Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's
Number 819, April 26, 2015

The world seems to be getting better every day, a
little at a time. It may not seem like very much to
you, especially if you're young and impatient to be
free, but considering where we started it's more
progress than I had ever hoped to see.

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Purple Fathead

Purple Fatheads & Other Thoughtcrimes on Earth Day
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Celebrated yet another birthday—this past week—if I can even call a birthday cause for celebration anymore. Actually I'm not that old but sometimes I think it can be a blessing to forget my age. The date falls on the 22nd of April a decade before it became the date we celebrate the worship of dirt. Earth Day of all things: which is shared by the son of a co-worker; one of my friend Ray's two daughters and the historically infamous tyrant who started the Soviet Union—in honor of whom it has been speculated the the date was chosen.

Vladimir Lenin?

Oh well—I guess it's better than being born on the same day as Hitler. Or 9/11!

Not that it was much to celebrate—I started off going to Honda for maintenance—oil change and tire rotation. Then a little shopping—Superworms from PetsMart and some Zip Ties from Lowe's where I also picked up a trio of Bird's Nest Ferns on clearance for a buck each. And checked out a local nursery—but they had hardly anything out and then the other Lowe's in Latrobe which was already covering everything up in anticipation of frost. And there had been some wet snow mixed into the rain while I was at the garage.

Talk about a shitful day as what started out as a rather pleasant spring has turned quite ugly with my region and many other places around the nation and the world making headline

So much for that promise of global warming! Back home a box of fish was waiting on my porch which kind of redeemed the occasion. All alive and well. 8 Tricolor Shiners—Cyprinella trichlorista and batches of young Bantam Sunfish—Lepomis symetricus and Starhead Topminnows—Fundulus escambiae. I got the Tricolors ready to go into the upper 40B with a couple older topminnows that will be going out as soon as it warms up again. This worked out much better than pushing the Bitterlings out in haste—which was the original plan. Will get them outside likewise in few days to a week's time. I had started moving some fish outside already but that is now on hold because of the unseasonably chilly weather. It is also noteworthy that I am still running the outdoor furnace. Later than I have in previous seaso

Did not feel like doing much outside the greenhouse other than checking a few things and gathering some supplies for potting plants etc. After about an hour I was ready to call it a day.

Thought about Edo Hibachi that evening but ended up consuming the leftover taco mix instead after finally calling it a day outside. I was reluctant to go back out—but I had to cover plants or pull them inside. Glad I didn't go hog wild putting stuff out when it was warm last week like I often Do in early spring. The realization came also that its not a good idea to go hog wild period when it comes to collecting stuff. Especially things that need to be moved inside during colder weather. There are limits of what is feasible Always easier said than done. And there were a lot of conversations both political and hobby related with my friend in Wisconsin that day going into the evenin

Like me—Ray is also getting his ponds ready for what he hopes will be a better season than last.

When I sent him pics of my latest acquisition he remarked that the Tricolor Shiners reminded him somewhat of the "Purple Fatheads" that we contemplated looking for on my last visit to Wisconsin in 2007. That was our code name for the state "InDaynGered" Redfin Shiner—Luxillus umbratilus which is also listed as a "Frettened" species* by the Bucket Heads in Pennsylvania. I had always been somewhat enamored with them since I saw a color illustration in the Golden Nature Field Guide—"Pond Life" in childhood when they were one of those unattainable species That did not occur locally. And in the time since—now that I could actually get them if I cared to travel to a part of the range where they might be locally common and legal to collect as baitfish, or beg, barter or buy from someone else who lives there—they are now of course a protected species by virtue of a peripheral extension of their range into my state.

My friend remembered a place where he used to catch them as a kid and said they looked like "Purple Fatheads". We went there to see if we could turn a few up in my seine. Catch and release. But all we got were an assortment of chubs, dace, shiners, young suckers and the real fathead minnows of bait bucket fame! Was probably a good thing we didn't catch any of the purple ones. And a good thing the DNR didn't have the technology of the movie Minority Report at its disposal or else they would probably have been waiting there at that bridge to arrest us as we pulled in—or at least before our nets hit the water. Since then, I must confess that I've thought about driving out to buy some of the real ones in Ohio where they are apparently legally being produced in aquaculture**. I remember Jonah's had them available for a while in bulk quantities for pond stocking so someone was apparently having good luck with them. Something the Bucket Heads ought to be doing—or at least recruit some ambitious volunteers from the Native Fishes Association or regional aquarium clubs to do in a backyard pond or stock tank—instead of just putting them on a forbidden list and promising draconian penalties for violat Cripes—if it works for trout and bluegills—it ought to work for an InDaynGered mi

Another good thoughtcrime for Dirt Day!

Will always be fun to joke about PFHs like picking up an occasional Spotted Turtle. I'm sure that too is a serious thoughtcrime along with just thinking about doing it!

Pertaining to endangered fishes—if you were around back in the 1970s when all this tomfoolery got started you might remember the case of the Snail Darter that held up construction of a dam in the Tennessee valley—which ended up having to have an act of Congress to finish

William Tucker in "Progress & Privilege"—suggested that fish ought to be listed at the genus level because they are so prolific. That would drive a few old acquaintances in the Hobby off the deep end. To some it might even be considered a deadly act profane as shouting insults against Islam and the Prophet in the streets of Mecca.

The ultimate environmental thoughtcrime for sure!

And you thought the politically correct gatekeepers among the Science Fiction publishers were bad! I would have been admonished for it back in the day. After all the Bucket Heads and the Pointy Heads and their lackeys feel the need to perpetuate these problems for the sake of job security. And it might be a go ahead for people to evict InDaynGered Species that are in the way of mining and development. Good example would be the case of the Delta Smelt which is part of the reason California farmlands are being parched and they are rationing water. Kind of serves the Moonbeam State right for letting themselves be governed by a bunch of tree hugging loons and the only reason I would not celebrate the demise of their way of life is the refugees that would flood onto other areas of the nation and mess them up—as they have already been doing to some extent to Nevada and Col

On another somewhat related thread, Ray and I were talking a good bit about the water woes of California and the southwest in genera. He is a little put off by the idea of building a canal to transport water from the Great Lakes to the southwest to support Southern California lifestyles along with unsustainable public pension plans while they continue to lecture the rest of the nation about sustainability.

There have actually been proposals for monumental schemes to divert water from the East to the West and dire warnings that the Rust Belt would be doomed for sure it that was ever done. Maybe. Maybe not. That was back in the 80s and much has changed since. Yet the idea has popped up again and who knows—it could be Mr. Obama's ticket to salvaging his legacy as the Neo-New Deal President ; after opposing the Keystone Pipeline—with a colossal public works project dwarfing the likes of the Hoover Dam and other macro projects of the last depression era.

I should shut up before I give him and anyone else in Washington more ideas for spending the taxpayer's

The water diversion scheme is not a good thing. Just another pork barrel project that might be a temporary stimulus but otherwise a dead end. What Jerry Brown really ought to do is dust off his ideas that got him ridiculed as "Moonbeam" back in the 70s and promote beamed power from space ***. That would solve California's water woes—and the woes of every arid nation or region on Earth. You could start souring desalinated water from the oceans and dispense with fighting over limited resources. But of course those who like limits and seek refuge in a scarcity economy would not like it.

Then again there is not much of anything that they do like.

Belated happy Dirt Day!

End Notes

* "Frettened"—a less critical category than "InDaynGered".

** But that was when I didn't give a shit about the Bucket Heads and their rules and regulations under the assumption I could live under their radar. Now I cannot afford to take those chances anymore. At least not until there is a major turning in the state and federal governments.
The Tricolors are my "Purple Fatheads" now.

*** Which could also provide a source of cheap hydrogen fuel—or synthetic hydrocarbons. And preferably the effort would be private—as we've seen the track record of NAS

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