law enforcement officers had NO authority to close the event.

NO AUTHORITY. NONE. ZIP. ZERO. ZILCH.

Do we really get it that when officers of the law behave in this manner that they, being bound by the duties of their employment to safeguard our constitutional covenants of liberty and freedom, have in the act of taking the law into their own hands committed an act of treason against the well-being of the community as a whole. 

This is serious stuff, folks. Our birthrights as individuals to unfettered self-determination — the sacrosanct holier-than-holy “Highest Law of the Land” — is being systematically gutted by our own apathy and indifference.  Respectfully,  we should ALL be contacting the elected public officials of Baxter County and asking them to explain not only how this all went so wrong, but also what actions they are going to take to make things right. 

Respectfully, calling our elected officials and insisting that action be taken on matters like this is NOT ‘meddling’. This is us ‘regular people’ doing OUR duty as citizens, honoring the lives of every man and woman who has ever served in the military safeguarding our Constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And please, don’t take my word for it. Read what others are saying about the creeping destruction of our unalienable rights. Then get busy and start making phone calls…

 

The Power June 2, 2011

First, for the record, life in my blissful meadow (see: BirthDays, below) has been glorious, invigorating and busy these past three months. A variety of household projects that had forever been on the ‘to-do’ list (with ‘no time’ to do them) are steadily being completed. And I derive a great sense of satisfied pleasure from doing such things as painting a ceiling or cleaning a cupboard. For one thing, the finished result is gratifying. For another, the time spent doing the work grants space of mind for reflection, contemplation and assimilation and, in light of all of this, all I can say is ‘life is good’.

Still in this context, I find myself day-by-day more deeply troubled by what I observe in the ‘real world’ that surrounds my personal realm, grieved by many stark contrasts. Within this past week, for example:

<> A Marine was gunned-down in a hail of bullets, in front of his wife and children, during a ‘legal’ home-invasion by a SWAT firing squad.

<> A seven-year-old child was shot in cold blood and died in her grandmother’s arms at the hands of another SWAT execution squad on another ‘routine’ home-invasion mission.

<> An elementary school teacher (in an eloquent demonstration of bravery, compassion and courage) led her class in playful song and gave out candy as they all lay prone to the floor so the barrage of drug-warrior bullets that blazed through schoolroom windows would pass over their heads.

<> A group of civic activists, bent on exercising the Constitutionally guaranteed right to ‘peaceably assemble’, chose to ‘dance’ (quietly and politely) at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. in protest of what seems clearly to be an unconsititutional policy that makes it a crime to ‘dance’ on certain federally managed ‘public lands’. Resultant of this, a number of the dancers were (voraciously) arrested and least one of the dancers was (abusively) body-slammed to the marble floor for failing to comply with this unconstitutional (and thus ‘illegal’) ‘order’.

And of these atrocities, I personally find the last most horrifying… though I understand that many may think of it as the most trivial. Yet it is illustrative of how insidious and sublime the ‘police state’ mentality has become; how routinely we accept it as ‘natural and normal’ that WE (the people) could permit and enable and support and endorse ANY ‘public official’ who would have the audacity to make a law against ANY OF US DANCING on OUR OWN PROPERTY…!!!!

All of which brings me to that which prompted me to post an update here today, from something I wrote to a discussion group I randomly participate in, which follows:

re: “The power the people give the government is beyond the scope of governing the country, in most places.” — precisely and potently put. Is that an original thought, or the wisdom of some erudite sociopolitical philosopher with whom I am unacquainted?

And yet ‘the people’ (in most places) seem not to comprehend this simple truth, preferring (it seems to me) to ‘take orders’ and ‘be directed’ by ‘those who are superior’… ie: an ‘authority figurehead’. And this is something that none of us can ‘change’ in others… each person must, it seems to me, come into this ‘consciousness’ (maturity) entirely alone, as an act of self-determination… as discussed in Brodie’s “Virus of the Mind.”

As to philosophical views being reused, of course <smile>. Endlessly recycled with ‘new and improved’ generational spin. There is, we are told, nothing new under the sun <smile>. And still, we (society) have so far miserably failed to arrive at ‘nirvana’, in direct opposition to what we say we want… ie: the ‘good life’ (heaven on earth, sanctuary, peaceful prosperity; environmental, ecologic and economic health) for everyone. Thus it would seem self-evident that there must be a ‘missing link’ or ‘key element’ that we are (innocently or ignorantly) overlooking.

