The Anarchist Manifesto

In 1883 an anarchist congress took place in Pittsburg Pa. A few of its phrases sound antiquated but the facts, frustrations and feelings on the people back then come through loud and strong. It could have been written yesterday because nothing has changed much in the interveneing 130 years, the rich still rule by fear and division, the poor still drool because of their inability to unite against the common foe.

...All laws are directed against working people....Even the school serves only the purpose of finishing the offspring of the wealthy with those qualities necessary to uphold their class domination. The children of the poor get scarcely a formal elementary training, and this, too, is mainly directed to such branches as tend to producing prejudices, arrogance and servility; in short, want of sense. The Church finally seeks to make complete idiots of the mass and to make them forgo the paradise on earth by promising a fictious heavan. The capitialist press, on the other hand, takes care of the confusions of spirit in public life....The workers can therefore expect no help from any capitialist party in their struggle against the existing system. They must achieve their liberation by their own efforts. As in former times, a privileged class never surrenders its tyranny, neither can it be expected that the capitialists of his age will give their rulership without being forced to do it.... - The Anarchist Manifesto

Working class children still get the education they can afford. A Liberal Arts degree and schooling in the classics is for the children of the elites as it counts for next to nothing and qualifies you for a low wage job at Starbucks. The rulers read Plato, the droolers learn which button to push. The Church, well the church's job is still the same too, keeping the masses docile with lies about the big payday in the sky for good little peons [pee-ons].

If anything has changed it would be that the capitialists and their spawn the corporations now threaten the very circle of life [where are you Simba]. Our common air is used as a dumping ground, our Mother Earth is buckling under the relentless attack, the real quality of our lives diminishes daily, the existance of our offspring is in doubt. And just like 130 years ago, none of this will begin to change until 'we the people' riseup and overthrow the tyrannts.


Demand Side Economics

Illegal immagration, Mexican drug cartels and the Gulf oil disaster are all symptoms of the same disease: hyper-consumerism. So are the financial crisis, the Mideast wars, climate change, rampant species extinction... Unrestricted consumerism combined with the lopsided wealth controlled by the few who have been beneficiaries of the last few centuries of colonialism have created a worldwide giant sucking sound. The Empire and its enriched minority demand that their lifestyles be uncompromised so the vast majority of teeming billions sweat and bleed to fill their wants. Yet still the Empire wants more.

More farm workers to cheaply fill our supermarkets with year-round exotic foods fresh daily from every corner of the globe. More drugs to molify the working class, more oil to move our masses and our messes in ever faster circles, more loans to buy more plastic crap, more energy wars, more greenhouse gases, more habitat destruction, MORE of everything except quality.

Decades ago in Economics 101 i learned about 'supply and demand'. Every exchange of goods or money can, according to economics, can be reduced to supply and demand. And that there is no market without demand. Demand is the driver of all exchange, supply grows and slows to meet it. Their are manipulative advertising gimmicks that can marginally increase demand for one brand of plastic bullshit over another but if there is no underlying demand for the commodity or service the supply lines dwindle to zero.

Our gluttonous consumption belies the vacuity of our moral worldview. Free Trade makes the rich richer and Gaia poorer, Fair Trade promotes healthy communities and people. Fair Trade pays workers a decent living on both sides of the US/Mexican border which allows Mexicans to stay home and not become illegals, it allows Americans an avenue to the self-respect and pride created by a job and a paycheck, two conditions of a real quality life so often absent in those whose demand for hard drugs drives that market. Next step: think small. Grow your own, make your own, spend less, want less and remember to 'do onto others as you'd have them do unto you'.


Phytoplankton Decline a Canary of Enviromental Collapse

Researchers are reporting today at Nature.com that since 1950 phytoplankton in the world's oceans have declined by 40%.

Phytoplankton are the basis of the entire marine food chain, and have an important role in the global carbon cycle. Through photosynthesis, they produce around half of the oxygen in Earth's atmosphere and drive the 'biological pump' that fixes 100 million tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide a day into organic material, which then sinks to the ocean floor when the phytoplankton die, or are grazed and digested.- Nature.com

The reasearch is extensive and disturbing, slow, long term phytoplankton decline caused by oceanic warming is another dying canary warning us of the feedback loops being untethered by Gaia in response to our consumptive lives. The oceans are eating up our carbon dioxide and its offspring global warming more and more slowly even as we dump more in her and ask more of her everyday.

