Category Archives: Blog

Iran and the end of American Empire

Normally I would be out on some trail looking for some fish but today is different. Like a bad flashback with the same characters, the drums of war once again are beating on the not too distant horizon. This time, Iran for no apparent reason, the fever dream of present day conquistadors whose twisted logic revolves around controlling terrain thru puppet regimes the world over. Last time they said cakewalk and it devolved into a region wrecking catastrophe, this time will be very different and will end the Untied States as we know it. As the faux “resistance” wasted their breath on spy novel level conspiracy theories involving Russians, Pee Pee tapes, and facebook adds. War mongererers secured the reins of the national security state and have set the table for what might be about to come.  How this goes down:

look how close they put their country to our military bases!


Straight of Hormuz January 2020:

After an embarrassing attempt to overthrow Venezuala’s leader, neocons Mike Pompeo and John Bolton seek redemption. A dolt in the office of presidency is the perfect foil, polling numbers indicate Trump needs a war to win reelection.  After a buildup of more than 100, 000 troops and multiple carrier groups the fuse needed to be lit. This time around there would be no need for a false narrative about weapons of mass destruction, only an incident and that is exactly what would happen. Proxies of some sort launch attacks on oil tankers and in a Gulf of Tonkinesque fake act of aggression, which we seize on it to launch a punishing round of airstrikes. Again, the delusional “thinkers” tucked safely away in think tanks assure everyone that the regime will topple, instead Iran unites. Iran is not like Iraq, it is a Shiite state united under one wing of Islam rather than a cobbled together state with two waring factions like Sadam tried to govern. Iraq was hobbled after 3 decades of war and sanctions, Iran is not. Iran’s strong and loyal military will fight with conventional and guerilla tactics. They will utilize fanatical support married up with state of the art technology on ground much more conducive to defense. Their population is twice as large, motivated, and inspired to defend. None of these warning signs were heeded as the hubris of fat white men over ride logic, the profit of oil companies and arms manufacturers override any Geneva conventions,. Someone else’s kids will die anyways. Late stage capitalism has turned us into an oil company with an army and it is time to put it to use.

unleash the dogs of war

Iran’s military, having a decade to plan their defense already had their assets spread too widely for air attacks to have much effect, The macabre photos of civilian deaths from our unprovoked attack unites the country and the world against us. Warfare breaks out globally as Iranian proxies attack American interests from Africa to Asia. Wisely, our naval commanders place aircraft strike groups away from the coast as they know they are sitting ducks  to the revolutionaries guards surface to ship missiles. It does not work as Iran sends a flotilla of small boats south and enough get thru. A volley of cheap Chinese mass produced cruise missiles overwhelms our Aegis defense system and the final missiles in this volley are the sunburn missiles. Specifically engineered to beat our defenses they score kill shot after kill shot, sinking an aircraft carrier and multiple support vessels. Ten thousand sailors are killed in this debacle and the dogs of war are unleashed. An attempted pincer move by our best ground forces slows to a crawl on the way to Tehran, met by a highway of IED’s and armor piercing handheld missiles. Air support is limited due to innumerable surface to air missiles of all varieties. After two decades of war the fatigued troops, public, and politicians stand dumbfounded on what the last week has wrought. 

let me see that map, where are we going next?

As with all wars, the unintended consequences are far reaching . Outraged over our never ending imperial aggression the region catches fire. Jordans king Abdullah is overthrown, Civil war breaks out in Somalia, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt. Israel stands alone as wave after wave of suicide bombers attack on all fronts and shortly they begin nuking the borderlands. Our dizzying array of military bases all come under attack. Resupply and survival becomes difficult as an already stretched military begins to deal with two dozen Dien Bien Phu’s at once. Tens of millions of refugees flee, eclipsing the current refugee crisis by 20 fold, turning Europe into a desperate continent.  Saudi Arabia is beheading people as fast as they can round them up, Turkey and Syria go to war. Famine breaks out. Our allies condemn us and cut off all economic and military support and within weeks our economy is in shambles. Shiite and Sunni unite for the first time ever, conventional and guerilla war breaks out from Pakistan to Nigeria. An orgy of death commences. Hubris takes over as the architects of this debacle try to save face, tactical nukes are unleashed in a last desperate attempt to turn the tides. Resupply and reinforcement’s, are impossible and our attempted regime change in Tehran grinds to a complete halt. Our overstretched ground troops face a Stalingradesque debacle in the sands of the middle east. The logical end to a 3 decades long delusion. 

