The Life Slant

Trucks, Terrain, Trepidation

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The pickup truck and SUV markets in the U.S. increased by 9.9% between 2019 and 2022, let’s just say 10% for the sake for simplicity. More and more people seem to be wanting buy an SUV or a pickup truck and venture out into the wilderness, at least that’s what the commercials are reflecting. No matter what brand we are looking at, commercials show their owners (mostly fairly young) taking their vehicles out where any sign of human civilization cannot be seen. The new owners crave to be In The Middle Of Nowhere, or, ITMON, a new acronym. 

The truck/SUV owners are “exploring” places where the roads aren’t paved, no speed limit signs, traffic signals. There are also no fueling stations, food, water, toilets, emergency services, doctors, nurses or walk-on clinics. Just buy this truck/SUV and get out there in the Great Outdoors, get yourself ITMON. New Hampshire, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Vermont and Oregon have laws that allow rescue services to bill you if you get yourself in a bad situation out ITMON and need to be rescued.  These bills can run up to $5,000 if the rangers have to do a lot to find you, especially in the middle of the night.

I have seen a fair number of younger people buy 4-wheel drive trucks with the specific purpose of using them to tear up the countryside. It seems these young truck owners are in competition to see who can tear up more of the landscape. We can’t be sure if the truck manufacturers condone such behavior, but their commercials certainly don’t discourage it.

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Burning Cathedrals Alive

Extinction bankers
Raping America’s hardwoods
British Columbia’s softwoods
Australia’s rare gums,
Subsidised
Wood pellets,
Europe’s hulking ovens
Stoking climate catastrophe,
Hustling Great Ending.

The Big Forestry Lie,
Enormous profits
Devastating biological deaths,
Trees are water
Water is life
Life is water!
Grownup forests
Cooperative complex
Communities,
No trees
No life!

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Et tu, Sea Shepherd Global? The Betrayal of Captain Paul Watson Continues…


On September 1, 2022, after Captain Paul Watson’s recent resignation from Sea Shepherd USA and upon mass criticism of abandoning their famous direct action tactics for their new focus on scientific research, Sea Shepherd USA (SSCS) and Sea Shepherd Global jointly released the following statement: “Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and Sea Shepherd Global continue standing shoulder-to-shoulder in defense of marine wildlife around the world.”

And to make matters even more capricious, Watson received notice the next day that he has also been removed from Sea Shepherd Global’s Board of Directors. 

Sea Shepherd Global Director, Alex Cornelissen, who Watson mentored  and provided the opportunity to rise from the ranks of galley cook all the way up to captain on numerous Sea Shepherd campaigns, wrote:

“I am sorry to inform you that based on the conversations that we’ve had, and the legal issues between you and SSCS (USA), we asked you to step down from the board. Since you have not complied with that request, the majority of the Global Board has decided that it is a conflict of interest for you to remain as a Director on the Board of Sea Shepherd Global; and has therefore reached the decision that you are no longer a Director of Sea Shepherd Global.”  

This shocking betrayal has prompted many long-standing Sea Shepherds to wonder if anyone left in this movement has any integrity?

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Setting the Record Straight: Captain Paul Watson’s Departure from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA)

In recent conservation news, Captain Paul Watson, Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society resigned in late July, 2022 from the organization he created and has fiercely led for close to half a century. A lifelong Environmental Activist, Watson founded Sea Shepherd in 1977 and has dedicated his life to the preservation and protection of biodiversity of oceans and marine life.

Throughout the years Sea Shepherd has made global headlines for its innovative tactics to stop illegal poaching and end wildlife slaughter in the world’s oceans. The #1 Animal Planet TV series Whale Wars gained worldwide recognition for the organization’s relentless campaign to end Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean: a victory that earned Watson international eco-celebrity status.

Watson’s recent decision comes after the USA Board of Directors has decided to turn away from the organization’s fundamental mission and motto to defend, conserve, and protect marine wildlife species and habitat through frontline direct action campaigns. Abandoning Watson’s core values, vision and the critical issues he and his crews have been bravely confronting for decades on the high seas, Sea Shepherd USA will shift its focus to elite, donor funded, scientific-based research endeavors.

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War on Crime – We All Are Victims

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So after 40 years of “tough on crime,” it’s come to this. In addition to the military-industrial complex, we have the penal system / financial complex as something to worry about. We now have perverse incentives in place to continue the expansion of incarceration as the answer to all of our societal problems. It makes perfect sense to keep building new facilities whose sole purpose is to enrich the corporate investors, who enable governments to pretend they are addressing their crime problems by locking up miscreants for longer sentences. All in the name of being tough on crime, which politicians love to tout to their voters.

In the October 15 issue of Science Magazine, there’s an outstanding summary of current research and trends in the social sciences regarding incarceration in the US. They show how the past 40 years of tough on crime has ignored secular trends on reduced crime rates (yes, homicide rates for the last couple of years have gone up). Instead, the incarceration rate keeps going up, and we are building a class of people who find it impossible to function in society after they are released from prison.

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