Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Book Burning Begins

The Bush Administration attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency are accelerating in these last months of the dying Empire. They are literally throwing away documents, albeit in an "environmentally sensitive" manner, no doubt, and selling off the furniture for next to nothing.

No surprise that the first documents to disappear from the shelves and web sites are those dealing with the toxic products of major corporate industrial production, those toxics that have created a plague in human societies, have decimated wildlife and created cesspool of critical natural habitat.

Remember the rumors and propaganda the Bush admininstration spread about the Democrats trashing the White House as they left in 2000? Turned out not to be the case. Now, the lame duck Bush administration is trashing the government while they're still in office! They know they have only weeks left before being unceremniously jerked (pun intended) from the reins of power.

This reidculous political see-saw in the United States does far more harm than any good it could possible aspire toward. Notice how grid-locked Congress (the opposite of Progress) is over global climate change and peak oil, totally given over to energy interests, unable to even get out of their own way when they clearly see the coming climate catastrophe.

And since the political process is safe in teh hands of the corporate elite, there's no relief in sight and no avenue for the poeple to create political change, even if they were aware of the problem, which, in the vast majority, they are not.

Revolution is coming, and it most likely will not be on the barricades in Wall Street, but on the rising tide of climate change and the diminishing returns of the defunct oil economy.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Say no to Segway!

Congratulations to the folks of Campbell!

At least someone around here has sense enough to see the idiocy of this unneeded, unwanted and totally frivolous bit of technological excess. The only people who want them, besides those who profit from their sales, are those with more disposable money than brains.

Human-powered vehicles are all that's necessary, if anything other than feet, for local human transportation. We move ourselves at a human pace, enjoying the immediate surroundings unpolluted by carbon oxides, airborn particulates and spent batteries. Life moves too swiftly as it is; who needs to make it go faster?

Let's gather up all the speed for speed's sake folks and lock them up in a container with the growth for growth-sakers and ship it off to a deserted island somewhere, if there are any left on this poor, overbuilt planet. Let 'em chase each other around the beach at high speed as they overpopulate their own island home.

Within walking distance of Twin Lakes Beach
Pacific Plate

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks for...

The White House Turkey

Here in the united States, we're experiencing that annual celebration of gluttony and sloth known, ironically, as Thanksgiving. It's a pseudo-religious holiday of mixed messages, as most uS holidays have become: the turkey, the funny hats, the buckled shoes, American football, the quaint, historically misplaced Indian costumes, the Rockwellesque, Christian nuclear family praying around the groaning dinner table, the mythic story of the birth of a new British colony that eventually became us, or more accurately, those of us who won.

We are told this is a time to give thanks for all that we enjoy. According to George W. Bush, the Current Resident, "So on Thanksgiving Day, we gather with loved ones and we lift our hearts toward heaven in humility and gratitude. ... We love our country, and the greatest example of that devotion is the citizen who steps forward to defend our nation from harm. Members of our military have set aside their own comfort and convenience and safety to protect the rest of us. Their courage keeps us free. Their sacrifice makes us grateful, and their character makes us proud. Especially during the holidays our whole nation keeps them and their families in our thoughts and prayers."

"...lift our hearts toward heaven in humility and gratitude," of course, is fundamentalist-speak for thanking a Christian God in a particular prescribed way, as opposed to all the others in this country who do not believe in a Christian God, or any god at all, for that matter. I guess we're left out of this ceremony.

We do love our country, at least our own particular part of our country that we know and care for. This does not necessarily mean that we love our government, however, including the Oval One. Quite the contrary. When the government works against the best interests of the country and the people who live in it, we are free to oppose the government and seek its removal and replacement. We are guaranteed this course of action in our own founding documents.

As to the military, they are the defenders of the governmental status quo. The military does not defend the nation or "the rest of us." In fact, they place the nation, and the rest of us, in harm's way. The military has always defended the interests of business and industry, and those rich elites who profit from the exportation of violence and terrorism. The military did not defend the people working in the World Trade Center; in fact, they turned the other way and helped the privileged bin Laden family members escape the united States rather than face harsh questions about the nationality and allegiance of the airplane hijackers.

The people of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan do not seek to harm the people of the united States. They only defend their own nation from invasion and occupation by foreign soldiers who have come to their countries to kill and maim them in the hundreds of thousands. They don't know why, but they suspect, and rightly so, that it has something to do with all that oil lying about just beneath their hallowed ground.

This country, this united States, was founded on genocide, theft, slavery and exploitation. We are now called to publicly thank the military arm of the government of this country for continuing this proud tradition in lands far away, against people with different skin color, religious beliefs and cultural traditions, to kill them, to destroy their homes, to murder and terrorize their children, to force them to be quiescent, loyal subjects of the American Empire.

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for Peak Oil and global climate change, and I pray that they will quickly bring an end to the abomination of the united States government and "Western Civilization," and allow the rest of us to return to a life in harmony with all life in our own bioregions and throughout this beautiful and harmonious Earth.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thoughts on Veterans Day

Today is the day we are asked to remember and honor those who died as soldiers in the armed forces of the united States, and those who survived the military experience to return home. Especially in times of war, or as in most cases, US imperialist invasions of other countries, Veterans Day is a day to wave the flag, march our sacrificed youth before us and be thankful that we did not have to travel ourselves to the killing fields across the globe. Those poor unfortunates, many broken in limb and spirit, march in our stead, those who can still walk, having sacrificed their youth and innocence to the pecuniary aspirations of the industrial corporate elite.

We forget, or some of us forget, that November 11 was originally proclaimed as Armistice Day, celebrating the end of war that occurred on November 11, 1918. In 1938 Congress passed a bill that each November 11 "shall be dedicated to the cause of world peace and ...hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day." It wasn't till 1954, after World War II, that the occasion was changed to Veterans Day, to remember those who fought in wars, through rededication to the task of promoting an enduring peace.

One cannot prepare for peace while celebrating past wars. Rather than a "war to end all wars," I would prefer a peace to end all wars. We must turn away from war as an instrument of governmental policy and admit all wars have fattened the few through the killing of many. There are no just wars, only the dead, the maimed and the mourning survivors. Governments, and their industrial backers, have made a graveyard of the globe through the justification of war on moral, religious and economic grounds. War is never moral, religious nor economic.

If we honor veterans without dishonoring those who start the wars, the politicians, the industrialists, the economists, the popes and petty religious despots, we are merely dragging the victims out of the river rather than fixing the bridge upstream. We most honor veterans by working for peace, by exposing the despicable machinations of the fascist government/industrial cabal that feeds the fires of war and keeps them burning eternally. We honor veterans by living our own lives so as not to give succor to the enemy of all life, the human social institutions that profit from war.

On this Veterans Day I honor our veterans by looking forward to a day that I will not see with my aging eyes, the day we honor the Last Veteran and retire Veterans Day to the pages of history.


Were Bush and Rove "The Producers" of an intentional flop?

Were Bush and Rove "The Producers" of an intentional flop?

Interesting question.

While it's tempting to think of the Bush/Rove brain hatching this diabolical plot to lure the Dems into sharing the blame for inevitable failure in Iraq, I suspect it's a bit too much for even the Evil Genius to pull off. There is much more oversight on the voting process this year. Note that exit polls very closely matched the results this time. Ohio and Florida were quiet; the squeekers were Montana and Virginia.

No, I think there's something else at work here, something involving longer term strategy, perhaps something that has yet to be revealed.

It will be interesting to tot up the profiles of those new Dems voted into office this year, see where their handlers and funders come from, note their connections to major lobbying groups and all the sordid machinations of political power. Dems are largely Repubs in Donkey sweaters these days, so the Big Change might not be all that much after all.

On the other hand, or hoof, it certainly seems possible that the inroads on environmental legislation engineered by the Bushies can be reversed and, the laws strengthened. Perhaps the US can climb aboard the Kyoto Protocols, finally, and become a world leader in reversing greenhouse gas emissions. While global warming can't be stopped, it's impact can be reduced somewhat if we get serious right away.

Meanwhile, there's two more years of the Bush Security State to deal with, two more years of possible imposition of Martial Law and "rapidly expanding programs," for which large prison camps have been constructed. We cannot afford to let down our guard, to ask the awkaward questions, to question authority at eery turn.

Is this a conspiracy theory? Do they really sit in board rooms and plan all this stuff?

Yes, they do.

Vigilance, eternal vigilance.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Greg Palast Website Hacked

Apparently, the website maintained for Greg Palast's books and articles,, including his blog, has been hacked and largely removed from the web.

Palast is widely known for his investigative journalism for the Guardian, the Independent, and before Rupert Murdock censored his stories, the Times. His books on the US invasion of the Middle East and his most recent work, Armed Madhouse, have taken on the Bush admininstration, revealing the slimy underworld of US imperialism.