MORE-MORE-MORE, the siren's song of materialism, the catechism of capitialism and dominion's undoing. Endless growth was one of the self-serving lies our ancestors told themselves. It's still being told today, more hummers, more highways, more, the big lie that our culture uses to destroy the very basis of life.

We milk the cow of the world, and as we do We whisper in her ear, "You are not true."
- Richard Wilbur, 1950

There are things we as individuals can do right now-today to help stem the tide of MORE, to make a difference in our personal health and Gaia's. The Gaurdian's article: 10 ways vegetarianism can help save the planet details the numbers behind the costs our carnivorious brethren force the ecosystem to pay. i've been a non-meat eater for nearly 35 years, i'm 6'5", 270 lbs, healthy as a horse, strong as a bull and haveworked hard all my life. Anybody can make different choices. If we really want to reduce the human impact on the environment, the simplest and cheapest thing anyone can do is to eat less meat.


All Hail Julian Assange, the new Daniel Ellsburg

It's like deja-vu all over again. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as Daniel Ellsburg did during the Vietnam War, has focused the the world's attention on the propaganda and outright lies used by all sides in Afghanistan. The best detailed coverage i've found is the Afghanistan The War Logs at The Gaurdian. But each of the 3 newspapers who had access to the info for the past 3 weeks-The new York Times-Der Spiegel-The Gaurdian-have taken different approaches to the exhaustive amount of material.

In a SPIEGEL interview Assange discusses his decision to publish the Afghanistan war logs. My favorite exchange being:
SPIEGEL: You could have started a company in Silicon Valley and lived in a home in Palo Alto with a swimming pool. Why did you decide to do the WikiLeaks project instead?
Assange: We all only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time that we have, and to do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work.

Julian Assange is clearly been infected by the 'want less' meme [wether he know it or not]. i'll be very interested to see/hear him on Larry King tonight [6pm and 9pm PST]. Larry King's interviews, are often very revealing due to Larry's soft pitch questions directed at how his guests 'feel' about a topic rather than most interviewers who try to totally focus on what the guest 'knows' about it. i've watched Larry over the decades allow his guests to complete their thoughts and not cut them off in midsentence, i've also seen Larry not let powerful world leaders and others avade the point of his questions. He'll laugh his charming laugh, but then he'll ask the question again until they answer. Tonight's interview with Assange should be a hum-dinger.


#NOSTARBUCKS - action #1 in Adbusters' Carnivalesque Rebellion

Between November 22-28 the whole world will light up with seven days of Carnivalesque Rebellion when people around the world will walk out of their schools, offices and factories for a week and live! Think of it as an adventure.

To get the ball rolling here's a personal plunge you may want to take right away: Vow never to walk into a Starbucks ever again. Instead, search out the most interesting indie coffee shop around where you live and work … get to know the people who own and run the place and get your friends and co-workers to join you there. Individually this may feel like a drop in the bucket, but if all the 86,000 members of the Adbusters' Network do it collectively, then they [we] can begin to shift power from megacorporations to our friends and neighbors.

This little shift in our lives is a good way to get in the mood … and during the week of rebellion in November, these indie coffeehouses will become our meeting places and bases.

"Class warfare, once buried under the happy illusion that we were all going to enter an age of prosperity with unfettered capitalism, is returning with a vengeance... The more we retreat from the culture at large the more room we will have to carve out lives of meaning, the more we will be able to wall off the flood of illusions disseminated by mass culture and the more we will retain sanity in an insane world" - American Psychosis by Chris Hedges


i recently read Marci McDonald's book The Armageddon Factor 'The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada' ...if you live in Canada you've probably heard of it on the CBC, Marci McDonald did the interview rounds there and beyond in the Canadian media.

In it Marci McDonald ties together many loose ends to weave a historical account of the people who are leading the charge toward theocracy in Canada and the events that have transpired to get us into the situstion that exists today. The Armageddon Factor attempts by way of short biographies to show the interlocking histories of different Canadian theo-cons and the connections to their richer more bombastic American brethren. The interlocking connections would do an LA freeway designer proud.

If you haven't read it yet, Marci McDonald is syndicating some great portions of it at TheTyee each day, please check it out. Here's a link to a list of her entire series there. This daily dose of small chuncks might be the best way to eat such an elephantine topic. The huge scale of the topic like 'The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada', the amount of research, the interwoven organizations, the depressing advances of 'the believers' would challange any writer-reporter Marci McDonald did a great job but don't expect a page turner.

