Wednesday, January 28, 2015

@AlabamaRivers Alliance: Environmental leaders will congregate in Guntersville for Alabama Water Rally

 Alabama Rivers Alliance logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Largest gathering of river conservationists in the state will take place at Guntersville State Park on the year of the 30th anniversary of Eagle Awareness weekends



Guntersville, AL —Alabama’s largest gathering of river conservationists will take place in Guntersville State Park from February 27-March 1, 2015 at Alabama Water Rally, the 17th annual conference of the Alabama Rivers Alliance.
 


Alabama Water Rally is Alabama’s premiere environmental education event. Featuring nationally-recognized speakers, valuable educational sessions, and entertaining networking opportunities, the conference draws over a hundred participants from a variety of backgrounds. The conference is held in different regions of the state each year to make it accessible for citizens from all areas of Alabama.

 "This year's Alabama Water Rally theme is ‘flowing together, growing together,’” said Cindy Lowry, Alabama Rivers Alliance executive director. “ Alabama Water Rally provides an opportunity for concerned citizens and community leaders from across the state to come together in support of each other and continue to grow our movement to protect the vast and ecologically significant water resources of Alabama."

The festivities will kick off Friday, February 27th at 5pm with the River Celebration Awards banquet. This is an evening devoted to the recognition of those special organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward river protection in our state.  Nominations are submitted by members of the Alabama Rivers Alliance.  The highest of the River Celebration Awards is the coveted River Hero Award, a lifetime achievement award given to passionate individuals who exemplify river stewardship and who have a rich history of advocating for the protection of Alabama's waterways. Awards are presented at an inspiring ceremony following a lively reception and seated dinner.

On Saturday, participants will hear from experts about current issues and threats to Alabama’s waterways and participate in working sessions addressing some of the most pressing water issues facing our state, like Alabama’s need for a water management plan. Saturday’s luncheon will feature a keynote speech by Catherine Flowers of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and of Equal Justice Initiative. A native of Lowndes County, Alabama, Flowers taught high school in Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. before returning home to advocate for poor people in Alabama's Black Belt. She is the founder and director of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and joined Environmental Justice Initiative in summer 2008 as part of its Race and Poverty initiative.

Saturday’s evening entertainment will be a contra dance with live music from the Sparklers.

The conference will conclude on Sunday with a variety of field trip options, including a guided hike with naturalist Linda Reynolds, who started Guntersville State Park’s Eagle Awareness Program in 1985. There will also be canoeing and kayaking trip options for beginner to intermediate paddlers.

For registration, sponsorship opportunities, a detailed schedule, and more information, please visit: http://www.alabamarivers.org/

Photo: Participants in the 2014 Alabama Water Rally enjoy a Sunday field trip.
Photo credit: Doug Morrison, president, Friends of Big Canoe Creek and Coosa Riverkeeper and Alabama Rivers Alliance member.


 


About the Alabama Rivers Alliance
The Alabama Rivers Alliance is Alabama’s statewide, nonprofit river protection organization.  Our purpose is to protect & restore Alabama's rivers. To do this, we advocate smart water policy, organize at the grassroots level, and teach citizens how they can protect their water. We are privately funded and accomplish our mission with the financial support of people like you. Our goal is to achieve healthy rivers, healthy people, and a healthy system of government for the state of Alabama.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sunvarmint Slips Through the River of Truth



Universal truth drifts away behind me
the sky, seemingly blue, from white, or its absence
like a leaf, or a rubber duck
set adrift, we are flowing

magically in a direction
of movement and rubble
which are the things in our thought
made universal

Circumstance like rapids
situations as eddies
toss and tipple us
into waves and ripples

branches cling to feet
imaginary permanence
the river sound 
should bring joy





Friday, January 16, 2015

Be Here Now



I frequently think about death.



I'm certain in today's world of psychoanalysis frequent thoughts on death earn me at least one check mark in one box on the psych-evaluation form.



Really, I don't dwell on it though. It's more like a math problem.



I think about the moment of death, what will be going through my head, what regret, what fear, loss or what wonder. This thought is comforting, in that it pushes me to truly enjoy each and every sight of my children doing anything at all, any simple task, or even crying, fussing or fighting. 



I am...just in the knowledge that they ever were.




I often argue with my body. Does it truly feel it must die.



Unfortunately, it usually answers yes.

Through clicks, and pinching, and worn joints.
It affirms my eventual departure.
And other times, when it feels nice, I recognize the lie in it.



That punctuation of life, the surety of ceasing, is God's insurance.



No aspect, save the center shall ever sit in that seat of omniscient power. No mind shall ever be not started and finished. The soul shall always be. 
The body,
blinks.



Life is a goal, suffering, loving, leaving, eating, shitting, drinking, laughing, longing and loss.



Life is one goal.



Full of its power to end. 

Never underestimate the ability of Man to conflagrate in the face of adversity.

After all, pondering is a luxury.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunvarmint's Subtitle Sunday: Today's Fabulous Feature- Russian Ark


Relax, rest and recover from your hangover, guilt free in the knowledge that you are becoming more cultured. 

Russian Ark (Russian: Русский ковчег, Russkij Kovcheg) is a 2002 historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. It was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot. The film was entered into the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[2]




An unnamed narrator wanders through the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. The narrator implies that he died in some horrible accident and is a ghost drifting through the palace. In each room, he encounters various real and fictional people from various periods in the city's 300-year history. He is accompanied by "the European", who represents the Marquis de Custine, a nineteenth-century French traveler. Russian Ark uses the fourth wall device extensively, but repeatedly broken and re-erected. At times the narrator and the companion interact with the other performers, while at other times they pass unnoticed.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Skin



I like to use the word skin.

It has not yet been proven to my mind, if skin is simply jumbled tiny vibrations, harmonies, atomic glues, pulsing, spinning energies, actually observable at some point, or the cosmic thought of God slipping ever into the unknowable before us.

But, it is skin.
 

I do not mean epidermis. Nor do I mean Skein unraveling or mathematical.
 

Not veil, or mist, curtain, or crust. I mean the skin between any one thing and another. Anything that can be considered is a thing unto itself. Any thought or thing has a skin which makes it not another thing.
This concept will eventually absolutely negate Heaven.

But for now it is just a large portion of that insanity which is the impossible nature of all things.
 

If the doubter in this is correct, the boundary between things is no absolute, and my argument fades into others, wherein at that point they might agree.

Together in the mist of things we can merge the solidity of my need, with the unsurety of the freedom of doubt.

All things that are anything exist beyond the boundary of that which they are not. This boundary, encompassing, holds ideas, action, to be, has been, will be, and what not. This source within has not to be, isn't, can't and won't to any other thing in time. Yet, merged in substance is one and all the same thing with the universe.

In short, you are a monkey. I can hand you a banana. I can pick the fleas from your shoulder and pat your head. I am a monkey.

Together we can pull the worm from the dirt, examine, lip it, toss it away. We might even eat it if we're hungry. But we cannot explain the sight of the sun. We have not the words. It has not the construct. And yet, it knows the things of the roots of being. It will perish. We will perish.
 

Non Unilinear Consciousness

The concept of reincarnation has always seemed a bit naive to me. If we create the soul, and from that creation free it to wander from body to body, why, then, how then, could we wrap it back into slavery, stuff it into the calendar or clock. It has escaped. How can we then re-contain it into a unilinear prison.

Let's say we have successfully created the soul. For a minute beg the question. Let the believer follow that belief to its holy conclusion. The soul is free.

Are not our bodies the vessels through time that stick to clay and slip through dust, through air and sound, feelings, experiences and the other aspects of mechanical existence? What does the soul then do?
 

The brain feels. The brain perceives, needs, drives us to procreate, to hold our loved ones, to seek joy and push through pain. The brain is observable. The brain is miraculous. The brain is a miracle.

My car needs new tires. If I don't get new tires , the old, worn ones will fail. My car will crash into a tree. The tree, through no fault of its own, will puncture my skin and drain my blood, crush my bones, smash my organs and kill my brain. This is reality. My brain needs my heart to pump oxygen into it.

This is the tether of sanity, mundanity, a gift from the impossible God.

So my delusion, which in instinctive faith I know as the absolute truth, is that everything...is one thing.

This is physics.

This is spiritual.

There is no division.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, because others are you in a different place at the same time.

You...

meet yourself.

Yourself...
meet you.

I cannot explain it any more than anyone can explain anything else.

Trust your instincts.

The sad fact is that when you die, you will not be you ever again. But you will always be you when you are being you. And that is always where it is. But only part of you is God. And that likes to jump around. But it constantly returns to now.

The moral.
Be nice. Be responsible. Behave.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

#NewsBham - Bristol Palin "Sick of Hearing About the Separation of Church and State"

Photo: Gage Skidmore
"I just get so sick of hearing about the “separation of church and state.” Because it usually means the state is pushing Christians around. Here’s the latest example.

"Answers in Genesis is building a life-sized Noah’s Ark in Kentucky and a theme park to go with it. “Ark Encounter” will bring hundreds of jobs and millions of visitors to boost Kentucky’s economy. The state has a program to encourage tourism that refunds sales tax to big parks like this for the first 10 years they’re open. The plans for “Ark Encounter” were approved by the state in 2011 along with the tax credits.

"But now, out of the blue, Kentucky officials say they’ve changed their mind! Answers in Genesis won’t be approved for the program unless they agree to hire people who aren’t Christians and unless the exhibit doesn’t talk about Christianity."


This is all in response to Kentucky officials denying tax incentives to AIG based on the Establishment Clause in The United States Constitution.

“State tourism tax incentives cannot be used to fund religious indoctrination or otherwise be used to advance religion,” tourism secretary Bob Stewart wrote in a letter to AIG, according to The Courier-Journal. “The use of state incentives in this way violates the separation of church and state provisions of the Constitution and is therefore impermissible.” Officials will "take no further action" 

It seems strange for Palin, daughter of Sky-Wolf-Hunting-She-Bear-of-the-Snowy-Wasteland-Can See Russia from My House-Sarah Palin to bemoan the lack of tax incentives as an indicator of  "...the state is pushing Christians around.

No one said AiG can't pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and build a giant ARK PARK. It's just that the State of Kentucky is not allowed to provide special incentives to build it because it...is...religious. 

And...also because...our forefathers were infinitely more intelligent and foresighted than young Ms. Palin and far more scrupulous than the millionaire mogul Ken Ham, founder of AiG.  

Want a giant Ark? Go for it! 

Want tax breaks to build it and then turn around and hire only Christians? Nope.  

Want to teach people the world is only six thousand years old? You should be ashamed of yourself. It isn't illegal, should not be illegal. But it is both factually and morally wrong.

Confusing people with limiting, completely unscientific dogmatic interpretations of the Bible, completely out of touch with reality is the province of cults, charlatans and tyrants, all of whom want their audience as dumbed down as possible. 

I can no longer take all of my political counsel from Bristol Palin, which is very disappointing. She was my rock!