Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bioregionalism

The twin geophysical crises of global climate change and peak oil production, coming about coincidentally in human history, have precipitated a human social crisis. They have revealed, for all the world to see, the ultimate failure of the two hundred year-old human experiment in centralism and industrialism.

Human beings have separated themselves from the mass of non-human life in two major areas: systemic centralization of power and authority, and the separation and commodification of natural resources for exclusive human use.

No other species engages in systematic centralization of authority. Yes, some species do have pecking orders. These are transitory and do not result in systematic and unchanging hierarchies of authority and control. Only humans engage in coercive, centralized, political control.

Only humans separate natural resources and guard them from access and use by other individuals and species. Only humans view the resources of the earth as "products" to be used for individual human gain and profit.

In these two ways, humans are bucking the mainstream of biological evolution, among all the millions of species on this earth. And now the chickens have come home to roost. The bluff is called and we've revealed our cards, a miserable pair of deuces.

The entire thrust of biological evolution, from the first replicating DNA strands to non-industrial Homo sapiens has been towards cooperation and mutual aid. Apologists for the industrial status quo point to Darwin's Theory of Evolution, mistakenly interpreting "survival of the fittest" to mean survival of the strongest individual, when in fact, Darwin observed that survival of the fittest meant the "community most fit to the existing environmental conditions."

In any event, no matter how modern individuals interpret an historical treatise on evolution, its plainly obvious that "survival of the fittest individual" results in societal failure! Individualism cannot continue in a universe based on cooperation. If individualism were transcendent, if competition were the ruling law, then this "civilization," if that's what it is, would be triumphant, would be the epitome of biological evolution, instead of the miserable failure that is apparent at every turn.

Since the centralization of energy, power, politics and economy has demonstrably failed, it is clearly evident that decentralization is the road we should have taken. When one is standing with toes hanging over the edge of the precipice, progress consist of turning around and taking a step forward.

What would a decentralized, cooperative society look like?

Such a society would be bounded by these bioregional principles:

1) Limitations of scale
2) Conservation and Stability
3) Self-sufficiency and cooperation
4) Decentralization and diversity

Government of such a society would be libertarian (in the true sense), non-coercive, open and democratic.

The people in such a society would be engaged daily in the processes of decision making in their neighborhoods, communities and bioregions.

Food production would be dispersed throughout the community, with each family having its own gardens, and additional food provided in local, multi-crop farms providing nutritious unadulterated food for local consumption.

Energy production would be on-site, with each home and work place producing all the energy required to maintain its inhabitants, plus a surplus to be distributed to those in need.

There would be less of a boundary between city and country, less separation between work and home, less distinction between leaders and followers.

All decisions within a bioregion would be based on widespread understanding of bioregional needs, based on a thorough understanding of the characteristics of the bioregion in which one lives. Any action that threatened damage to the bioregion would be regarded with utmost horror, a crime of major proportions requiring drastic social sanction. The interests of the human community would be in all cases synonymous with the interests of the larger bioregional community.

Decision-making would begin at the local level, with residents dealing with problems affecting their own neighborhoods. Problems that transcend the neighborhood would be dealt with by ad-hoc federations of neighborhood associations from among the neighborhoods affected. Problems affecting the community as a whole would be dealt with by a federation of all neighborhood associations. Problems that transcend the community would be dealt with by federations of community associations. Regional and "national" governing bodies would be replaced by federations of regional associations.

Membership in the federations of associations would be by delegate appointment, with delegates authorized only to carry the brief of the parent association. The delegate would not be able to make any independent decisions on any issue without discussion by the parent body. All are expected to take part in the associations, subject to public sanction. Those who decide to not take part in the decision-making process, also decide to eschew the social benefits of membership in the society.

In this way the local organization is engaged with all decisions-making from the local to the meta-regional. There would be no central body to hand down decisions to the people. All would have a direct interest in the outcome of all issues, and all would have a say in any decisions.

This seems Utopian to us in a society based on coercive, central authoritarian rule, and representative republican government, where appeal to authority is the norm, and a centralized constabulary maintains social order. Yet, the vast majority of human history has been within societies based on the above principles. It is only within the past two hundred years or so that we have abandoned the major thrust of human society.

It not only can be done, it is the only way that human society can continue much longer in the future.

