Saturday, December 12, 2015


Helsinki, September 2008
I am finding myself at slightly loose ends, bouncing between the home shop where I've been working on boxes, and school where I've been making toys with the younger kids and getting ready for making 3-string box guitars. In the news, I have been deeply troubled by the rise of Donald Trump and the spewing of hatred and fear that seems central to his candidacy. When a sane person has gone to a candidate's rally, only to stand shoulder to shoulder with the KKK,  it would hopefully make that person question his own judgement. There is a term in psychiatry that is useful in understanding Trump: Megalomania or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

In the meantime, the utility company that we battled over their plan to build an unnecessary extra high voltage power line through our home site has resigned from ALEC, a legislative affairs organization that in addition to writing legislation for Republican legislators has tried to caste doubt upon the validity of science. At this point, the greatest threat to our civilization is not terrorism, but the damage we have done and are doing to our environment by the burning of fossil fuels, so I am hopeful that AEP's termination of relationship with ALEC as being a good sign. On the other hand, AEP in Arkansas is considering burning forest resources as "biomass," claiming forests as "renewable."  That is disgusting and immoral.

Jimmy Carter as president had warned of the dangers of dependency on Middle East oil, and promoted the necessity of building an energy model based on wind and solar,. The Reaganites laughed at his sweater. But we cannot rewind the clock and lay claim to what we abandoned at that time. Americans invented the solar panel and then chose to let others lead the way forward, so that we could have a throw-away society and homes filled with meaningless things.

In 2008, I went to a conference in Finland and I was reading through some of my blog posts from that time. They were rather well written, and so I suggest them as a journey back. You can find those posts here.

Those posts are in part related to the ritual expressions of caring hands, and rebellion against throwawaysim. The coiled rope illustrates the kind of care that one can express through the hands. Why take the time to coil a rope? First, it has a practical value in that a coiled rope is less of a tripping hazard. It also expresses caring and is a reflection of the crew's pride in their boat, their seamanship and in themselves.

In the meantime, a report on charter schools describes them as a gravy train for investors.

Today in the wood shop, I plan to clean and continue making boxes.

Make, fix, create, and insist that others learn likewise.


  1. Anonymous9:11 PM

    Honest Abe must be rolling in his grave seeing the end of GOP ....

  2. I think honest Abe gave up on the GOP when Ike went out of office and we were left with Nixon.