Fucking guy should be in prison

The end of an imperial power commences. Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex, as with all capitalistic enterprises this industry is wed to a perpetual growth paradigm. When that growth can only come thru war this is the end result. China collapses our currency, petro states cut off our supply, wall street collapses as we quickly default on all our debt. The century of American dominance is over. NATO is defunct as Europe turns into a massive refugee camp. Central America, South America, and China rise for avoiding conflict. This all occurs as the general public is infotained by conspiracy theory and waste their energy being outraged over bathrooms. An academic and media sector that is delinquent in their duty to teach and inform. A political class that is corrupted, ignorant, and entitled. An economic system that is oligarchical in nature and immoral. Democrats long ago gave up being anti war, it all culminated with Hillary Clinton launching multiple regime change wars of her own from her seat as secretary of State and Barack Obama droning wedding parties with wreckless abandon.  The United Sates breaks apart in a flurry of civil unrest as mercenary armies skirmish over resources. Are we going to resist this now? Where is the media? Where is the anti war movement?

General Eisenhower’s prescient warning comes to fruition

Our media gearing up for high ratings as the wargasm commences: https://www.businessinsider.com/us-military-iran-firepower-show-of-force-info-pictures-details-2019-5

Trumps war cabinet, Bolton and Pompeo are sick men: https://theintercept.com/2018/03/23/heres-john-bolton-promising-regime-change-iran-end-2018/


The David to our goliath, Iran’s sunburn missile: https://rense.com/general59/theSunburniransawesome.htm

Getting real about Pebble Mine

Getting real about Pebble Mine

What it is and what it represents

 

giphy

 

Since the first moment Europeans stepped ashore on what they humorously called the “new world” an unrelenting march westward has continued unabated. This thirst has left the original wilderness and its inhabitants all but crushed beneath the sole of our war boot. A toxic mix of Manifest Destiny married up to the genetically flawed imperative to tame the wilderness, fueled by religious zealotry and racism. Super charged by the cult-like necessity to extract profit from the land and its resources at any cost. Which brings us to the last frontier, Alaska and Pebble Mine.

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It’s well past time to call this what it is, colonization of native lands and the wholesale destrucion of our wilderness for this flawed ethos. Ink has been spilled about the last vestiges of native subsistence culture, a sustainable commercial fishery, and a thriving tourist industry which connects people to this very landscape. Opposition to the mine uses these talking points as if it matters to the proponents of this criminal enterprise. What needs to be recognized are that these forces unstated goal is the destruction of all of the above. All this destruction is in service of an economic system that places value on profit and nothing else. They want corporate fish farms, not wild salmon. They want workers for their mine, not subsistence villages. They want the wilderness monetized and tamed, not revered.

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Courts and petitions, EIS documents, stickers and facebook pages, lobbyists collecting salaries and non profits working deep within this flawed system, all nothing more than formalities. From the second the scope of the deposit was understood the clock began ticking. The inevitable pillaging might be stalled, but the profiteers will not rest until their bonuses are paid and whatever multinational owns the rights to our land meet their stockholders demands. Profit.  Like the unseen gravitational pull of a much larger stellar body, Bristol Bay will be sucked into this matrix and brought to heel. This unseen force at play in our culture for millenia is stronger than ever. A sickening greedlust alive and well, existing to make money and crush any remnant connection to the wild in service of the wholesale industrialization of every aspect of our lives. Our fish will come from chemical filled pens, salmon will face the same fate as the herds of buffalo. Wilderness experiences turned into canned for profit tourist trips to whatever last remaining slices of terrain their industries deem useless.