I've no doubt the website will be back up soon. And I have no doubt that the Bushies finally had enough, with Palast's recent Cut and Run editorial, so they took him out, at least in cyberspace.

Keep your head down Greg!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cell Phones Reduce Sperm Levels!

And here all this time I thought it was brain cells that were being affected!

Maybe this will do something to reduce the number of cell phone impaired drivers on the road. Then again, probably not. They'd have to read to find out about it.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tor House

A long time ago, when I was in High School, 1967, Ed Abbey drove a fat Ford from San Francisco down the Coast Highway, stopping in Santa Cruz to see his sister Nancy, on his way to Carmel to visit Tor House, the home of Robinson Jeffers.

Ed had more to say about traffic, expensive houses and Growth than about Jeffers and his poetry in "A San Francisco Journal." I think they were opposite sides of a coin: Jeffers waxed poetic about pelicans, rocks and crashing waves, but had little to say about people. Abbey, though known now primarily as a "nature writer," wrote mostly about those who "peopled" what once was the wild, and thereby engineered its destruction.

Jean and I drove south today in our jaunty yellow 1972 VW bug, under the California sunshine fulfilling its mythic reputation, following Ed's path to our literary destination. We marveled at long strings of pelicans stitching the sky along Elkhorn Slough, unending fields of artichokes, Brussel sprouts and strawberries near Salinas, industrial agribusiness fueled with lines of illegal aliens stooping over future meals for us legal aliens on the other side of the grocery shelves.

We pulled off the highway on the outskirts of Carmel, the town not yet visible behind cypress and pine. Winding roads through modest cottages brought us to Tor House and Hawk Tower, unpretentious behind a modest, mossy picket fence. Secure in our place in the world, we parked the car and walked the pleasant mile and a half along the beach and to the edge of the Carmel business district, where we enjoyed a salad and some of those artichokes grown just beyond yon horizon. Our walk back out to Carmel Point and Tor House retraced the path of urban development that eventually grew to surround this rocky home on an isolated bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Tor House was built by a series of stone masons, including Robinson Jeffers and his son, Donnan. It's a marvelous, tidy, homey place, reminding me of a homestead cabin in the shadow of the Grand Tetons, built of local rocks hauled up from the beach below, laid in place with loving hands to a purely mental picture of the outcome desired. Indoors, the walls are filled with books and touchstones of the places and people the Jeffers, Robinson and Una, held dear. It's a lustrously warm home, inviting, embracing, oozing the human warmth and intellectual expression that filled it to the rafters.

The buildings speak of self-reliance, introspection and a wisdom delved from close association with the earth and all its living inhabitants. Fossils mark the rock walls next to ancient human artifacts imbedded in mortar. The furniture is worn and comfortable, the ceilings low to conserve heat, just high enough for Jeffers to stand fully erect as he paced the wooden floor. Writing desks and reading corners are graced with candle holders, since the Jeffers did not install electricity until 1946.

Walking through the house, reading the spines of the many books in book shelves throughout, touching the furnishings, looking out the windows at the ocean eternally crashing against the rocks left below, walking up the steep spiraling narrow stairs in Hawk Tower, looking out across the pacific and dreaming of far away County Antrim, I came to know Robinson and Una Jeffers and, in a way, to love them. They were my kind of people and I mourn their loss to this world.

I could hear Jeffers walking the floor of his upstairs study, encouraging the flow of words and images with the movement of his legs. Just as I must walk when the words elude me and movement brings them back into focus. I could see Una tapping a broomstick on the ceiling above her writing desk when the footsteps stopped, as her husband was distracted from his work by the view out over the ocean, by an interesting rock in the wall, or anything else to keep from facing the page one more time. Just as Jean gently encourages me back to the task of herding words into flowing columns of speech and imagery.

They lived in a world without television, without computers, without consumer distractions. They lived in a literary world, read to their children at bed time and to each other after. They read and they wrote and they lifted stones and they worked in the garden and they planted trees and they lived embedded in this place they called home. They touched twice life.

Nowadays, most folks float above life on a fog of material distractions, their lives strained through the filter of mediated experience: TeeVee, movies, automobile windshields, booming car stereos set on stun. Noise fills the senses everywhere, blotting out awareness of the subtle, gentle sounds of birds, wind in the eucalyptus leaves, the gentle sigh of the waves, the seductive pull of introspection. Few ever look up to see the wonder of pelicans drifting across the afternoon sky or windsurfing along the curling edge of a sea green breaker rushing along the shore.

For a short while this afternoon, we shared a bit of history, and perhaps, if we're very lucky, of taste of the future.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Monday, October 16, 2006

US Government Spreads Propaganda - in the US!

The CENTCOM email to bloggers

This is obviously a program designed to spread government propaganda to the citizens of the United States, a clear violation of federal law.

Since 1951, Congress has included a provision in the general government appropriations act which states the following: “No part of any appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by Congress.” [Section 624 of P.L. 108-447]

In addition to paying "journalists" to author feel good, pro-US propganda pieces to air on US television, now the government is trying to steer bloggers and blog readers to their pro-Global War On Terror (GWOT) web site.

The War on Terror is as bogus as the War on Drugs. Terror is not a country, a continent or even a discrete ideology. One can no more declare war on terror than one can declare war on halitosis.

The War on Terror is an attempt to distract public attention from the true agenda of those now (temporarily) in control of the United States government; that is, world-wide imperialist subjugation of all nations and geographic regions that have significant reserves of oil. At the same time, the government is organized to favor large corporations that have contributed to Republican Party candidates for government office, and to create a world political and economic climate favorable to US corporate interests.

We are not fooled by the glitzy TV spots, the unending lies, the grand jingoistic panoply. The Global War on Terror is a lie, and the liars should be impeached and run out of our nation's capital on the nearest splintery rail.

If you are a blogger, don't allow comments from CENTCOM to appear on your blog, as their intention is to draw your readers to their propaganda site.

Delete 'em, send them off to the great boot camp in the sky, pour 'em down the porcelain parkway. Zero tolerance for the GWOT!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

God must be center of lives, or anarchy will prevail - The Clarion-Ledger

God must be center of lives, or anarchy will prevail - The Clarion-Ledger

I guess there's hope for us yet.

Anarchy is the absence of the state, the ultimate central authority, so it makes sense that a world without rulers would not have room for a god, or especially a God.

In fact, since 80-90% of the people in the united States "believe" in a god, only 10% are prepared to live in anarchy, taking responsibility for their own lives and their particpation in their communities.

Pretty depressing.

The author of this article claims that one cannot decide about morality and ethics without a central authority to tell us what constitutes "proper human conduct." Nonsense. We all know what is right when we grow up in a fully functional, living community, embedded in a healthy bioregion. The lessons are all around us. How could we not know?

When the central authority attempts to convince us that murder, rape, stealing, bullying and destruction of property are right and necessary to support the state, especially when sanctioned by the puppet god propped up for the occasion, we begin to question the authority of both the state and the god. We know these things are wrong.

The government of the united States has wound up a tin god to provide authority for its corporate oligarchy and its destructive imperialist subjugation of most of the rest of the world. Even further, they have cynically allied with fundamentalist Christians in a world-wide pogrom against non-Christians to gain control of world resources and to line the pockets of their corporate supporters. Some dare call this fascism, and they are correct in every respect.

Fortunately, "fantastic doctrines require unanimity of opinion" as Ed Abbey once said. Even the smallest voice of dissent casts doubts in the minds of millions of adherents. That's why we must always speak out and why we will always be marginalized and oppressed.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Big Question: Can America Ever be Weaned off its Love Affair with Guns?

CommonDreams article

There is an elephant in this living room that is never mentioned:

Guns are manufactured and sold for a profit. Human beings make money by manufacturing and selling machines that have only one purpose: to kill. Mostly to kill other humans.

There is no escaping the conclusion that responsibility for the deaths of children in schools across the united States, for hundreds of young people gunned down on the streets of our cities, for hundreds of thousands, no, millions, of innocent human beings slaughtered and maimed by tools of destruction, lies with those who created and sold those machines for a profit. Pecuniary recompense. Filthy lucre.

We have decided in our society that it is improper to sell drugs that cause human misery and death. We pass laws to make sale and possession of these drugs illegal. Yet, when it comes to guns, we turn away from the responsibility for manufacturing these machines of death and, worse yet, for their sale for a profit. We, as a society, have decided it's all right for members of our society to line their pockets at the expense of the lives of human beings and animals around the world.

Forget abortion, euthenasia and stem cell research. We can't even stop making and selling guns!

Monday, October 02, 2006

If not Theoconservatism, then what?

The ascendency of the Neocons in American politics begs several questions: What is this reactionary movement reacting to? If the Theocons have taken over, what have they taken over from? And what, if anything, lies in the wings to oppose this movement?

