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Tuesday
Nov202012

Western Oregon Early Winter

Oregon Cascades

First Snow of the Season

Monday
Nov192012

Global Surveillance & Corporate Fascism; A guide to both San Francisco & "The Emerald City"

 

Global Surveillance and Corporate Fascism, a guide to both San Francisco and “The Emerald City”

     San Francisco and Eugene, Oregon are experiencing a Stormy Monday as the first fall storm slammed into the Pacific Coast today with winds clocking at over 100 miles per hour along the Oregon coast.  This is nothing new, in fact some years western Oregon receives high winds along with more than 100 inches of precipitation usually in the form of cold rain.  This is normal and nothing has changed except the seasons as the trees are now dumping their leaves everywhere.  Some believe the earth is warming up because of carbon emissions from petroleum fired internal combustion engines.  As someone who spends most of their time outdoors, judging by my observations, I have not been converted to this new Evangel.  It seems as wet and as cold here in Eugene as it did 20 years ago.  I have learned not to be surprised when the rain does not stop until late June or until around July 3rd.  I do believe however, there have been more changes occurring within me than within our weather or the climate.

     I believe the change within me that has occurred concerns all about who or what is important, or credible, for me to believe in.  I have lost all faith in our political system and have no confidence in our government whatsoever; I look at them the same way I do looking at the drug addicts on meth in Sausalito.  They are not to be believed or trusted; a total waste of my time.  Sometimes clients and customers will want to know my religious or political views.  Those who know me recognize I am a person with a strong spiritual aspect.  In answer to the other loaded question I have replied “I am not affiliated with any political party; I am just against tyranny.”  I have found politics and religion to be inappropriate topics during my business transactions.  Often, we have a weakness in wanting to wear labels or put labels on others.  I think we are all more complex and deserving of better definitions then mere boxed in identities.  Labels and identities give comfort to the simple minded.  I am a broad and open minded thinker; this is not to say I do not have convictions and personal boundaries in our changing world.

                One thing in our changing world that is really heating up faster than a concept of “global warming” is the global reality of the sharing of information.  Information sharing can be a good thing.  I use my smart phone on the job to locate clients, other businesses, and utilize the internet.  The part that concerns me is privacy.  It was  explained to me how a third party can turn on my smart phone remotely, make recordings, or even take pictures of my room at home  without my permission; that is creepy.  I learned recently that the CCTV cameras in Eugene, along Interstate 5, and all over San Francisco are doing more than checking up on the weather; they are interconnected devices sharing all of our movements 24/7 with many agencies domestically and internationally.  A video feed of you, your text messages and emails, and your digital footprint is observed and analyzed.  Do you have an opinion, could you be considered a threat for using your mind and thinking for yourself or expressing your ideas?  Our phone conversations are screened through data centers with programs such as TrapWire.  Records of our online habits are being analyzed faster than the 100 mile fall winds on the Oregon Coast.  All of our interactions on our smart phones are being stored for over 100 years at facilities such as the new multibillion dollar data archive center in Utah.  Facial recognition technology lets semi autonomous intelligence agencies operating outside the US Constitution and beyond International laws keep informed.  They know when you and I crossed the Oregon / California border on our way to visit family and friends, the car we are driving, where we stopped at, and with a psychological profile can almost predict why.  George Orwell wrote about the times we are living in.  I am not a conspiracy theory advocate, but I do like to think for myself and keep informed of new developments in our ever changing world.

                Many of these changes in technology, especially the eroding of personal privacy are a concern to many of my clients many of whom are retired seniors.  It was interesting when one of my clients volunteered their opinion by voicing their worries over the changes they have seen in our world.  This particular client was from Germany.  He was concerned with the economy and his ever increasing mistrust of government.  I asked him if he noticed any signs that things were going bad in Germany before the Fascists took control of his country under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.  He said he was too young to notice or understand what was going on in Germany.  But one thing he was certain of, it appears things are going from bad to worse in America and he was deeply concerned.  I respect my elders and respect the opinions of my clients who are retired professionals with good minds and a lifetime of experience.  It happened before I was born, but from the history books I have read nobody really tried to speak up about what was going on in Germany when my client was growing up.  However, many sensed an impending doom and emigrated out of Germany.

                I think there is a sense of urgency in the air.  I saw the occupy protesters in San Francisco at the end of Market Street and all the well fed rude police officers keeping them pushed into a corner by the Ferry Building.  I heard the demeaning comments aimed at the protestors from the mouth of the high tech employee walking to Google Headquarters just a few blocks away.  I saw the heavily, almost military combat armed, law enforcement guarding the Federal Reserve Bank (this in a city in which the entire population has been denied the right to defend themselves by not having access to firearms and completely under the control of a police department of questionable intentions and vague ethics).  I spoke with a man on the sidewalk who preached like some persecuted prophet.  He was trying to warn me that the FED building was not a government building; it was a private central bank on our American soil controlled by foreign interests.  The international bankers were printing phony money not backed by precious metals and were charging us taxpayers interest on the junk fiat notes.  We would never get out of our debt.  I saw homes where the banks had evicted the owners in both San Francisco and in Eugene, Oregon; I see these unoccupied homes all the time in the areas where my business operates in.

                It is plain to see, but hard to admit, that the United States may be sliding, just like Germany in the 1930’s, into a police state.  This is not an outrageous or far-fetched statement.   It is a fact that at the present time agencies such as the SFPD, FBI, CIA, NSA, and Department of Homeland Security operate on the premise they are here to protect us citizens.  But what are these well financed agencies protecting us from?  Could it be we are in danger of some corporate controlled media fantasy such as “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” the same lie they used to market a war that killed over 4,000 brave men and women in our armed forces?  It appears Wall Street, the financial sector, and the banks caused our current Great Recession by their negligence, lack of business ethics, and criminal actions.  Did they lose their homes?  No, the honest people who actually work did.  Did the executives from the banks go to prison for their crimes?  No, they were bailed out by the US Government using our hard earned money.  Apparently, the figureheads in our government are cronies of these same greedy banks and evil corporations.  It is a taxation without representation scenario in a police state agenda as we are constantly watched, with every word, every transaction, and every move we make observed, assessed, and catalogued.  In fact, today the United States has more monitoring of its citizens than did East Germany under the thumb of the Stasi.  In fact, it can be argued we are living under a new tyrannical and ever growing, and ever stronger police state.  Our times today, politically and economically, are as dysfunctional as they were before the Third Reich slid into power to create Nazi Germany.

 Just like in Nazi Germany, in this last election many of us believed we had choices.  When one looks impartially at the entire situation it is easier to comprehend what is going on around us.  As someone who is a patriot, but without a cherished political philosophy to protect, it is easy to see how we are being manipulated.  The corporate controlled media is just like a demonic false prophet spreading misinformation, lies, and propaganda; similar but slightly more sophisticated than North Korea.  Citizens think they have a choice: 1 conservative Republican or 2, progressive Democrat.  But what if both parties are financed and take their orders from the same corporate powers?    We really do need a fresh start and a positive change, but the media made pariahs of all the third party and independent candidates by not allowing them to participate in debates or be afforded the same exposure as the 2-party candidates.  The voter turnout was extremely low because people have lost confidence in our government and their vote’s ability to make a difference.  The poison of the Public Relations spin doctors is deceiving citizens there really is a difference between the two parties; however when one looks at their agendas and what they have done for their handlers, corrupt corporations and banks, they are exactly the same.  The last administration saw the torture of war prisoners while this one gives us NDAA and persecutes innocent whistle blowers.  I argue the United States is losing its freedoms by the destruction of its Constitution by unaccountable tyrannical corporations.  I argue that all of us citizens, of every nation, are losing our personal privacy when we are being watched by global surveillance systems such as TrapWire.  I end in restating I am not a political person, nor am I affiliated with any political party; I am just against tyranny. 

Tyranny has many names and forms such as Socialism, Communism, and Fascism being just a few.  Some would say the United States is heading away from a free republic to a Socialist Democracy.   Could it be that we are truly enslaved by international banks and corporations who have entirely usurped our form of government?  We live under the impression we are still free, as the military industrial complex kills our brave soldiers and murders our innocent foreign neighbors in the name of corporate profits.  We tell ourselves we have a free press, as we remain uninformed about what is really happening in the world.  We are forced by necessity to get our news from Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Great Britain online because we can’t get the truth here at home.  We assure ourselves we are secure in our private lives from the voyeuristic peering eyes of warrantless surveillance technology.  We comfort ourselves day by day hoping for better times in an uncertain future.  We pay taxes to a 100% corrupt government that neither represents us nor has our best interests in mind.  Our “elected” self serving career politicians are not our friends.  I could remain silent about this issue nobody wants to talk about, but I love my country, my family, my community, my clients, and all my friends.  I am a veteran and believe I have a right to question and critic.  We deserve better, and we deserve to know and understand what is happening to us.  So I ask, who are we, and who is in control of our destinies?  We are the decent hardworking citizens of the United States of America who bleed under the crushing big boot of our real tyrannical master, neither conservative nor progressive, it is a real snooping Big Brother called Corporate Fascism.

Monday
Oct292012

Sausalito: A Poem

A poem by Douglas C. Berry, Copyright 2012

“Sausalito”


Sausalito

Clouds and rain

Silence and seagulls

Reflection and conformity

Wind and tide

Sun and fog

Change ever steady

Dependable

Sunday
Oct142012

San Francisco and Pacific Northwest Business Diversification

San Francisco and Pacific Northwest Business Diversification

    Fall weather can be pleasant in San Francisco in that space between the fog of summer and the annual winter rains.  Last fall I spent a lot of time on my sailboat “The Gem” in Sausalito just north of the city.  I enjoyed hiking in the untamed Marin Headlands overlooking the Marin County town and San Francisco Bay.  I relished commuting to San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge by bicycle in the brisk windblown fog.  San Francisco is a place which attracts people of all kinds from all over the world; it is an exceptionally international city.  There are other places on the West Coast which may be quieter but have their interesting points in their own ways.

     A good example of a quieter interesting place, when compared to San Francisco, is small business and people friendly Eugene, Oregon.  This small coastal inland Northwest city is a ten hour drive north of “The City by the Bay.”  Many people know about San Francisco, but often some of the best places such as Eugene remain hidden.  Eugene is known as “The Emerald City,” because it is situated in the green well watered Emerald Valley at the confluence of the swift flowing Willamette and McKenzie Rivers.  With its moderate climate, fertile soils, and abundant seasonal rains it is a gardener's paradise.  Although an hour from the Pacific Coast, Eugene has some similarities to San Francisco: it actively promotes green habits such as bicycle commuting, farmer’s markets, recycling, and cleaner greener energy options and is a center of higher learning.  Both cities have talented artists, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, and exceptional minds.  It was a welcome change to be back in Eugene to run my horticultural services (landscaping) division full time as of last spring.  In these times of business survival, diversification is a valuable business strategy.

     The strategy of diversification is valuable because it minimizes threats and maximizes opportunities. My business has diversified into three divisions, with the horticultural services division being a strong point in a three pronged business survival strategem.  Marketing is susceptible to big swings in our economy.  Writing and publishing may also languish under adverse and unpredictable conditions in which consumers become more conservative with spending habits.  Landscaping, specifically the maintenance of existing residential landscaping, surprisingly remains somewhat recession proof.  Many of our good customers and clients have been adversely impacted in this recession by fiscally threatened retirements and devalued investment portfolios.  However, these same clients still own lovingly cared for homes situated on large lots with landscaping that must be maintained.  A lawn, perennial border, or rose garden can never be neglected.  Residential landscaping requires consistent and knowledgeable care, and this is where our maintenance service meets the needs of our clients.  Our horticultural services division is thankful to all of our clients who make our little business possible as we continue to exceed our objectives on time and below budget!

Willamete River flowing through Eugene, Oregon

Apple tree and garden we pruned and cleaned up in the city of Eugene; home of the University of Oregon.

Iconic Transamerica Building in San Francisco's Financial District.

 

Nearby Marin County, California at Point Reyes National Seashore, wild lands just north of The City.

 

Looking toward Angel Island from Sausalito, California aboard my old sailboat "The Gem"

 

Sweet scented deciduous azaleas our landscape services business division planted in 1995 flourishing in Eugene, Oregon

 

 

Sunday
Oct142012

Heavenly Blue Morning Glory: a poem by Douglas Berry

Yom Teruah, Sky Blue” by Douglas C Berry, Copyright 2012

Seed of the vine lay forever dead in the ground, the spring rains and blue sky, they called it, it listened, it awoke, it raised skyward, with its blooms brightest blue

A first Edenic day, lucky Seventh Month

A spiraling trumpet herald: so alarming, so wailing, so blue

Arise! Arise! Arise!

A final call, a twisting green shouting stump!

A grave commanding, a final trump

 

Beneath cold tones amid shaded granite roots

Blasting shofar blows; it bellows, it bends, it twines, it shoots

Arise! Arise! Arise!

Begin the raising, the lifting, the serpents, the wilderness!

Blessed mortal being, exact every eternal soul

 

Crafty hour, softly heralded day prophetic

Calling plainly, startingly shouted secrets

Arise! Arise! Arise!

Come forth clay womb -man, sought, bought and blood -free!

Claim the cleft confident, your new Eve’s dawning



Sunday
Oct142012

Fall Flowers Last Flush: A Poem by Philip Frenau

Hybrid Tea Roses on their own (ungrafted) roots: Brandy & Fragrant Cloud

 

“The Wild Honey Suckle” Philip Frenau (1752-1832)

 

Fair flower, thou dost so comely grow,

Hid in this silent, dull retreat,

Untouched thy honied blossoms blow,

Unseen thy little branches greet:

     No roving foot shall crush thee here,

     No busy hand provoke a tear.

 

By nature’s self in white arrayed,

She bade thee shun the vulgar eye,

And planted here the guardian shade,

And sent soft waters murmuring by;

     Thus quietly thy summer goes,

     Thy days declining to repose.

 

Smit with those charms, that must decay,

 I grieve to see your future doom;

They died – nor were those flowers more gay,

The flowers that did in Eden bloom;

     Unpitying frosts, and Autumn’s power

     Shall leave no vestige of this flower.

 

From morning suns and evening dews

At first thy little being came:

If nothing once, you nothing lose,

For when you die you are the same;

     The space between, is but an hour

     The frail duration of a flower.

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