Archive for July, 2009

Eagles 3

July 15, 2009

It seems like only yesterday that the eaglets were peeping (their whistle goes up at the end like Austra’ian, where the ospreys’ goes down at the end like a souf Londoner ).  The last time I saw them they were trying their fledgling wings and their little heads were poking up above the huge – 6 feet across?- -doughnut of branches, big ones! – high in the pines on the point of Hodgson’s Island.  But really yesterday I sailed close to shore, and there, quite suddenly, was one of this year’s twins, out of the nest, perched on a branch.  Surprised me when he swam into the binocular view – seemingly and suddenly as big as Mom, but then I realized that it’s just his feathers that were juvenile, puffed-out, giving him a hooded look like an owl.  He also had that owl stillness, already low in his body and regal; no other word will work even though this bird is the symbol of our non-monarchal republic.

How did they grow so fast from tern-sized squawker to commanding the cove from his perch?  How did he gain so much apparent wisdom in his face in a few short weeks?  These animals must partake of their ancestors’ accumulated wisdom the way Jane Auel says the Neanderthals did.  Or perhaps it is just that they look down so sharp-eyed at the rest of us fool mortals, scurrying around scavenging at the bottom of the air-ocean.

One of us fool mortals is Joy Vaughn, a local artist and no fool.  She comes out to see the eagles nearly every day, and she was out there in her outboard with her binoculars when I was, “They’re my grandchildren,” she says, laying claim to ‘my’ eagles.  Soon the young ‘uns ‘ll be looking for a new place to nest.

Stimulus

July 9, 2009

I don’t know how it’s going in the rest of stimulus-land, but:

I needed a new battery for my laptop, so I made a rare visit to a mall, where I was told there a new Apple store.  I parked on the wrong side, not knowing where it was, and so walked a long way down the wide corridors in search of the silver apple.  There were so few people in the stores – maybe one or two in each, even the big names.  And this on a morning of rain which usually drives the tourists out of the lobster shacks and off the ferries and into retail therapy.  Maybe you are like me: retail therapy hurts more than it relieves these days.  Read behind the headlines, walk through an empty mall – it’s hard to escape the notion that this recession is much deeper than it appears.

In fact, it’s a game changer.  I am surer this will not be a V-shaped recession, nor a U, nor even an Ü-shaped one.  Any of these implies a return to what got us into such trouble before, and I both fear (personally) and am relieved (philosophically) that we have embarked across rough waters  in search of a totally new kind of economy.  I have written earlier in this blog that we will not emerge from this morass – whatever the local ups and downs – until we marry ecology to economy.  The information revolution is the most powerful stimulus we can have right now, which is happening without government support.  (Witness: The Apple store, when I got there at 11:15, had its next open appointment at the ‘Genius Bar’ (Apple, c’mon: Help Desk) at 7:40pm.  It was the only crowded store.)

Green energy is the next big money-maker and the greatest long-term stimulus, but will require government to prime the pump to help break the oil companies’ monopoly.  Come on, you democratic supermajority, use your temporary clout to throw some financial crumbs (at least compared to what we are prepared to give to errant banks, over-leveraged insurance companies, and ever-so-last-century car-makers) in the direction of alternative income sources of energy.

The Other Cheek

July 2, 2009

Now that the Taliban have captured an American soldier in Afghanistan, the right wing radio voices are being raised about his possible treatment.  Well, let’s see – what examples have we given them to follow?  Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Baghram, or rendition to the dungeons of Egypt, to name a few.  Maybe Rush and Sean and Bill et al. will finally see the value of following the wussy Geneva conventions with people we capture: if we don’t, we can hardly expect or hold any other side to such rules either when our folks are gathered in by the radicals of this world.

I don’t want to be this guy.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see his head on a pike.  Not good news, but we have only ourselves (and Cheney and Atkinson and Yoo and Perles and Wolfowitz) to blame.