The first is pretty easy. Neocons consider our present government and society as overly secular, insufficently religious and devoid of moral compass, due to the lack of Biblical and theocratic leadership. They work for a "return" to a society and government based on religious principles, including appeal to authority and the intercession of a supernational being in the everyday affairs of humans.

The Theocans believe that the majority of Americans are religious and thus insufficiently represented in a government based on separation of church and state. They work to replace this secular state with a theocracy based on evangelical Christian religion of no specific denomnation, although the majority of Theocans and their doctrine is Roman Catholic (five members of the Supreme Court are Roman Catholic and attend a special mass at the begining of the Supreme Court season).

The last question is the most difficult and the one I struggle with the most. The obvious answer is a state based on separation of church and state so as to guarantee freedom of religion and freedom from religion for all citizens, no matter what their belief. This of course assumes, in a democratic society, that there exists no majority who believe that their brand of religion is the only brand of religion and everyone should think like they do.

What to do when a society is dominated by intolerance for those with a different belief or those who don't believe at all.

This is the danger of the state, which can be driven by any individual or group able to corral the most economic and/or political power. As long as the state exists, it is up for grabs by any and all, and the course of the state is determined by whomsoever holds the reins. In any control system, avenues of power are monopolized by those willing to use any and all means to grab and hold on to them. This leads to the inevitable anarchist conclusion that the state is inherently illegitimate and must be abolished in any free and independent society.

Anarchism is a sound philosophy that suffers from the inability of most humans to think and act rationally in their own best interest. At least in the human world as we know it, someone will always grab the reins and steer the buggy of society in a preferred direction. And someone will always follow. There seems to be no escape from the constant back and forth in this struggle for power.

As always, there are two options: struggle where we are to make change in the direction of rationality, or pack up and gather somewhere else where we can live in the society we prefer. Such intentional communities have rarely been sucessful, since they must exist in the greater millieu of a society that disagrees with them and enforces that disagreement through the authoritarian state. Remote unoccupied islands with sufficient resources are getting scarce these days, so it looks like we're stuck where we live.

It comes back then to what we have always done, living a rational life where we are, being the example, changing the world by changing ourselves. It's a long, long, lonely road, as we are few and they are so many. And they have more children than we do, because we understand the need to reduce human population hereabouts and they don't care.

We can speak out, on these electronic pages, in books, on progressive radio. In the end, we talk mostly to oursleves, because those who don't already agree with us don't listen and don't read. Appeal to authority denies the relevance of fact.

Pretty depressing, eh? It is encouraging, however to note that historically the Romans went through just the same cultural path that the united States is carving out now, bashing the neighbors and extending its empire.

And the Roman Empire fell.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Theocons Are Coming!

What we call civlization these days is threatened by the twin realities of global climate change and peak oil. No need to talk about these here; you can read about it in the archives or over at Hayduke Speaks. As bad as the future looks, from a civilized point of view, it seems like something we can weather in the long run. If not in our SUVs and McMansions, at least in our modest homes and gardens, pony carriages and on our own two feet.

It's going to be harder to get there from here, for a while, due primarily to one thing: reactionary human desire to maintain control. It's called Theoconservatism by some. I'm just studying up on it now. It's one important factor that's holding us back from cutting greenhouse gas emissions, getting off the oil tit for good and putting a stop to the human species' prediliction to pound each other back to the stone age. Hmmmm, maybe that's not such a bad idea after all...

The Theocons are led by a couple of religious radicals from the 60s who've gone over to the Dark Side; that'd be the Republicans. They're convinced, and they're convincing others that the united States should be a theocracy, run on religious principles, and that life in this country should be regulated according to Biblical doctrine.

This wouldn't be so scary if it weren't for the fact the 90% of the people in the uS believe in a God, and 50% of them are evangelical, fundamentalists who are working toward Armageddon in the Middle East.

This also means that the country is "led" (controlled) by people who choose not to think rationally, who look to a supreme central authority for guidance, and who believe that a book is the literal word of a supernatural being.

It's no wonder that Bush & Co. have yet to be impeached and run out of town on a splintery rail. Most of the people in this country don't question anything they do, because Bush is one of them! They been taught to believe in the supremacy of the central authority, to give over their lives to the image of a mythical being and to never question the word of theior authority figures. So whatever Bush says, no matter how inane, irrational and demonstrably false, it is, almost literally, gospel.

I constantly rail on about the ninnies and feebs, the sycophants, the toadies, the just plain stupid and the idiots, and they're not just politicians. They're everywhere! They're the majority! And they like each other, and they find comfort in their own company and they want the whole country to be just like them.

Where do we rational, thinking people get to hang out together? What social club can we rub elbows in, listen to uplifting speeches and have intelligent, rational conversations with others of like mind? How do we bring together the intellectual 10% in a country overrun by the unthinking 90%?

Wait! I have an idea! Let's meet on Sunday morning while they're all in church!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Call me Insensitive

I'm sorry: wilderness is not wheelchair friendly.

Wilderness is a place where natural rules obtain: no motorized vehicles. Period. If you can't get there on your own two feet, you can't get there.

Wilderness has no obligation to offer itself for destruction to make way for humans who are unfortunate enough to be unable to walk into wilderness on their own two feet. That's just the way it is. Get over it. Forget about it. Let it pass. People who are handicapped are different, and no amount of liberal whining and hand-clasping can change that.

Biologists have a technical term for handicapped animals in the wilderness; they call them "lunch."

Human beings are not born equal, no matter how the Constitution of the united States of America is intepreted. We're different, each and every one. We each have unique abilities and limitations. Human society does not have an obligation to ensure that each and every human being has the same capabilities as each and every other human being. This is impossible.

Let's celebrate each other for what we can do, and stop pretending everyone can do every thing.

Let's celebrate wilderness for what it is, a place free from human manipulation, and let's stop trying to make wilderness into a therapist's couch for the ills of one single species. Wilderness does not exist to make us feel better about ourselves. Wilderness exists for itself or it does not exist at all.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Left Coast

For once I live in a place seen as progressive, at least by the French! Not that it's entirely true, of course. After all, we have Arnold Gropenegger for Governor! And who could tell it on a Monday morning at 7 am, when 35,000 neighbors drive 35 miles over the hill, one per car, to go to jobs in San Jose, to pay for their $750,000 McMansions here in Santa Cruz.

So where does this picture of California come from? Certainly not from Ronald Reagan. The state legislature has never been known as particularly progressive, though there are a few outsanding exceptions. Our democratic Congress critters are pretty good: Barbara Lee is a stirling example.

Generally, Repubs out number Democrats, big business is in full control and the military holds sway in the big cities.

Maybe it's the climate: 72 high, 50s low, rain two months of the winter... ok, three. That's here on the Central coast where the fog keeps us cool and mellow. "Chill out" was invented in Santa Cruz. I hear that it's warmer in the Central Valley, but we never go there. Nice mountains on either side!

Then there's the green cathedrals of the redwoods. Who could be anything but calm in a place like this?

Ah well, just have to buck up and suffer through, I guess. Someone has to live here, in this place, on its own terms.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Ancien Régime

The sun rises in its usual trajectory over the dying remnants of the American Empire. Here on the Left Coast, we receive its warming rays several hours later than in the Great National Cesspool in Washington, on what's left of the Potomac. What once was a biologically verdant swamp has now degenerated into a dank miasma of creeping fascism, its slimy denizens skulking about in the fetid halls of what they perceive as power.

We inhabit two different worlds in the united States of America these days. One, the world of power, influence, graft and corruption, the constant struggle to climb the economic ladders to the illusory top of the heap, the media lies and distortions, the manipulation and control of access to the information necessary to fully participate in democratic society.

In the other world, the real world, we live our daily lives, bask in the sun, admire the pelicans, count the waves. We dandle our children on our knees, take long walks in the glowing sunset, make love, eat good nutritious food, enjoy a fine glass of vin ordinaire, support local politics, speak up for issues in our own back yards, enjoy the sleep of the just, the just tired.

The gulf between the two worlds is ever widening, such that the stink of national politics is but a distant irritant on the breeze, a faint smell of something long dead, a dried flat husk along the highway of life. The puerile posturing of the politicians on the Potomac have less and less relevance to our daily lives here at home.

Unfortunately, our (un)representatives have yet to realize their irrelevancy, suffering under the illusion that their activities are of supreme importance in the conduct of the nation, thus precipitating further excess and injury to the citizens of this poor beat up and mismanaged corporate state. After all, we keep voting for them, whether they do what we want or not. Maybe it's best to stop it altogether - it only encourages them.

Instead of voting every two years or so, why don't we give real democracy a try? You know, rule by the people: that's us. We couldn't do any worse, and I'll bet we'd do a damned sight better. Let's pull in our horns, let the festering rot on the Potomac sink back into the swamp. Let's decide for ourselves, day to day, how to conduct our lives, as befits all living residents, human and non, of our own bioregions. Who knows best how to live than those who live here? We have much to learn about where we live and the rest of our lives to learn it, if we live that long.

