Gone, Gone, Like the Snows of Yesteryear

“The ugly fallout from the American Dream has been coming down on us at a pretty consistent rate since Sitting Bull’s time — and the only real difference now […] is that we seem to be on the verge of ratifying the fallout and forgetting the Dream itself.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72

dogs

Turn around, puppy, she’s standing right there.

If you’re lucky in 2016, maybe you’re better off than your parents or grandparents. Maybe you got a better education, or are able to own a home. Maybe you’ve got a pension (ha, Google it). Maybe you’re simply able to negotiate a stroll without being harassed, beaten, tazed, or straight up shot dead. And maybe your own kids will be better off than you are. That’s what most parents hope for, anyway, but look at the rising costs and disappearing opportunity for nearly everything, and that hope might feel increasingly desperate.

Those of us lucky enough to be U.S. citizens have a heritage that’s the envy of the world. Millions of acres of wild land and clean water are bequeathed to all of us as a happy accident of birth, or the fortunate benefit of negotiating a long and costly immigration process. And in the absence of property or money or opportunity, we can at least pass this inheritance along to our kids, as long as we’re vigilant and the well isn’t poisoned.

And, you know, if it isn’t stolen by greedheads like the American Lands Council and their pet politicians, who are attempting to force the divestiture of our public land and water to the states, where they can be, or in some cases must be sold off to private interests who can keep your kids’ dirty feet from soiling it ever again.

Screw that. Start here, and here, but don’t stop there. Raise hell. Don’t be forced to tell the kids that you’re sorry, but you just didn’t do enough. It’s easy to type words about heritage and the home of the brave, but that doesn’t amount to a hell of a lot when they’re willing to set the dogs on you.

Florida is a burning trash heap, but it doesn’t have to be

It should come as no great shock to anyone that the state of Florida, is well, a state of disgrace. We’re not just talking about my good buddy Florida Man lobbing alligators through drive-thrus, or leaving his kids in the care of strippers at Thee Brass Flamingo while he goes on a meth binge; rather, we’re talking about the governance, or rather, malign negligence of the state government when it comes to enforcing, or even just giving more than a passing glance to critical issues like water quality.

The three main pillars of the Florida economy are agriculture, tourism and real estate development. Basically, 2/3rds of the state economy depends on attracting people to the state temporarily, and then convincing them to stay. What’s been going on lately is that entrenched agriculture interests, like Big Sugar and the muck farms around Lake Okeechobee, have been royally fucking the Florida Coast. And by royally fucking the coast, Big Ag is not doing the other two pillars any favors. Normally, issues like water quality should stand on their own, but being Florida, you’ve got to screw with the Mouse and the Developers to get any attention.

The Lake is basically an agricultural sewage system now, and due to decisions made, christ, like 75 years ago by the Army Corps of Engineers, the outflow from the Lake doesn’t pass through the somewhat cleansing system of the Glades. Giant canals are dumping fertilizer and runoff contaminated water directly into rivers and estuaries, causing algae blooms, fish kills, and making life in those areas miserable. Peruse social media and images of algae rafts and fish carcass choked waterways are more common than they ever should be.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and there’s something you can do to help. Go to http://gladesdeclaration.org/ and sign the petition. We’re joining up together to help get state funds to restore natural water flows out of Okeechobee through the Everglades.

Helping Florida out, well, it helps all of us out.

 

Free the Collect!

“On the lower end, two fair-sized streams drained the interior. One rose from a series of springs that poured forth from hillocks around today’s 20th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Saponickan band living there called it Ishpetenga. It flowed southwest into the Hudson near the mouth of another trout stream. This one had its origins in a deep, fair-sized pond where Worth and Centre streets now cross. It flowed northwesterly, almost in a straight line, and became the course for today’s Canal Street. The pond was known as The Collect. The Dutch name for this trout pond was derived from one of its beaches, which they which they called Kalk Hoek – Chalk Point or Chalk Hook. It was given the name because the early Dutch settlers came here to collect the shells of freshwater mussels, which were ground and added to the mortar used to build their homes. When the English took over management of Manhattan in 1664 they assumed many of the Dutch words already in use for geographic features. Their inelegant pronunciation of Dutch turned the monosyllabic word “Kalk” (or “Chalk”) into the dissylable “Kal-leck”- hence, “Collect.” The pond’s name had nothing to do with collecting water in the area, as some writers have suggested, although it did have two small feeder streams. For decades, in the 1600s and 1700s, it was the source of drinking water for all of lower Manhattan’s residents. The Collect and its associated streams contained brook trout as late as 1740.”