The Armageddon Factor is an important book for all Canadians to read as soon as possible, a lot of shit is going down behind the scenes, and Marci McDonald's in depth study can serve as a program to follow the theo-con actors and their actions.


Shirley Sherrod's epiphany: it's rich vs. poor

Epiphany - a sudden realization: a sudden intuitive leap of understanding. Shrirley Sherrod had one, it was the subject of the infamous video from which came the edited bit that both the Tea Partiers and the NAACP used to hang themselves. The hits just keep on comin from the fiasco. Now it's the MSM who are flumoxed, they can't bring themselves to 'report' on a class war so they retreat to the safety of racial division as the context for all their questions. What Shirley said then and says now is:

SHIRLEY SHERROD: "There is no difference between us. The only difference is that the folks with money want to stay in power and whether it's health care or whatever it is, they'll do what they need to do to keep that power, you know. It's always about money, y'all. Like I told you, God helped me to see that it's not just about black people -- it's about poor people."

In another excerpt from her speech to the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner, Shirley Sherrod gives the audience a history lesson on how the rich created the divide of the races so they could stay in power and keep the poor down.

Shirley gets it, the rich use fear of the unknown to keep the poor divided. Whenever in history the many unite to overcome the wedge issues used by the few to divide them they've risen up, resisted, rebeled and overthrown their oppressors. Divide and conquer is a biggy in elite-ville, without it the greek slaves overran the republic, without it the gauls might still be gauls, without it those folks woulda died in the Bastille, without it... lottsa shit woulda been different.

Shirley gets it, MSM media does too. The capitialist corporations own the news, they spin it anyway that suits them and what definately doesn't suit them is to have a genuine African-American female hero stand up/rise up and talk about class war. The indivisible fact is 'we the people' are being manipulated and divided by our fears so as to distract us away from fixing our gaze upon our real enemy - the rich.


Natural Cycles Trump Business Cycles

Capitialism treats the earth, our mother, like a slave. Like a slave the earth has no rights. Like a slave capitialists see Mother Nature as theirs to use because they own it. Like a slave our Mother will not be emancipated without a struggle. Never have the rich and powerful voluntarily given up their grasp upon the necks of their slaves without a fight.

For blacks it took hundreds of years of resistance, a Civil War, followed 100 years of segragation to get to where they are today. Women musta been fighting since the caveperson era, Jews for a few thousand years, you name 'em, all of the groups who were once enslaved and treated as sub-human, without rights, won their rights through struggle. The emancipation of Mother Nature will too.

Only when flora, fauna, microbes, minerals and Gaia herself are recognized to be the ultimate stakeholder does democracy have a chance of lifting itself above the scum line of materialistic greed before the enslavement of all life is complete. Mother Nature feeds us all, if our consumer culture continues to deny this basic fact doom awaits.

Every seed is awakened and so is all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our animal neighbours the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. -Sitting Bull

Dennis Kucinich gave a great speech [linked to below] last Friday at the Animal Rights 2010 national conference. In it he expresses the wisdom of the ages: that all forms are one, that the creator has either blessed all with a soul or none, that we all have an equal right to be.

Dennis Kucinich Calls for Reconciliation with Nature - We also have to look at transformation of our economic system because you and I know that we have a kind of economic system which is predatory, which is extractive, which is about using the earth and taking anything and everything out of it.


Basta y Basta-Enough is Enough

Today's well written article: Hello, America? This is Your Wakeup Call by Prescott College's Peace Study Professof Randall Amster is another passionate and intelligent exhortation to the barricades. In it Amster asks, "Shall we live as servile cogs in obeisance to Moloch as we stoke the perverse machines that maintain the apartheid apparatuses of Petropolis?"

Like Hedges peice yesteday or some of Monbiot's recent outpourings it is either an eloquent call to rebellion or empty words. Jerry Rubin said, "Politics is how you live your life, not whom you vote for!" Same for rebellion, what you say does the talking, how you live does the walking. Lofty words are great when they lead to setting of lofty goals like the end of capitialism and enviromental equity. Next step, strategies must evolve to accomplish the goal.

Here's where things start to get shaky at ground level because the strategies seen to all call for people to modify their lifestyles, to practice restraint, to want-less and most all of my fellow species ain't buyin it. People will recycle, they'll change to more ethically produced brands, buy less of a gas-guzzler when they get a new car, none of which changes anybody's lifestyle.

Lifestyle is the biggy, if individuals won't or can't change because they're a few Twinkees over the line one situation that might assist consumers to 'just say no' to the plactic crap at the mall: poverty. The impending economic collapse could be an ideal oppurtunity for the want-less meme to slide up the 'cool' ladder. Afterall once a person has enough they don't need 'more'. The simple idea that 'enough is enough' is a viable tactic, it serves the strategy of radically reducing demand for extra crap, which would in turn hobble the capitialists in their endless quest for growth and lessen the sacraficies we make to Moloch.



Chris Hedges article Calling All Future-Eaters today continues his ontology toward revolt. In it he says "The leaders of these corporations now determine our fate. They are not endowed with human decency or compassion. Yet their lobbyists make the laws. Their public relations firms craft the propaganda and trivia pumped out through systems of mass communication. Their money determines elections. Their greed turns workers into global serfs and our planet into a wasteland." He advocates for us all to riseup, to resist, to rebel against the forces of death that are set on destroying the world in the name of short term greed, me too.
"The interests of the corporation state are to convert all the riches of the earth into dollars."
-William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1969

Resistance is NOT futile, radical change is possible. Often throughout history huge effects have evolved from seemingly small initial causes. The capitialist empire appears all-powerful but it's really just like in 'The Wizard of OZ', behind the frightful curtain sits weakness not strenght, weakness that dominates us only through fear, weakness that is quickly overcome when individuals find the courage to riseup and tear down their curtain.

Hedges concludes today by saying: "We will either defy the corporate elite, which will mean civil disobedience, a rejection of traditional politics for a new radicalism and the systematic breaking of laws, or see ourselves consumed. Time is not on our side. The longer we wait, the more assured our destruction becomes. The future, if we remain passive, will be wrested from us by events. Our moral obligation is not to structures of power, but life.". Right on Chris, see ya at the barricades!

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national
obligations of obedience. Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty
to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity
from occurring" -- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950


Pot and the Gambling Model

Gambling was still a sin when i was a kid, almost everybody in town played the numbers game on friday and went to church on sunday. Gambling was illegal too but everybody gambled. The church had BINGO games in the basement once a week, the profits from it topped up the church's coffers. Gambling was ingrained in the culture so solidly church and state were inconsequential. Gambling is a part of human nature, once the State of Nevada decieded to open the floodgates and start taxing the deluge the Gambling Model got rolling bigtime.

Nevada's casino's brought in tourists, cash, taxes, jobs and the pressure was on other states who watched their residents and their dough get on planes. The folks came back but their dough usually 'stays in Vegas'. Nevada built schools, roads, libraries and their regulators were the country's best bribed. It took a couple decades but New Jerjey caved first and Atlantic City opened. i forget who came next-the Indian Reservations-Mississippi-Alabama? Lotto, the new numbers game, is inescapable and Keno is worse, it can be hard to elbow into the service counter at many places as the next draw gets closser.

Once upon a time lending money for profit was a crime/sin combo too, times have changed. Now banks, booze, gambling have, for better or worse, gone mainstream. Now its pot's turn to slide into the mainstream.

The next big step, in my opinion, on pot's long road to legality is a clear victory in California on the November ballot. The implications, i think, are far reaching. Undoubtedly California would see 'marijauna tourists' spending money on what would quickly become much cheaper weed than they could buy on the black-maket back home. Back home is where they'd bring it, back home is where they'd re-sell it. The price of pot would drop everywhere not just California, maybe even up here in Canuckistan, as John Lennon sang "Imagine".

States would start caving on pot legalization way quicker than they did with gambling because there's more pot heads thereby more tax money especially now that 'restraint' is about to become the headlines' favorite filler word. i'm gonna guess Vermont goes next, then who knows Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada might feel left out, Oregon, Hawaii, if California votes to legalize pot and the feds don't jump in with warrents and troops to stop the momentum immediately, pot will be legal in almost every corner of North America in 5 years. It's the Gambling Model of immersion.


A Passing Gilker Friend

The forest is still cool and shady in the mid-morning when my best friend Pancho and i usually go for our walk through Cliff Gilker Park. The creeks there drop a little lower each day now, the booming falls of the wet season are just a murmer and most of the mud has retreated into summer hibernation, but the forest and the creeks keep the air cool for us still.

Pretty much every day we meet groups of regular Cliff Gilker hikers on the different circuits through the park. Pretty much all of them are some combination of dogs and people, we know them and greet them each with pats and wags and admiration, they are our forest friends. Some times groups stop and chat/sniff for a bit with others, over time these bits add up. The dogs are as different as the people, we are all different sizes, colors and shapes. We share in the wonder of Cliff Gilker and we all love our best friends.

Today Pancho and i met an old friend we haven't seen in months, Pancho wagged bigtime, she remembered him too. He was walking with, and introduced me to, his son just as i have introduced him to my daughter who ccasaionally comes with us. Usually the way it goes is the dogs meet up first ahead of their people, then pass each other and go on to get greetings, pets and wags from the trailing two legged species, finally the humans in each group intersect-chat-etc.

Today Pancho wagged and ran back to me as our old friend got closer. Stupid me, within seconds i'm asking him where his dog is, he bent and turned away a bit, our old friend had had a good life, he was 14 just like our good boy Happy was, his worn out rear hips were beyond drugs. i felt like a total shithead even more than usual. Our best friends share our little lives, they give us everything they have. Today a passing friend reminded me how much i care.


Is Alberta a 'great neighbor' or a great enabler?

Premier Ed Stelmach and the Alberta PR machine are taking aim at Washington in the half page ad which said:"A good neighbour lends you a cup of sugar. A great neighbor supplies you with 1.4 million barrels of oil per day."

Back when i was brought up i was taught that when a friend or neighbor was intoxicated by the object of his or her addicton that a good neighbor offers a coffee, offers a ride home in exchange for the car keys, offers to help get him or her into detox-maybe a 12 step program. You know, "I'm Uncle Sam and I'm addicted to oil.". What a good neighbor doesn't do is offer more of the drug of choice, in this case 1,400,000 barrels a day.

Today's Tyee article [below] has some other great points about the potential enviromental disaster the proposed pipeline poses to the sensitive areas it would traverse. As the article points out, "it's not if a leak will occur, it's when".

The disaster in the Gulf should be an ample reminder that if we paid the all REAL longterm costs of oil consumption gas would cost $20 a gallon. The reason there is so much demand is that the price is kept artifically low by avoiding as many costs as possible. In the short run the already obscenely rich get richer. In the long run its always the little guy who pays for the destruction of our common wealth never those who profited from its degradation.

Ed's right in a sense though, America does need a good friend and neighbor. They need a neighbor who leads by example not one that kisses ass constantly. A neighbor who realizes there is long term cost to be paid for short term gluttony, one who realizes we all breath the same air, drink the same water and that we're all in this together.

Ed Stelmach's Clumsy American Romance - Alberta's premier made citizens buy a heavy-breathing Washington Post ad pushing dirty energy. Embarrassing.


Anti-Tar Sands ads swerve to avoid 800lb gorilla.

The "Rethink Alberta" campaign by an environmental group called Corporate Ethics International out of San Francisco puts de-cart  before de-horse. Alberta, like Columbia, Afghanistan, Peru or BC are in the business of supplying drugs to the addicted. Americans are addicted to oil [and coke, heroin, pot,etc], their demand pulls the supply supply chain to do whatever is necessary to fill it. The 800 gorilla is unnecessary demand.

For sure the Tar Sands are one of the worst polluters on the planet, like the ads say "the oil sands industry is responsible for toxic lakes large enough to be seen from outer space, an increase in greenhouse gases, killing wildlife and increasing disease rates among native populations." Their billboards compare the death of wildlife caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the death of more than 1,600 ducks in a tailings pond attached to the Syncrude Project. All of which and much more is true, but Alberta and its oil barons are playing the quick, irresponsible, maximum quarterly profit game. They avoid all costs possible, they denounce all regulations as communism, they buy off the governments just like good little capitialists.

i think the "Rethink Alberta" folks oughtta rethink their campaign, i think they oughtta refocus it on the gorilla. Its now widely accepted in engineering circles that 66% of America's energy demand could be and should be being wiped out by effeciency. Why not aim a shot at the Empire's ineffeciency and how saving energy gets a double payoff in that you don't have to destroy the planet mining it, ya can't spill it, and ya might even end up with some left for your kids and grandkids. If ya use way less energy the gorilla's not going to pull on the supply chain as hard and Alberta won't keep destroying its corner of the earth faster and faster every day.