There will be those who object to severing the leash, unsucking from the government tit, finding our own way in the world, learning to support ourselves. After decades of existence under the overweening security blanket of the welfare state, the habits of democracy have faded to distant memory. No worry, we'll build our own social networks, teach our children, support our revered elders, produce locally for local consumption. As the ninnies and feebs of the Ancien Régime burn the last of their precious fossil fools, we'll be well on our way to a sane human society living in harmony with the natural world. Not because it's a good idea, or because some leader tells us we must... because it's the only way humans can continue to live on this planet at all.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Hayduke Speaks!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bush Tramples the American Flag

In a moment of unusual candor during a day of hyperbole, unbridled jingoism and historical revisionism, President George W. Bush revealed his true feelings about the people of this country by walking on the flag of the United States of America.

For one who touts patriotism and responsibility to the nation, this was a slap in the face to all who honor this flag and this country.

Impeach this imposter, before he declares martial law and does away with the next election!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Peek Behind the Curtain

Critics Decry "Destroy and Lend" Policy

In this recent article, we see the true nature of the "War on Terror:" it's the old "War on democracy" tricked out in funny nose and glasses.

It's an old cunundrum of the rich, industrial elite: how to get the people to participate in their own oppression?

It's no secret that the world is ruled by an oligarchy consisting of Wall Street, drug money laundering, conducting war and cleaning up after war and the necessary bureaucracy to keep the whole thing running smoothly. Oh yeah, oil; musn't forget about oil. It's the capitalist shell game played out to its ultimate end. All it needs from us, the consuming public, is complicity, apathy and incuriosity. How fitting that the Current Occupant has been described as the most incurious Presaident ever witnessed. Of course: that's why he's there! He's the leader.

It's curious to note that the events of September 11, 2001 have never recurred in the United States. There have been "terrorist" actions around the world, usually laid at the feet of al Qa'ida before the dust settles and the blood congeals. Oh yes, we've had "plots," eventually explained, in the back pages of the stenographers of power, to be the result of "informants" and "infiltrators," who, oh by the way, supplied the "terrorists" with weapons, transportation, money and even targets. None of the "plots," have grown to fruition, always forestalled at the crucial moment by our ever-ready band of Homeland Security agents.

Isn't it odd that death and mayhem continue throughout the world, even the "civilized" world, if there is such a place, but not here in the United States. Hmmmm...

Wonder what that means?


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Controlling the Past

Rumsfeld's American Legion

Great speech... conveniently leaving out the "inconvenient truth" that the American Legion was founded in February 1919 to counter revolutionary unrest in Europe following the end of World War I, by forming a veterans’ organization with the stated purpose of looking after veterans’ welfare, and uniting them to defend America at home as they had abroad.

Started on a $125,000 shoe string, the Legion solicited funds from wealthy industrialists, concealing from veterens the fact that big business was backing the organization to use it for strike breaking. Legion posts were told that strikers were Communists trying to create chaos so they could take over. Legionnaires were given baseball bats to break up strikes and civil rights demonstrations. The American Civil Liberties Union later reported, "Of the forces most active in attacking civil rights, the American Legion led the field."

Now we see the Oval One and His Handlers stepping up the war rhetoric, dropping the alarming word "fascist" at every opportunity, raising the spectre of "appeasement," which conveniently rings a higher tone in British ears, still smarting under loads of historic guilt for "appeasing" Hitler.

It's a simple propaganda technique: change the past to mold the future. "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."


Friday, September 01, 2006

The New Deal


Here's the deal:

Western Civilization is fucked. Even if it ever existed. Which I doubt.

The ninnies and feebs in control: that is to say, George W. Bush and his favorite lap dog, Tony Blair... and all of their puppet masters, sycophants, apologists, toadies and coat holders, are trying desperately to hold onto the fading gleam of a past that never was: that being a benign, imperialist, colonial world power run by an elite minority of very rich and very powerful, white, male, human beings.

Even if Global Climate Change weren't already making the world unfit for human survival, this ancient ideology would be doomed.

Doomed, as in defunct, outdated, untenable, unrealistic; in short, fatally stupid.

This world we inhabit: this Earth, is a finite place. There's only one, this one we live on. It has only so much breathable air, drinkable water, arable land - and much of that is absolutley required for the maintenance of billions of other species other than the self-important little upstart Homo sap. Species that are critical to the survival of all species. Humans cannot continue to commidify and consume the world as if there are a dozen more on the shelf waiting to be dropped into our shopping basket as needed.

Only one.

And it's getting pretty well used up.

When I see how incredibly stupid are the vast majority of the human herd taking up space and breathing precious clean air on this planet, I take solace in the sure knowledge that Nature bats last. Climate change and peak oil will pretty much wipe us out, destroy our "economy" once and for all, make our cities into toxic cesspools, reduce our glittering skyscrapers to piles of pretty rubble.

A slow 9/11, Take Two.

So, on these pages, while they last, I'll record my observations of the last days of the Human Experiment, The Fall and Ultimate Collapse of Human Civilization, the Return of of the Age of Animals, the Winged, the Four-Legged, the Finned, the Two-Legged, feathered and featherless.

Oh yes, Humans will survive, sort of. Not drinking lattés in their SUVs. Not with cell phones permanently stuck to their ears, not riding on their butts in tin cans on rubber wheels.

Humans will take their place in their true home, Wilderness, beside the other wild animals that inhabit this jewel of a planet.

Or they will be but a fossilized remnant of what once was, something to be marveled at by a future, truly civilized species of intelligent cockroach.


It's time for a change...

I've not posted much to this blog of late, mainly due to sloth, indolence and general loose morals. Not that I haven't been thinking, or reading, or agonizing over the latest newsertainment.

Far from it.

It's more been a case of "What's the use?" Who reads this shit, anyway? A couple of friends, a bored geek or two, an occassional lost traveler on the information superhighway. In the end, what difference does it make?

But then I said to myself, "Self, you have to put down in words here what no one else is saying." The sycophants, the toadies, the Yes Men and Yes Women have taken over the world, have simmered the intellectual stew down to a thin, black crust on the bottom of the pan, there to lie in obscure, crepuscular execresence.


Not to be tolerated.


The end.

So herein I begin anew, with a spiffy Nature-like countenance, to relay my observations on the End of Western Civilization, if that's what it is, which I doubt.

As we have known it...


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wagging the Dog

August 15, 2006 | Guantanamo prisoners, including Abu Bakker Qassim (right), stand outside a refugee center in Tirana, Albania. Five Asian men detained at Guantanamo Bay for years as dangerous terrorists, and who had been held there for more than a year after the military's special tribunal system had determined they were not "enemy combatants," were put on a military transport plane and sent to Albania, a poor Balkan nation eager to please Washington.

(Photo: Filip Horvat / The New York Times)

Does no one in Washington watch movies?

Does no one in Washington have a memory more than five minutes long?


Thursday, August 10, 2006 - Agent infiltrated terror cell, U.S. says - Aug 10, 2006

How convenient for Bush and Blair! Just the sort of development to take the pressure off the increasing negative world opinion of Israel as the bad guys! What an amazing coincidence!

Whenever something like this takes the headlines, I always look for what else is happening, and who profits from the distraction.

Just watch now, we'll learn that the "undercover agent" provided access to chemicals and chemical know-how in order to draw out the "terroists." They weren't really on the verge of hatching this diabolical plot, but they were thinking about it. Yes sir! THe plot was ready to spring when most needed.

"In politics nothing is accidental. If something happens, be assured it was planned this way."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Revenge of Gaia

I just received a copy of "Revenge of Gaia" by James Lovelock. After the announcements of his support for nuclear energy, including fusion, I've been looking forward to this read.

Pretty diasppointing. While he starts off well with a rational discussion of the inevitable effects of global climate change due largely to human activity, he waffles throughout the book not fully embracing the changes required to accomodate the new environment that will result. He seems stuck on the idea of maintaining our existing cultures, based on "progress," "growth" and "profit." I'm surprised.

If anything, the immenent collapse of human civilization is a result of just those concepts dominating cultural reaction to human needs of food, clothing and shelter. Growth has proven to be a bankrupt concept.

More to come as I finish the book...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Stop All War!

It's time. In fact, it's long past time.

The puppet masters have had their puppet show far too long. It's time to pull down the theater and reveal the players for who they are: Halliburton, Bechtel, ExxonMobil, the whole lot, and the eltist minority who profit from human misery and environmental detruction.

This Fall, Camp Casey is moving from Texas to Washington, DC, that great national asylum for the criminally insane. We can't wait two more years to oust this corrupt and evil government; it has to go now, before more people are killed and maimed, before more environmental destruction in the name of profit.