– from Brook Trout by Nick Karas

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…and a shovel and a fly rod!

Hey Earl, What is Best in Life?

Big props for laughs to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer today. Like in many other states, Montana’s tea-drunk conservo-muppets have been flailing around introducing tough-guy bills like SB-112 – “An Act Providing that a Hand-Thrown Spear Must be Considered a Lawful Means of Hunting.” AW YEAH OOGA BOOGA!

This morning on the radio Governor Schweitzer said that he’ll use an “amendatory veto” on it, which will send it back to the Montana State Houses with the provision that spear hunting must only be performed while wearing a small blaze orange loincloth (with maximum size requirements, you know, for the ladies), and nothing else. The Governor seemed anxious to put this matter behind him so that he could move on to another of their stack of Frodo-fantasy bills about seceding from the United States or something. Anyway, KILLIN STUFF CONAN-STYLE IN MONTANA!

montanaconan

TO CROSH YOU BEER CANZ, SEE DEM DRIVEN BEFOAH YOU, AND LOOGA DIS HOT CHICK!

AMFF: Buster To The Rescue

So it seems that the American Museum of Fly Fishing has found itself in a public relations pickle. Invited Cheney to speak and everything went KABLOOM, and then the Dick didn’t even have the courtesy to turn them down. Hoisted with their own Boga. Bad days. Crazy days.

But jeez, it’s a gnurly little museum and we’d hate to see it consigned to the ever-filling dustbin of Things That Should Be Cool But…you know? So to offer a helpful hand the mad brains at Buster Labs (boiler room, left past the incinerator, put lotion in basket, ask for Epol) have schemed up a way for the AMFF to gracefully put down the Dick and back away with their reputations intact…by making them a donation they can’t refuse. And this way, they get a dinner speaker AND an exhibit in one neat package. Brilliant, no? AMFF, we give you

The Hideous Jabbering Head of Theodore Gordon

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Peanuts hyah!

Hello! The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning! Hello! Thank you! The angling fever is a very real disease and can only be cured by the application of cold water and shooting your lawyer friend in the face! Hello! It is the constant – or inconstant – change, the infinite variety in fly-fishing that binds us fast, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy! I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of a sport that is never the same on any two days of the year. Thank You! Hello!

It, uh, just sorta goes on like that. Epol can certainly probably get that fixed up by the fall, at least long enough to deliver a speech. Then the AMFF can just put it under glass and presto, instant tourist attraction! Just imagine all the big fat Orvis customers students of our noble pursuit arriving to have a word with the reanimated jabbering head of the father of American dry fly fishing! They’ll have to hold another fundraiser just to afford all the new parking they’ll need!

Here’s the good and bad thing, though…to be perfectly honest, it’s a little bit unstable, and the quicker they get it under glass the better (and keep the fluids topped off). Which is why they really have no choice but to cancel the Dick. Really, what’ll it be, a once-in-a-lifetime procurement and a historic speech by a luminary of the sport and a marvel of mad science, or Dick Friggin Cheney?

That’s right.

Anyway, are we awesome or what? Buster is confident that we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators by the AMFF. And they are welcome.

Bush Admin Attempts a Parting Upper-Decker

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Awwww MAN!

Apparently not content with trashing the kid’s room and putting out their Kools on the floor, the Bush administration is shooting for a last-minute rogering of the Clean Air Act in the form of a new EPA rule weakening pollution regulations for power plants, allowing them to increase emissions without adding controls.

And as a special bonus, they’re also “expected to decide in November on another eleventh-hour rule that would allow more power plants to be built near national parks and wilderness areas.”

Whatever happened to just pardoning a few crooks?

Internet Flotsam

 

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Purity – To Seas!

Interesting example of Soviet propaganda poster art from the 70’s. Quite different than the primary colors and crazy detailing usually seen in these things. Maybe a bit of hippietude aesthetic crept under the curtain? They look like humpies to my untrained eye, with some PNW-flava totemic stylization.

Translation: Purity – To Seas! – a departure from the expected pro-party sentiments. Why are they flying? Could it have something to do with the alarming orange water? Maybe Brezhnev had a secret plan to use trippy giant salmon-shaped airships to invade Berkeley? Probably wouldn’t have caused much of a fuss.