Category Archives: In The News: Words From The Front Lines

A LOOK OUTSIDE THE BACKYARD

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century by James Howard Kunstler

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century by James Howard Kunstler. With much on peak oil, alternative fuels, and building sustainable communities.

Hopefully Standing, Is Sometimes Enough

sheriffclarke1

Today, much to my surprise, I saw Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., of  Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, in my favorite Colorado breakfast spot. I even surprised myself when I took that opportunity to stand up and cross the room to say hello, and shake his hand.

For those that don’t know, Sheriff Clarke has been Sheriff of Milwaukee County since 2002 and is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a staunch proponent of self-defense and Second Amendment rights, and a champion of law enforcement done the right way. In 2013, Clarke was awarded the Sheriff of the Year Award by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, for “demonstrating true leadership and courage…staying true to his oath, true to his badge, and true to the people he has promised to serve and protect.”

He is a Hero to me, with a capital “H”, and I told him just that. Sheriff Clarke and I had never met before, and probably will not meet again. He had no idea who I was, nor had any reason to know. Not, in the end, that it really matters.

But I know a patriot and an ally when I see one. I have listened closely to the words of Sheriff Clarke whenever I could, and have found his message to ring true. My gut tells me that he is a good man, and real. Our meeting, chance and inconsequential as it was, has only reinforced that belief.

My only real intention, if there was one, was uncomplicated, and unplanned. Perhaps I looked quite foolish, standing there, in a somewhat awkward and deferential position, while the rest of the restaurant crowd looked on.

But I wanted him to know that I, for one, knew who he was, and that I appreciated what he stood for, and what he did, everyday,  for me, and for others. As you might imagine, that is usually more difficult than it sounds.

In my opinion, “We The People”, have much more to worry about than the common criminals and predatory intruders of the backyard and home. Those more obvious threats I can handle, for as the saying goes, “I don’t call 911”. In that scenario I fully intend to be the last man standing, and I will call, if and when whatever happens, happens.

What troubles me most is more insidious, and dangerous.  I wish that it was not so glaringly obvious that our constitutional rights and personal liberties are being attacked from every imaginable angle. I wish that I did not feel the need to point out that things seem to be escalating, daily. More than likely, you have already figured that out for yourself.

It is people like Sheriff Clarke that also protect us from the other bad things that slither and slather in the night, whether we know it or not. He is part of that largely unseen group of people standing on the front lines, working to preserve our rights to do what we wish to do in our home, and our backyard. They are the last line of defense before we have to take matters in our own hands. He knows, and we know, that we will do that if we need to, though we all pray that it won’t come to that.

Pray that it does not come to that.

I wish that I had done more than stand and say thank you to Sheriff Clarke today. I wish that I had an opportunity to say more than  I did. But I did stand, and that is much better than not.

Men, and women, like Sheriff Clarke, need our steadfast support. They need to know that we are paying attention to the things done by an over reaching government without our consent, and that our patience is wearing precariously thin. Our quiet, though measured resolve to preserve the best parts of our way of life should never be mistaken for weakness. No doubt he knows that, much more than most.

We have your back Sir, of that you can be sure.

I am proud that I stood, today. I stood, hesitantly, but…hopefully. Hopeful, that things in the world are not going to go the way I am afraid that they cannot help but go. Hopeful, that people like Sheriff Clarke will continue to stand, for me, and for us, and that others will also rise.

One way or the other, I will be counted. Perhaps today, the simple act of standing, and giving thanks, meant something. Perhaps a heartfelt effort from a common man, however small, was just enough. Just enough to help turn the tide of a country heading in the wrong direction. Just enough to help steel the hearts of heroes like Sheriff Clarke, and others, and the heroes in all of us.

I salute you, Sheriff Clark, …again.

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Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

Read More About Sheriff Clarke HERE

Long Live The “Mortgage Lifter”

 

Scanned Photo by David Besa

Challenging economic times call for ever more creative survival strategies. Food costs have exploded across the land, forcing families to squeeze every last penny from their rapidly devaluing dollars. Housing costs are another matter altogether and a home mortgage can be a terrible burden to bear. Just ask anyone who has lost their home through random hardship or the disappearing job. At times it seems a most unsolvable puzzle.

A man named MC (“Radiator Charlie”) Byles of West Virginia had a solution to these type of problems in the early 1940’s. In this case his answer was large and red and proud, and particularly delicious on a slab of steaming homemade bread with salt and mayonnaise.

A homespun gardener and inveterate tinkerer, he wanted to build a better, and bigger tomato. And build it he did. After several years of propagation his tomato plants could produce, mild, meaty, and delicious fruit of immense proportions. People flocked to his door for a look at a 3 pound tomato, and he was happy to accommodate them. Never one to miss an opportunity, he sold his seedling plants for $1 each and paid off his $6,000 home mortgage in a few short years. He named his new creation “the mortgage lifter”, and a backyard gardening legend was born.

That legend lives on today, and for good reason. Imagine paying off your property with the fruits of your backyard labor. Think about what life would be like without a house payment, or a weekly grocery bill large enough to choke a horse. It’s an inspiring and encouraging idea. It gives me hope. It can be done. Marshall Cletis Byles would tell you so, if he could.

I tip my gardening hat to him, and to the unbounded energies of his creativity. I’d say it’s time for many of us to take another look at his game changing idea. Perhaps it’s possible to follow his example and do our very best to lift the grinding weight of the mortgage from our backs. It may be an overly ambitious or unrealistic plan, but like him, I must try.

There are many ways to get there, and perhaps you have already begun or are well on your way. Our version of the “grocery lifter” comes in the form of rabbits and squab. Others beat back their bills with a small flock of geese, which possess the marvelous ability to efficiently convert grass to many pounds of tasty meat. The addition of a few pigs can provide miraculous results for your larder, particularly if you are a fan of pork and pig fat. Pigs, like tomatoes, have often been refered to as mortgage lifters. My neighbor has added a couple of steers to his small pasture and plans to keep one for the freezer and sell the other to cover his costs.

You may have an entirely different idea, but the intention is the same. I think it can be any animal or plant that works for you and fits your particular set of circumstances or comfort level.The important thing is that we all do a little to help ourselves and contribute to a more self-sufficient life. Every bit of food we can produce at home takes power form the corporate controlled food model. It gives us a reason to get up in the morning and keeps us grounded in the small satisfaction of a job well done.

So let’s hear it for the backyard gardener, the keeper of hens, the canner, and the prepper. Give thanks to the independent farmers and agricultural workers everywhere. Let’s revel in the joys of animal husbandry, fish farming, or beekeeping. Put a little bit of the farm and the old-fashioned barnyard back in your everyday life. You won’t regret it.

We can do it. We are doing it. Let’s decentralize, and unplug from the controlling grid. We must put our heads together, and our families and communities will follow. Let’s keep our friends close, and our enemies at bay. It’s the mortgage lifter revolution, because the very definition of mortgage is death and we must throw off the chains of that grim and unforgiving reaper of sorrows.

The spirit of MC Byles, like his seeds and giant heirloom tomatoes, live on. It can be seen in the successes of backyard entrepreneurs across the continents. Sometimes the path to independence and the bounty of a joyful life starts with a simple seed, planted in the welcoming and living earth of a backyard garden.

Long live the mortgage lifters and the backyard heroes, and the unlimited promise of a new day!

———-Do you have a backyard hero? Tell us your story…

 

“There’s nothin’ in the world that I like better than
Bacon, lettuce and home grown tomatoes
Up in the morning and out in the garden
Pick you a ripe one, don’t get a hard ‘un
Plant ’em in the springtime eat ’em in the summer
All winter without ’em’s a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin’ and the diggin’
Every time I go out and pick me a big’un

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What’d life be without home grown tomatoes
There’s only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes

You can go out and eat ’em, that’s for sure
But there’s nothin’ a home grown tomato won’t cure
You can put ’em in a salad, put ’em in a stew
You can make your own, very own tomato juice
You can eat ’em with eggs, you can eat ’em with gravy
You can eat ’em with beans, pinto or navy
Put em on the side, put em on the middle
Home grown tomatoes on a hot cake griddle

If I could change this life I lead
You could call me Johnny Tomato Seed
I know what this country needs
It’s home grown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don’t bury me
In a box in a cold dark cemetery
Out in the garden would be much better
Where I could be pushin’ up home grown tomatoes”

From “Home Grown Tomato”, By Guy Clark, Sugar Hill Records, 1997.

 

 

A Special Christmas Message

For those around us who would like to ban Christmas and the holiday celebrations, and along with it my Right To Bear Arms (not necessarily in that order)…I have only this to say –

 

Infowars christmas meme photo winner 2015, which is a take off on the famous picture of marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, but in this case the flag is replaced by a christmas tree
A New Take on Come and Take It!

 

Any Questions?

Merry Christmas, and to all, a very good year…

See More About This photo and The Infowars Christmas Meme contest in the video below.

 

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

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Holy Waters

A Fine, Wet Miracle. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

December 23, 2013

For some time now I have made a special effort to drink only water that I have collected and hauled from a high country spring, and I have no plans to quit anytime soon. It is some distance from my house and it takes a bit of time out of an otherwise busy day, and it would be so much easier to turn on the municipal tap or crack a cap of bottled water.

Is it worth the trouble, you might ask?

Well, yes it is, as a matter of fact, and in more ways than you might guess, would be my answer…

Drawn deep from a primordial source, this water is wild and whole and tastes of mountain and ancient sunlight. It flows steady and true and offers a host of special properties quite hard to define. It is alive, and it feels good just to be around it. In fact, it is all about how it makes you feel, this living water…

It is not something I wish to take for granted. It is a sobering fact…

 

[article in progress]

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Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Waters From Heaven, and Earth. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

No, Hell No!

Magpie In Flight

Michael Patrick McCarty

Silt, Colorado

February 4, 2012

Our house has a big picture window on the upper level, facing south. I often sit behind it before the sun arrives, with coffee, looking. I like to observe the sun’s first searching rays wake up the mountain peaks above us, each one receiving it’s due as the sun climbs skyward. I study my view, on the lookout for the flick of a mule deer’s ear in the pasture to our west, the prance of a coyote as he heads for the safety of protective cover, or the twitch of a magpie’s tail in the apricot tree in our garden.

For more than a couple of years, in fact an eternity, I have watched in horror as the natural gas drilling rigs arrived and deployed their forces on the brushy slopes and hills across the Colorado River. Ever closer, they dot the landscape of my picture window in increasing numbers, and fill my mind with increasing dread and impending doom. I wish they would go away. I wish I could wave my hand and wish them away. Just go away, I pray.

When we purchased our property, we were told that our area had been explored in the past and it was found that it was not economically feasible to recover what gas deposits existed below our feet. No one then talked of the many impacts of heavy truck traffic, the legalities of natural gas leases, and the harsh realities of the split estate. Then came hydraulic fracturing and our world changed. We did not see it coming. We were not consulted.

Soon, our neighborhood was bustling with gas workers and pick up trucks, and the acrid smell of diesel fuel and angst left hanging on the wind. Our roads and highways became suddenly congested, property values exploded, and great plans were made. The mad fool’s rush was on. We began hearing the cries from the people and landowners in the direct line of fire. This is not right, they said. How can this be, they shouted? How can you hurt us so badly?

I remember sitting behind my window as the first uncontrolled well fire belched huge clouds of rolling black smoke blowing east across my view. I rose and stood transfixed, mortified, slapped out of my chair with a wave of revulsion and outrage with fist in the air. How can this happen, I asked? Who else is watching this? Will anybody be held accountable? To what account?

The economy has crashed along with our housing prices and the nation’s hopes. Another boom, then bust. It has slowed the industry down to some degree, as has some new environmental regulation. Yet, the damage continues. We need the jobs they say. I’m sorry, but we do not have ears for this line of argument.

We hear about well water that smells of noxious chemicals and can be ignited at the tap. We hear of strange skin rashes and people getting sick. Some move to get out-of-the-way. Some abandon their homes and run. And still the rigs come. We were told of an industry insider who claimed that they would frack every square mile in the state of Colorado, and the west. They are sure of it. They are proud of it. Drill baby drill, full speed ahead and damn the torpedos. It’s mom’s apple pie, the colors red, white, and blue, and the american way. Stay out of our way, they say. We have the law on our side.

I want to know why no one asked me how I felt about it, or inquired of my friend the  magpie. I want to know why the gas executives feel it is “O.K.” for me to breathe the bad air from their vent stacks, or to suffer the sight of ravaged hillsides and the land scars that they leave behind. I want someone to look me in the eye and explain to me why I must bear the blinding lights of their rig towers and tall cranes at night, beaming directly into my being and destroying my peace of mind. I want to know why they think it is acceptable for me to worry about my health and the health of my friends and family. Give me a reason why you are prepared to jeopardize the lives of my kids and their kids and the environment that sustains them.

I have a simple answer for them, had they bothered to ask if I would allow them in our neighborhood. The answer is no, hell no! Can I make it any clearer? How dare you to presume otherwise.

I also beg a question of them. How about this one? Just who on god’s green earth do you think you are?

I have a suggestion too. Take your proprietary cocktails of poisons and death and leave. Get out of my backyard, which is vast and indomitable. It does not belong to you. Get out of my community and keep on going until you run right out of the west and drown in the sea.

There is a special place in hell just for you, and your seat at that table is your’s forever.

Take your fracking fluids with you!

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You Might Also See: We’re Fracked, and Other Horrid Tales!

Michael Patrick McCarty

Food Freedom, and Guns Too!

 

The Age of Innocence

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Update August 25, 2013

The opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, continues to grow exponentially with each passing day. On August 22, 2013, a coalition of 276 environmental and consumer organizations delivered a petition to the White House signed by almost 3/4 of a million people calling for an end to fracking on all public lands.

This is a most encouraging turn of events, and far removed from the anxious, lonely days when so many of us heard our small, insignificant voices crying from the wilderness of the public grounds.

Well, not any more.

There is world changing power in numbers, and I have no doubt that the movement will continue to grow as all of the adverse environmental and social effects become more evident.

I remain a steadfast opponent, for any number of reasons. In fact I can go much farther than that.

I have heard of fracking being compared to “a dirty bomb”, for the numerous radioactive isotopes and other contaminated products that result from this insidious and dangerous process.

The human mind has an amazing capacity for denial, and “out of sight – out of mind” seems to be a mantra built deeply into the collective mind.

Never is this more apparent in this liquid, sleeping monster beneath our feet. Why, for example are so many people so easily convinced that the deadly chemicals used in the fracking process are of no concern, because they are injected thousands of feet or more below the surface of the earth? Is it somehow O.K. to poison the ground water there, because we are told to believe that it will never contaminate our drinking water? Is it somehow right to destroy something, simply because it is far, far away?

I will not take the time here to argue about odds and statistics or the general opportunities for contamination. I won’t delve into the secret chemical compositions of the fracking fluids, or the politics of leases or good old boy deals or the public’s right to know. Like many of us, I already know far more about these kind of things than I ever cared to know. I no longer trust, because the public trust was sold away long before we raised our heads.

I prefer to get right to the heart of the matter, which in my humble opinion is quite obvious.

If something does not change, fracking will become the most devastating environmental holocaust ever perpetrated upon the human race. There – I said it.

Now that’s a head spinning mouthful of “no, tell me what you really think”!

It will affect more people than the atmospheric A-bomb tests, Chernobyl, and even yes, Fukushima, which by the way has not even begun yet to lay us low in a pulsating and inescapable cloud of darkness. It’s a horrifying pretense.

I hope I am very, very wrong, About fracking, and all of it. Perhaps I will not live long enough to see its deadly fingers touch the world like I know it could. I am but one individual, but I cry for the children and the poisoned world left for other’s to bear when I am gone.

The hour has grown very, very late, but maybe, just maybe, it is not too late to pull back from the precipice. It’s time to get involved in the anti-fracking campaign, and I don’t mean tomorrow, but today. Tell whoever you can to help stop the madness now.

The public lands belong to us – to everyone, and they must be managed for the generations to come. They are our birthright, won in blood, and the legacy of a free and independent people.

They are not held in trust for others to despoil and poison.

No More Fracking! No, Hell No!