Sockeye Salmon #7

Like a snake coiled waiting for the kill, mine proponents have waited this one out until the ground was ideal to strike. That time has come. Opponents naively hoped that the very system which shepherds the inevitable would come to its senses. As if the economic laws and cultural norms which dictate all would, for the first time in history, do something different. Pebble is nothing short of the largest land use decision we have faced in decades. Pebble is an issue encompassing intense social justice and global environmental concerns and threatens a functioning, billion dollar a year commercial fishery providing a vital source of healthy renewable food. Against that backdrop it has somehow been turned into a kitschy cause for elitist flyfisherman and their barely registering non profits.  Our side is fatigued and bored while they gather momentum, the specter of billions of dollars in profit energizing their efforts. A legacy project to insure multi generational wealth for its owners, shareholders, and children of privilege.  Another nail sunk into the coffin of wilderness.  Industries death-march continuing unabated in service of a flawed economic system. All to further the goal of a culture bereft of any connection to the natural world. We are going to need to find our second wind now, improve our strategy and outreach, find allies, and for the first time get on a war footing because this abstraction is steamrolling towards reality. I will do what I can and I hope you all will join me.

pebble mine

There, I done fixed er’ right on up! It’s well past time, this should have been fought for when Obama was in office.

COOL VIDEO TIME! https://vimeo.com/330346667

NRDC ACTION PAGE: https://on.nrdc.org/2DbJK9u

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yellowstone River fish kill, Global Warming, and the path forward.

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Ever since dead whitefish began sloshing up on the shores of the mighty Yellowstone River, a lot of ink has been spilled over the status of this most iconic of rivers.  To the untrained eye, Paradise Valley and this waterway appear to embody everything that draws people to our rivers. Sprawling views in every direction of a relatively untouched land, clear and cold water teeming with wild trout, and a river corridor supporting all sorts of fauna. When one lifts the rosy glasses a very different picture begins to emerge.

 

903 Emigrant Peak, the Audacious and Silly plan to build a mine behind this mountain has raised hackles

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Yellowstone River

This brawling river flows natural and protected out of Yellowstone Lake, undammed and wild as it tumbles over one of our most iconic falls then rages through The Grand and  The Black Canyons of the Yellowstone. As it exits the Park it runs headlong into humanity.  In Gardner, these flows are immediately augmented by an ever increasing amount of treated sewage being directly discharged. Soon after, head gates and canals begin diverting small and large quantities of its precious flow. Cold water tributaries flowing from the Absorakees and Gallatin Range are completely disconnected, being diverted to the farm fields nearby. This critical source of cold water to the heart of the valley is all but lost. What should be a high desert valley turns green for most the summer, golf courses and hay fields suck much of the life force. Water quality quickly begins to diminish as silt, nitrogen, phosphorous, and temperature regimes begin to change. Now, I am not a hydrologist, biologist, or any other sort of ist but I have eyes and see the water turning yellower, warmer, and slower. Governor Bullock said he would follow the science, that science leads to one place, the head gate at every irrigation canal.

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Above humanity, the mighty Yellowstone flows clear and cold through the Black Canyon

All this is exacerbated by extensive levying and an ever increasing demand on groundwater. The rip rap that often hides the largest of fish also acts to disconnect the very riparian areas that all flora and fauna rely upon.  Back Channels so critical to spawning are left dry in perpetuity, the very hydrology changes as the flow is hemmed in between these rock walls.  This acts to wash gravel downstream, where the vast majority of bugs would survive; left in its place is larger substrate not suitable for much other than using as an anchor. Critical spring creeks, Armstrongs and Depuy’s, are actually meant to be side channels and flushed in high water years.  Instead they are levied off behind no trespassing signs, privatized for the few and are slowly silted in, which, to a degree, deprives the main stem of this vital cold water infusion. The floods of ’97 actually took this ground back, back hoes quickly repaired the “damage.”  Every well and groundwater fed center pivot system is lowering the water table.  Along the whole river, springs large and small discharge their cold water into the bottom of the river.  This hydrology is being lost with every gallon of water being taken.  This water is critical to keep the river cold in summer and where these fish lay to over winter. The AG industry is a resource extraction industry, no different than the oil industry or a mining firm. What they extract is our water, and just like those other industries, they pay little or nothing for it, abuse this public resource for personal gain, and when shit goes bad, the public pays the price and the taxpayer picks up the bill, always.

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Headgates dot every main stem and tributary in Montana,

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Where are we?  According to the best available science, the virus that caused the fish kill has existed in the waterway for years, last summer’s low flows and high temps finally engaged it to fish kill levels. Save the Yellowstone?  Much public outcry has been expended on a proposed mine, articles about global warming dot the landscape.  While these are huge and important issues there is much more.  Marketing campaigns have been launched and donations accepted as people rally against the proposed mine, meanwhile the river dies a death by a thousand cuts.  Industrial level commercialization of the resource is furthering the decline as hundreds of guided trips a day pound away at the fish with not so much as a peep about regulating numbers. This is of course exacerbated by the fact global warming and water diversions are hammering other popular rivers.  Hoot owl restrictions begin earlier and last longer, the Yellowstone ends up taking the brunt, as people flock to the last open stretch of water.

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 In the western water wars, above is our share, below is theirs904

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As Montana’s economy evolves away from resource extraction to tourism, these new industries must unite to protect, improve, and preserve the resources they make money off of.  A holistic approach to the greater needs to be implemented.  This all starts with minimum in stream flow legislation.  Without that everything else is pointless. Single issues like a mine, or small projects like paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a few CFS from a rancher, are simply not seeing the forest through the trees. Whatever improvements are being made with habitat or flows are nowhere near keeping pace with global warming and increased residential and commercial water use.  The pressures on these ecosystems are relentless, occurring every hour of every day, and require valley wide rehabilitation.  What is true on the Yellowstone is true on every river.

912  Yellowstone at full bank, cottonwood bottoms rely on this sort of seasonal flooding, Much of this dies a slow death behind levies.

907  If this kind of theft occurred at a convenience store, rest assured the perpetrator would not be driving around in a brand new f 350……

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This is where I would usually insert a link to relevant groups in regards to minimum stream flow legislation but there seems to be none.  Instead we hear platitudes about “resiliency,”  neo liberal schemes with fancy names like “mitigation banks,” laughably ineffective voluntary drought irrigation cutbacks,  and tears shed over “stakeholders.”  These “stakeholders” being the very demographic who deny global warming are in turn blaming it for the lack of water, their rather large straw sucking the precious flow for their own fiscal gain. It may come as breaking news, but we are all stakeholders and this is clearly outlined in our state’s constitution. As the picture of the true costs of global warming on our waterways comes into focus,  the reality is, if we are to preserve our cold water fisheries, minimum stream flow legislation is our only course of action. Saying it cant be done is weak tea. So, I give to you one brave man who has stood for what is right for decades, as to why this article is titled the way it is, well you can connect the dots there:

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/for-montana-s-water-rights-a-radical-and-likely-doomed/article_41e597d6-e4ce-5a09-9b0c-da06b6463b6a.html

Our past times, many of our professions, and indeed our existance are inherently connected to the environment. Support businesses and manufacturers who hold these values. Patagonia is fearlessly leading the charge, Orvis is quietly a force for good, REI, Black Diamond and many others. Non Profits like the Center for Biological diversity, Earth Justice, the Wild Fish Conservancy, the Upper Missouri waterkeepers, MEIC, and alliance for the Wild Rockies are who to support and more importantly where you want your money to go. Do your research on this, many small advocacy groups do great things well many larger well known organizations sold out decades ago.

There is another way of ranching, good land stewards do this voluntarily, unfortunately they are in the minority. Minimum stream flow legislation is the only way to force their hand on a large scale. It is not an either or scenario:

http://blog.nature.org/science/2017/05/01/recovery-ranching-gone-right/

 

blog 2!

How Bad can it really be?  These three rivers join to form the Jefferson. This was toted as a collaborative success.  The lower Jefferson died an ugly death last summer.  The fish kill on it was not witnessed because nobody was on it to see.  It peaked at over 75 degrees, it looked like a stagnant series of puddles, ranchers were busily digging in the riverbed with their backhoes creating coffer dams to form pools and siphon the last of the water.  20 cfs at the bottom, meanwhile the three rivers that make this river were gushing at nearly 900 cfs.  Is 22 cfs a fair allotment?

sf final!