Sunday, January 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ed!

"I am a redneck myself, born & bred on a submarginal farm in Appalachia, descended from an endless line of dark-complected, lug-eared, beetle-browed, insolent barbarian peasants, a line reaching back to the dark forests of central Europe & the alpine caves of my Neanderthal primogenitors."
- from "In defense of the Redneck", Abbey's Road

It seems fitting, seventy-nine years after his birth, and almost seventeen years after his death, to recall the birth and life of Edward "Ned" Abbey, in this country, in this time, where and when almost everything he wrote for is ground under the massive wheels of technocratic society teetering on the edge of oblivion. The contradictions in today's world mirror those in his life.

Ed was born in the height of anarchist activism, in a time between world wars, with fascism on the rise. Emma Goldman had rejected violence in the anarchist cause and was traveling around the world, spreading the word that Ed would later revive. Franco, Mussolini and Hitler were just over the horizon, industrialism and capitalist exploitation were ascendant in the United States. From Ed's nascent perspective in the poverty of the Appalachians, his later anarchist thoughts were almost inevitable. Sharing his birthday with Thomas Paine, Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, William Claude Dukenfield (later known as W.C. Fields), Anton Pavlovich Chekov and French anarchist Maurice Chayovsky, Ed carried on a grand tradition of literary and political shit-stirring.

Eighty years later we find ourselves once again on the crest of fascism and imperialism. Ed's apocalyptic vision in "Good News" is coming true with a vengeance. "The banal little men at the levers of imperial machines" tighten their reins of control, guarding themselves against the inevitable rebellion that they themselves have created.

Where are the anarchists now? Who waves the Jeffersonian banner of democracy, real democracy, in an age of corporate bribery in the halls of Washington (best government money can buy)? Who points out the ridiculous contradictions of invading a country to install democracy at the point of a gun, killing thousands of innocents to spread freedom? Who sits back, on a serene and comfortable height, and contemplates the ultimate absurdity of human "civilization" rushing headlong to its own funeral, fully aware that the bridge is out twixt here and the cemetery?

Happy Birthday, Ed. Soar high. We wish you were still here, and we're glad you're still there.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Does the ELF or ALF really exist

I've said it here and elswhere several times: ELF, ALF and Earth First! (the old Earth First!, not the present earth first) never existed as organizations. These are banners under which we march, ideals to which we aspire, codes of conduct we observe as we wage a never-ending battle against the forces of capitalism, greed, avarice and political opportunism that mask as government in the United States today.

The parallels between the machinations of the FBI domestically and the CIA internationally are interesting to contemplate:

The FBI claims that two "groups:" Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, organize destruction of private property in defense of the earth and its non-human inhabitants. They (the FBI) go before Congress (the opposite of progress) and ask for more and more money to fight this dire ecoterrorist threat, citing spokespersons, websites, scrawled acronyms and ephemeral emails as evidence of a nation-wide (hints of international connections) organization bent on environmental mayhem. Their favorite source is Ron Arnold, a ravening private property rights terrorist I've encountered in various guises over the years.

Internationally, the CIA conveniently receives an audio tape they say came from Osama Bin Laden with dire warnings for the United States, just at the right time to distract the press and the people from embarrassing hearings and trials going on in Washington, hearings and trials that threaten to reveal the lies and deceit of the current administration.

Seems like very similar tactics, these two, the control of information, the spread of disinformation, the use of lies, plants, agents provocateurs, deceptive web sites. I suspect that any webs sites or email discussion list that had any negative comments about the powers that be, has been infiltrated, manipulated, certainly monitored and messed with. There is an odd quiet on the web these days from those who were formerly very loud in their opposition. The promise of cyber-democracy seems to have faded behind the screen of marketing and information control.

No way to prove it, of course. Nevertheless, where there's smoke, there's fire; if it quacks like a duck... and all that.


t r u t h o u t - Democrats: Get Up and Walk Out

t r u t h o u t - Democrats: Get Up and Walk Out

To: Congressional Democrats
From: William Rivers Pitt
RE: A bold maneuver

- - - -

I have a wild and crazy idea.

George W. Bush's delivery of the State of the Union address will take place on Tuesday, January 31, a little more than a week from now. It is my strong belief that every single Democrat present in the House chamber for the speech should, at a predetermined moment, stand up and walk out. No yelling. No heated words. Every Democrat should simply stand silently and leave.


Bin Laden: Where is he? Who's protecting him? Why can't we find him?

Bin Laden: Where is he? Who's protecting him? Why can't we find him?

This article begs the question: Does Bin Laden have to be alive at all? Does it really matter if the audio tape is from a real, live Bin Laden, or someone, not necessarily someone with Al Qa'ida, pretending to be Bin Laden?

Furthermore, whose interest is being served? These "messages" from Bin Laden always seem to pop up at a particularly propitious time for the Bush administration, times when embarrassing or revealing events are taking place: events such as Congressional hearings on domestic spying, perhaps? Or trials of military figures accused of torture, trials that involve the CIA and other acronymical security agencies?

Control of information and disinformation, or, as it is called in the security industry: lying, are well-oiled tools used by the keepers of power to maintain an illusion of legitimacy. When one controls the national and international media, one can easily manipulate the fever of the day to - cover up, shall we say, those inconvenient and potentially troublesome events.

One can spend a good deal of one's day digging underneath the headlines to find the unmentioned stories that have the greatest import.

Bin Laden? Emmanuel Goldstein? Truth? Fiction?

Who can tell?

Who will tell...


Friday, January 20, 2006

11 Indicted in Cases of Environmental Sabotage - New York Times

11 Indicted in Cases of Environmental Sabotage - New York Times:

"WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 - A federal grand jury in Eugene, Ore., has indicted 11 people on charges that they committed acts of domestic terrorism on behalf of two shadowy environmental groups, the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front."

The theater of the absurd continues!

ELF and ALF are not organizations, they are ideals. They have no members. They have no creed. They have no meetings. They have no dues. ELF and ALF are banners under which anyone can march. Anyone can be ELF. Everyone can be ALF.

I am proud to be a follower of the Earth Liberation Front. It is my purpose to Liberate the Earth from the mad, imperialist warmongers who have taken over the United States government in the name of Christianity and made the United States a mockery in the global community. It is my purpose to free the Earth from those who destroy it for private gain, and then send their jack-booted thugs against those who would defend her. It is my purpose to defend all animals against the cruel and inhumane corporate toadies who use all life to their filthy pockets will ill-gotten gain.

The Earth is suffering at the hands of madmen. The Bush administration and almost all politicians in the United States government are totally insane, incapable of doing anything to stop a headlong rush into environmental destruction. The government of the United States exists only to support private property rights and unlimited economic growth. If the insane occupants of the halls of Washington, DC are not somehow stopped, all of life on Earth will suffer.

For what? A few measly coins scattered on their coffins.



Thursday, January 19, 2006

Are You Ready to Be Bugged and Tortured By George W. Bush?

Are You Ready to Be Bugged and Tortured By George W. Bush?

We keep hearing about this omnipotent Homeland Security apparatus. We hear about visits to student apartments, questions about posters, nefarious books on airplanes, and...

And yet, there is a growing vocal minority calling for the ouster of the entire Bush administration because of their patently illegal, immoral and unethical acts in running the government of the United States.

Make no mistake about it: I am calling for the overthrow of the United States government by any means necessary, and its replacement with a national and international system of dispersed economic and political decision-making based on local production for local consumption, democracy and mutual aid. The United States government supports and defends private property ownership by an elite minority and supports and promotes unlimited exconomic growth to benefit a few trans-national corporations. The United States government is anti-democratic and operates to the detriment of the people of the United States and the world. This government must be brought down and replaced by a true democracy.

If that makes me an Enemy of the State, then I accept the mantle with gratitude and enthusiasm. The United States government is run by an immoral cabal of imperialistic neoconservatives who have created massive death and destruction for people throughout the world through direct imperialist intervention and support of oppressive and dictatorial regimes. If the people of the United States have any principles at all, we must do everything in our power to remove the present government and replace it with one that supports the needs and desires of the people.

If the slow knocking on my door never appears, then we know how well the present regime has gained control and sits in smug satisfaction in the halls of power. The people are irrelevant. Long live the King!


Monday, January 16, 2006

Let's get real...

Yes, it's too late... too late for human "civilization," if that's what it is. The twin demons of climate change and Peak Oil will do in the dominant human societies within the next 50 to 75 years. Several billion people will die prematurely within the 21st Century, and replacement rates will plummet as well. Agricultural zones will shift northward and diminish, as fuel supplies to transport dwindling food to the remaining population become scarcer and more dear. Ironically, as industrial activity declines, particulates in the atmosphere will settle out, resulting in increasing atmospheric warming. Average global temperature will probably rise 8 degrees centigrade by 2100.

Human societies will be reduced to isolated pockets of agrarian communities in areas still able to support limited local agriculture, probably in Canada and Alaska, here in North America. I suspect the coast will still be habitable to a limited extent, depending on how much is left after the die-off. The problem now is the huge population here, leading to unforeseeable social consequences.

It's never too late for the non-human world, which will change, of course, and it will thrive, as it always has. Some species will go, some will increase, new species will begin in the new conditions. It'll be an interesting time biologically for those humans interested enough to observe and record.

Freedom and democracy? It will return and live as it did before modern technocratic society drove it underground. Probably something like Ed's vision of free and semi-autonomous agrarian communities, living in harmony with natural cycles, based on local production for local consumption, democratic decision-making and mutual aid. Those who attempt to cling to the old competitive, divisive, oppressive ways will die. Cooperation will rule the day, as it did for thousands of years before.

What can be done? Nothing. The die is cast. The dominant society, the US capitalist, technocratic, industrial society, cannot change fast enough to meet this rapidly approaching challenge. Most humans are incapable of changing their lives enough to make a difference. All politicians are locked into a system predicated on perpetual economic growth. We cannot solve the problems of this society with the tools available in this society.

Climate change is rolling along swiftly in an accelerating, self-reinforcing cycle that will not reach equilibrium until human technological output is reduced to near zero. Even then, it may take a century or more to settle into the new pattern that emerges. Even if tomorrow everyone in the United States were to adopt the lifestyle that Jean an I now enjoy, it would be too late. The system is in motion, the clock is running.

All that is left now is to prepare for the inevitable, become the Irish monks in the monasteries of the British Isles, hoard the knowledge through the Dark Ages, keep a small population of aware humans alive until conditions settle down again. Humans will survive and adjust over time, in small colonies outside the edges of the ruined and abandoned cities.

I'm too old to be much affected by the coming changes, though I'll see the beginnings. It's you and your children that must do something now to prepare the way. Get the hell out of the south. Find a place up north, in the northern Rockies, where you can grow food, raise animals, manage water, raise your children in the new world. Their children will inherit a totally different word than the one you know now.

More importantly, we must teach the children a new ethic, a new world view, a new cosmology, a new Way. Those who live through the coming Cleansing must be equipped to build a world that avoids the mistakes of this world. They'll have an advantage over us, in that most of the oil wand coal will be gone, they'll be lots of raw materials for gleaning in the dead cities, and they'll be forced to live with the Earth for a long time before reaching critical population numbers.

We have a lot of work to do!

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate