The White Man Indian Giver

There is nothing worse in the world than preciousness in transient self-congratulatory public notices that claim to do one good while punishing another.  I’ll give you an example in the guise of: The White Man Indian Giver.

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Blood of the Land in Biometric Tech

Jamie Grace wrote this article.

It be should acknowledged that the concept of property, and the related concept of ownership, is central to Western society.  Property is always a common denominator of value – and as such our legal system is devoted to protecting property ownership – both of objects and of land. Land then, is to be fought over – even in the courts.  The aim of this article is to refute the notion that a DNA- or biometric-driven land registry system is desirable for reasons of not practicality but of justice, and the avoidance of harm.

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Plowing Hollow Lives in Fallow Land

As an author, you must focus your life on writing good stuff.

Many authors are more obsessed with achieving fame instead of creating greatness in their words.

When fame is the locus of your life — instead of good writing — your perspective is skewed to serving the middling taste of mainstream success.

When you instead concentrate on construction and on craft — you are concerned about the story and the showing of the drama in the lives you hope to perpetuate — and that means you feed the world instead of starving it with selfishness.

If your writing is good, fame will follow.

Fame without good writing plows hollow lives in fallow land.

Luck of the Land: How Agriculture Ruined the World

10,000 years ago agriculture was invented and in the midst of its successful evolution, the world was ruined because the fruit of the land — the wealth of our health — was held in a few hands instead of everyone’s.

America built its reputation in the world by being fresh-faced, fertile, undiscovered and undeveloped.

We fed ourselves first and then we fed everyone else and in that process our families split apart, people in the Homeland grew hungry and we lost the ability to individually feed ourselves with our own labor and the sweat from our own hewn hands.

There was a time — in the pre-industrial Age — when families would raise their own crops, hunt their own food and feed their own families. You canned food for the winter.

You hoped for the best against the rain and wind and snow.

The commoditization of sugar and cotton created slavery and the fertility of the land became more valuable than its people. Prosperity in the industrialization of agriculture was determined by the luck of the land and never again by individual familial hard work.

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Monarch of the Plains

Growing up in Nebraska can be a lonely and hard thing. Earth and sky are elements made for crushing. Each Nebraska horizon beyond the urban core presents only two images you learn early to avoid and they are both found on the visceral level where trembling and genetics meet blood creating the canvas of dreams and the kindling of hope: Bunches of blue sky crouch and stretch above just out of reach, teasing you over and around in what you imagine the ocean must look and feel like; maturity comes in dry pieces you kick and hold in your hand as dust while down beneath your boots rusty slivers of infertile earth scatter telling of dreams ending in sharp shards and hope dead and undone by a landscape that forgives nothing but rain.

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Corporate America: The Land of the Greed

by Evan Stair

One can get attached to wide open spaces living in the center of the United States. However becoming geographically challenged is a drawback if you stay too long. Over the last thirty years business trends have led to a disturbing fact; small town America is dying.

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Window: A Portion of the World

by Joseph Baldwin

I am saying goodbye now
to the scene outside the window:
certain trees, a familiar tilt of land.
Travelers through called it flat country,
but we who lived here knew
that it leans this way and that, by turns.
Witness: during the ice season, some intersections
needed sand, else you couldn’t get started
if the red light halted your car upgrade.

Well. It was nothing to see, our place,
even with its up and downs. Travelers
went through here on their way to the mountains,
forests, canyons, lakes, geysers; and (eventually)
the ocean. Only stopped among us for
gas and food.

People who lived here came only for the job.
The place was… nothing much. And
always open to the wind. You wouldn’t choose it.

No one would hymn this place; not
ungrudging hymn it. Instead, some
hymn their forbears for having
endured it and brought it under cultivation.

And this place I’m telling goodbye,
with nowhere else in particular to go.
Where would I go, if I’d not walked or worked there?

They tell of prison librarians, who,
having built the collection, and having
found a function, regret being paroled.

And we who worked in ampler prisons,
on tasks we hardly chose at will, but
fitted into, and had our orbits:
home-to-work, home-to-church,
home-to-the-movies, to the stadium,
to Chinese food, to… in short, to
the limits of this wider prison,
saw the travelers going through, and
saw it with their eyes, and knew it.
It was… nothing much.

But what our keepers in this prison
never figured, never counted on — if ever
they thought of us who were only functions,
people you’d never hear about, people
who could be laid off in slack seasons
and never missed — what they never counted on
was this: we could love. Love
certain familiar trees, the slant
of land, buildings kept in poor
repair but still inhabitable,
where our work-benches were and
where our tools were kept.

In the slack season, they didn’t see us
come down to the old buildings, use
the keys they didn’t take back from us,
open the doors, and sit at the work-benches,
picking up the old tools one at a time,
and looking at them as if they were strange:
feeling their heft in the hand, just in case —
what? — they might be used again?
They forgot we were human and had to love
something.

And now
even that scene is outside my window
and I’m telling it goodbye.
I didn’t choose this, either.