So let 'er rip, give them 'ol Albertans hell for their beng just like all the other capitialist pigs and supplying legal or illegal drugs to our poor addicted brethern. But remember there wouldn't be a tar sands or deep water wells or oil shale projects in the US west or Saudi sheiks bankrolling boogeymen if it weren't for the gorilla.
What Those Who Killed the Tar Sands Report Don't Want You to Know - The tailing ponds are leaking and the project is polluting the river among other things.


Every Canadian has the same rights as Omar Khadr

Rights, constitutional rights, aren't just for when it's convient, it's when times get tough that Canadians like to think they have 'rights' to support them. They don't. When the G-20 comes to Toronto the cops get granted secret unconstitutional powers behind closed doors, people's rights are denied, the authorities beat and arrest innocent citizens willy-nilly, afterwards the government says oops, and on we go.

In Quebec they've shown how easy it is to avoid the Canadian Constitution's gaurantee's on language rights, just invoke the 'notwithstanding clause'. This clause means the national government has no legal power over the provinces. The federal government can't uphold its own laws on any enviromental issue like the tar sands, if the feds tried, Alberta would just use the damn notwithstanding clause to opt out.

But consider Guantanamo's child, Omar Khadr. Both the US and Canada signed the international convention on child soldiers. Omar was 15, what rights did those signatures give him. Zero. They tortured him and the then Liberal Government in Ottawa ignored it. He's been abused and denied his rights for 8 long years. Now its the Conservatives in government and they're worse, in case after case they do nothing to help Canadians in hot water abroad especially if they're non-white and/or un-christian.

Yesterday Omar got to speak for himself in a Guantanamo military courtroom. His speech was remarkable, you can read it here, after 8 years he was still defiant, unbroken by the torturers, he stood tall and demanded his inalienable right to a fair trail. i have no idea if Omar threw a grenade that day, there is no direct evidence one way or the other, Omar claims innocence. In a fair trail evidence obtained by torture is inadmissable, not in kangaroo court. In a fair trail he was a kid and gets protection.

Harper's Conservatives are in court again demanding their power to abandon Omar be upheld as they have in the other cases where common sense has tried to prevail to somehow force the government to uphold its gautartees of rights. The message should be clear, Canadians have the right to do nothing obectionable, they have the right to go to the mall and consume plastic crap, they have the right to a mortage, a maxed out credit card and a gas guzzler. Canadians, like Americans, have the right to shut up and get out of the way of capitialist defined progress.

Guantanamo Inmate Khadr Refuses Plea Deal, Says Would Give US Government Excuse for Torture - A young Canadian, the last Westerner held at Guantanamo Bay, said he would not defend himself after refusing a US plea deal, insisting his military trial was a sham.


Huge Effects Can Come From Tiny Causes

We live in difficult times. Events swirl around us in ever faster, tighter circles. The global character, the magnitude and multitude of our intractable problems leads many of us lefties to hopelessness and dispair. Many see no way out, no avenue to effect change when the all-powerful forces aligned with materialism, consumption and greed hold the reins of power and 'we the people' hold none.

Looking back through history our times are far from unique, the elites have used every available tool in every era to divide their enemies, silence their critics and supress any opposition to their extraction of wealth from the earth and its inhabitants. Nothing is new, every era of human history suffers its tyrants.

A true story from the Roman Empire may serve as an inspiration for us hopeless lefties. It's the story of The Diary of Perpetua. Perpetua died on March 7th 203 in the Roman Coliseum. She and her 4 mates were charged with and convicted of being Christian and told to either recant or they'd be fed to the beasts. Though given numerous oppurtunities to recant Perpetua, dispite her powerful family's pleading, chose a horrible death over denouncing her beliefs. She and her fellows spent a few months in prison before their deaths. During those months Perpetua kept a diary scratched into her cell wall. Her diary was transcribed just after her death and it has become a religious icon. Today Perpetua and Felicity [one of her fellows] are Saints of the Christian Church.

In 203 the transcribed diary began to make its secret rounds among fellow Christians. The power of her conviction in the face of her own death never wavered. Her story inspired the growing Christian community to follow her lead. Soon Christians throughout the Empire were refusing to denounce their belief. The Roman rulers had never encountered this type of dissent. As they marched ever larger numbers of Christians off to certain death they also secretly studied them and debated how to succeed in supressing an enemy who held their beliefs higher than Ceasar or their own lives.

The Roman Emporer Constantine, born nearly 100 years after Perpetua's Diary went into clandetine circulation, read a copy of the Dairy in 310. Constantine was a very bright guy, he quickly saw that a belief structure who handed out tickets to an afterlife made adherents immune to the usual political levers and at the same time totally controllable if the political and religious leaders and their goals were interchangeable. In 313 Caesar Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus issued the Edict of Milan and became the first Christian Roman emperor. Who knows how events would have unfolded if the young Perpetua hadn't scratched her dairy on the wall, but she did and, though a tiny insignificant jesture in a walled off cell, her dairy changed the world.


One in a Billion

Yesterday i was one of the billion humans watching the World Cup final. It wasn't the greatest of games for us spectators, but it was thrilling to be a tiny part of such a huge moment. During and after the game we saw through cameras setup in cities around the globe how huge crowds in every corner of it had turned out to cheer on more than just their favorite team, they cheered/celebrated the game itself.

Sport has an ability to lift the human spirit beyond their normal divisions, yesterday was one of those moments. The usually politically divided Spain saw people in the streets of every region wearing the red and yellow and cheering wildly for 'their' team. Relatively tiny Holland was an equally festive shade of orange, apparently so much was bought that the country ran out of orange paint the day before the final.

But the trancendent wave broke far beyond the shores of the of the finalists, beyond Africa, beyond all the avid fans. For those hours during the game 1,000,000,000 humans were seeing one sight, feeling 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat' so absorbed in our attention to the 'game' we hardly noticed the differences in our cultures, our colors, our langauge, or the community of like-ness we were.

The world was watching itself yesterday, there was no war, no religion, no politician or demegogue on stage. No phrophet or dictator told us to watch, we just did. We are, as a species, capable of unity but our energy is usually divided by those who benefit from that division.

Viewed in one direction the prism of 'sport' allows us to view our range of differences as all part of one humanity, in the other it shows that the wideness of life's colors and flavors are but portions of the endless whole.


Soccer Isn't Life or Death

"Soccer isn't a matter of life or death, it's much more important than that", says a famous old quote repeated often during the 2010 World Cup. Nowhere is it more important than Africa this year. Africans have been belittled by slavery, colonialism and poverty for centuries. But now, in the post-colonial era, Africa and Africans are emerging from their history to claim their rightful position.

African society, agriculture, arts and culture had all advanced far beyond Europe's in the middle ages. When the slave traders arrived on the west coast they were handed over the enemies of the tribes they encountered [almost exactly the same scenerio goes on today in Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iraq]. Eventually the Europeans started colonizing/invading and when they did they followed the advice of their African contacts who directed them to their enemy's lands.

Africa, despite centuries of extraction by colonial powers, is still rich in material resources. It has a relatively small population many of whom still live on and farm the land with traditional methods and live within surviving village and tribal structures. Demographically, much of Africa's population is young and just entering their productive years. Africa has huge potential to become a powerful force for change.

One thing they need is unity of purpose another is the confidence that evolves from success. These last few weeks African pride has gotten a huge boost on the soccer pitch as Ghana's team became a mirror for the dreams and potential of all Africans. As Ghana’s youth and sports minister Akua Sena Dansua said at a huge farewell party for the team: “Thank you for the hospitality you’ve shown the national team. We came to South Africa as representatives of Ghana, but we leave as representatives of Africa. We leave with fond memories. You will always be in our minds and hearts.”

As Ghana showed later in this past week by rejecting the capitialist model of oil development for their offshore deposits, Africans have both the material and intellectual resources to lead the world along a different development path in the coming centuries. At least i hope so because we are all Africans.

Black Stars shine as fans bid them a fond farewell
IN TRUE South African style, hundreds of people braved a cold winter afternoon in Soweto and at Melrose Arch yesterday to bid Ghana’s Black Stars a fond farewell. Some of the placards read: “Africa is destined to survive”, and “Who says Black Stars can’t shine”.


Obama is like Chinese Food

Yesterday i watched a chunk of the Obomber's speech from Kansas City. Within seconds he had me again. He guy is a great orator, his cadence, body language, tone all work to convince the listener of his emotional commitment to whatever topic he focuses on. i should know better, like everybody else i listened to his orations through '07-'08 and i've seen what he's done since taking over.