For example, in context of freedom, each person’s ‘working definition’ of and expectation about what it means to be free is inculcated during the most formative years of life. Social ‘norms’ are inherited by osmosis from generations of ancestors. Failure to participate in this standardized cultural ‘group think’ generally gets one professionally ostracized, socially shunned, criminally interdicted -or- celebrated as a movie star… And still, in terms of overall (societal) well-being this does not seem like ‘freedom’ to me but more like a covertly self-inflicted form of indenture… Anyway, good chatting with you… (((hugs)))  ~Christine

 

Animal deaths, HAARP, and earthquakes February 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — gozarks @ 3:07 pm
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February 28: Another quake in Arkansas

February 19: This link goes to one of the more thoughtful and scientifically well-reasoned explanations for the odd circumstances of animal deaths which plagued Arkansas (and other places) earlier this year.  In geology, it is understood that as stresses shift within the earth’s mantle and pressures change, there may be escapes of large volumes of gasses from the deep regions of the earth. Normally associated with volcanic eruptions, this outgassing of CO2, Methane and other gasses which are toxic by nature to many living things, could certainly have had something to do with the extinctions… and sure seems a whole lot more plausible than some of the other potential explanations I’ve heard… yet still, this would not account for the ‘single specie’ aspect of this weird scenario or diagnose the cause, if there is one, beyond ‘natural occurrences’ for the ongoing earthquake activity we have been experiencing — which many now seem to be attributing (at least in part) to injection wells (where waste-water from shale-gas fracking is disposed) and some see in relationship to geologic aftereffects of the Gulf oil spill.

And for the ‘conspiracy theorists’ there is an explanation that links all of these incidents together, alleging that the events are side-effects and/or intentional consequences of technology known as HAARP. Click here for a youtube example of such theories.

All of which is well and good, at least from the perspective of interesting, but none of which addresses the fundamentals of the underlying questions: Is there a trend in motion here that we should be particularly aware of? If such a trend seems to be in motion, are there predictable consequences that we could mitigate or preclude by taking fore-warned actions to ensure health and well-being? And if the answers lean to ‘yes’… then in light of this knowledge, what are the actions we could or should be taking right now?

Also note: The above ‘formula for success’ applies pretty-much to all things… (((hugs)))

 

More animals dead… January 29, 2011

Back on January 4th and 5th, we looked at the strange and widespread animal deaths that came with the New Year. Here now is a follow-up that sorta summarizes things to date. Note, however, that no substantive answers have been found and that the reason given for the death of the 200 cows on a Wisconsin farm just seems rather funky… but then, the true truth of such things may only be known by scientists. I wonder, where are their voices?

UPDATE: February 2, 2011: More fish dead in Arkansas

 

Teapot Party January 24, 2011

I have started another blog to address specifically those topics near and dear to the hearts of the Teapoters I’ve met to date… not that all of the topics addressed on gocannabis.wordpress.com are near and dear to the motivation of each or all of the respective civic-activists who have flocked together under the Teapot Party banner raised by Willie Nelson, yet whether their respective dedication is to industrial hemp, environmental health, economic well-being, medicinal cannabis, religious freedom, social justice, civic effectiveness, prison reform or the simple liberty to raise a glass of beer in a public place and toast a musician they adore, there is a among us a unifying theme about cannabis-hemp: Legalize It, Regulate It, Tax It.

Legalize it by removing it from the Federal Drug Schedule, subjected to no more regulatory scrutiny than are the tomato plants, cucumbers, mint, basil or corn routinely grown in grandpa’s garden or grandma’s backyard.

Regulate it the same way that asprin and beer are regulated in the commercial marketplace. Draw a clear distinction between ‘personal private’ cultivation/consumption, from which government is prohibited to intervene, and industrial applications, including pharmaceuticles, nutritional products, foods, health and body care products, building materials, etc., etc., and so on which are marketed to the general public and which it is the duty of government to regulate all such commercial/industrial activity for the benefit of the collaborative and colletive ‘we the people’.  

Tax it the same way that all commercial goods and services are taxed or not taxed.

In other words, stop making such a big deal about it. Get over it. Get it done and get on with convening global peace. 

The handwriting is on the wall about this, folks. Yet the single question remains: Are we ready to shed our fears and inhibitions? Are we willing to make a unified stand for what is right?

Read the data. Do some research. Learn. Think. What makes practical good sense…? What decision takes us in a truly ‘new’ direction…? Which choice holds the promise of delivering the greatest benefit (at the smallest price tag) to the people we hold dear? And beyond that, to everyone…

How do we stop re-inculcating the animosity that has stagnated progress on this issue…? We fuel every action with vigor for ‘growing’ Global Peace and Prosperity in our own backyards, with a hometown get-er-done ‘barn building spirit’ plan for action at the local level… knowing that as we do this work we are at the same time weaving together a network of change, simultaneously remaking national dispositions by atrition and due process.

Sincerely, I hope you (yes, YOU…!!!) will get involved. Visit gocannabis.wordpress.com to learn more.  ~Christine