It's a bit scary, starting out on something new. But, as with everything, we start out with small steps. We start out by withdrawing our support from central, authoritarian rule in our lives: in our home, our workplaces, our local, city, state and national government. At the same time we work to build supportive, cooperative social structures, based on bioregional organization and mutual aid. We build local currencies and local economies, we support local food production for local consumption. We support locally owned businesses that provide locally produced goods and services. We work to preserve and defend local biological and social diversity. We teach our neighbors the skills necessary to become self-sufficient and self-reliant. We work with our neighbors and community members to build up systems of local political autonomy and reject the support and control of centralized government.

In this way, when the central authority begins to crumble, we are prepared to carry our own weight, to provide for ourselves and for our neighbors, friends and families.

We are engaged in the community of all life, a contributing member of our bioregion, giving to the whole, as we receive from the whole.

Michael Lewis
Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Neighborhood, Commmunity and Bioregion

Rather than attempting to puzzle out the grand scheme of things, chronological and global in scope, I prefer to concentrate on the local: my neighborhood, my community, my bioregion.

There's nothing I can do about starvation in Africa, even by eating all my peas. I can't do away with old nukes in Novo Sibirsk, stop emissions from coal burning in China or even reduce the number of cars on the roads in North America.

I can, however, choose to live where I am within walking distance of local markets that have food grown on local farms, where I work at a non-polluting job that offers a service to the local community. I can grow as much food as I can in my own gardens. I can live in a house with passive solar heating and low maintenance, that uses little electricity to provide for my simple needs.

I can take part in local politics in my neighborhood and community, providing an understanding of the bioregion where we all live and the place we humans play in the interplay of natural forces and cycles within this region. I can share my understanding with others so that we can all make informed decisions that affect all members of our community and its bioregion.

How will we weather the coming changes at the neighborhood, community and bioregion levels?

Since we have chosen wisely where to live, our requirements for heating are minimal and we don't need air conditioning at all. Temperatures here rarely get below freezing or above 75 degrees. We live within easy walking and biking distance of shops and markets and we have a thriving farmers market during the growing seasons. We are surrounded by agricultural land, which now grows crops mainly for export, and which will, as necessary, grow more and more for local consumption. A thriving local fishing industry provides fresh fish for local residents.

As gas and oil prices rise, we are well situated to work communally to provide for the needs of all our community members. We will work in a federation of other communities to make sure we all have what we need, and we will continue these relationships during the coming challenges.

This is one answer to the coming changes: strong neighborhood, community and bioregional associations based on mutual aid and bioregional organization.

Michael

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Nature of the Problem - and the Solution

The proximate problems we face as a society are Peak Oil production, and global climate change as a result of industrial effluent. The dominant society that influences the way most human beings live on this planet, and a great part of non-human beings as well, is built on an economy based on inexpensive, highly portable, concentrated energy in the form of fossil fuels, and the socialization of the costs of using these fuels, coupled with the privatization of the profits from their use. In other words, those who have created and profited from the mess have never been required to clean up after themselves.

Despite the drastic changes in all life that these two factors promise, they are not the ultimate cause of this potential failure in the dominant human society. The sources of energy that have become dominant and that have created such severe pollution problems are relatively rare, localized and subject to private ownership and exploitation. Use of fossil fuels has flourished in a social environment of private property ownership and centralized control of access to sources of energy. Centralized government has prospered in this environment and continues to seek increased centralization and control of those energy sources necessary to maintain the social status quo.

We who are aware of the coming changes know that they will change everything in the dominant human society. Everything. Economy. Government. Social relationships. Everything. I'm not sure that everyone realizes just what "everything" means.

As we peer forward dimly into the future, trying to find the ford across the river now that the bridge is clearly out, it becomes evident that central organization is part of the problem. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are dispersed unevenly across the planet, variable available over time, subject to the whims of season, weather and climate. As such, these natural sources of energy are inappropriate to centralization, concentration and distribution, and, subsequently not supportive of a centralized capitalist economy that socializes the costs of energy development and privatizes the profits.

In short, wind and solar energy are best produced and used at the site of production, by those who actually do the work, rather than being produced by central bureaucracies that make a profit off their distribution.

This energy reality bodes ill for central government, authority and economy. The centralized nature of industrial capitalism is largely responsible for the misuse, waste and inefficiency of our present energy systems, not to mention the centralization and maximization of profits to be obtained from extorting money from the people for access to the very resources that belong to no one, yet are given over to private enterprise for private profit. The legacy of all life has been privatized in order to continue a social system built upon elitism, human social inequity and speciesism.

This, as with everything, must and will change.

The answer, as Mohandis Karamchand Gandhi told us 60 years ago, is to turn society upside down and build the human world from the people up, rather than from the ruling elite down. He was concerned at the time with self-government and freedom from foreign oppression, using homespun khadi as a simple of local self-reliance. When the people no longer have to turn to a central authority for their needs, they can build their own freedom for themselves.

A sustainable human society can never be built by a central authority. Centralization requires haves and have-nots, those who possess power and influence and those who do not. In order for a society to be sustainable, it must provide sustenance for all, else there will always be those who demand an equal share, if not more.

In order for all to be sustained, all must be able to carry on their own lives within their own traditions, based on their relationships with their own local bioregions. No sustainable society can be imposed on the people from a central authority. The relationships among humans and the world in which they live must grow of themselves from a living relationship with the local environment.

The coming breakdown of the dominant human society is the best thing that could happen to Homo sapiens, not to mention the millions of other species on this earth. When central authority and oppression finally and ultimately whither through lack of energy, humans will be cast into their own hands at the local level, free of imposed "help" from the central government, free to form lives in harmony in their local bioregions.

The only form of human society that has ever existed sustainably is the local community, with an economic system based on local production for local consumption, organized bioregionally.

A thousand years from now, all humans will be living bioregionally or they will not be living at all.

Michael
Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Climate Change, Global Warming, politics and human perception

Yes, Virginia, there is Climate Change. In fact, there's been steady climate change for millions of years, on this poor tired and embattled Earth we inhabit. The one thing constant about life on this planet has been constant change.

The answer to the question, "Does human industrial activity contribute to global climate change?" is most certainly yes. We add millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year and we know that carbon dioxide allows solar energy to enter the atmosphere and prevents it from leaving: global warming.

The big, and as yet unanswered question, is "Does the climate change caused by human industrial activity pose a threat to human life and all life on this planet?" The answer is: "We don't know."

That being said, it's important to examine the consequences of making a wrong decision, as a society and a species, with regard to human caused climate change.

If we decide that human effects do not pose a threat to life on this planet and we are right, we go on about our business. If we are wrong, we boil in the pot with the proverbial frog.

If we decide that human effects may indeed pose a threat to life on this planet and we are right, we change our lives for the better in the long run creating a sustainable society that can live indefinitely within its biological and geophysical means. If we are wrong, we're still ahead because we are living in a sustainable society that can exist indefinitely within its biological and geophysical means.

It doesn't seem to take an Einstein to make the right choice here. Unfortunately, instead of Einsteins, our world is run by economists and politicians, who are incapable of making a decision based on logic and data, relying instead on profits and poll results.

So here we are, drifting toward the waterfall in a boat made of papier maché.

Hayduke
Leona Gulch

Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | Mocking our dreams

Monday, February 14, 2005

The White House vs. Reality: Round 2

How Team Bush Controls the Message, Stages the Events

While it's nice to see this discussed in an open forum, it comes as no surprise. Rather than Bush, this approach has been the hallmark of Karl Rove since the Nixon administration. To the Rove crew, "Reality" is the opponent, not any particular candidate or political party. Reality is seen as mutable, insubstantial, subject to revision and purposeful manipulation.

From the deception leading to the invasion of Iraq (perhaps including some aspects of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon) to the Emperor's New Hump (the obvious radio receiver on Bush's back and shoulder during the televised debates) to the recent "election" in Iraq, "The Message" is a dish served to an audience with an impaired palate.

In this media age, one message on TeeVee carries the same weight as any other, commercial or non, to an audience that has been trained out of any critical thinking skills. The Internet delivers a bewildering array of "Information" with no clues for the recipient to determine what is valid and what is merely predigested factoids manufactured to create an effect. The fact, little known, or at least little acknowledged by corporate media, is that the Pentagon's PSYOPS program has largely taken over information dissemination in the White House.

Definition of Psychological Operations:

'Psychological Operations:  Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also consolidation psychological operations; overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception management. ' US Department of Defense

"A Strategy of Lies: How the White House Fed the Public a Steady Diet of Falsehoods"
by Gar Smith

http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/smith_gar_on_us_govt_falsehoods.html

Too bad the title is in the past tense, as the disinformation and psycological operations continue apace.