Each day we fail to do anything about destructive human society means more years of misery for our descendents and for all life on this planet.

We must stop these people now, and forever.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Forget the Fourth

On this great national holiday, Howard Zinn has called for an end to flags. I'll go him several further; I'll extend that to all trappings of centralized government, including borders, countries and international relationships. It's all of a piece; we can't get rid of one without getting rid of all the rest.

Here on 4th of July Eve, in the United States, on the Pacific Plate, temporarily attached to the North American continent, we gird ourselves for the coming mayhem, the celebration of the 230th anniversary of this country, so the myth goes at least. Since we are a "destination" (Santa Cruz, California) we are yearly invaded by thousands of myth-seekers, jingoists and just plain thoughtless, who leave their, apparently boring, homes and go somewhere else, apparently less boring, to blow up our neighborhood, not to mention the neighbors, human and non.

Each year, we watch helplessly in dismay as our native cormorants, coots, ducks and geese, red-tailed hawks, crows, great blue herons, night herons,  finches, mourning doves, scrub jays and all the rest fly in panic at the onset of the incessant barrage of  illegal fireworks on our beaches and throughout our neighborhoods. They have no place to go, as each flight from booming fireworks takes them in the direction of even more fireworks. This is nesting season for many birds; untold numbers of nests are abandoned in the panicked flight. Many birds are undoubtedly injured flying in the dark, blinded by flashes and sparkles from every direction. Captive human domestic animals suffer as well, unable to escape the barrage, running away in panic, into the traffic, which mercifully is mostly standing still.

Our community becomes a war zone, as roads to all the beaches are clogged with cars from elsewhere, boom-blasting their way to the beach, thwarted at every turn by road closures attempting to gain some control over the mayhem. There's no place to park, so they circulate around until they either go back over the hill or evaporate in place. Have they no roads of their own to clog, no homes to burn down, no wildlife to panic in their own bioregions? Let them celebrate in place and leave us to as much peace as we can defend in our own place.

Better yet, let's call the whole damned thing off, nationally. Who needs reminders of official government terrorism and wars when the daily news does it for us for free, every day? The mayhem we suffer through here echoes the mayhem the United States government and its hired thugs visit on innocent people and animals throughout the world in the name of freedom and democracy. The United States has made a graveyard of the globe making the world safe for hypocrisy.

Let's celebrate June 21st instead, the solstice, something real, global, meaningful, tied to the Earth, expressed everywhere in the places where we live together with all the web of life. We'll throw the old flags on the bonfires, celebrate Life instead of death. We'll invite our friends, two-legged, four-legged, winged, crawling and swimming, and we'll share the bounty of the Earth with our friends and neighbors. All of them.

We just might start a revolution!

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Department of Defense Funds $450K Blog Research Project

As I've noted many times before, centralized, authoritarian bureaucracy cannot deal effectively with decentralized opposition.Let's face it, blogs are not a threat to the United States government, nor do they contain masses of information used by so-called terrorists to overthrow the United States government. The whole terrorist scare campaign is a replacement for godless communism, which was a replacement for upstart, freedom seeking colonial subjects, which were replacements for uncivilized savages, which were a replacement for pretty much anyone who was there first.The central organizing principle of any government is war, by which government justifies its monopoly on force and power. Without enemies, the justification falls flat, soi in the absence of real enemies, enemies must be found, created or made up. Read "1984." The most effective opposition ot centralized government on the rampage is decentralized organization and action. At the moment, electronic communications are the most effective means of organizing decentalized actions that we have.Let's use it to best effect while we still have it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

AlterNet: Air-conditioning: Our Cross to Bear

This is one of the best articles I've read about the unintended consequences of modern technology. Who'd a thunk it that air-condition would have had such a profound affect on human society?Can't wait for the story on how air-conditioning got Bush elected!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

U.S. Emits Half of Car-Caused Greenhouse Gas, Study Says

Half? I'd be greatly surprised. Around my neighborhood, SUVs, old woodies and motorcycles contribute more air pollution than all of the (un)civilized world.

Those folks who drive 35 miles over the hill to Silicon Valley in their 4X4 pick-up trucks and The Entire Yukon SUVs do the rest.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Too many words

I'm fed up with reading about the end of civilization, the need to stop the destruction caused by human growth.

How can we "bring down" civilization?

How can we "throw out" capitalism?

How can we stop the overwhelming advance of the megamachine?

Peak Oil and climate change are already putting stress on civilization in key points where the intersections of culture, economics and technology intesect. These are the weak points. These are the targets.




I'll be back!


Thursday, June 08, 2006

FBI confidential informant also said to be provocateur

"ELF adherents share a strong philosophical connection to the anarchist movement," which he notes "seeks to end the current system of government, economy and replace them with systems characterized by a lack of authoritarian/hierarchical relationships."

Great! At least there are some ELFers who've got their philosphy straight. Sounds like a good program to me.

Since there are no ELF members, only ELF ideology, I am not ELF. I AM an anarchist and I do "seeks to end the current system of government, economy and replace them with systems characterized by a lack of authoritarian/hierarchical relationships."

Is this wrong? Is this illegal? Is it immoral to seek a world without oppression, wars for resources, haves and have-nots, equality, freedom, justice and democracy? I thought that's what the United States is all about. Now we're being accused of wrong-doing in seeking a better life, in seeking to do away with inequality, in seeking democratic expression and freedom from economic slavery.

No big surprise that the FBI uses agents provocateur. 'Twas ever thus. But it's "OK" when they do it, cause they've got the guns and they control the story. When we attempt to change the story, it's rubber hoses in the back room, thumb screws and water torture.

When are you going to do something about it, eh?


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Exxon asked to pay more to clean spill

Asked? ASKED!?!

What the hell is this asked business? Exxon spilled 11 million gallons of their crude oil into Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989. I was there. I was the first videographer at the ship at first light that morning.

We do not ASK Exxon, we tell them to keep paying until the last drop of Exxon crude is removed! Who's in charge here, anyway? What makes Exxon think that they get to choose?

Jerk their godammed corporate charter; they've violated the terms of their agreement with the peope of Alaska, the people of the United States, the people of the world. They slaughtered hundreds of thousands of animals in Prince William Sound, created genetic changes that echo through species for generations.

Exxon should be hung from the highest yardarm and left to swing in the wind as a lesson to other upstart corporations who think they rule the world.

"Asked to pay"...


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why It's Over For America

Why It's Over For America

At least some things are encouraging.

I've had it up to here... no, here. There's so much talk, no action. Yes, I add to it, I write these words, I sit at my desk, I take no action.

It's time.

I'm off to Alaska. If I make it back, I'll have something more to say, something based on experience.

Keep an eye on the news. If nothing happens, they've won again.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

5 Million years of evolution reversed by a fashion statement

Today I walked, for about a half mile, behind a young male person of high school age. He was togged out in the latest fashion: hair net, t-shirt down to his knees, black shorts with the pockets hanging down behind his knees, the crotch below knee level. I couldn't see the waistband.

As I watched, there was something decidedly odd about his gait. His toes were turned out, his knees were bent and splayed apart, he walked with a kind of rolling motion. It suddenly occurred to me that he walked like a chimpanzee!

Homo sapiens has spent 5 million years learning how to walk upright and bipedally and here we have a fashion design from ignorant rappers in New York City turning back the clock of evolution. This poor young man will grow up with hip displasia from wearing ill-fitting shorts and forever change the culture of walking for his descendents, if he has any.

We're fucked!

Monday, May 29, 2006

It's not just the war...

I'm one among a growing cadre of anti-war activists, trying to bring a stop to the madness of the United States government (not my government) in Iraq and Afghanistan (and other places not seen on the nightly TeeVee news).

Yet even if the US were to withdraw all its troops from these countries, with a Limey under each arm. If the killing were to stop tomorrow and all the soldiers put to useful work back here at home, even then the insanity would not stop.

Its not just war that's the problem, it's the entire society based on the idea that "we are right, and they are wrong." And since "we are right," we can justify taking their resources for our use because "they are wrong." Not just wrong like Saddam Hussein, but wrong in that they are not us and they have resources that we need, and we are civilized and cultured and free and democratic and they don't deserve the resources they're sitting on because they're not putting them to civilized and cultured and free and democratic uses like we would do if we had them. And if any of them object or try to stop us and protect their land and resources, we trivialize their claims and demonize them and pretend they're not human and we kill them and the wives and their children and their grandparents and we make their land unfit to live in and we take what we want and leave the people and the land bleeding and dying.

So it has gone for hundreds of years. The United States is merely the latest and best at the game of colonialism that started centuries ago when ruffians in towns decided that the water and the fuel and the animals and the plants outside the town should belong to those who live in the town, not to those uncouth ruffians who live outside of the town and don't fully utilize the largesse that surrounds them. So the people of the town went out unto the people outside the town and killed them and took their animals and their plants and their minerals and their water and hid them away in the town for their own uses and profit.

