This link is to a recording of Arlo Guthrie singing one of his father’s songs. It is a hard song for me to listen to, but it is a very beautiful one as well. The Highwaymen (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson)did a cover of it for their album.

The immigration issue has been a contentious one since our country’s founding. If that wasn’t a mass immigrant movement, I don’t know what was.

I know that my followers are a mix of conservatives and liberals, and people who use labels for themselves to imply they are further left or further right. Thing is though, that this song will apply in one way or another to most of us. Very few American’s can truly honestly trace their roots back to the landing at Plymouth, unless it is as a servant. The vast majority of us had ancestors that came later.

This song talks about Mexicans, but it applies just as much to the Irish and the Germans. If you ever heard your grandmother tell you stories about her family being potato farmers, this song is for you. If you ever tried to trace your family name back, and it just kind of disappeared in New York harbor, this song is for you. If you can trace the name past the harbor, but it was spelled and pronounced in a totally different way, this song is for you.

Most American’s are descendent of immigrants. Most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, got here looking for work and a better way of life for our families. Our ancestors came following the “coyotes” of the day, and in most cases got just as screwed as the Mexicans often do today, getting pushed into slave labor or worse, and putting up with it because “it was the only way.” They had to keep working to save up money to send home to Ireland, or Germany, or Russia, or Italy, so that their families could be fed. Eventually, they were able to get enough together to make the choice. “Do I go home, or do I bring my wife and children here?” Enough of them made the second decision that we now, even as screwed up as things are today, have the strongest nation in the world.

We are a nation of diversity and hope, even in these trying times. The idea of the American Dream still exists, even in these times. To be blunt, it is BECAUSE we are a nation of immigrants. That fact does not change just because enough of the immigrants happened to be white that they could pretend they were not any more.

Depending on which side of the family I look at, I am only third generation off the boat. And the other side? Well, my grandfather has to guess at his grandmother’s family name. Something to do with an island in New York harbor.

Get Out The Vote!

This message is for every American eighteen and older (or who will be by November). If you do not have a driver’s license or a state issued photo id, get one.

If you are not registered to vote in your state, go register.

If you have neighbors that might have trouble getting registered (transportation issues, handy cap, time constraints, etc) or getting above mentioned id cards, do what you can to help them.

This is your civic duty if you are an American citizen.

A number of states are passing laws to make the process of getting registered to vote more complex. Those laws will likely all pass through the state legislatures. It will be hard to prove any of those laws unconstitutional, given that most states already require all employment age citizens to carry ID and have for over a century.

We know this is happening, and we know how to counteract it (follow the above instructions). Make sure you are eligible to vote in the general elections and in your cities’ elections. Make sure your neighbors are as well. I don’t care if you are Democrat, Republican, Green, Constitutionalist, Libertarian, or whatever. Get out and vote. Get out and make sure your neighbors are able to vote. You can’t force anyone to the polls, but you can do your damnedest to make sure they are able.

In the current political environment, the best hope for saving democracy and the democratic republic as a system of governance is to make sure you do your part by educating yourself on the issues and voting.

An Environmental Rant

About twenty years ago, the powerful nations of the world got together and talked about the environment.  They all agreed that we had to do something, and promised that they would, and then they went home and forgot.

Twenty years later they got together again to talk about the same subject.  At least this time they were more honest.  They walked away from the talks saying “We need to do something, but we don’t really feel like it.”

There are scientists that say that we have a 50% chance of surviving the next ninety years.  I am talking the Human species, not an individual person such as you or me.  A 50% chance that the youngest human beings on the planet now may see it’s slow painful death, and know that we, the generations that came before, couldn’t be bothered to stop it because thinking about it was inconvenient.

This may sound a bit out there.  It may sound a bit psychotic.  It may sound like it was some conspiracy theory that just came out of the blue.  However, scientists have been screaming this at the top of their lungs for almost a century.  People with more funds have made sure that we were too distracted to listen.

Any time people talk about how to fix it, big industry screams “It will destroy the economy.  Jobs will be lost,” while totally ignoring the fact that creating the infrastructure to generate power without fossil fuels will generate millions of jobs, most of which will never go away.  Equipment once installed must be maintained, updated, repaired, and replaced.  The best part is that these are jobs that cannot be sent overseas.

A sea change is coming.  It is only a matter of time.  The human species will at some point see what is coming and change paths.  I just hope it is not too late.

There are corporations that see the change coming and are starting to spread out their resources to non-fossil  fuel based energy sources.  Exxon is investing majorly into green energy.  They are spending a lot on solar and wind.  They are still however spending massive amounts of money on oil and coal.  They are still spending massive amounts of money on politics, protecting their “right” to rape and pillage the environment that they never intend to be held accountable for.

Something needs to change, and it needs to change soon.  People need to acknowledge that there is a problem and that we already have possible solutions.  Further more they need to stop using the EXCUSE that multiple green energy only companies have gone under.  The US Spends hundreds of billions of dollars subsidizing the oil industry, which is so profitable that even without those subsidies they are literally making more than any other industry in the world ever has, but at the same time they throw a few million at green energy and say “Well, I guess they didn’t make it.”

When You Ride The Wind

When you embrace the wind, the wind embraces you.  When you follow the path of the wind, the Mother guides you with a gentle but firm hand.

Those who follow the path of wind do not pray for answer, for the answers are given freely.  Instead they pray first for a new set of answers, gentler easier answers, and then ultimately they pray for the courage to accept what fate has given them.

When you ride the wind is your guide, fire walks beside you, earth holds you up, and water embraces you.  You travel always the middle path, on the edge between joy and fury.

You know the truth, the path opens before you.  You at times pray for it to be otherwise, but in the end, you must walk through the flames.

You must trust the Mother and take that first step.  There are no excuses when you know the truth, seek courage and move forward.