It's not at all surprising, as billions of dollars are at stake in this game, not to mention power and influence, which, to some, mainly the filthy rich, are far more imprtant. The game has been perfected and I frankly don't see any way out other than open rebellion. This is not to imply violent revolution, as rebellion can be a turning away from rather than fighting against, as Gandhi amply demonstrated.

The response by those who have everything to lose will undoubtedly be violent, however, as it is increasingly in the present.

Michael

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Non-Denial Denial

Is anyone surprised?

Of course the United States military is checking out Iran.! What's all the saber rattling for otherwise. US "drones" and probably workers and Queen Bees as well have been flying over Iran from months, not to mention satellites and high altitude reconnaissance planes. Think all the Blackbirds are in museums?

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050124fa_fact is Hersh's original article in the New Yorker.

The foxes are fully in charge of te henhouse now and there's no turning back. The have four years to consolidate the Middle east for energy corporations and the energy support structure befor ete next challenge. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for us, the only challneger on the horizon is the Democratic national Committee, aka the Republican Party.

Make no mistake, the US will destroy Iran's nuclear power program and as much of its military infrastructure as it can. Who will stop them? 86% of the American people believe in God; over 60% are fundamentalist Christians. Bush holds daily prayer meetings in the White House. 2+2=5. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Murder is Christian.

Thou shalt not kill, unless thou shall make a profit.

Michael
Leona Gulch
Pacicif Plate

Coming to a bin near you, the spy that tells how much rubbish you create

Coming to a bin near you, the spy that tells how much rubbish you create

So this is the future, then?

Everything in our lives will be wired, plugged in, monored and reported. Our "driver licenses," aka universal identify card, will have a chip with all our vital information, bioemtric data, digitally stored photograph, fingerprints, retina pattern, voice print and facial feature data set. It will be readable at ten paces so that our movements can be monitored, tracked and recorded at all times, and called up with the press of a button. No need for awkward phone taps, surveillence camera, mysterious men in trench coats. All very simple and electronic.

So what happens if we opt out? What if I decide to not renew my driver license next year? I can't fly on commercial airplanes? Can't ride on AMTRAK or Greyhound? What if I don't get a credit card? No loans, rent rather than buy a house, ride my bike, hitchhike.

Where does it stop?

When do we tell them, "No more!

How many peple in the United States know that the House passed the Read ID Act and what is in it? How many of those care?

It's time!

Michael
Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Story Begins

PROLOGUE

In almost all worlds in this vast Universe, or more accurately, this Multiverse, liquid of any form is a rare commodity. On the planet, Myopeda, for example, liquid methane floats about in droplets too tiny to see with the naked eye, or even with optics properly clothed. Such is the case on many planetary bodies, making the Multiverse, as a whole, considerably drier than a stock broker's afternoon martini.

In a spiral galaxy in the nether regions of the galactic space-time bubble containing the only known self-reflexive life forms, at least the only one reflected upon by those life-forms themselves, a planetary system whirls slowly through the, mostly, emptiness of interstellar space. Uncountable solid bodies, ranging in size from dust motes to incipient stars, parade around the central sun in a grand whirling dance of imperceptible velocity relative to the immovable but constantly moving background star field.

One planet and one moon in this remarkable system violate the above general rule of relative humidity and afternoon cocktails in two startlingly different ways. The moon, orbiting high above a gloriously beribboned gas giant, tightly holds it's precious liquid, largely a seething mixture of dihydrogen monoxide and methane, beneath a permanent crust solidified in the unimaginably frigid temperatures, or lack thereof, of deep space.

The other body, the third planet from the sun, not counting it's dry planet-like companion held in a wobbly coterminous orbit, irresponsibly keeps its liquid out in plain sight, in the full ravages of solar radiation and cosmic rays. This has gone on for some time, much to the consternation of the other planetary bodies, so long excluded from the cosmic liquidity competition.

In the uncountable millennia since its whirling formation from primal cosmic dust, this third planet, this Earth, has managed to develop a delicate equilibrium state among temperature, atmospheric pressure, gravity, biological activity, and only very lately, the unrelenting busyness of the aforementioned self-reflexive life-forms. Though, if truth be told, their most recent activities have begun to perturb this trembling balance in ways that, had the other planetary bodies had eyes to see, clothed or unclothed, they would have blinked them rapidly in disapproval.