Trans-national corporate industrial capitalism is simply the latest form of this ancient story, brought up to date with Tomahawk missiles, B-1 bombers, cluster bombs, laser sites, hi-tech torture and electronic propaganda and thought police.

Fortunately, Peak Oil looms on the horizon, larger than the United States government, more powerful than all the bombers in the world, able to bring fleets of warships to quiescence in the middle of the sea.

It will take time. Mother nature commands glaciers and vast continent-wide ice sheets, hurricanes and monsoons, tornados, drought and plague.

And Mother Nature is infinitely patient...

And just.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Quick Martha, hand me the wooden stake!

I thought I put oil shale safely to bed in the 80s, when I demonstrated in a video documentary the only successful oil shale retorting operation in the world: the runaway fire under the spent shale fines pile at the Book Cliffs mine near Rifle, Colorado.

Yep, kerogen (not oil) was seeping from the pile into the Colorado River.

They closed down the whole operation shortly after that boondoggle was cleared up, deciding it was all a bad deal that took more energy to process than could be derived from the kerogen. Not to mention shale piles twice as large as the shale dug out of the mountain.

Nope, oil shale is an energy sink. No amount of $3.00 a gallon gas can change that. Tar sands is good for what it suggests: surfacing roads right out of the ground.

Just gonna have to get used to the idea: there's only so much oil that can be pumped out of the ground for less energy than comes from the oil. After that, it's a downhill, mighty slippery slope.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a cross-roads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." Woody Allen

It's all about choices, choices made and irretrievable, choices facing us every day, choices looming over us in the future.

It's difficult and probably counterproductive to think of "society" making choices, since society and culture are the sum of all choices made by their members. Society and culture provide information to their members to make further decisions. It goes round and round.

At some point in the past "we" chose to use oil-powered internal combustion engines to transport us and our stuff about the face of the earth. Society didn't make the choice; individual humans decided to embrace this new invention and use it to replace the then current modes of transportation: feet, horses, bicycles, coal-powered trains, each of which had advantages and disadvantages to be weighed against the advantages and disadvantages of oil-based power. As is usual, the disadvantages were never fully perceived and articulated, so we made these decisions without access to all the necessary information.

As is the custom, we live with the results of choices made in the past. The road once taken cannot be retraced. Progress has no reverse gear; we cannot go back to the last fork and choose the other path.

As we gaze dimly into the future, we begin to realize that the road we have chosen goes over a cliff, there is no bridge to the other side, there are fewer and fewer forks in the road ahead, and we are proceeding at maximum speed to the inevitable drop to the rocks below. Worse yet, the brakes don't seem to respond and the throttle is stuck.

If we are to avoid the glorious flight to oblivion ahead, and the shocking, abrupt stop at the bottom, we must get out of the car and build a new road. We can employ our individual choices, just as our ancestors did, to find a new direction, new speed and new destination.

We can choose to inform ourselves of the reality of the path we are on and the reality of alternative paths ahead.

We can choose to change the way we live individually so as to lesson the effects of coming changes in our personal lives. We can choose to live within walking and bicycling distance of home. We can choose to eat fresh, nutritious foods grown locally. We can choose to live, work and play where we live rather than travel thousands of miles for business and entertainment . We can choose to work together with our neighbors to create and support opportunities for local democratic decision-making.

Just as the choices made by our ancestors led us to the path we are on today, our choices made today and tomorrow form the future we create and the future our children will inherit.

We have a finite number of choices left in our lives. Let's make every one count.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cell phone wiretaps

Next revelation will be cell phone wiretaps
Secret Gov't Source Tells ABC News: "Get New Cellphones"

No need to wait or get in line, cell phone "wiretaps are already here. The government (not my government) admits that they are already monitoring journalists cell phone calls to find out their "secret" sources. That means that the government (not my government) is already monitoring and/or tracking your cell phone calls. Not mine. I don't have a cell phone. Never have. Wouldn't have one if someone gave it to me. Especially if someone gave it to me!

Next is email and web site monitoring, if it's not already here, which it is. There are no secrets.

Good! Let's give them something to think about! Let's let them know, on our telephones, on your cell phones, in our emails, detailed in web site visits, that we think they're all a bunch of bottom-dwelling, scum-sucking maggots (apologies to incipient blow flies); that we'd appreciate it if they'd all go take a long walk off a short pier; that if Democrats had any balls, they would have already impeached the bastards and gotten their sorry asses (and mules) out of Washington, that great national asylum for the criminally helpless.

Lets get some real democracy going in the United States for a change, maybe for the first time ever. We've got all these computers and cell phones, and PDAs and other assorted electronic jiggery-pokery lying about the place. Let's put it to good use for once. Let's communicate with the scum-bags in Washington, DC and tell them what we really feel. Let's talk it up among ourselves while we still can, and let's set up new communications connections so we can keep talking when the bastards shut down the internet and email and cell phones to try to keep us suppressed and quiescent.

They ain't seen nothing yet. There's a bunch of people in this country who're getting royally pissed-off with the ninnies and feebs slouching about the Oval Office these days, and with the Oval One hisself. Yes, we can't help it. The Village Idiot was especially chosen for this job, based on the model of LBJ, with none of the innate intelligence and yokel smarts that Lynden had. Yes, he was a paranoid bastard, a cheat and philanderer, but he was an intelligent human being, at least before 1965. The present Resident can claim no such earthy honors.

It's time to throw the rabble out, muck out the shit from the White Horse Stables, and start all over again. Democrats? Who is worthy to step forward and fill the shoes of the Kennedys? Republicans? No one worthy of donning the elephant suit, except maybe Pete McClosky and he looked mighty tired to me at the fund raiser Saturday night. Dennis Kucinich? Now there's an intelligent man, perhaps too intelligent to take on the Presidency in these waning days of empire. I hope he'll run, at least, and breathe some fresh air in US politics.

Get busy, dial those cell phones, send those emails. We got a heap o' work to do.


Friday, May 12, 2006

I am a pedestrian!

Hello, my name is Michael. I am a pedestrian. It's been three years since I last drove a car.

Something happened to me on a trip to the UK last year. I became a pedestrian. Oh yes, I used to walk frequently, rode my bicycle even more often, rarely drove or rode in a car. After using public transportation and feet to get around England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland for a few weeks, I gave up on the idea of wheeled transportation almost entirely.

Feet are much more efficient. It takes no preparations to go out on foot, merely lace up one's shoes and step out the door. The same food that keeps my body in good health also provides fuel for my daily commute, my trips to the market and the video boutique and the occasional foray to the beach (often combined with the other aforementioned pedestrian opportunities).

Walking 4 to 6 miles daily through my neighborhood has given me a new perspective on the human condition. I've discovered that 90% of the people I meet during the day are uncaring louts: they drive too fast, they don't stop at cross walks, they ride their bicycles on the sidewalk and don't stop at stop signs of lights. Ten percent are courteous, friendly and helpful; the rest are yobs, ninnies and feebs.

I rarely meet another human on my daily walks, maybe one or two a week, more when I walk through the small craft harbor where people walk, from their parked cars, for recreation. On my mile walk along 7th Avenue to work I almost never see another walker.

As I walk, I pick up trash, roll wheely-bins back out of the bike lane, greet the few bicyclists riding in the bike lane, smile politely when inattentive motorists pull out of their driveways in front of me without looking for pedestrians. I shout at bicyclists who don't stop at stop signs and motorists who don't stop for me in the cross walks. It's good healthy exercise, clears the lungs, airs out the brains. Just incidentally, it's good exercise for the rest of my body.

My wife chose wisely when she decided to live here, and I chose wisely when I decided to join her. I think I'll stay, on my feets!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The government only wants one thing...


Who do they think they're fooling with the claim that they're not prying into the private lives of millions of Americans? Where do you suppose all that data goes? Is there no other use for millions of phone records, even without the details of the contents?

Once the data is collected it never goes away. As long as it's sitting around, tapping its little feet, someone... someone who doesn't have your best interests in mind... will use it for something. It will be for making money, controlling dissent, controlling what you think and what you buy.

Count on it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Threat Seen From Antibacterial Soap Chemicals

Now we live in an age of ubiquitous threats. Even soap is bad for you! The NSA has a record of all your phone calls. A cardboard box left by the road is a potential bomb and blocks traffic for hours during your morning commute.

This is not accidental. It is essential that the ruling oligarchy wield a mailed fist of fear. The United States government is organized on a permanent war footing, and its citizens must be kept in constant, cowering fear in order to remain quiescent and complicit. Even the dissent of a few must be quashed, through popular oblique if not official sanction. The power of one dissenting voice casts doubt in the minds of millions.

We must continue to speak out against our own government. We must dissent, we must resist, we must not obey. Those burly men in black padded suits are not our friends, they are the enemies of freedom and democracy, those same enemies against which the President has vowed to defend us.

It's a topsy world, again. Fascist ideologies have long attempted to hold sway across the globe, and now they have succeeded. The populace, held in a grip of fear, dare not resist.

Fortunately, the twins specters of Peak Oil and global climate change will bring down the whole house of cards, and free us once again to find our own destiny.

Waiting is.

Saturday, May 06, 2006 Despite a troubled history, police across the nation are keeping tabs on ordinary Americans

This is why we have the local constabulary infiltrating local organizations trying to put together a peaceful parade. Our local coppers have become militarized by the feds, tempted with Homeland (In)Security money to keep tabs on us and pass the information on to the regional fusion center and the national network.

Matters not what we do. Might as well take it over the top!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The World is not On-Demand!

On the decreasingly few occasions when I'm not pounding on this poor abused keyboard, reading or dreamily staring into space (creating), I work at our local Public Radio station. I've done this work, off and on, for the past thirty years or so, working as volunteer programmer, operations manager, program director, volunteer coordinator, and lately as administrative assistant/operations manager.

Some of you may remember radio. It was those sounds that came out of the curvy plastic box on top of the refrigerator; from the four-foot high, exquisitely polished wooden furniture piece with a couple of dozen bakelite buttons and knobs in the living room; or over the tinny speaker on top of the dash in your parent's car. I used to lay awake at night and listen to the sounds of the Universe coming through the twelve-inch speaker on my Philco AM-FM-Shortwave Radio in my bedroom. I fell asleep to radio preachers from Texas, high energy DJs from Mexico, the hiss and crackle of static on the short-wave bands, ship-to-shore Morse Code, and the music of far off countries fading in and out of the swirl of electronic ether. It was magical! I listened to radio drama, adventure serials, eclectic mixtures of stream of consciousness (or unconsciousness) music programs, complete with the hiss and pop of well used vinyl. (Here's a a test: how many grooves are on each side of a 33 1/3 rpm record album?)

This week I discovered I don't work for a radio station anymore; I work for a "content provider." This bloodless descriptive is just one example of a basic philosophical change occurring throughout our society, a change that is unbidden, uncontrolled and unstoppable. We are becoming an "On-Demand" society.

Here's how you listen to radio: when you want to listen to a specific radio program, you look up the schedule for the station, find out when the program is airing, make sure you are by a radio at the appointed time, turn the radio on and listen to the program. You enjoy the program in fullness as it comes through the speaker(s), and, when its finished, you retain fond memories (or not) of its contents. Period. That's it. The program is off into the ephemeral radio waves never to be heard again (unless you recorded it on a tape recorder).

In the new "On-Demand" world, you don't have to plan anything. Everything is available anytime and anywhere you want. Want to hear Ravi Shankar play the sitar? Download it on your computer, transfer it to your iPod and take it with you to the beach. Missed yesterday's call-in talk show? Go online, listen to the archived program, submit your comments on the accompanying blog. Don't like the programming on your local listener-supported community radio station? No problem! Go online and listen to any of hundreds of different "content providers" all over the world! Subscribe to podcasts and have your favorite programs from East Rubberball, Ontario, Lille, France and Sitka, Alaska waiting for you on your computer whenever you want to hear them! Burn them to a CD and share them with your friends. Make yourself a content provider and podcast your favorite music to anyone in the world who wants to listen, both of them, anytime they want to!

Wow! And this is not just radio. On-Demand applies to any and every form of print, visual and audio expression. Virtually any content is available on-demand, in any format, to be downloaded, transferred to a portable electronic device and watched, listened to or read anytime, anywhere, over and over. Content is no longer limited by space and time.

Think of young people growing up now to whom on-demand is normal. No waiting for a phone call, just whip out your cell phone and make a connection. No need to look at a map for directions. Call on your cell phone and they'll talk you in, just like an airplane landing on an aircraft carrier. No need to plan ahead, everything is instantly connectable for events on the run. Your TeeVee and radio programs wait for you on your computer at 10 PM or 2 AM. Food is delivered to your door, movies are ordered online and appear in your mailbox, school assignments are a simple download off the web.

Think of that: no need to plan ahead. No need to consider the consequences of your actions. No need to think of raw materials running out, waste piling up in landfills, air and water becoming toxic. Why worry? Everything is provided whenever and wherever you need it! Everything is on-demand!

What is the cost of the On-Demand Society? Community.

In a society in which every bit of information is exactly equal to every other bit of information, there is nothing special about the bit of information that originates in your immediate surroundings or that relates specifically to your household, neighborhood, community or bioregion. On-demand radio will be the death of community supported radio. Why should anyone support their local community radio station when they can, just as easily, listen to content provided by a hundred other radio stations all across the globe any time they want?

When community encompasses 6 billion people throughout the world, there is no community. Community is local. Community is relevant. Community exists in real time, that is, sidereal time, sun time, Earth time, seasonal time, geologic time. When attention is dispersed among a myriad of competing messages, those messages that are most pertinent at the local level are lost.

What is the cost of the On-Demand Society? Connectiveness.

When everything appears on demand, anytime, anyplace, there is no connection to its origin or appreciation of the cost of its production. We don't see the immense technocratic infrastructure necessary to allow a 13 year-old to whip out a cell phone and call her friend in the classroom next door. We don't see the huge investment in digital transmission, satellite distribution, computer storage, wifi broadcasting and computer construction and distribution necessary for podcasting and on-demand "content providing." Nor do we see the incredible, mind-boggling destruction of the planet on which our individual, on-demand lives depend. It's invisible, out of sight and certainly out of mind.

What is the price of a cell phone call? Gorillas killed for meat and trophies in Africa, smog-filled skies over the Grand Canyon, a Navajo child dying of cancer caused by breathing uranium dust.

Even worse, a society dominated by dedication to instant gratification and fulfillment of on-demand demands, is a society ignorant of the the far more subtle and long term natural cycles of resource production and waste absorption that operate in the real real world, outside of human societal concentration. The global climate change currently devouring the natural world that sustains human society is a direct result of the inability of humans to perceive complex, long-term natural cycles, and the inability of human society to react to long-term change until it reaches crisis proportions.

On-demand technology is driving human society rapidly over the looming precipice. Fortunately, in the process, we are irretrievably consuming the very resources that allow such a technology to exist, so that, after the inevitable short stop at the bottom of the fall, there will be insufficient resources available to recreate, in any conceivable time period, the destructive society we experience today.

This is it. Enjoy it while it lasts. The ride will be fast and exciting, the end abrupt and ineluctable. The future is less, not more.

In this there is satisfaction and contentment enough.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

We want our revolution -- NOW!

We've got new generals our leaders are new.
They sit and they argue and all that they do
Is sell their own colleagues and ride upon their backs
And jail them and break them and give them all the axe. *

Our "leaders" are insane. Our President is an apocalyptic dipsomaniac. Democracy has been sold for a phrase and the people are lined up to rubber stamp the fate chosen for them. Those who refuse to comply are shunted aside, co-opted, bought off, framed and arrested for no reason, or simply killed. Who's to say no?

That which is not forbidden is required.

I talked to a young lady at the video boutique today, to establish my identity so to rent a subversive video (French Connection). She was incredulous that I never carry ID with me. She asked, "Don't you have to show a state ID for things?" Of course, I am 56, more salt than peppery long hair, white beard and moustache. I haven't been carded at the pub for decades.

And yet... she assumed everyone must carry ID.

That which is not forbidden is required.

Time to throw the rabble out, with votes, if possible (hardly likely); with our bodies if we must. We must cleanse the Oval Office of this insanity before it's too late, before this mad King George throws nukes with his tantrums and starts something that none of us will live to its end.

We want our rights and we don't care how.
We want our revolution - NOW! *

From "Marat / Sade"
(Adrian Mitchell / Richard Peaslee)
Peter Weiss

Monday, April 10, 2006

Immigration and Living in Place

Immigration is a hot topic on the lips, and computers, of most people these days. Local and national elected representatives scramble for the moral high ground, providing lurid newspaper headlines to delight and titillate, juicy soundbites for TeeVee newsertainment. Here in California, it’s near impossible to have a friendly conversation on any street corner without choosing sides.

The immigration controversy provides something for everyone to chew on, from economics to culture clashes to environmental degradation. The resulting mix is confusing, immediately inflammatory and impossible to approach at the national level. In a nation firmly grounded in its history of immigration, arguments for immigration control seem hollow and self-serving.

The United States has around 350 million people spread over 3,537,441 square miles. An immigration rate of 3.5 immigrants per year per 1,000 residents seems a paltry increase when considered as a whole across the entire nation. However, when we look at the impacts of population increase at the local level, the problem gains clarity and immediacy.

The effect of human population increase on any local environment is a product of the rate of consumption of natural resources, plus the rate of production of wastes, multiplied by the human population. William Rees, of the Fisheries Center at the University of British Columbia, calls this our "ecological footprint." We have managed for some time to spread this footprint out and reduce its impact locally by importing raw materials from other areas and exporting wastes, through regional, national and global economies.

The days of plenty are over. There are fewer and fewer places in the world with excess raw materials to be exploited by imperialistic national policies, and even fewer places able to receive externally produced waste materials resulting from a high consumption society. Some "resources" such as clean water, clean air and arable croplands are in decreasing supply everywhere and cannot be exported to areas with growing human populations.

Looking at our own biological region, our "bioregion," here on the coast of Monterey Bay, we experience increasing concern over a limited water supply, already exploited to the limit in drought years at present human population numbers. City and county officials look to desalination to extract water for human use from the seemingly unlimited amounts of salt water just offshore. In their excitement over the promise of this gleaming technology, they ignore the accompanying increased power demands required from limited fossil fuel sources that must be imported from other bioregions far away. They minimize concerns for the salty brine that must be exported back to the ocean bioregion from whence it came. In the words of John Muir, "Everything is hitched to everything else."

It doesn’t matter the color of their skin or the language they speak, from a bioregional perspective, there is a finite limit to the number of human beings that can be supported in any place at any given level of consumption. If more people live in a bioregion, whether from birth in place or through immigration, more resources must be imported as well, or consumption must be reduced. If essential resources such as clean water cannot be imported, then all humans in the bioregion must consume less. If we cannot import more resources into our bioregion, then it makes sense that we do not import more humans.

The challenge for all societies on Earth is to find ways for humans to live within existing biological and geophysical limitations of the bioregion in which each society exists. We should no longer consume more limited resources than are available locally. We should no longer produce more wastes than can be absorbed locally. We should not steal from others to feed our own, nor should we move someplace else when we run out at home. There are no more frontiers; we should make do with what we have, where we live.

As Gary Snyder told us over thirty years ago, "The first step to living in place is to stop moving around!"

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

SUV Use Sinking Fast!

At Last, SUV drivers have found a proper use for their huge vehicles!



Saturday, April 01, 2006

Atheists identified as America's most distrusted minority

Well, good! It's about time we're recognized for what we are! We should be distrusted; damned bunch of anarchists, anyway.

Anyone who thinks for themselves, eschews TeeVee pablum, walks to work on their own two feet, questions authority and speaks out in public dissent deserves public obloquy. And recognition.

Good A words, these: a-theist; an-archist; anti-authoritarian; if you're not against most things in this world today, you're not aware of what's going on. If you aren't pissed off most of the time, you've got your head up where the sun never shines.

Trust? Who said anything about trust? Democracy is not based on trust. Democracy is based on openness and verisimilitude. We don't trust our public servants, we maintain eternal vigilance. I don't want anyone's trust. I want respect and forbearance. I want to live my life as I see fit without someone foisting their personal beliefs on me and claiming they don't trust me because I'm different.

And while we're at it, let's not mince words. There are no "hard" or "soft" atheists. Atheism means no god, capitalized or un. Period. It's not an expression of belief, it's a statement of fact. There is no god because there is no god, no matter what I or anyone else "believes." Reality is what hangs around when you stop believing in it. If I suddenly became a Christian, God wouldn't pop out of a cloud and pat me on the back for being a good boy. The absence of a god does not depend on my belief.

There is no god. I am an atheist.
The state is illegitimate. I am an anarchist.
All authority is based on coercion. I am an antiauthoritarian.


Friday, March 17, 2006

This is Our President?

The Buffoon-in-Chief accepts shamrocks from a statesman.

We are lost. The United States government is the class clown of the world. The government of the United States knows only violence and buffoonery. The US government is the fat, empty-headed playground bully who sits on anyone who gets in his way.

"Hey, hey hey! It's Fat George, coming to get you. Fat George is the baddest buck-buck player in the world!"


Thursday, March 16, 2006 - Bush reaffirms first-strike policy, calls Iran biggest possible threat - Mar 16, 2006

This is intolerable!

The United States government has never before pursued a first-strike policy. This marks a major departure form in defense strategy and may even be unconstitutional.

It certainly is a unilateral (on the part of the government) change in national policy which has never been approved by the people of the United States. The United States government is shifting from a corporate oligarchy to a dictatorship, more accurately, a corporate puppetry.

Is there no length to which the people of the United States will stoop to allow themselves to be buggered by their own government?


Sunday, March 12, 2006

The price of cheap chicken is bird flu - Los Angeles Times

One of the most important articles written about bird flu.

The take home message? Bird flu is incubated in industrial agriculture chicken factories, spread through the commercial chicken feed industry and capitalized on by the international medical industry.

Anyone surprised?


Saturday, March 11, 2006

'Surveillance, Infiltration, and Harassment of Environmental Organizations'


If they're paying this much attention, it means we're doing a good job.

Keep up the good work!

No fucking compromise in defense of the Earth!


Friday, March 10, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Standard Speech to Designers and Planners

Hello, my name is Michael.

I'm a human being.

You've heard of human beings before. Most everyone in this room is a human being.

Human beings are a soft and squishy lot and we like to surround ourselves with soft and squishy things, like trees and grass and puppies and flowers and chirping birds. We don't like hard and scratchy things like asphalt and cement and hurtling bits of metal and plastic. When we bump into them, it hurts.

When you're doing your planning and developing, remember just who it is you're planning and developing for. Not for asphalt and cement and hurtling bits of metal and plastic. You're planning and developing for human beings... soft and squishy human beings.

The next time a pot of money is dangled before you, a salary raise proffered, a promotion promised in exchange for some unneeded and unwanted project, remember this:

We don't want your asphalt and plastic and hurtling bits of metal and plastic. We have too much of those already. We already live in a world coated with asphalt and cement, and overrun by hurtling bits of metal and plastic.

We want more soft and squishy things like trees and grass and puppies and flowers and chirping birds. Design a project with lots of those, please.

Remember what Gandhi told us: "There's more to life than making it go faster." Bits of metal and plastic hurtle too fast already. Don't help them go faster; make them go slower. Or not at all.

If you must design and develop something, design and develop something soft and squishy for us. Better yet, find a job undesigning and undeveloping all the asphalt and cement and hurtling bits of metal and plastic.

The soft and squishy world will take over if given half a chance.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Hayduke Speaks!
Hayduke Blogs!

It's Liars All the Way Down!

Special Operations Troops and Intelligence: Elite Troops Get Expanded Role On Intelligence - New York Times

Bush executive order creates faith-based community center at Homeland Security - Raw Story

The United States Corporate Theocracy creeps ever closer to the world of "1984." Control of information, "newspeak" and blatant, outright lies carry the day.

Homeland Security? Just another cover name for the God Squad.

US Embassies? Barracks for US Storm Troopers and spies.

Diplomacy? Soften them up for invasion and occupation.

The Neocons continue the grand US tradition of right-wing "Christian" lying, cheating, graft, corruption, murder and mayhem that has dogged the heels of the US government since the 19th Century. What once was created as an undemocratic representative republic has now devolved into a fascist corporate oligarchy, opportunistically playing the God card to gain the support of the 85% of the people of the United States who believe in a god and look to centrally organized religion to solve their problems for them.

No need to worry about global warming when god is coming to take over the world!

War in the Middle East? Hey, that's the way it's s'posed to be! Says so right here in this black book! That's God's country, isn't it? Israel has a right to displace the Native people of that country. They weren't using al;l that sand anyway!

It's disgusting. We humans haven't progressed in the slightest over the past two hundred years. Gotten worse, in fact, as the government has learned how to control the masses of the people and render them irrelevant. 300 million times zero is still zero.

Less than 10% of the people of the United States eschew TeeVee and get their news of the world by reading newspapers, most of them from other countries where the phrase "free press" still has some meaning. It is therefore not surprising that only 10% of the people in the United States are engaged in activist and progressive activities, less than 10% do not believe in a god, less than 10% engage in rational thought and speech, less than 10% know that the United States is not Democracy and less that 10% are engaged in the true process of democracy: daily community decision-making in our homes. neighborhoods, villages and towns with neighbors, friends and family.

The Liar in Chief and his band of Neo-con artists are preparing the way for the next wave of grifters, thugs and feebs to replace him in the Oval Office. Who? Does it matter? As long as God is waiting in the wings, who's to say we're not all in good hands.

Papers, pliss, Citizen?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'

Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'

It's beginning to look more and more like unapologetically fascism in Washington these days. ""!984" had nothing on today's factual realities. Controlling the media is the first step to controlling the past, and the future.

A president who has brazenly and openly trashed the Constitution of the United States of America deserves impeachment, far more than one accused of petty sexual impropriety. And yet, the gateway to impeachment is guarded by the foxes and their cousins.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate