Development & Prosperity in Chatham County North Carolina



Here’s a paragraph from a Special Report in The Economist titled Biodiversity. The bottom line is that wealthier regions sometimes do a better job of protecting and sustaining biodiversity.

“that is thanks to the developments covered in this special report – shifting public attitudes to other species, increasing appreciation of natural environments, legislation to stop the killing of endangered species, programs to eradicate invasive species, more and bigger protected areas for wildlife, subsidies to restore degraded habitat, better sanitation, better regulation of pesticides, decreasing levels of conflict and increasingly effective states implementing conservationist legislation. All of these become more prevalent as countries get richer.” The Economist, September 14, 2013, Special Report, Biodiversity, Averting the Sixth Extinction, p.15:

Does upgrading become more prevalent as a county gets richer?  Welcome new developments? Continue to work on Haw River and Jordan Lake cleanup? Keep Kudzu out? Control Sevin dust and Coyotes?

What development and prosperity did the first settlers have in mind when they came here around 1751? Apparently the Catawba Indians were friendly towards the colonists and later served side by side with them fighting the British in our Revolutionary War. How did it turn out for the Catawba?



It’s easy to prove anti-development perspectives as long as one forgets that there’s probably not a single person contributing to this debate who would be here were it not for a long series of developers.

Pittsboro’s Warrior Memorial

Tens of thousands of warrior memorials exist in the world today. War memorial statuary is found in Germany, Russia, England, France, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, India, Vietnam, China, Africa, the United States and elsewhere. Honoring defenders made sense since the beginning of humanity. Communities who fail to honor their past and present defenders are jeopardizing their own survival.

Pittsboro's Confederate Soldier MonumentPlease forgive this newcomer’s comments about a sensitive subject. I’m talking about that Confederate Infantryman on duty in front of our reconstructed courthouse in the center of my new hometown. Well-meaning friends insist I avoid discussing this subject. Yet seeing that brave young soldier striding through the middle of main street traffic inspires respectful consideration. I need to respond to his call. FYI “Chatham (County) furnished 1900 soldiers to the Confederacy.”

I’m guessing African-Americans get everything there is to get about honoring military service because their people have been loyally serving in our nation’s armed forces since the American Revolution. Yorktown Virginia 1781 General George Washington’s troops surround Cornwallis’s army; the Redcoats are forced to surrender. A significant number of African-American infantry are part of Washington’s victorious force.

It should be easy to understand why the descendants of any people recently subject to centuries of the degrading exploitation known as human slavery turn away from statues memorializing warriors serving governments constitutionally dedicated to the long-term systematic suppression of their ancestors.

A prominent national developer who already owns the necessary land is offering to bring greater prosperity as well as 50,000 newcomers into Pittsboro, North Carolina. Chatham folks are wondering about the pluses and the minuses if and when their county is challenged to absorb this small city.

Someday welcoming 50,000 newcomers may be our opportunity to share. People create and react to their social changes in different ways. Adding memorials commemorating a celebrated moment in the history of American independence is a growth opportunity too. Consider adding a voluntarily financed statue of an African-American Continental Army infantryman participating in a Yorktown victory formation.

Response to a Friend Commenting on new Bill Moyers Documentary

We like Bill Moyers, especially remember his Joseph Campbell interviews so long ago, but listening carefully to his recent Charlie Rose interview puffing the release of this documentary, you won’t hear a single new, creative, practical idea about how America should go about solving the global problem he describes in the film. More than once, Charlie asks him, OK but what can be done about this, and Bill has nothing to say, except finally, well, we should double the minimum wage immediately.

ListeningUnfortunately, in this respect, Moyers resembles most of us who have no idea how civilization is going to better manage the absence of jobs crisis, which is just beginning, and civilization’s health care cost crisis, which is just beginning.

Also I remember another Charlie Rose interview in which Rose asks eminent biographer Robert Caro what Bill Moyers added to his story about LBJ. Caro responded that Moyers wouldn’t meet with him to talk about his Johnson years. Caro said he didn’t know why?  I wonder why as well? Moyers advocates transparency and loves history. Is he saving what he knows for his own book?

Bamboo II: Bamboozling Nature

Bamboo Sunrise IIWhy bamboo is called bamboo? Wiki Answers states: “The origins of the word…are obscure. Not found in English before the 16th century, and was first brought to Europe by the Portuguese….”

Where did the word bamboozle come from? People have different opinions about this subject. Go here to learn more:

Alpha Male Plant

I’m convinced that our definition of bamboozle came from the way running bamboo bamboozles its way around plant neighborhoods, taking over wherever it can. Running bamboo is an Alpha male in nature’s pack of plants. Definitely pretty gently rustling in the wind, but you better watch out when bamboo runs your way. Bamboo has enemies who insist “you can sleep with your bamboo if you like, but don’t you dare plant any near my property.”

People bamboozle people every day. People bamboozle themselves. Bamboozle means intrusively penetrating the mental and emotional, legal, and spiritual and financial common sense territories of our own best interests.

One of the most cost-efficient sources of practical material on the planet, bamboo stands with nature’s fastest growing plants. Bamboo has been used for centuries to make textiles, paper, furniture, art, and high-rise scaffolding.  Panda’s, Lemurs, Rats, Mountain Gorilla’s, Chimps, Elephants, Moths and People eat bamboo. Bamboo consumption is likely to sprout, because strength and renewability are bamboo’s one-two punches, both perfectly suited for this fast-moving age.

Bamboo and PandaHealthy garden communities need maintenance. Informed and reliable containment is part of good management. Bamboo and humanity both share limited capacities for self-control.

Human bamboozling, one of our natural limitations, resembles what causes so many people to condemn bamboo. How many gardens has humanity invaded?  How many life forms has Homo sapiens driven towards extinction? Who’s next? Where next? Is any garden on earth safe from our human propensity to invade? Most important, is there any possibility that humanity is about to do a better job of self-control?

Civilization is evidence that humanity can voluntary strengthen our capacity for self and social control. Self-control is how civilization protects itself.  Social controls are delivering progress for billions of people voluntarily living within constructive personal and community boundaries. Every bamboo isn’t a runner.

I love bamboo!

Everyone doesn’t hate bamboo. I love bamboo when song birds nest in its screen, when bamboo sends amazing shoots surging into spring, the same shoots any responsible gardener knows must surely be contained.

Longer Lines for Government Services

Lovely Mom Writes: “My son and his friend have been at the DMV since 10 am this morning trying to get their learner’s permits. they are still there. I’m serious.”

Baby Behind Wheel

Response: Driving is worth the wait! I remember. It’s a great right of passage.

Government and civilization go hand in hand. The storehouses in biblical Egypt were a government project.

Shrinking  government has its downsides. Waiting longer for services is one of them.

Competition for power between levels of government is normal. No level of government is more or less efficient or corrupt then the others.

Levels of government: local, state, regional, national, international

War on Religion

Delete Religion

An active constituency insists that civilization would be better off with no religion. This anti-religion constituency has grown in numbers. They claim religion is mumbo-jumbo. They remind people about centuries of dastardly behavior, violence against weddings and worshipers, pilgrims and patients, students and children committed in the name of some religious brand. They remind us that even today, religious people continue to inflict an encyclopedia of horrors upon their own kind.

They observe that religion’s dance with power and money is like a year-round prom.

Reverse Witnessing

A friend recently offered his selection of anti-religious propaganda online as if he totally agreed with it. He “witnessed” in reverse. He cited as a fact that “most scientists are anti-religious.” Yet his anti-religion narrative is based on mumbo-jumbo fantasies of his own. If the“delete religion” campaign is successful, who does the anti-religion constituency imagine is going to do a better job of managing civilization?

Doesn’t removing one power always means replacing it with another?

The anti-religion constituency often fails to take responsibility for centuries of dastardly behavior committed by nonreligious people, including Stalin’s gulags, Hitler’s camps, and Mao’s blood Red Book, which were violent crusades for “secular divinities”.

I ask my anti-religious friend, “aren’t the put downs emanating from religion one of the qualities you find most objectionable”?

Avoid put-downs when possible. Follow your own better ways.

His “opinionating” reminds me that some religious and anti-religious people are inclined towards righteous judgment, too easily condemning perspectives other than their own.


Tears on Mother’s Day

Thank God my mother is alive and well. So why my tears on Mother’s Day? Well I miss not being with her. And I feel guilty about it too. Mom’s grounded because she can no longer physically get about. Mom’s positively grounded by good-hearted wisdom. She peacefully adjusts. Mom is my hero!

So why my tears on Mother’s Day? Tears on Mother’s Day because I miss the way mom was to me in infancy, childhood, adolescence, college, and towards my marriage, children and grandchildren. I’m sure mom misses lots too.

Tears on Mother’s Day because I remember my wonderful grandma Annette Needleman, Auntie Rose Skurka, mother-in-law Mary Ferguson Shugart, and my mom’s sister-in-law Natalie Langner. What a blessing for me to be nurtured by such loyal, loving, smart, practical and faithful citizens of humanity.

THE STATUE OF WILLENDORFWe capitalize Mother’s Day, but we don’t capitalize sacred mother? What happened to female divinity? There’s evidence of mother God worship going on for tens of thousands of years. People stomped Earth mother worship out of existence comparatively recently.

Infinite divinity extends infinitely beyond our mammal genders. Now is a practical time to give up on male only club divinity. Women make up half the human family. Gender alliances need re-balancing in families, neighborhoods, nations, and globally. So let’s open every job group to all, for example let everybody share in human mothering. God knows we need as many nurturing mothers we can find.

The Virtues of Bamboo

Catch Me If You Can

Catch me If You Can

On a local chat site, a neighbor asks : “I want to plant bamboo. It’s so beautiful. Where can I find some.” Every respondent adamantly offers the same answer. “Don’t do it, because spreading bamboo is uncontrollable!”

Here’s my take on bamboo in your garden.  The many warnings about bamboo spreading are absolutely true. Watching new shoots emerge in the spring is simply amazing because each of them looks so virile and grows so fast.

There are ways to contain bamboo. A 3 feet deep planting ditch lined with concrete on all four sides probably works (no joke)  except for the runners that will try to grow over the top of the barrier. These top runners can easily be cut off, but as one person asked, what happens after you’ve moved on? Or carefully line your ditch with a double layer of 80 mil High-Density Polyethylene plastic. And never give up your spring runner patrol.

So why consider planting bamboo? Imagine a dense evergreen barrier 40 feet high, 3 feet wide and 20 feet long providing complete privacy even though our neighbors driveway was just on the other side of the patch. In our last home, we enjoyed bamboos wind rustled presence for decades. The birds loved it too.

ER writes: "why is it taking so long for men to become "real" people? or for that matter, for people to become "real" people?

ER writes: “why is it taking so long for men to become “real” people? or for that matter, for people to become “real” people?

Allen responds: Who are the “real people”?
I have choir rehearsal later this afternoon.
One of the songs we’ll be performing on May 8 is Eleanor Rigby a part of a Beetles Medley. It goes:

“I look at all the lonely people. Where do they all come from.?
I look at all the lonely people where do they all belong?”

You ask…
“why is it taking so long for men to become “real” people? or for that matter, for people to become “real” people?”
Allen comments:   Are lonely people “real” ones? Responding to your “real” people question, a helpful clue comes from Eleanor Rigby who “lives in a dream.” Humanity is living in a dream replete with ordained fantasies about we who are. By denying and under appreciating sacred evidence demonstrating the natural mammal roots of humanity, genetically, physically and behaviorally, we inhibit the search for a better understanding of our true nature including our origin and the root causes of our most destructive behavior such as interpersonal violence and war. We become  “real” people when we more fully embrace what we know about where humanity came from (primates), then edge closer to knowing and embracing who we “really” are (so far).
Doesn’t knowing where we came from help answer questions about where we belong, what’s real?