Although more than 70% of The Earth's surface is covered with liquid dihydrogen monoxide, or water as the locals call it, certain areas of the planet are quite deficient in this precious liquid. These so-called deserts, despite their singular lack of such an essential constituent, nevertheless support a surprising diversity of life, self-reflexive and otherwise. The planetary surface, the actual land, as it were, the atmosphere above, the soil beneath, even isolated channels and local accumulations of water, called lakes or ponds, teem with an abundance of living organisms, almost all of which exist in an atmosphere dominated by toxic levels of oxygen, generally considered a bad neighborhood in the more desirable areas of the Multiverse.

Along one of these water channels large enough to be recognized as a river, flowing from central mountains to the equatorial sea, self-reflexive life forms existed sporadically over the past 10,000 local years. The earliest inhabitants, largely naked bipeds, despite their primitive development of self-reflection, from the perspective of the present inhabitants, at least, were nonetheless surprisingly well adjusted to their local environment. They lived in modest dwellings, formed of local materials, consumed the local flora and fauna in moderation, traded widely with others of their kind in far flung regions quite different from their own and generally led the naked biped, indifferently self-reflexive, oxygen consuming version of The Good Earth Life.

The situation changed quite radically during the last 4% of this occupation, when a new breed of bipeds appeared, almost entirely clothed almost all of the time, armed with fearsome weapons and the willingness, nay eagerness, to use them. They quickly laid waste to the general neighborhood round about, including the neighbors, and established themselves as the pre-eminent bipeds in the region.

These newcomers also exhibited a most peculiar characteristic. They insisted, often at the point of arms, that their particular brand of self-reflection was the only one that they and the local bipeds should be allowed to pursue, despite the total lack of any credible evidence to support their contention. Even though the local bipeds had had their own self-reflection well and truly worked out for hundreds, if not thousands of years, the newcomers held the field, largely because they killed or drove off any of the locals who refused to agree.

It is to this region we descend from the comfortable star-studded blackness of interplanetary space, through the corrosive oxy-nitrogenous atmosphere, past drifting colonies of vaporous water clouds, floating down toward the intricately folded, volcanically crenellated and aquatically weathered landscape, of Earth, North America, United States, New Mexico; the desert: home to horned-toads, road runners, crows and eagles, lizards, kissing bugs, cockroaches and miller moths; coyotes, wild horses, elk and deer; piñon pine and Ponderosa, agavé and century plants, and of late, in excess, in preponderance, in contradiction to all life that came before: Homo sapiens, the scourge of The Earth, the cancer on the face of the planet, the denial of entropy, bent on the destruction of all Things Good and True.

Except for a few, gathering here from their corners of what was once known as Turtle Island…

Friday, February 11, 2005

Well, there you are, then...

House approves electronic ID cards | CNET News.com

This law will probably, I say, probably, never pass the Senate and will not see the light of day. Maybe. If we're very, very lucky.

However, this is not the end of the story. There are many (mis)representatives in our Great National Asylum for the Helpless in Washington, DC intent on seeing that each Patridiotic 'Merikan carries a genuine, certified, vetted and Ofiicially approved United States of America Governemnt ID card, compete with a work of art in glowing color of each Citizen and an electronic file embedded, possibly in a chip that can be read by suitabe equiment from a distance of several feet, the whole thing encased in tasteful plastic.

"Your papers, pliz, Citizen."

We've always shied away from such totalitarian shenanigans in this country, at least until recently, a hold-over from our Colonial past no doubt, and our dark fanasies about Nazi Germany, some of which spill over, along with the Nazis hired to create the CIA, into contemporary American culture.

It's only a matter of time; the pendulum swings slowly and unstoppably. We're in the end of the Weimar Republic again, a major economic depression on the horizon, fundamentalist extremists in command of the government. The velvet fist of fascism ever present, biding its time in the wings for another turn on stage.

You would think we humans would learn at some time, with this brain thing of ours perched awkwardly high above our shoulders. Maybe that's the problem: too much wind blowing through empty skulls. When ideology and politics are reduced to demographics and polls, intelligence takes a back seat to gullibility.

'Twas ever thus.

Michael
Leona Gulch
pacific Plate

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Derailing Amtrak

Derailing Amtrak

Forty-five years ago I traveled by train from Sidney, Nebraska to Sacramento, California, on the Spirit of Los Angeles, from Sidney to Reno, with cars switched to another anonymous train to Sacto.

The depot at Sidney glowed in the hot afternoon sun, as I sat on the hard wooden pew, listening the futile bumping of flies against the wavey glass of the windows looking over empty tracks. I was nervous, heading out across half the United States on my own, ticket firmly held in my sweaty hand. My parents were goinf to meet me the next evenng in a trsange place called California.

The Spirit of Los Angeles was a sleek aluminum train with a streamlined engine in front, not the ugly diesel electric that pulls the AMTRAK trains these days. I rode in coach, in a reclining seat with a big view of the world passing by. I don't remember much of the trip, other than eaking up to bumps and clunks in the middle of the night as my car was switched to the western train in the Reno yards.

Riding AMTRAK now days has little of luxury of train travel that still existed forty years ago. Meals are meager, barely above airplane fair. Trains are often delayed, spending great swats of time hunkered on country sidings waiting for more important fast freights to zip by.

But it's still a most civlilized way to travel, moving at a human pace through largely unroaded parts of the country, into and out of the back doors of our cities. You can feel the change in the countryside, take time to adjust to the climate, hear the local patois that still exists among the common folk.

As with anything good and worthwhile, George W. Bush and his gang of hired criminals are against AMTRAK. If the Spirit rover discovered a race of cyrstalline faeries on Mars, the Bushies first reaction would be to blast them into shards with nuclear missiles.

Michael, near the tracks

Ward Churchill: I'm Not Backing Up One Inch

Ward Churchill: I'm Not Backing Up One Inch

Ward Churchill has never been one to mince words, and today he's come out with words about a sensitive subject to "patriotic 'Merikans - our most recent bile cleaner, the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Of course, the required gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair follows as demanded. One must not be allowed to speak the truth in times of "war," even a war built on lies, even in a country founded on freedom of speech. Proper decorum must be maintained, yellow ribbons (made in China) prominently affixed to unpatriotic gas-guzzling SUVs.

We must never, publicly, peer beneath the surface to reveal the consequences of US imperialism, the root casues of the fascist US government's crusade to make the world safe for hypocrisy. We must never speak truth to power, when the truth is so obvious and the power so egregious.

Thank you, Ward Churchill for, once again, speaking the truth, bar the consequences. You've paved the way for the rest of us.

Michael
Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ecoterrorist Sentenced in Utah Arson

Ecoterrorist Sentenced in Utah Arson

The moon stutters briefly through low scudding clouds, illuminating the scene through locked and barred windows. Long rows of metal shelves stand in the darkness, dully reflecting red and green winking lights of computer consoles and electronic monitoring equipment. Tiny feet rustle in dry bedding, an occasional small squeak echoes against bare, institutional green walls. The smell of ammonia and disinfectant dominates the air.

Outside, between and among shafts of moonlight, deep shadows move beyond the edges of the brightly lit parking lot, deep shadows that occasionally clink softly, stumble and curse
under their breath. In the far distance a siren wails, whoops and falls silent. The shadows gather at the edge of darkness, patiently waiting.

For a moment, the crescent moon shines brightly through a rift in the clouds, fades quickly and disappears. A cough, a low whistle, a brief snap and spark. At the same moment, by some fantastic coincidence, all the lights in the parking lot sputter out, leaving dull glowing orbs floating eerily in the night air. Emergency lights snap on inside the darkened building, bathe the window ledges with a harsh glare, then one by one fade out as their batteries quickly deplete themselves.

As the darkness becomes complete, the night is shattered by the sound of breaking glass, the harsh rasp of metal on metal, the clunk of heavy boots on hard concrete floors. At each doorway along the long hallway, dark forms pause briefly, punch once-secret codes into electronic door locks and swing the doors open to reveal mysteries held within. Momentary silence, punctuated by the rasp of metal on metal, tiny squeals of alarm, more clumping of boots and the clank of metal on cold parking lot asphalt.

Soon the parking lot, once festooned with gas-guzzling products of automotive excess, sports irregular lines of metal cages of various sizes and shapes. After a brief pause for maximum appreciation of the scene, dark shapes walk quickly long the lines, opening metal doors, freeing the occupants therein. The night is suddenly filled to excess with small scurrying mammalian shapes.

