Summer 2016

 

I live still!!!

The pictures show the beach event of the season – rising from the ashes. Youth took selfish intentions (but always loads of fun) from the past, mixed them with technology and wisdom, and “re-used” the Sharks Cove Surf Contest to raise money for a child’s cancer treatment. It was a great day and the surf cooperated.

I get lost sometimes. I have a job, bitchen wife, good sons, a house, loads of debt – and surf. Isn’t this the American surfers paradise? I surf one of the best spots on the heckin’ globe! So, I get lost. Then – sometimes – I open my eyes wider. Comrades are falling -young and old – some you don’t expect, some you do; times seem tougher – harder to get by, so much competition, such a focus on money, so many “forgotten men” (todays forgotten man has a job – probably multiple part time jobs and still doesn’t make enough to pay rent and take decent care of family); and less and less community. Everyone expected to be pulling up their own “boot-straps” – its the American way.

The dude broke down in front of my house. My house is located at the bottom of a slight hill at the intersection with a dead end street. Live Oak – Country – the Wild West – Unincorporated; like a city name you’re proud of. Anyway, my street is the “short-cut” around a busy street/intersection web, it provides back-door entrance to the dead end street, and it’s an escape route for those who escape or plan to escape – dead end to railroad tracks to east or west – check. It is also a thoroughfare for the forgotten man.

I watched him fiddle around with his truck, trying with all the resources at his disposal, with no luck. He stayed late into the night; at times I could see the fire glow of his cell phone. I’m not sure if he stayed the night because it looked like he gathered some things in a backpack and took off. He was back the next day, still trying, still using what he had. I walked the fine line between asking if I could help and disgracing a man who was on his own, and asked. “No thanks” he said, “this is just a hobby truck – my other truck is what I usually use – I just want to get this thing home to fix it. It’s not getting fuel.” Some small talk ensued – mostly on my part. “Thanks for letting me park here,” he said. “No problem” I replied, “but my wife’s away right now – might not play out this way when she’s back.” The day unfolded like the day before. No luck getting the truck started – and again I couldn’t tell whether he spent the night.

The wife is home tomorrow and it doesn’t look like my new neighbor has made much headway. And as I spy on him, I become more convinced what I see is all this person has. Why can’t I help him? What is it that says a forgotten man cannot turn to the community? He will not. What is this pride that we do not stand together? What difference? Is it a view? What is right? What is wrong? What is truth?

 

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Catch Up

I think someone has a job in the US military reading science fiction stories. The objective is to come up with new weaponry ideas. Easy enough. One weapon recently identified in the media may have application to the surf industry. The idea is to create an explosion under the water that in turn creates a tidal wave directed at the target coastline. The picture shows such a vision. Now – use your own capacity to visualize, and place a tow-in on the wave – or, how about a downsized explosion creating overhead point surf in your local land-locked reservoir. That’s right – it would no longer be necessary to make it to the coast to surf - truly surfing USA – and with military backing!

The normal everyday surf has been fun, when you could find a crack between the wind and tide. Tragically, in a “careful-what-you-wish-for” scenario, the kelp beds that smooth the daily wind chop have all but disappeared. The story from our “at-the-rail” expert is that a bacterial blight has decimated the starfish population, which in turn has allowed a certain snail that starfish feed on to undergo a population explosion. The rub – the snail feeds on the kelp anchors. Once the anchors are compromised, the canopy breaks away. With the kelp beds gone, the lineup is exposed to the ravages of the wind. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago when we were complaining about kelp hampering our lineup. It’s been like surfing SoCal in the afternoon.

No south swell to date has earned the epic award, but even the small days, when the wind settled, were really fun. Stokeworthy, even the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend had waves, if you had the right vehicle. Yes, among the record number of visitors, the glide was alive. I know my friends were especially happy about my new glider – 10′ 11″ Josh Hall Double Ender – a homage to Skip Frye’s Eagle. No wave is out of reach. There were also short board days as well. The pics show views from a Mother’s Day cruise.

The View

South Driving Through The Hack

My favorite episode took place over the holiday. The double ender easily fits under my arm, but a gust of wind – even from a passing car – and I could see myself, board, and bike loosing the precarious equilibrium that is me with board on bike. So, going way back into my past, I asked my mom (my loving wife) to drop me off at the point – and pick me up after a surf session. No parking problems, and a great smile to greet me after the surf – no matter how the session was. As it goes, I had a great Tiburones session – small but firm.

One civic observation – Cliven Bundy – Hero. According to Wiki – the Bundy standoff is a 20-year legal dispute between the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy in southeastern Nevada over unpaid grazing fees that developed into an armed confrontation between protesters and law enforcement. Under BLM permits first issued in 1954, Bundy grazed his cattle legally and paid his grazing fees on an area of public land later called the “Bunkerville Allotment” in Clark County until 1993. As a protest in 1993, Bundy did not pay to renew his permit and it was canceled one year later. Though the agency made several attempts to allow Bundy to renew his permit, Bundy declared that he no longer recognized the BLM’s authority to regulate his grazing and asserted that he had “vested rights” to graze on the land.

Okay – so the Bundy standoff saw federal officers stand in against a large group of gun-toting patriots who supported Bundy – essentially, citizens in uprising against their government with Cliven at the lead. Here’s the observation – the BLM manages land owned by the federal government – let me spell it out – the BLM manages land owned by you and me and the patriots supporting Mr. Bundy. What kind of management goes on? The BLM manages mining, grazing, oil and gas exploration, recreational use, water storage and harvesting, wildlife, hunting, bird watching, nature preserves, and recreation – to name a few. How is the BLM work funded? Fees and royalties – use fees, camping fees, grazing fees, mining fees, etc – along with our tax dollars. So – our land brings revenue to us. Now, when someone uses BLM land without paying, they are stealing from us all. For example, profiting from gas production without paying fees means additional profit at a loss to you and I – taking without our permission – stealing. Any loss of fees is made up for by all other fees and our tax dollars. So, all other fee-payers pay a little bit more to allow Cliven to graze for free. All those patriots supporting Cliven are being ripped off by Cliven – really.

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Slide Into Spring


“Its raining man, its raining outside” – Before that – sunny winter and high stress for water. Surfwise – things were strange. When the Islands were getting major pipeline/sunset swells – we were getting nothing – but nothing is what suits Ocean Beach in SF – so it was cracking there – I hear (and have seen footage) it’s been all time there. The fall was drab and winter started off the same, then – last four to five weeks kicked into gear. West to northwest swells mostly long period down to about 14 seconds lit up all the spots. Tiburones was still bunk for the most part, in that it doesn’t have the same consistent shape as it does on a south swell, but there were still some waves – the Steps, 38th, and the Point all got good. I surfed when I was able – the Steps and Tiburones – got some good ones. And the crowds – I got hit a couple weeks ago – LB flailing at the end to its tether – across my shins. Opened up my skin under the wet suit, deep-ass bruise. Its no use getting flipped – the crowd – it would be like stopping a tsunami. Its flat now and we just got our first real storm.

“The exponential growth model, built upon a never ending flow of consumer credit and an endless supply of cheap fuel, has reached its limit of growth. The titans of Wall Street and their puppets in Washington D.C. have wrung every drop of faux wealth from the dying middle class. There are nothing left but withering carcasses and bleached bones.” Not my words, but sums up some of the concepts I have been discussing – i.e., consumer fracking. And, “You’ve been sacrificed at the altar of the .1%. The 0% interest rates were for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Your credit card interest rate remained between 13% and 21%. So, while you struggle to pay bills with your declining real income, the Wall Street bankers are again generating record profits and paying themselves record bonuses. Profits are so good, they can afford to pay tens of billions in fines for their criminal acts, and still be left with billions to divvy up among their non-prosecuted criminal executives.”

This situation has me wondering what country I live in – a chemical plant with above ground storage tanks released chemicals into a river (drinking water source) adjacent to the plant – West Virginia - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told residents that it was up to them to decide whether or not to drink the water. Are you joking? A day later, Freedom Industries revealed that a second, previously undisclosed chemical, PPH, also spilled into the water, along with the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM). Then – in true American spirit – the responsible corporation declared bankruptcy – so the state’s congressional delegation – yes the conservative group that claims there is too much government and regulations –  requested additional federal support because Freedom Industries was no longer a person,  but a corporation – “seems to be little hope that these costs can be recouped by the party found responsible for this event.” Really? But it gets better – the victims – the folks without water (and the folks who vote for the people who vote to reduce environmental regulations and government help) are left with relying on donations of water. Dude, seriously! And then the victims find out that it wasn’t really 7,500 gallons that spilled, it was 10,000 gallons (sure). It’s reported, ”People don’t trust the information they’re getting anymore, because this whole thing has been a blunder.” No Way! And - Local youth groups, a veterinary hospital, small businesses, church groups and schools have all chipped in – what happened to the  government and regulations we pay for.

In the northern and southern hemispheres, seasons come and go, cycle after cycle. The cycles are due to the earth’s tilt and 365-day travel around the sun. Long days with the sun high in the sky to short days with the sun close to the horizon. The path of the sun across the sky follows a track that should be familiar to surfers – like a long period swell – the period is approximately 365 days (versus 17 seconds). Think of a graph where the x-axis marks days and the y-axis marks the hours of daylight. The trough includes the shortest day of the year (winter solstice). Climbing out of the trough, the days get longer until the halfway point between the trough and peak – the spring equinox. The peak includes the longest days of the year – the summer solstice. Then, the days get shorter on the way to the fall equinox and the next year’s winter solstice; a major long period swell never ceases. I’ve been out of the water for a few weeks, and missed a few good days, but for the most part the period from the fall equinox to the winter solstice has been tame. One notable swell in December – and that’s been it. While the swell stayed away, the bait didn’t. The point was alive for over a month with roving hoards – can I use hoards – of seals. Dolphins, humpback whales right at the kelp line, and all manner of birds. It was impressive. Now that we are climbing out of the trough, maybe the swell will climb out of the doldrums.

In an effort to better understand cheating, scientists have discovered that creativity; fear of loss; and the observation of dishonest behavior can motivate cheating or make it more likely. In fact, unchecked dishonesty can promote the perception that one must cheat to remain competitive.  A referee that does not curtail rule breaking at the beginning of the game has opened the door to cheating – as research found, motivating or making it more likely players will cheat because they have observed that dishonest behavior has no consequences. The same goes in business and politics.

Health care act goes into effect – one of its biggest features – the exchange – has not. How can the NSA be super computing, mining data hoards, and divining fiber optic cables – but the servers set up to handle the exchanges run at 9,600 baud. Maybe the NSA should be running the exchanges. And how do the beneficiaries feel – no, I don’t mean the public – I mean for-profit insurance companies.

Lloyd Blankenfeld recently stated his notion about the trouble with the US: The US is very good at generating wealth, but not good at distributing it. What is amazing is that folks like Mr. Blankenfeld have the answers when it comes to industry regulation and making a profit, and are paid well for it. But it’s understandable. On a gross level, if the folks at the top were less concerned about themselves and more concerned about a healthy economy, they would take less and distribute to the workforce. In the same spirit, the market (read: shareholders) would also concern itself with promoting a healthy economy. The credit bubble temporarily worked to fill for in the lack of wage growth and consumption, but it went down in flames. The only thing redistributed was wealth – to a few who could manage it and benefit. There are signs of another credit push, but somehow I don’t there’s enough collateral left among the common folk. For sure – no one – including me – would trust CorpGov (read: Fed, State, etc) to handle distribution – all those questions about who is getting what. But if something doesn’t change, there will be no consumers – just serfs. And where will the corporations go? Walmart, McDonalds, military (taxes?)?

There is a private sector solution. Something for all the common folk to think about – community and strength right here. It seems CorpGov has us with a boot on our collective neck – every turn there is a new way to squeeze money out of consumers. But recognize that we – the common folk – are the largest market – largest economy on the planet. There is talk that China will over take us – but that is still a while off – and that still will not dampen our consumer potential. While China is wallowing in an environmental disaster, we will continue to enjoy one of the most beautiful and productive places on the planet. We have a lot of power – power over CorpGov. It’s really about our decisions – how we spend – how we control the market. Maybe we collectively decide to stop paying for the Internet five times over (read: smart phones) and all start using good ‘ol cell phones. Collectively, just think of the consequences on the market – Verizon stock plummets (how are they going to turn those enormous profits – can’t really advertise on a cell phone – apps? Facebook?) Other connected industries also loose. Then what? A couple of things – lower the cost of the smartphone – the phone and service. Then, increase wages so that the market feels compelled to own a smartphone. And then…. Maybe we all decide to pay more for a tee shirt, but not to increase the wealth of a few. Instead, we demand that the tee shirt is made in the USA at wages that increase the quality of life for more Americans. There is more, but none of it can happen without community.

“A people that cares neither for its youth nor for its older people has no future,” the pope said. “Young people take society into the future, while the older generation gives society its memory, its wisdom.” and “Today we are living in unjust international system in which ‘King Money’ is at the center,” Pope Francis November 28, 2013

J.P Morgan said there are two reasons for an action, the right reason and the real reason. I’ll leave you to contemplate this one.

Christmas gift – the day after Christmas – a beautiful sunny day, 70 F, glassy with a hint of offshore, and a new west swell: 5.9 feet at 20 seconds from 295 – it looked pretty fun – tempting, but I need a few more weeks recovery before…well maybe not….

“We should pursue reforms that encourage and reward work. That’s why I am developing legislation to replace the earned income tax credit with a federal wage enhancement for qualifying low-wage jobs,” Rubio said. “This would allow an unemployed individual to take a job that pays, say, $18,000 a year -– which on its own is not enough to make ends meet –- but then receive a federal enhancement to make the job a more enticing alternative to collecting unemployment insurance.” – Corporate welfare by any other name – wealthy corporate stakeholders make out with profits undented by the need to pay their workers part of the pie.

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Falling into Fall

The Lineup

Not Here

Shorter Days. Colder. Surf. Not much. Just check the lineup. End-o-summer into fall. Bleak. Some small days. Billions of straight-off Adolfs. But, fun with friends. That’s okay. The ocean is going off. Mega bait balls, dolphins, whales, birds, birds, salmon in the Harbor – and the smell…..live is wonderful.

Law enforcement made an estimated 12.2 million arrests in 2012. That’s an arrest almost every two seconds of every single day. Of these arrests, only 521,196 were for violent crimes. The total number of drug arrests in 2012 was 1.56 million, and 82% of those arrests were for possession alone, as opposed to sales/manufacturing. Of the total drug related arrests, a shocking 42% were for mere marijuana possession. So an American is arrested for marijuana possession every 48 seconds in this country. Incarceration Industrial Complex – feeding on emotions.

When you wonder about the price of gasoline, and hear the political society reason it out – consider: “In order to make an industry average return, a new production project in the Canadian oil sands requires a price of $81 per barrel. For an onshore U.S. field, it’s $70 per barrel, but it ranges from $45 to $95 per barrel, depending on the rate of oil flow. In the Gulf of Mexico, it’s $63. In the Middle East, just $23 per barrel. Many oil analysts predict that relatively weak growth in world oil demand coupled with rising production from newfound fields will make for flat or lower oil prices in the years to come. But if big oil companies can’t earn strong profits at today’s oil prices, it may mean prices will have to rise higher to convince them it’s worth the risk to continue to aggressively explore new fields. If they worry they can’t make enough money, they’ll cut back.”

“Unfortunately, rather than an orderly and lawful process to debate these issues and come up with appropriate reforms, repeated leaks of classified information have initiated the debate in a very passionate but not always fully informed way,” Obama said. “But given the history of abuse by governments, it’s right to ask questions about surveillance, particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives.” Are you F****ing kidding me? How do we have a debate about stuff we have no F****ing clue about until someone is kind enough to leak it to us? Orderly and lawful – you F*****ks have been hiding the stuff from us – not orderly and not lawful. And others on the team – Hayden was asked his opinion of Snowden. “I’ve actually thought about this,” he said. “He didn’t inform [the debate], he made it more emotional.” Sure – there was no debate, there was no information, it was not in the public square – until…..

So CorpGov just collects metadata – that’s it. There are two forms of metadata – Structural metadata is about the design and specification of data structures and is more properly called “data about the containers of data”; descriptive metadata, on the other hand, is about individual instances of application data, the data content – “data about data content” or “content about content” – Metadata (metacontent) are defined as the data providing information about one or more aspects of the data, such as:

  • Means of creation of the data
  • Purpose of the data
  • Time and date of creation
  • Creator or author of the data
  • Location on a computer network where the data were created
  • Standards used

CorpGov aren’t reading your email and such, they’re just sifting and saving your metadata – how you created your email, the purpose of your email (who, when, where, and why), time and date you sent your email, who wrote the email, where the machine is……..there is more……but that’s all CorpGov is sifting.

Snydely

It’s one thing to do it – it’s another not to tell us you are doing it – I mean why not? And, after that, what about telling us how the “data” is controlled. By whom? Procedures? Constitutionality? Now that the cat’s out of the bag – we are hearing all about it. Another thing – wouldn’t the threat of “big brother” always watching prove to be deterrent? The fear of being found-out and droned – but deterrence only works if the threats that are supposed to cause fear are communicated to the adversary. No threats made, no fear created. This point is made by Dr. Strangelove when he says: “Yes, but the… whole point of the doomsday machine… is lost… if you keep it a secret! Why didn’t you tell the world, eh?”

And –Just trust us – The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman says NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s disclosures about U.S. surveillance programs have undermined U.S. relationships with other countries and affected what he calls “the importance of trust.” And at home….”NSA infractions range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. emails and telephone calls, the Post said” Extrapolate from the typo…..

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

Something to be proud of: Americans exploded the world’s first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok, an atoll in the South Pacific, on November 1, 1952, just two and a half months before the end of Truman’s presidency. This explosion, set off from a control ship thirty miles away, was in an altogether different realm from the atomic bomb; and even those who had witnessed atomic blasts were stunned by this explosion. The fireball reached 57,000 feet; the cloud, when it had reached its farthest extent, was about one hundred miles wide. The eruption wiped the island of Elugelab off the face of the planet, leaving only a crater behind, and it destroyed life on the surrounding islands. Human beings who saw it were particularly struck by what happened to birds for miles around: They were incinerated, singed, sick, grounded, struggling to fly. The blast yielded 10.4 megatons of explosive energy, 750 times greater than the explosion that leveled Hiroshima. …

The Centers for Disease Control says 11,493 people died from gun homicides in 2011. Of the 13,288 people killed by terrorist attacks in 2011, seventeen were private U.S. citizens, or .001 percent. (17), and between 2000 and 2006, 2,752 Americans were killed by terrorist attacks, all on 9/11. The US congress are all for accumulating metadata to stop terrorist killings, and whatever else the spy agencies are sequestering (it’s about your definition of a situation, activity or object), but can not even bolster a discussion on gun control – look at the numbers – dude, seriously.

Six former Bank of America Corp employees have alleged that the bank deliberately denied eligible homeowners loan modifications and lied to them about the status of their mortgage payments and documents. The bank allegedly used these tactics to shepherd homeowners into foreclosure, as well as in-house loan modifications. Both yielded the bank more profits than the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program – Indeed – a prime example of consumer fracking – squeeze them for every last drop! Dude, seriously.

A boom in U.S. exports of gasoline, diesel and other fuel has refiners and traders scrambling to reserve freighters to carry product from the Gulf Coast to Africa, Argentina and Asia. Soaring demand has driven the price of U.S. crude oil to its highest level in 16 months, and shipping rates have skyrocketed. How does this square with independence from foreign oil?

The accident served as an awakening for Garcia, who later commented: “That’s where my life began. Before then I was always living at less than capacity. I was idling. That was the slingshot for the rest of my life. It was like a second chance. Then I got serious”.

Fall

Concerned

Travel Look

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Consumer Fracking

A few posts-ago, I stated: “When inequality gets bad enough, serfs don’t have much money to buy products from overlords. This hurts the overlords’ ability to get even richer. That’s what’s wrong with the American economy right now. The serfs are tapped out.” When I re-read this, it prompted another thought – those reaping the benefits do not want to give up an inch – in fact, they want more. So if you can’t invest in a country where the serfs are tapped out – you take advantage of the global economy and all the juicy free trade agreements that exist (or will exist). What does this mean – it means move money to the market that has the most room for growth – where there is work, pay is increasing, and new consumers are consuming every day. Once the new consumers are tapped out for productivity and they can no longer afford to consume – move on to a new country – It’s like mining for gold – once the load is tapped out – leave the waste and move on. Another avenue is to try and squeeze even more profits out of the serfs – Consumer Fracking (as in fracturing for natural gas and oil – you heard it here) – For example, take a commodity the population desperately needs – like bread – provide it to the consumer at less cost (GMO grains – more yields, less cost), sell the bread in smaller amounts for a fraction more money – and call it profit growth. I will let you run the experiment with health care. As markets become saturated, natural resources become scarcer, and serfs become tapped – the profit machine will be pushed into a corner – and as I said, those reaping the benefits do not want to give up an inch. So watch out!

Last Word: Krishnamurti: We move from certainty to uncertainty, then from that uncertainty to another certainty, trust this person and then later on discover that he is not worthy of your trust and move to another, and again put your trust in him then discover he is untrusting, that’s our life.

 

 

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Internet Swell Update Update

Country

The internet swell definitely heaved. Foam boards and novices not withstanding, everywhere was good. Tiburones for me, but there was ripping all over. A good friend sent me a picture for reference – a country spot. Look real hard and you can see the takers – and get some perspective. One of the best early south swell seasons I can remember. Many thanks!

A word or an act can seem like a mistake when it happens — and even shortly afterward. In years to come, though, you might look back on it and see that, though it created friction and even hurt at the time, it served a higher and more character-forming purpose in the long run. Supposed mistakes can lead you down paths that you never would have otherwise traveled. You end up discovering things about yourself and what makes you happy that may have otherwise never been found. Calling one’s boss “a raving buck-toothed lunatic, with the management skills of a deaf hyena and the talent of an oaf’s corpse” might get you fired — or even ostracized for a while. Yet the courage that might have taken could serve to bolster an otherwise compliant spirit and project you to higher goals and achievements. – Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive of Google spoke at the Hay Festival in the U.K.

Real wages fell 0.2% in 2012, down from $295.49 (1982-84 dollars) to $294.83 per week, according to the 2013 Economic Report of the President. Thus, a 1.9% increase in nominal wages was more than wiped out by inflation, marking the 40th consecutive year that real wages have remained below their 1972 peak.

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Internet Swell Update

Pretty much as predicted, the internet swell showed up yesterday, June 6, 2013. Surfed Tiburones shoulder high and a little bigger. It was sunny but the wind was blowing. Almost everyone showed up and the pack was pretty brutal. That said, I got a couple of good ones and bailed while the bailing was good. Today, the internet swell really pulled in. The wave charts tell the story – 5-foot and over Hawaiian style – meaning 10-foot plus faces – all day. It was a circus at the Point. This morning the tide was low and the Drain Pipe was tube dredging barrels. I heard it was 40 percent makable with sand-weighted caverns eating rippers alive. But ripping. Over 200+ out along the point alone. I surfed later in the afternoon. There was a stiff breeze, but conditions were good – and so was the tide. I Paddled out to Tiburones in between sets, so I really didn’t know what to expect. There was a lot of water moving around, so paddling was required to stay in position. A couple of middle waves came through - showing at a little overhead – and suggesting the sets were bigger. Up toward second peak bombs were exploding off the reef and rippers were taking it apart. And all the other internet squatters were wreaking havoc – boards flying all over – tomb-stoning in unison until it looked like a whole graveyard. Chaos was part of it. My first wave was a middle one – pretty good shape – took off and found my cord wrapped around the big toe of my front foot while my back foot perched on the rest of my cord. I estimate only about two-thirds of each foot was in touch with the board – couldn’t move my feet – and I was restricted to the last third of my board – the front of my board was bouncing weightlessly. It wasn’t the best start, but I made it to the end of the wave and rode over the back. Things definitely improved from there. Somehow I was able to negotiate the crowd and found some gems. My last wave was an outside bomb that walled all the way past the stairs at Privates – whereupon I straightened out and rode the white water to shore. I walked back and sat at the Steps watching serious sets and serious rippers. Can’t bag on this internet swell too much – it was the real deal.

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Zombies All

Internet swell tomorrow!!!!

This is a excerpt from an interview – It hits the mark regarding the zombie economy. The lethargic society - waiting for….The government won’t do it…redistribution through taxes….I don’t think so….So, its up to corporate america…their investors…..and consumers…..”maybe in the next world, maybe in the next world”

RALPH NADER: Yeah, has there—has there been a bigger con man in the White House than Barack Obama? He hasn’t lifted a finger since he made those statements. And when he made the statements in the 2008 campaign, he said nothing for four years on raising the minimum wage. He made no pressure on Congress. He hasn’t even unleashed people in his own White House on this issue.

AMY GOODMAN: What can he do?

RALPH NADER: What can he do? He can barnstorm it. That’s what the bully pulpit is about. He can go up to Congress. He can get George Miller and Senator Harkin, who have introduced weak minimum wage increase bills, to have dynamic hearings where he puts a face on all these people who can’t even make as much as the workers made in 1968. Look at the difference here. There are a million Wal-Mart workers who are making less today than Wal-Mart workers made in 1968, inflation-adjusted, while the boss of Wal-Mart is making $11,000 an hour, you know, plus benefits. Two-thirds of all low-income workers are hired by these big companies, like McDonald’s and Burger King and Wal-Mart, and that the bosses are making anywhere from $10 million to $20 million a year.

Now, what does that do to the normative juices of the American people? I mean, where’s the indignation here? I mean, why do they take it? They don’t have to take it. They can hit the streets. They can march. They can turn this around. How come they hit the streets in these Third World countries? I mean, isn’t it important for their livelihood? They can’t even get the necessities of life for their children. The cruelty is unbelievable here. We are an advanced Third World country. We have great military equipment and science and technology. Half of the people in this country are poor. They can’t even pay their bills. They’re deep in debt. And so, people sitting around are saying, “Oh, the powers that be, you know, we can’t do anything.” What do you mean they can’t do anything? They can do everything. They’re the sovereign. We don’t have “We the corporation” at the beginning of the Constitution; we have “We the people.” So, timeforaraise.org. Let’s get it done in August. Let’s move. You’ll get a nice summons. You go around. You get your friends and neighbors. Bring that member back home in a town hall or wherever for an exclusive meeting on the minimum wage.

 

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Spring Stuff

 

Garden Spirit

The Rotation

Today marks 7 days of continuous south swell. Sore but motivated, I surfed Tiburones in the rain. During this span of good surf I went back into the board rotation – each board provided some fun – and further understanding as to why it was left out of the rotation in the first place. Is it time for another new board? Or is it just me? (probably me) – Pictures: assorted views since my last post – no questions asked.

May 20, 2013 – south swell started up couple days ago – small at 20 seconds from 200 degrees. Now, the buoys show 2.8 feet from 200 at 17 seconds. Surfed the first day on the LB at Tiburones and SB; surfed yesterday at Tiburones on the quad. Before the swell marched in, we were hanging on various wind swell nibbles and sliver-like windows. Have to say that it all came together yesterday. It was Sunday (i.e., heavily packed), hot and sunny, light breeze that never blew in the wrong direction, 3 to 15 wave sets, moderate tides, and 50 percent closeout ratio. Don’t know how the evening session was, but given conditions at sunset – it may have been….The swell is supposed to hang for awhile – we shall see.

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

An article I came across opened with “Why has income inequality been rising in advanced economies — it’s not just the US, people — over the past few decades? The economic consensus mostly explains the phenomenon as a race between accelerating technological change and expanding education.” So, the article goes on to try and explain that income inequality is a result of technology and lack of education that is focused on technology and paced with the speed of technological change. Really? So, incomes have been flat since the late 1970’s, productivity has been exponentially increasing, and pay for management and CEOs has gone through the roof. Consider this: The average CEO of a big American company makes more in an hour than his or her average employee makes in a month. And, America is rapidly becoming a country of a few million overlords and three hundred million serfs. The point – it’s not really about technology – it’s about greed. The corporate pie is not sliced in a way that enriches and benefits all parties of the transaction fairly. Add in a little union busting, “right-to-work” states, and an oppressing unemployment rate, and those in charge will continue to have conditions under which they can squeeze more profit and shareholder equity from those who make the whole organization and system work. Back to the overlords and serfs – When inequality gets bad enough, serfs don’t have much money to buy products from overlords. This hurts the overlords’ ability to get even richer. That’s what’s wrong with the American economy right now. The serfs are tapped out. The overlords are responding by firing more serfs, to increase profits. Unfortunately, because one person’s “costs” are another person’s “wages,” this is making the problem worse. How to make it right? Persuade the overlords that it is in their best interests to share more of their wealth by paying their employees more for their hard work (work that, not incidentally, is what makes the overlords rich).

The Grant Study is one of the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development. The project, which began in 1938, has followed 268 Harvard undergraduate men for 75 years, measuring an astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits—from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum”—in an effort to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.

There was no significant difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110–115 range and men with IQs higher than 150. Political ideology had no bearing on life satisfaction—but the most-conservative men ceased sexual relations at an average age of 68, while the most-liberal men had active sex lives into their 80s. Most important is the powerful correlation between the warmth of your relationships and your health and happiness in old age. The author’s key takeaway, in his own words: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points … to a straightforward five-word conclusion: ‘Happiness is love. Full stop.’ ”

March 20, 2013 – south swell filled in today under the cover of overcast storm clouds and northwest wind. Still, plenty good. Tiburones had some decent shape, but didn’t top shoulder-high. What was great was that the Internet pack was not on it, and the crew felt warm and cuddly doing something else. The lineup was relatively free and easy. Yes – it was cold, but satisfying. Great start to spring.

March 1, 2013 – first legit south swell is showing on the buoys. The south numbers are 2.2 feet at 17 seconds from 185. Also, a west-northwest swell is barely showing on the radar this evening – 8 feet at 20 seconds from 300. Tomorrow, the masses expect a strong Internet swell – they may be rewarded.

Surfed the Steps today – solid west-northwest long period swell – high tide and draining way fast. Anyway, the talent level and competition was high, and I started my session struggling. You know, you want to get that first wave and build some confidence – I was losing confidence quickly paddling, maneuvering – but nada. Then I hooked into one and got two turns before the wave closed out – wasn’t much, but I remained hopeful. Finally, it seemed a good in-betweener was coming my way and I thought I was uncontested. Oh no – one of the stud kids spun around and was looking to paddle over and get it – but, it was one of the youth with soul. He looked over – saw I was paddling – and encouraged me to go. Definitely the best wave of the session for me – wave and gesture. Thank you Kane – you are a true surfer.

Medicine for profit? How does it work? Profit off fear and vanity. It’s an unfortunate truth. There’s not much profit for drug companies in producing new and better medicines for people that can’t really pay for them. Diseases suffered by the wealthy, like heart disease and cosmetic treatments like those for baldness will always command a higher price. Often, there are no morals in profit – especially in the corporate world where the functionaries are insulated from the effects– very zombie like. No translate into health care – dude, seriously.

 

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