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In the middle of so much 89 days after Trump’s election, in the middle of escalating nuclear war threats from North Korea, from China explaining to Trump what China’s relationship to North Korea may be, from a half a million marching women wearing pussy hats, from illegal executive orders U.S. courts scoffed at and dismissed, from in between the lines of Trump’s taxes he won’t show, from Trump’s 18th green 18 times since Jan. 1st 2017 at the cost of  approx.  $3,470,000 in cold hard tax payer’s cash, from the NYC penthouse where Trump’s wife hides from him for a cool million of tax money per month, it’s all so easy to see why American’s were so upset when it came to President Obama.

President Obama was successful, strategic, effective, straight forward, correct, a visionary the world respected and Black. What could be worse?

Look closely and you’ll see that Obama’s black.

Recently, it was reported that statistics show the number one issue voters considered when voting for Trump was his lack of blackness*..Here’s some true alternative and factual facts:

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/04/17/racism-motivated-trump-voters-more-than-authoritarianism-or-income-inequality/?utm_term=.f7b42116e0b7

“The ANES has been conducted since 1948…..This incredibly rich, publicly funded data source allows us to put elections into historical perspective, examining how much each factor affected the vote in 2016 compared with other recent elections.”

AND…

“Since 1988, we’ve never seen such a clear correspondence between vote choice and racial perceptions.”

AND…

“Racial attitudes made a bigger difference in electing Trump than authoritarianism.”

Trump’s a visionary  in Superman’s Bizarro World. He’s all about clean coal, can’t wait for Melania to take a bath in it, and three major International Oil companies showed their support of this idea by selling all of their oil rich shale holdings in Canada back to that country just this week! It’s simple: the entire world, including oil companies, are going to Solar and renewable energy so Trump is backing never-gonna-happen clean coal.

In the mixed-up world of I-can-only-tell-a-lie good ol’ honest Abe cheating at golf **Trump finds the more BS he spews and bombs he orders to drop the better his supporters like him!

(Psst…..I find the caption a bit crass.)

Actually Trump is up to 18 golfing outings by day 89 of his Presidency…nice….

But, to be clear, to take the Trump high road, to not talk disparagingly about this President, and I refuse to repeat those who call him a loser of a nit-wit man, let’s take a hard look at all those issues President Obama had—he’s BLACK, BTW—that rushed this Trump guy, one others have called a grabbing, flim-flam, look at me go(if only), nut-case jerk of a man, into the Presidency.

Here’s a few dozen cold, hard facts that should whip up Trump supporters who suffered so much under that black-guy, how dare he, President Obama from Mars.

This is from Seth Meyers:

“Since Trump took office, many of his supporters have been saying “We suffered for 8 years under Obama; now it’s your turn”. In the immortal words of late night host Seth Meyers, I think it’s time for “A Closer Look” at that statement…
So let me ask:
Why have you suffered so?
Gays and Lesbians can now marry and enjoy the benefits they had been deprived of. Has this caused your suffering?
When Obama took office, the Dow was 6,626. Now it is 19,875. Has this caused your suffering?
We had 82 straight months of private sector job growth – the longest streak in the history of the United States. Has this caused your suffering?
Especially considering where the economy was when he took over, an amazing 11.3 million new jobs were created under President Obama (far more than President Bush). Has this caused your suffering?
Obama has taken Unemployment from 10% down to 4.7%. Has this caused your suffering?
Homelessness among US Veterans has dropped by half. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama shut down the US secret overseas prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama has created a policy for the families of fallen soldiers to have their travel paid for to be there when remains are flown home. Has this caused your suffering?
We landed a rover on Mars. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Has this caused your suffering?
Uninsured adults has decreased to below 10%: 90% of adults are insured – an increase of 20 Million Adults. Has this caused your suffering?
People are now covered for pre-existing conditions. Has this caused your suffering?
Insurance Premiums increased an average of $4,677 from 2002-2008, an increase of 58% under Bush. The growth of these insurance premiums has gone up $4,145 – a slower rate of increase. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama added Billions of dollars to mental health care for our Veterans. Has this caused your suffering?
Consumer confidence has gone from 37.7 to 98.1 during Obama’s tenure. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Has this caused your suffering?
His bi-annual Nuclear Summit convinced 16 countries to give up and destroy all their loose nuclear material so it could not be stolen. Has this caused your suffering?
He saved the US Auto industry. American cars sold at the beginning of his term were 10.4M and upon his exit 17.5M. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit as a percentage of the GDP has gone from 9.8% to 3.2%. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit itself was cut by $800 Billion Dollars. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama preserved the middle class tax cuts. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
He signed Credit Card reform so that rates could not be raised without you being notified. Has this caused your suffering?
He outlawed Government contractors from discriminating against LGBT persons. Has this caused your suffering?
He doubled Pell Grants. Has this caused your suffering?
Abortion is down. Has this caused your suffering?
Violent crime is down. Has this caused your suffering?
He overturned the scientific ban on stem cell research. Has this caused your suffering?
He protected Net Neutrality. Has this caused your suffering?
Obamacare has extended the life of the Medicare insurance trust fund (will be solvent until 2030). Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Has this caused your suffering?
He banned torture. Has this caused your suffering?
He negotiated with Syria to give up its chemical weapons and they were destroyed. Has this caused your suffering?
Solar and Wind Power are at an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
High School Graduation rates hit 83% – an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
Corporate profits are up by 144%. Has this caused your suffering?
He normalized relations with Cuba. Has this caused your suffering?
Reliance on foreign oil is at a 40 year low. Has this caused your suffering?
US Exports are up 28%. Has this caused your suffering?
He appointed the most diverse cabinet ever. Has this caused your suffering?
He reduced the number of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Has this caused your suffering?
Yes, he killed Osama Bin Laden and retrieved all the documents in his possession for analysis. Perhaps THIS caused your suffering?
From an objective standpoint it would appear that the last eight years have seen some great progress and we were saved from a financial collapse. Things are not perfect. Things can always be better. We are on much better footing now than we were in 2008.
I look forward to understanding what caused you to suffer so much under Obama these last eight years.”

It’s important to remember history, so we can understand the future better. Nukes, death, starving children we won’t take in but bomb instead, bankers with a free pass, streams ruined, National parks drilled to hell, mountains leveled and protesters run over legally are all good. It’s the black that doesn’t mix well in our society. Period, end of story because Trump supporters are an open minded lot, open and full of crap.

Really—when will someone tell Trump he’s wearing no clothes? 

Franque23

**“Donald, what he does is he tees off first so we go off to our balls and what do we see but Donald Trump right in the middle of the fairway,” De La Hoya said. “He said, ‘Hey look, I found my first ball.’”

On the next hole, a par-3, De La Hoya said Trump hit into some bushes and again went ahead of the other players in his cart. When the rest of the group got to the green, he said Trump’s ball was 3 feet from the hole.

“And by the way I’m picking it up,” De La Hoya quoted Trump as saying. “It’s a gimme.”

(Bottom line: Our President even cheats at golf.)

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It's a good time to appreciate one another.

It’s a good time to appreciate one another.

I have to say that John Lennon’s song, So This Is Christmas- War is Over, often runs  on the background hard drive of my brain during the holiday time. The promise of peace looms in my soul somewhat like those three-day work weeks my generation was told we’d live to see, and all due to technological advances that were to come.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

At times things don’t work out as planned.

Today, this glob writer has much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for readers in 82 countries who have clicked in almost 6 thousand times this year to check out what’s banging thru my head on a weekly basis. I have a home, and a lake home, a beach home and rentals to boot, and all from once having hitch-hiked 30 miles to a flea market with all the wares I had to sell on my back. I could go back to even worse times in my life, but I won’t. The simple truth is I’ve been lucky to live the American dream-moving from very little to something that is more than enough. And I have good friends. My job? Being a children’s librarian is about as good as it gets, but at 67 I can actually see the switch on the light at the end of the tunnel so, with luck, I’ll retire someday too soon for me. I’ve five books written. three are on Kindle and a fourth is about to come out -if I can just let go-and that’s all a blast.

This year could go head to head with any other I've had and come out well.

This year could go head to head with any other I’ve had and come out well.

It’s difficult at times for me as an American to realize much of the world’s people don’t have enough to live. It’s easy to look away.

It’s easy to forget the Lakota and other tribes still stand in freezing temperatures hoping to stop the pipeline.

I try to envision Isis truly being stopped, or morphed into a place where negotiation is possible. I still dream of massive food airlifts like the kind America ran in WW II being broadcast throughout the middle East as a huge international peace effort. Food, not bombs. I’d rather police use tranquilizer bullets when shooting people who are running away or held upon the ground by other police. Of course, our law people need to be safe as they go about their job of helping our society function.

At this point, American politics is a mosh pit of speculation. Is a boom or bust coming? Will the next four years or so be a drat splat dump we will wish to flush away in the future, or will these coming years be an awakening of a whole new kind of world-wide détente?Is prosperity our future?

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Some things are certain; the sand-hill Crane still fly south in the winter; migrations continue all over the world. Species extinctions are too prevalent and the sea levels are rising. Whether or not we have global warming, we all know CO2 emissions are not the way to go for the future of Mankind-so why the debate about global warming when the issue is emissions/pollution? Sometimes, I wonder-what’s up with the misdirection.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health - contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health – contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

In the end for now, we did just have Christmas, and we can hope for a happy New Year. Let’s hope together that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Let’s hope those who want to move forward in a kind, loving way that ‘s good for all species, the Earth and it’s people win the day.

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

So many of us pray for World Peace.

So many of us pray for World Peace.

Kindness, Truth, Justice and Life has to prevail. We can make it so-that’s the great part.

I looked different at 23 than I do today at 67, but I feel about the same inside, my hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

23 doesn’t look like 67, but I feel about the same today inside as I did back then. My hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

Peace. It's a wonderful bloom.

Peace. It’s a wonderful bloom. Let’s plant that flower.

Franque23 hopes you’ll forward this glob. Cheers

Thanks for being you.

Thanks for being you.


Bare Ass Pond-the late 1970's. I got dressed for the pic.

Bare Ass Pond-the late 1970’s. I got dressed for the pic.

It wasn’t that long ago…

About 1953 on Long Island outside of our family home

About 1953 on Long Island outside of our family home-the Northeastern’s blew snow in almost every winter.

Okay, maybe it was a long time ago.  For me, it’s a blink of a memory comprised of forever.

I built snowmen without a hint of what was to come,,,and that my generation's great dreams may one day melt.

I built snowmen without a hint of what was to come-great dreams for the earth.

Change started massing energy when the Beatle’s sang on Ed Sullivan-those tunes soon morphed into a mud bath called, Woodstock. There were the teachings of tolerance,,, justice, right and wrong, but I think most of all we were taught to hold within each of us a dignity of spirit. Once these ideas were in place, the new world could arrive.

The musical lines gave the message.

Looking back, the festival announcement that the brown acid was bad made the assumption some listeners were still able to discern brown from white, black, green. purple, polka-dotted or blue. We’d stripped  bare to prove the old ways were gone, basic change was here, as fundamental ways of behaving and thinking were dead and gone. The lines between us all had vanished for good.

Conventional laws were taken off and a new course had begun.

Conventional societal mores were cast aside and a new course had begun. Yes, we got naked…(Woodstock)

It’s easy to wonder why any of us thought smoking pot might help the situation we enthusiastically fought to change. You’d think we might have been savvy enough to vote for change, but we’d given up on that. Millions in my generation decided taking it to the streets was the best if not the only way to make change happen. Were we right?

I sang on stage back in the day all about the message-peace, love, freedom and equality.

Pete and I started singing the message early on in High School( I'm in the background)

Pete and I started singing the message early on in High School.  ( I’m in the background)

First serious guitar in it's first gold color...

First serious guitar in its first gold color…(I’m 15.) Hopin’ to sing the message.

So, my wheel turns way back, runs through the middle of so much history and arrives here in the closing days of 2016. To be clear-I remember dad getting our first TV, a thing still new to everyone on our block. I went to college when there were no computers, no cells phones but, yes, short dresses and pot but no Aids that we knew. I began to work as a Library Specialist 21 years ago when the Alachua County Library District had acquired only a few computers. My reference work for patrons was done entirely out of books or through phone calls in those earlier years. All the while, I prayed for peace along with so many other Americans.

Today, many feel political drifts forecast a turning away from the sun shining in as we all hoped it might in the 70’s, from the environmental concerns many of us have held for so many years, and from our hope for peace.

Home coming parade. Gainesville, 1970

Home coming parade. Gainesville, 1970…hmmm, this wouldn’t happen today.

It was once easy for hundreds of Gainesville’s people to strip naked at lime pits and swim with others.

“The year was 1970, and the band was Mudcrutch. Petty sang and played bass alongside Mike Campbell (guitar), Tom Leadon (guitar and vocals), Jim Lenehan (lead vocals) and Randall Marsh (drums).” This is Gainesville in the 70’s, so it doesn’t matter that there are five names and only four people? The main point was in the music.

We shared the understanding that to find the truth of our existence it was necessary to shed the barriers between us and the earth. Open, accepting, and always understanding-Peace was the message. We wanted the naked truth.

1970-gainesville-fl-uf-univ-of-florida-homecoming-parade-press-photo-rkf19999-8e2e3da9b5a6918fa3b501db221baf90

Now? We need to revisit the messages of my generation, to create a solidarity of purpose that keeps America on the right path.  My generation didn’t want the Nam war to go on and we stopped it. Today, we can stop anything as well. The key is to really try, never give up and work harder.

If not ‘Bare Ass’ time, its bare knuckle time. Environmentalists,  humanitarians and lovers of life, it’s time to dress down our opponents. We have to tune up and sing our song louder than false claims, disingenuous motives and misguided hearts can yell. It’s time to dive in and win again.

Franque23

04980017-2


When I was young, I dreamt I was an Indian. Not once or twice, but often. No one used the term, Native American, not back then, not that I knew. Us white folks simply called the red skinned tent dwelling people, Indians. I held these people in admiration, so swift, one with nature, self sufficient and efficient, they were a people worthy of my fondest thoughts.

Whenever, IF, you see a tree bent like this in the woods it has been formed by Native Americans. They often worked trees to grow is such a fashion as to point int he direction of water, a heard, or home.

Whenever, IF, you see a tree bent like this in the woods it has most likely been formed by Native Americans. They often worked trees to grow in such a fashion as to point in the direction of water, a herd, or home.

I was always a scout. Sleek, sure footed but with the lightest step, I’d climb into a sweet smelling pine to perch high above. There I’d feel the wind with my heart. I’d hear the hawks, the hoot of an owl and squawks of crow.  The blue sky seemed a blanket; the sun laughed.  Leaves rustled while distant hills resembled multi-colored twisted taffy.  The green grasses bent and showed trails of white tailed deer, buffaloes and rabbit runs. The land was clear of danger, resiliently, so peaceful. Scouting was my duty; there were many loved ones back home. Odd, but I never, not ever, saw the end of this dream-I never even climbed down.077-6

This November bulletin board is to reach out to my dreams..

It was only fitting, a magical loop, that brought a pure-blood Cherokee to my side during my college years.  Jana’s father had been a scout in World War II; scrap-metal scars remained on his face. They had horses. At a nearby horse show I stood in a circle that included Jackie Kennedy, all by chance, and that seems a dream now. What doesn’t seem a dream are words Jana spoke one day as we drove back to college after a spring vacation.

“When I was young, ” Jana confided, ” I used to wish I was black, not Indian.”

“Black?” I had to have sounded dumbfounded.

Jana was truly this pretty

This picture of a Native American reminds me that Jana was truly this pretty-and very smart. Still her life had been one of ridicule; I’d no idea.

“Yes. Blacks were much better liked in grade school.” I glanced at Jana- her head was bent down.

Years later, it strikes me that Jana couldn’t even dream of being white as a child-she dare not; that would be too much to even wish.

How different our childhood dreams had been.079-2 another view…

I've and idea! How about we makes maps and globes that represent the true size of all the continents!!! Just call me brilliant and puzzled....

There may be something to this, “Privileged white male” after all?!?!

That she became second in charge of Washington’s Native America bureau under  President Reagan is a credit to her keen efforts, endurance and focus to help her native people. Maybe, this is America at it’s best: if you really try, and never give up, good things can happen.

Thing is, as I heard slanderous words spit this election cycle at people because of their ethnicity it gave me pause, a pain. We were all children once. Children with dreams and hopes-most adults never truly forget those wondrous moments. To have those aspirations sliced apart by loose-lipped fools is more than problematic, it’s wrong on so many levels and in so many ways.

America, we can do so much better. Yes, we can. One day children will not dream of being another color. One day, children’s hearts will soar above the tree tops because of who they are and for what they may become- leaders, inventors, mangers, representative and yes, even President.  People my age, older and younger, we must all remember that dream.

In a way, I’m still a scout in my heart.

 See you later, ...

I’m looking for that dream to come back. Maybe, Trump is right? We do need to make America great again, but not with arrows of division, looks that could kill or with minds full of hate. Not by tearing apart our environment.

It’s time for America to dream and to make those dreams come true. Time will tell.

Now? It’s Native American Month, and Native Americans from many tribes are being pepper sprayed-so much worse- at Standing Rock. Sometimes, the truth seems too much to bear. That’s the bare facts. If only it could stop.

Franque23

2-bent-trees-275x300In many ways- Native Americans are still showing us the way.

199-2

We have such a long way to go.

109 (2).jpg

078-2

Keep the faith –

Franque23


To list a few….

Obamacare

détente

Give Me your tired and your poor

Women’s Rights to equal pay

Women’s right to have abortions in most cases

Current Social Security retirement age

Some amount of Social Security Check

A major part of the funding for the EPA

Emission controls for cars a business(The Clean Air Act)

A better, standard minimum wage

Wall street regulations

Union Rights to organize

Defined Pensions for Workers

National Park funding

Alaskan Pipeline resistance

Taxes on the Rich

 

What we get in return?

A President who is inexperienced in the field of World-Wide politics

A President who  seems unaware of people’s constitutional rights and the workings of the U.S. Government

The NRA ( A gun in every closet)

A President who has called some women pigs, dogs and worse.

A President who gloated after 9/11 since the event would make him money

A President who mused how the housing crash and economic crash in the U.S. several years ago would make him money.

A President who is against environmental protections

A President who has gone bankrupt numerous times.

A President who will soon address in court accusations of Fraud (Trump University) and rape charges.

There will be a Wall we will pay for

A First lady who has posed naked for tabloids. ( Not a crime, but is this appropriate considering the stature of the position?)

One more takeaway

You can only squeeze the middle class workers so much and for so long via both political party’s actions before that electorate is willing to shoot themselves in the foot rather than vote for an ongoing economic travesty. 

The day is done; our country’s course is set for the foreseeable future.

Advice for President Obama: 

Sign as many (a thousand or more) Executive Orders between now and January. This might slow that foreseeable future of a beast down.

Franque23.

239 (2)

The day is done…for now.


ya know…..The Standing Rock protest is super important…

At Woodstock, my friends and I were young, not yet strapped by so much obligation–we could go there at the drop of a hat to speak our minds, to express ourselves.

The vocals held the message,

The vocals held the message, “Purple Haze, run in my mind..”

we wanted freedom; to make love, not war, and to roll baby roll

we wanted freedom; to make love, not war, and to roll baby roll

Thing is, people who are about my age today are most likely wrapped in bills and a job they can’t afford to skip out on for a few days-a week-and lose.  Or, we’re just too dang old. Plus, we’ve already been cracked over the head, jailed, spit on and frowned upon during the ever-changing 1960’s. Yes, I’d guess my generation’s spirits haven’t changed but it does seem it’s the younger generation’s turn to make a difference, to take one for the team, to band together to right this wrong that is taking place at Standing Rock.

Maybe, the younger generations don’t really know how much effort it took for my generation to turn Nam around and to end that bloody mess. It took plenty.

One day while attending Gettysburg college I joined about eight of my classmates and gathered in two cars to drive to Washington D. C. for what we’d heard was to be a massive protest against the Vietnam war. It was-maybe one hundred thousand gathered to march in D.C. that day. If tear gas, clubs and charging horses is peaceful, then this was a Peaceful demonstration.