Meanwhile, within the building, the contents of camo backpacks are placed in strategic positions in the many rooms, next to blinking computer consoles and whirring tape drives, on top of file cabinets, under work tables and among and between numerous vials and bottles of gaily colored liquids. Various adjustments are made, whereupon the dark figures beat a hasty retreat down the hall, out the door and into the cool, enveloping darkness of the night.

A pause, interrupted by the distant sounds of wailing sirens, drawing closer.

As an armada of emergency vehicles turn into the driveway of the parking lot, lights whirling and flashing in gay abandon, sirens set on stun, small flashes of light and dull thumps emanate from the bowels of the building. Caustic liquids, released from their secure containers, drip, hissing, into the bowels of delicate electronics, splash onto spinning tape drives, consume plastic and paper in a mad chemical dance. Flammable liquids drip and oozed into and among papers and books, which, suddenly united with oxygen, spark and heat, leap into the embrace of explosive effulgence.

The first armed and dangerous officer of the law opens the door of his fully equipped and meticulously maintained police cruiser. At that moment, all the windows of the first floor of the brick edifice before him explode outward in an exquisitely beautiful, rapidly growing red and yellow flower of ultimate destruction. A charred poster flutters down through superheated air, singed slightly on the edges but otherwise intact. On it's bright yellow surface, the startled officer reads:

I'm back!

If you listen very, very carefully, you can hear tiny giggles from the shrubbery surrounding the parking lot, punctuated by the patter of tiny feet, running away, very, very fast


War... and peace

It's been said that war is the basis for the organization of any state society. We see it now in operation in the United States, which has changed, in the space of some 40 years or so, from a country seeking world peace to a global imperialist nation seeking to dominate the world.

I can still hear John Kennedy saying,

"What kind of peace do we seek?  Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.  Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave.  I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children--not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women--not merely peace in our time but peace for all time."

That dream is lost, smothered under the bodies of men, women and childen killed in the name of US imperialism, a Pax Americana that has yet to achieve peace. As the 60s slogans said, "Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity."

Not only has the United States government chosen oppression over freedom abroad, the freedoms our citizens have historically enjoyed have been eroded continualy over the past 40 years. Yes, I'm able to publish my dissent on this electronic notice board, and, it is already being perused by agents of the United States government (I know, as I track visiters to my web site.) I expect the slow knock on my front door any day now.

All the more important to soldier on, raise the voice of dissent clearly and distinctly above the brawl of war. I am a pacifist. I am no imperialist. I insist that my country follow the path of peace desired by the majority of the people. I insist that those who have stolen this country away from its people retire from the scene before we have to take them out by force.

Rebellion is good for the human soul, encouraging us all to rise on our back legs and stand up to the lovers of darkness who seek to steal our country under cover of night.

We are the bringers of light. It's time to welcome the dawn.

Michael
Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate




Sunday, February 06, 2005

Something New!

I've decided to try my hand at blogging, that being the Thing To Do these days. Who knows; Something Good may even come of it.

It seems we've crossed a threshhold in this past election, if that's what it was, a Rubicon, if you will. As the events of September 11, 2001 served as an excuse for the Neocons to do what they've wanted to do since the Nixon administration, so this past election solidified the predetermined path followed by the bumbling herd of conservatives temporarily in charge of the Oval Office.

Recent events have verified that the people of the United States have little, if any, say in the path of this government, our government no longer. The electoral process has been snatched from the hands of the people and given over wholly to those with their hands on the reins of power. Inconvenient details are brushed quickly out of sight, such as Bush's electronic cheating during the campaign debates, contradictory evidence documented at the site of the Pentagon "airliner" crash, still no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the vast panoply of lies ignored by this nation's corporate press. Reality is stacked up against manufactured perception, and, so far, reality has lost.

What to do, what to do?

"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!" - Mario Savo, UC Berkely, 1963

The time is now. It's time for a new form of monkeywrenching, making use of all the tools we have at hand, solid mechanical tools as well as the ephemoral electronic toools, such as web sites, discussion lists and this here blog.

Anything to get the owrd out, keep the drums beating through the long dark night to come.

Come back again, pull up a cactus by the fire and let's have a chat.

Hayduke
Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate