Category Archives: Geography

the interconnectedness of agribusiness and you

Gambling with your health and well-being for the sake of more profitable hamburgers.

One of the main purposes of genetically modifying food plants such as wheat and corn is to make them resistant to a weed-killer called Roundup, which is sprayed on food crops several times in a season ~ including right before harvesting to dry the crop out.  The principal active ingredient of Roundup is a chemical called Glyphosate.  Of many lies told about glyphosate is that it was discovered by Monsanto in 1970.  In fact this nasty chemical was first patented as a descaling and chelating agent for boilers and pipes by the Stauffer Chemical Co. in 1961.  It’s a drain cleaner.

Glyphosate is a poisonous organophosphorus carcinogen.

When I was a boy, learning about farming, I was told about field rotation, (or crop rotation), which is the practice of changing what the farmer grows on any piece of land on a four-year cycle.  This prevents such nasty things as soil erosion, soil exhaustion, soil poisoning, and poor soil fertility ~ all of which lead to poor crop yields.

Modern agribusiness doesn’t practice crop rotation, instead it uses monoculture farming.  This destructive method of land use requires large amounts of artificial fertilisers and pesticides to make it work, and it leads to an unbalanced and unsustainable ecosystem.  Agribusiness in the USA does not work in harmony with the land, instead it beats the land into submission to produce larger and larger amounts of poisonous food and drink.

These are very similar farming practices to those which caused the Great Plains dust bowl of the 1930’s, except modern farming practices are far more intensive and artificial than anything dreamed of by the farmers who helped cause the Great Depression.  Today, agriculture is based on very capital-intensive heavy machinery.

If a farmer in a typical high plains farming community decides to eschew intensive chemical-based monoculture and embrace more ecologically sustainable organic agriculture, he / she is likely to be ostracised by the rest of his / her community.  Peer pressure is a powerful thing and very difficult to ignore.  Most farmers are in denial about the damage they are doing to the soil, the rivers, the sea, and the wider environment.  Not to mention the poisons they are putting into your food and drink.

These chemical fertilisers and pesticides can take decades to completely clear from the environment.  The half-life of glyphosate in soil and water is much longer than Monsanto would like to admit.  Monsanto is a German company.

Some say they would never shop at a farmers market or buy organic produce.  And some people don’t believe that intensive farming practices are killing them.  All I know is that in 1945 about 45% of American food was grown in people’s back yards.

And, by the way, probiotic drinks are very bad for your health. The live bacteria in probiotic drinks originated in cows.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

anything made with grains is bad for you

unless it’s organic, then it’s not so bad

Scenes on Sunday ~ Seascapes

I must go down to the sea again ~ to the lonely sea and the sky

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Santa Monica

The end of the old Route 66

Political Correctness

Political Correctness is merely bullying by another name.

It seems that I’m really not ‘politically correct’ ~ if what you mean by political correctness is fitting in with whatever is perceived as the ‘right’ way to believe, think, speak, and act by whatever minority group holds sway.  For example; I like the film The Damn Busters, about a WWII RAF raid on Germany ~ that even though the word ‘Nigger’ is used 12 times in the movie, and I have no problem with that.  (Nigger was the name of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s black Labrador dog.)

Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organises hatred.  ~  Jacques Barzun.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that all women, (including whatever two letter acronym is appropriate), deserve to be treated with the utmost consideration and respect.  And, that sometimes creates a cognitive dissonance for me when a woman acts like a lot less than a lady; smoking, swearing, getting drunk, using drugs, cheating on her partner, picking up guys in bars, fucking having extra-relationship flings with younger men, and having multiple sexual partners.  But then, who said the world has to be perfect?

If the first words out of your mouth are to cry ‘political correctness!’, chances are very, very high that you are in fact part of the problem.  ~  N. K. Jemisin.

I’m mentioning all this because of a couple of things I saw on television.

Firstly, I’ve been enjoying re-watching some old Carry On Films.  These bawdy British movies are so incredibly politically incorrect it’s almost surreal.  They feature very attractive, very well endowed young women, often portrayed as dumb blondes, often played by the legendary, and very funny, Barbara Windsor.

Secondly, and very seriously, I caught an episode of a US comedy / crime / drama series I quite like.  The dramatic hook in this episode was that there was a person of interest, and nobody in the police department could figure out what this guy was saying, or which obscure Eastern European country he came from.

It turned out that this guy was an Englishman, a Geordie ~ a person born in the North East near the River Tyne.  Some would say that I’m a Geordie, although technically I’m more of a Mackem.

Having said that, even I couldn’t understand a fucking damn word this particular character uttered.  Whatever accent he thought he was imitating it certainly wasn’t Geordie.

No American actor can imitate any British accent whatsoever, so why the fuck hell did the producer of this show go down the road of totally pissing off every English person born North of the Watford Gap?  Ignorance and Stupidity.

There is no way the same producer would have made the same kind of mistake with any American minority, especially someone from the Gay, Lesbian, Transsexual, (whatever two letter acronym is appropriate), community.  If he had he would have been sacked, pilloried, and remorselessly attacked.

But then, who gives a fuck about white Englishmen like me?  (And by the way, I am NOT British, I’m English.)

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

TV can’t make mistakes when portraying lesbian BDSM

but it’s OK to make fun of Geordies

 

Solitary Tourist

Alone again ~ naturally.

At half-past-eight this morning I’m heading off on an all Island Grand Tour ~ although how much of 326 sq mile Lanzerote one can see in one day I’m not certain.

What’s just as interesting is why I’ve chosen to do this while nobody else in my little collection of vacationers wanted to take this tour.  It seems that I still have this odd desire to be on my own, doing my own thing, without ever wanting to ‘fit in’ with a group.  As it goes, I really don’t like being in a group.

I never ‘join’ groups, clubs, associations, or societies.  In fact, a lot of the time I live outside of day-to-day, ordinary ‘society’.  Most people both bore and irritate me ~ those people who blog here on WordPress are notable exceptions.  Perhaps that withdrawal from society is my loss, but I think I’m too late to change myself now.

It’s true that my lifestyle makes it harder to meet women…..

Oddly enough, the women in my little group of fellow holidaymakers seem to recognise that, and have suggested that I join a dating site ~ Match.com.  They were only half-joking.

Maybe I’ll think about that while I’m sitting on the coach during this Island Tour.  In-between taking lots of pictures.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.com

Lanzerote is pretty

Scenes on Sunday ~ Albuquerque

Bugs Bunny should have taken a left turn in Albuquerque.

This was the Best B & B Ever

Might be the Old Town

Generic Albuquerque Store

A bar, I think

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

This has to be the coolest locomotive ever,

and it’s in Albuquerque.

Scenes on Sunday ~ the rocks and the water

if it wasn’t for the rocks, the water would have no music

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Newport Beach, Orange County, California

Santa Fe Trail

‘the trail to Santa Fe means eradicating the Kiowa and the Comanche’

shot from the car on the Road to Santa Fe

Went to Santa Fe in New Mexico ~ change scene to Classic Western movie starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Ronald Reagan as General George Armstrong Custer.  And nope, it wasn’t anything like that at all.

For a start it was snowing, and that made it more like a Clint Eastwood nihilistic spaghetti western.  Then we had lunch in the coolest New Mexico menu restaurant, which was full of sexy chi-chi women.  And after that I took in the Georgia O’Keeffe art museum, which was all about weird multi-million dollar paintings.

O’Keeffe’s work is ostensibly of flowers, but trust me, most of her paintings spoke to me of abstract images of female genitalia.  Weird.

The girl riding shotgun and I wandered around a few art galleries too.  Either Santa Fe NM is a seriously wealthy town, or seriously wealthy people go there to buy art.

All in all I like Santa Fe, even if it is more Clint Eastwood and Georgia O’Keeffe than Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.  An almost accidental little road trip, with an accidentally great result.

Just another confirmation that I’m suddenly living the good life.

Some say that great art is not meant to be understood.  And that what you see in a painting is merely a reflection of your own subconscious mind.  All I know is that flowers really are sexual organs.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Monochrome Monday ~ Big Bear

The goal of life is to make your heart beat as one with the Cosmos.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Big Bear is a cool place to spend a long weekend

in the summer

no way I’m going up there at this time of year

I hate snow

Scenes on Sunday ~ California Beaches

If you like sand dunes and salty air, dream of me and I’ll be there.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

I wish they could all be California Girls Beaches

 

If you can’t be happy in California, you can’t be happy anywhere

Back to Square One

You can’t do the job if you haven’t got the proper tools.

Yesterday I was very tempted to book a trip to Agadir in Morocco, even though I’ve just returned to England after my recent vacation on Crete.  (You would like Crete.)

The Moroccan adventure would have been for a week, departing England on October 11th.  The whole deal would have cost me less than it’s costing me to fly the Atlantic for my trip to New Mexico in early November.  And, that upcoming trip is one reason I’ve decided not to take the Road to Morocco just now ~ I would probably have spent my whole time in Morocco thinking about going to New Mexico.

That, and the main reason for travelling right now is me not wanting to be here on my own, me escaping from what’s going on inside my own head, not wanting to face the fact that I’m the world’s biggest screw-up, me running away…..

I don’t think I’ve shared that each day I pray to my Goddess, and that I write these prayers on slips of paper about the size of a personal cheque, (check).  I save these prayers, and each day I take an old prayer from the found vase I keep them in, and contemplate what I was saying in the past.

Today, the old prayer is from December 1st 2015; …..please help me to learn a way to stop finding the bad things in Life.

That is just as appropriate right now as it was then.  I am still right back at square one.

In my life there has been heartache and pain.  For most of my life I suffered from undiagnosed and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder ~ a seriously dangerous mental illness.  For the past few years I have been striving diligently to be a ‘better man’.  And, it would seem that I haven’t had that much success.

Here’s the thing, no matter how hard you try to achieve something, no matter what you do, you cannot succeed if you don’t have the right tools for the job.

Today I have come to realise that I don’t have the right tools to achieve enough significant personality changes to become the better man, the superior man.

And then Serendipity kicks in. This New Mexico retreat I am attending in November has the strapline From Chaos to Coherence ~ The Power To Thrive In Life Extremes.  If you know anything at all about BPD, you will know that I go to extremes, but perhaps this retreat will put some more and better tools in my psychological toolbox.

Some say that all prayers are answered, but sometimes the answer is ‘no’.  And, that if the only tool you have is a hammer then you see every problem as a nail.  All I know is that if you’re fighting with the alligators, it’s difficult to remember that you’re supposed to be draining the swamp.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Right now the alligators are winning,

so fuck the swamp.

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