Here’s my point: if two sides meet with opposing views and one side is peaceful while the other isn’t, is that a peaceful demonstration? Ask the supporters of Standing rock who are being dragged down, beaten, gassed, arrested and striped searched if this is a ‘peaceful ‘ demonstration.

It takes two to tango; two to talk.

No, the Nam years were battle years both abroad and here at home. Three of the group I went to Washington with didn’t make it back to campus until they’d been released from jail (I think we went to D.C.  on a Saturday and we didn’t see these three again until the following Wednesday-one had been clubbed on the head.)  One college friend had flunked out by Christmas our Freshman year and gone to Vietnam. Three months later, by late Spring, he returned to visit missing a leg. It was horrifying; I spent at least a week smoking my brains out trying to forget John’s fate.

My whole generation fought the Nam war one way or another. We didn’t send Memes. We got in the streets and marched as an unarmed army of what was right and good.

At first, protesters tried flower power.

At first, protesters tried flower power.

It was a peaceful demonstration, so the National Guard of Ohio took a knee and.....

It was a peaceful demonstration, so the National Guard of Ohio took a knee and…..

shot....

shot….

these four dead, randomly killing them and wounding nine others

these four dead, randomly killing them and wounding nine others

All across the nation members of my generation fought and were bloodied , even killed, for what we thought was right.

My generation served our time. And we learned, Love has a down side.

bullets kill...love doesn't.

bullets kill…love doesn’t.

So, I’m wondering…why aren’t the 18 to 21 year old’s going to Standing Rock to stop this pipeline? You have the ability-some of you-like maybe 500 thousand, right? And yet, you aren’t joining our Native American people to fight for your right to live in a clean, healthy environment. Somewhere, somehow, between the protests of the Nam Era and the rattle, smoke, shake, rock-in-roll days of Woodstock my generation’s spirit to join in mass to fight what’s wrong for what is right has gotten lost; the ball got dropped.

Maybe the environmental movement just isn’t fun enough? I don’t know…

new_sliders-11woodstock08a1

In the rub lies the ointment, and in there are the flies. Sometime, somewhere, I feel certain the next generation will have had enough, and chose to fight  in the streets rather than type on a computer as I am. Both are good; both actions can bear results-but getting out in the streets in mass has worked before. It can work again.

 

It’s still not too late to join the protester’s at Standing Rock. In the end, Life becomes a memory. You’ll want to know you did what’s right. Good luck.

Here’s a Drone video and update on Standing rock https://vimeo.com/189876726

Franque23

Here’s the dirt on the proposed pipeline and how and why it was redirected….581a0640150000b9005313f6.png



   Make no mistake about it: the same lands we fought so hard to maintain as wild spaces within the Alachua Forever guidelines are under attack again this Nov. 8th.  It’s the Plum Creek nightmare all over again for our citizens. This first affront to common sense came under the guise of Envison Alachua, a proposal that sought to develop and mine Alachua County’s green spaces.  The Plan’s primary backer was Weyerhaeuser, a company  currently on the US Toxic round-up list, Canada’s Toxic violators list plus the company is being sued in at least three counties in Europe for creating toxic waste sites.

Why do I think Weyerhaeuser is behind the signs placed about town that ask voters to vote against funding Alachua’s Wild Spaces? Basically, the company’s slimy phosphogypsum (more on this later)* foot print is all over the message on those signs, the ones that claim the measure will increase taxes. NOT SO!

   The measure to vote for funding Wild Spaces is a RENEWAL of the same tax measure we, the voters, elected to pass in 2008. It doesn’t represent a tax increase as claimed on the signs, but rather the preservation of Alachua County’s wild spaces. So why the lie on the signs? Why the misdirection? Why the I couldn’t fool you with Envision Alachua last time so I’ll try again by claiming the Wild Spaces measure is a tax increase?

   The rub is mostly about the 37, 495 acres in Alachua County, the Lochloosa Forest. It’s part of Alachua’s Wild Spaces, part of lands kept, supported and maintained by the tax that will be renewed if this measure passes.  Weyerhaeuser and other developers would love this land to be underfunded. Then, they might get it.

Currently, 443,210 acres of Florida are under phosphate mines, and companies that  use and development these and new phosphate mines earned a cool  1.13 Billion dollars in the year, 2000. That’s a heap of cash, and this mining process creates not only thousands of jobs, it renders Florida mountains of problems.

To make it simple, earth containing Phosphate is about 30 feet below ground level.  The earth that’s over the phosphate is called the Matrix, or overburden.  Thing is, once the Matrix is cleared away and the phosphate is extracted from the earth the dirt that’s left is full of  stuff called phosphogypsum-way back when people used to see huge mounds of this dirt near the phosphate mines…remember? Perhaps, if you’re my age, you played on those mounds as a kid.

