About The Balsamean

Resident of Balsamea, my little forest refuge named for its most abundant tree, in the Adirondack Mountains. See TheBalsamean.com

Orange Coup

[I decided to break the earlier post in two, one for France and the other for the U.S., with significant revisions to the latter, here.]

On November 1, 2020, United States President Donald Trump gave an unscheduled speech at 9 PM (Eastern) via all major media outlets. He reported that Vice President Pence and his seventh National Security Advisor, Barry Goldwater, had received secret evidence that a coalition of Chinese and Irani spies had hacked into the voting machine systems in several major U.S. cities.Trump said, “I have decided, I said to myself, I have to do this, I have declared a national emergency, and called out national police troops and coastal guards in these cities to surround and protect our sacred poles and federal buildings, where I will put all voting machines for inspection and retraining of spyware, malware, and virushuses.  I know a pole invasion when I see one, and I will build a wall around this one, a wall as only I can, and you know I will.  I’m not kidding.”

Later in the speech he said, “Due to the critical nature of this assault on our national shecuritry, my emergency will postpone the election until congressional, military and intelligence authorities and me of course develop a plan or establish a commission to find solutions. We’ll see what happens.”

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Leaf Melt Rumination and True Americans

About 600 words

“Small things amuse small minds.”

Five inch long American beech tree leaf resting at the bottom of a beech-leaf-shaped hole in ice, Balsamea, March 21, 2019

It’s amusing how much a leaf laying under water in an ice pocket can conjure rumination.  It’s not the kind of rumination that comes with an unquiet mind, that sort of out-of-control thinking that spirals endlessly into itself.  These icy leaf ruminations are just notions that sift through the synapses for no reason except that’s what we’re made to do with observations of Nature.  We’re made to be inspired by Nature to see things that small minds miss because they don’t see small things, or don’t pay attention to them.

Too bad more small minds are not amused by more small things.

Small things in Nature, that is.

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Getting Life in the Fresh Air

I suggest that you fellow admirers of nature writing explore the blog, Life in the Fresh Air; An exploration of life, nature, creativity and tai chi, authored by Sarah on the edge of the Lake District National Park in northwest England, including her work in “poems, photos, painting and writing, inspired by nature, landscape, gardening and tai chi.”

In particular, I recommend these two poems, the ones that first caught my attention:

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Disarming Disbelief – Playing for Change

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They push the heart toward believing more about the world than it seems to want believed, something more believable — more real — when they sing about it, something we need them to sing about, to keep the spirit breathing, to strengthen faith and disarm disbelief.

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How I Spent International Women’s Day 2019

It was Friday, March 8, 2019

Like many special days, the essence of this one is for every day.  That’s my excuse for being a week late posting this.

Did you know that President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law in 1963, requiring that women be paid the same as men?  He did!  But it applied only to minimum wage jobs.  Above the minimum wage, women would continue being paid 60% of men’s pay rates.

Today, fifty-six years later, well, keep your chin up, I suppose.  Now it’s way up to 80%!  Just think: at this rate, it will take only until 2075 to get pay equality.

You never know … maybe by then we’ll have a female president, too!  A Latina!  Alright, alright, one century-long step at a time.

There’s an explanation of the pay balance situation at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which begins with this excerpt:

Women are almost half of the workforce. They are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of American families with children. They receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2017, female full-time, year-round workers made only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent.

Women, on average, earn less than men in nearly every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio. In middle-skill occupations, workers in jobs mainly done by women earn only 66 percent of workers in jobs mainly done by men. IWPR’s report on sex and race discrimination in the workplace shows that outright discrimination in pay, hiring, or promotions continues to be a significant feature of working life.

There must be thousands of videos on the web about International Women’s Day.  I looked at a few dozen.  Many were terrific.  It was a good way to contemplate the day’s meaning.

Can you guess any of the five reasons why I chose this eight-minute video to post as a celebration of IWD 2019?  Or would you like to post a comment on what you like about it?

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Endangered Animals Dreaming and Singing for OUR Future

If you liked Les Mis, you’ll love this.  Or absolutely hate it.

I suppose this post is about my faith in art to shape the future.  It is also about my often daunted faith in humanity to gradually see itself more as it really is, not merely as it is in dreams and delusions.  It is also about faith in the good in humanity, the humanity of humanity.  After all, somebody made this art about humanity, this video of listening to animals singing about a broken dream, a shamed belief, a shattered hope.  Somebody saw our place in that process.  Many people do.  So there is hope for us yet.  If you watch this 3-minute flick with an open heart, somebody is you, because we are what we eat.

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