The EPA came along not too long ago and discovered that phosphogypsum was full of radium, it’s radioactive, and it had to actually be kept in tall stacks-like cooling towers-for public safety. Currently,  over a billion tons of radioactive phosphygpsum is being held in 25 stacks located around the State of Florida. Worse, when the phosphate companies go belly up they walk away from the radioactive towers leaving them for our state to clean up. The cost of cleanup for just three of these towers in Florida recently cleared 160 million tax dollars.

phosphatedragline_5
(Phosphate mine in Florida—they’re no good for hiking.)
   Yeah-no. Alachua County residents have to vote “YES”  on the WILD SPACES measure.
   We love our green spaces, Nature, and we don’t need big business lying to us while trying to erode our support for our environment. We also don’t need phosphate mining in Alachua County.  Those company’s can keep their mines elsewhere and the 140 million they spend yearly on trying to monitor their pollution controls.
    Here’s the dirt on the measure,  Wild Spaces and Trails:

   “The Alachua County Commission has placed a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot to rejuvenate the county’s conservation land-purchasing program, Wild Spaces Public Places. Voting YES on this measure would extend the program for eight years and raise $130.2 million to protect more that 27,000 acres of parks and recreation lands that remain on the acquisition list.

 

These funds would also help pay for Gainesville’s $81 million parks, recreation and culture master plan, and fund park improvements for Alachua County and the county’s nine smaller municipalities.

If you believe saving water and land through Alachua County Forever, and improving our parks, trails, and recreational facilities is important, then vote YES for WILD SPACES AND PUBLIC PLACES on November 8, 2016.”http://www.fcvoters.org/wild-spaces/

    See you around town, or in the woods, parks and trails. Isn’t that nice.
Franque23

Did you know that 5 tons of phosphogypsum is created when just one ton of phosphate is produced? Me, neither-that’s a bad trade-off…


(click the pic for a better view)

Having a terrible time down here....it might rain tomorrow!

I’m a nut for body surfing-the riding the ocean waves kind- more than once going out into tropical storm waves that towered over my head just to catch that ride. I’d rise and fall with those powerful waves so I might stroke at their top and slide down their belly, dragging my left arm in the water so I’d lift to the top of the same wave to slide down it once more before being smashed to the ocean floor or tumbled head over heels until my body met the bottom. My head full of salt water, my legs wobbling to straight, I’d dive under the next breaker and head out to do it over again, sometimes for hours on end.

WAVES UP!!!

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As a six-year-old, I spent glorious summer mornings on a beach blanket with my family at Long Island’s famous Jones Beach. There my sister and brother taught me how to body surf the shell stuffed, crashing waves.

The beach view stays in my head, that dazzling dark blue water line that meets a lighter blue sky so often dotted by white puffy clouds. My brother chose to live much further from the shore and once asked me what I liked most about the ocean. This view was my answer, though riding those waves…

Looking at the shrimp boat

Looking at the shrimp boat, this is the day my brother asked me about my love for the sea.

During my twenties I lived with my wife on North Tropical Trail near Cocoa Beach, Florida, swimming every morning while she and I started work in the mid-afternoons. My parents owned a house in Satellite Beach just south of Cocoa for over 35 years-that stood three blocks from the Atlantic.  We visited often with our family in tow.

 

Mom's last day at the beach....

Mom’s last day at the beach….at her home by the sea in Satellite Beach

14495454_10210068251967873_7571947101147003435_n If  you get to Ormomd Beach enjoy the Beach Bucket chow-14433094_10210068251527862_6345061734774287213_n Dale and I hung out and ate right on the beach side-standard fish place fare with a most spectacular view…

It wasn’t until this past weekend while spending three nights ocean side in Ormomd Beach that the question came to my mind once more: why do I love the beach so much?

the mornings are incredible at the beach,, and I did catch one--my wife took this shot.

The mornings are incredible at the beach,, and I did catch one-but my wife took this shot.

the balcony gave a great view....

The balcony gave a great view….

The sky trumpeted a light, bright fluorescent blue amusingly streaked in wispy white strands of clouds;

14502877_10210069047427759_894359846325182830_n the birds flew by in numbers I hadn’t seen for years; the waves, still driven by a recent tropical storm, crashed the even sandy shore making thunderous rumbling sounds one after the other, again and again.  I fell into a trance with my next sip of coffee.

I felt the warm sun, the breeze blew by feeling like a comforting newly washed bed sheet. Children’s laughter, the calling birds, waves crashing, all of it combined to even my breathing and still my head. Suddenly, as if I’d slipped, I felt as though I was inside the womb of the world, a startling place, a living, breathing , pulsating place of life so large it contained the entire earth.

That’s when it hit me.

I imagined myself back in my mother’s womb, resting comfortably with little to do but listen to the ongoing sound of blood rushing through my Mother’s veins and arteries as she breathed. One wave of rushing blood after another, and each with a slight pause before the next loud roar of life-giving blood and oxygen rattled my senses. This was the first I knew, maybe all I knew, and if I’d a thought, it would’ve been that this would go on forever since it had all come without rhyme or reason.  Does a newly conceived fetus decide to stay or go back? No. They stay inside within the ever flowing sounds of life.

Those same ocean waves, their crashing foam, their retreat only to smash the shore line once more has always tingled my ears and thrilled my being. Is it because they resonate so much like the first sounds I’d heard while inside my mother’s womb? To me, the likeness between the two lined up so well that the thought fit. I came to from my trance sitting in a place I’d always been. Yes, I’d arrived and walked away from my birth, but maybe merely from one womb into another, a much larger all-encompassing one; earth. And one sound the earth makes while breathing is that of the crashing sea upon any shore.

Up, down, in, out, over and under, swirling left or right, the waves move on and they’re never as far away as they might seem. The world is ever connected, including us. We are born to be born to be born. If we are not in our mother’s womb, then we romp in the womb of life. It’s nice to see it all now-the sea and life.

You've helped make our day, year-life.Way young but my shirt says it all….never far from the sea.

securedownloadPeace….we all love peace.

Franque23

My books are on Kindle…. The Avatar Magic series, by Gerald Franquemont..I hope you’ll read them….

 


I’ve seen the rain in Africa, once in Johannesburg. Now, I only see it thru my wife’s FB messages-she’s spending some time there with our daughter and her new-born boy. A lot of my heart is in Africa, not just because I have family there but the truth is I’ve always been fascinated by the animals of Africa. How different! And then there was the constant noise I heard in grade school that we all came from Africa.

 

turning the world, maybe right-side up?!

Turning the world, maybe right-side up?! Say what?

You know, as a kid, I always assumed what I was taught in school was basically true. I was never a doubting Gerald. No, give me the facts and I’d write them down for test grades, then I’d go play ball free from the confines of those four walls and imposing blackboards…

Thing is, it turns out some of what I was told about Africa wasn’t true. I remember twirling globes to look at our world; that was the real deal. Actually, not so much. The picture of our world and it’s continents is really a product more of fancy, preference or economic goals than a semblance of fact.  Forget about the size of elephant’s ears; have you ever seen the size of the continent? Maybe not.

Time to listen up--Africa is way larger in comparison to other continents than we ever see it as drawn on any map....

Time to listen up–Africa is way larger in comparison to other continents than it is ever drawn on almost any map….It’s scaled down to fit what?

The bottom line on Africa is simple-calling it gigantic, colossal, bigger than huge, behemoth, gargantuan, elephantine, monumentally mammoth, prodigious or Brobdingnagian would all be insults to its true size.  Basically, you can fit many of the world’s countries inside the size of Africa and still have room to squeeze in most of your dreams comfortably.893ff7359157d3832529bc47799e8854
Example=
See? That’s American and China, oh yes India, and few random handful of European countries, hello Spain! all fitting within the one continent…. hmmm…
Example number two=

On a typical world map, Canada is  vast, a huge land area that covers a large part of the northern half of the globe. But, three Canada’s would comfortably fit inside Africa??? In our world’s nut shell— the world maps we see or the globes we spin are misleading. I read the Geert De Kremer may be the one responsible for the twisted geography we all memorized to pass tests….about a zillion years ago this European cartographer drew Africa  in scale to its importance at the time, not in proportion to any reality that involved the earth. Oddly, this misrepresentation has been happily recreated by globe manufactures and map makers ever since?!?!? Even today, google maps does no better,, ,and by the number of places google map’s bubble in Africa, you’d think most of the continent wasn’t there at all.

 

I've and idea! How about we makes maps and globes that represent the true size of all the continents!!! Just call me brilliant and puzzled....

I’ve and idea! How about we make maps and globes that represent the true size of all the continents!!! Just call me brilliant and puzzled….It all seems so twisted.

Here’s another quote I found who knows where….
“The 1569 Mercator projection was made for navigating the seas — drawing the meridians and parallels as straight lines that cross at right angles helped sailors to navigate some of the their first treacherous voyages around the world. Mercator initially made globes. Later transferring his map from a three-dimensional curved surface to a flat sheet of paper was problematic. Taking the equator as the logical map center left big, confusing gaps near the poles. Mercator’s solution was to stretch out the northern and southern extremities of the globe to fill those gaps, producing an elegant and usable map. While a revolutionary tool for captains and explorers, the projection distorts the relative size of the continents, to the advantage of the West. The repercussions of this are still being felt today.”
Yes, but I’ve a question- did this down play of the continent’s size also go hand-in-hand with people’s prejudices? I think so—and it is all so amazing. I read one article that expressed how different the world might be seen(and be) if map makers admitted they’d no idea what’s up or down when it comes to our universe and had drawn the world with Africa on top!

Now, as the world spins, Africa’s true worth in terms of today’s dollars is coming to light. The powerful countries all jockey  for position hoping to tap into this amazing continent’s wealth….one map is worth a thousand words…

 

Oh,,, China, Russia and America all rush to Africa's shores

Oh,,, China, Russia and America rush to Africa’s shores

 

While the world moves in Africa’s direction my mind drifts there as well.  I loved visiting Johannesburg and will one day, with luck, get to Cape Town. These places are  found on a map, but they should be much easier to locate. The size of this place escapes description-the one we were never taught.

 

Cape Town---Table Top in the distance...

Cape Town—Table Top in the distance…

Not Cape Town

Not Cape Town

South Africa...

South Africa…

people(my daughter's family) sunbath next to the happy penquins

people(my daughter’s family) sunbath next to the happy penguins

My daughter walks through time in South Africa--long shadows.

My daughter and child walk through time in South Africa, casting long shadows.

Cheers.

Franque23

 My Avatar Magic Trilogy can be found on Kindle; I’ve a fourth book coming out soon. Gerald Franquemont.
Ps–you really should visit Japan(see my globes on that country) and Africa—

The Lake seems like a dream.

There are so many great shots of our Lake posted on the Bonaparte site-this one is an aerial view of our camp in Porter's Bay, East shore road. Follow the road as it forks left and it leads right to our camp-the roof and yard is fully visible. (click to make larger)

There are so many great shots of our Lake posted on the Bonaparte site-this one is an aerial view of our camp in Porter’s Bay, East shore road. Follow the road as it forks left and it leads to our camp

Now, I can’t watch those morning  Lake water’s mirror the day to come. The easy, breezy mornings, the why am I so hungry noontime meals, the peaceful afternoons and cooler, crisp nights have whisked away into memories. The Lake’s wind and clouds that stretch to the horizon beyond reason are gone from touch and sight. The calling loons, their sounds so audible above the whining motor boat engines or belly splashes made by air-borne people during the day, the same calls that preside with a magical presence throughout the evening hours and echo off the distant hills, no longer nudge my imagination.

Our camp has always had one of the best views on the Lake....sixty feet up, facing the sunset....

Our camp has always had one of the best views on the Lake….sixty feet up, facing the sunset….

Lake Bonaparte’s sandy shore has once again slipped between my fingers.

dang it! Even the Loons are flappin' goodbye

dang it! Even the Loons are flappin’ goodbye

It was a year of do’s and do nots. My sister and I sat one night and  listed the things we’d planned to accomplish on our stay but hadn’t as this year’s vacation came to a close. I’d so looked forward to reading but had hardly opened a book. (Fart)I planned on fishing every day but only got out once by myself and only three other times with my grandchildren-hardly a record pace.(Splat) I knew I’d pause on the dock, rest, but always seemed so busy!(Oy Vey!) I hoped to catch up with relatives and friends but was lucky enough to share a meal with most of them. (My time was gobbled up!) Long drives were in order but, though there were some, none went to the heart of the Adirondacks; the mountains stayed on my horizon. (Heeellllo over thereee) I’d get stuff done, right? I remember all the record keeping, re-organization, the strategic planning I’d hoped to get done.(Whahahaha.as if-whiplash on that wishful thinking.)

I’m thinking I had a smorgasbord of nothing getting done this year.

Lake Bonaparte-great place to get nothin' done.

Lake Bonaparte-easy to get nothin’ done.

It was, however, great to bring two grandchildren up to meet some of their cousins and for us to see our own relatives and loved ones. Those meeting pushed the clock. The weather did not disappoint, always offering a wide variation in temperature, skies clear to rainy, and a wind fierce enough to top the lake with whitecaps or so still that a feather could stay in place on shore. Looking back, the three consecutive days of a still lake-a rarity-seems a miracle. Was any of it real?

Dale enjoys her morning , worship time....

Dale enjoys her morning worship time….

It's as silent in the morning as if the snow had just fallen

It’s silent in the morning, as if the snow had just fallen…

There were exotic evening boat rides that appeared to hold the sunset up in the sky as we raced to the opposite east shore with our motor churning to ‘save the day’. The Clue games left me without one; playing Go Fish was the luckiest I got at that sport.  Yoga on the dock was matched well with filling boat gas tanks. The Lake water stayed warm and oh so clear. I didn’t twist, strain or break a single bone while rolling down our stairs or slipping on the dock. Our only night fire was spectacular and helped fend off the black fly and deer fly hatch we’d hit just right during our stay.

"Mornin'! Are the flies gone?"

“Mornin’! Are the flies gone?”

BTW-what the hell is the black fly and deer fly hatch doing coming out mid July at the Lake? Don’t I remember that as being an early June nemesis type of a thingy?

I kinda like The Lake...

I kinda like The Lake…flies or no flies…..

I haven’t mentioned the crashing down of a six-foot long-range of dishes off the wall in our kitchen on purpose. First off, memories have privileges and, when the 100 or so broken dishes and glassware were all cleaned up, we had about just the right number of dishes left in tact to run the camp. It’s called God’s grace that no one was hurt and collecting if you take the high road on the amount of glassware we had.

The high road....thanks to Mary S for the pic,,I think,,actually, I forget....

The high road….thanks to Mary S for the pic,,I think,,actually, I forget….

I saw Pat and Sue who I haven’t seen in eight plus years and Kate McGraw(sp) who I haven’t seen in forty-five or more! Good neighbors were there, too. Hi to Bill, his crew with mighty Max the 2 1/2 yr old, Laura, and Mary and Joey plus the cool dock crowd! Tom Morgan stopped by this year; Paul and Meta look great. The Fourth was a real kick….thanks to everyone for those fireworks around the Lake. Boom..it’s all fun.

The dream will keep until our next visit. Then, we’ll start a new one. See you…

This float lasted at least two days,,,,maybe.

This float lasted at least two days,,,,maybe.-we highly recommend the Wave Kayaks for children up to 130 pounds…..they are Gggggrreat!

Franque23 loves the Lake and won’t miss a single dish.

Psst–to the fishermen: I can absolutely tell you where the fish weren’t….

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