A couple of hours later, after watering the garden, i heard conservative Mary Maitlan commenting on the Obomber speech. She too said that he was a great orator but that his speeches were just like Chinese food, filling at first, but two hours later you were hungry again. Chinese food is a fitting metaphor for all his campaign promises. Even outspoken liberal commentator James Carville, Mary's husband, seated next to her gave a small nod in agreement. James and Mary, left and right, have stood lately for the diversity of life in Gulf and against the Fed's and BP's handling of the disaster. Their united voice night after night on CNN among others has been a huge force helping to keep the media's and therefore a chunk of the citizenery informed. For that i thank them.

Obama's gift makes him the perfect canditate but an untrustworthy ally and a president who easily capitulates whenever strong opposition arrises. He has ideas he's always quick to compromise, but, unlike the tea party burnished right wing, he has no ideals, no overaching goals that stand beyond compromise.

As November gets closer the Obomber will be out orating coast to coast and on the tube. i'm trying to build a little computer program that activates a boot directed toward my fanny every minute or two when the Obomber's voice gets recognized on the tube by it. If i get it to work i'll publish it here on the blog pro bono [sonny's cousin].


Dominion, the 4th horseman of our self inflicted Apocalipse

D: Dominion requires dualism, their must be one thing that holds sway and another dominated by it. Plato established the idea of a body/soul divide 2500 years ago, once this dualism was firmly established, everything else was fair game. Nature was there to be used for our purposes.

Along came Christianity and its Bible which in chapter one, Genesis, has 'God' saying "that Man shall have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth." and whole civilizations could be conquered and slaughtered in order to save the souls they didn’t even know they had. Jeremy Lent has written an excellant set of articles: Tyranny of the Prefrontal Cortex, Where he outlines the neuro-biologic functions of the prefrontal cortex, its ability to manipulate abstract thought and its role in shaping our worldview.

How the prefrontal cortex has come to dominate human consciousness is the biological side of the arguement that our worldview of division, body/soul, us/them, me/we is self imposed and totally wrong [bullshit]. It's wrong, but it is useful if you're interested in consuming the world, conquering and stealing its resources and fouling it beyond measure for your own gain: a capitialist, or a group of 'em:, a corporation.

Aristotle argued for our immersion, African, Asian, indigenous tradition embraced it. But self serving seperateness and the seductive power of dominion over all of creation has won out up until now in our western worldview. Along with our guns, germs and steel, we special creatures have dug ourselves into a hole so deep only the planetary forces of balance seem able to level it. The four horsemen may ride in on the horses of wind, rain, fire and drought but it's us who've bred, fed and trained those horses, its us who deserves to inherit the fury of Gaia's great leveling.

There could still be time for our insolance to dissolve, there might be time for a turning away from belief in the demon of dominion, from the capitialist/corporate greed for short term profits and their oximoron of endless growth. We might re-discover that we still live in the garden and that the one life we all share is 'the miracle'. We might yet turn over a better world to our children and grandchildren, but the Vegas odds on it happening before 'the big one' are real loooooooooooooong.

"Every seed is awakened and so is all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our animal neighbours the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land." - Sitting Bull


Capitialism and its Evil Spawn: The Corporation

C: Capitialism is the thrird horseman of our self inflicted Apocalipse. Modern capitialism was invented in Europe just after Columbus and fellow early 'explorers' arrived back with the first load of slaves, tobacco and bits of gold and silver stolen from the peaceful natives they'd slaughtered. The first stolen wealth of the new world quickly morphed into paying merceniares to fight Europe's endless internecine wars and bribes to keep other royals and elites onside. Next these neuvo-rich took their share of the ill gotten gains and pooled resources to form trading houses and the first mutual funds so they could, at first, build more ships-man them with conquistadors-send them out to kill more natives-steal more land-and return with more riches. Soon the early capitialists moved on to building ships for the transatlantic slave trade. The 'wealth' stolen from the new world by these early henchmen was the economic force behind the industrial revolution. Those trading houses and early industrialists organized their investors in a legal framework we now call the corporation.

Through time the banks, who were once the sole [not soul] pervaence of the pope, secularized and expanded into the colonial racket, they too were/are groups of rich people who pool their excess resources together so as to better exploit-extract-consume others to become more rich. As former Supreme Court JusticeWilliam O. Douglas said, "The interests of the corporation state are to convert all the riches of the earth into dollars."

Capitialism didn't just fund slavery it is slavery, slavery for everything and everybody. Capitialism is, like religion, founded on a great lie. For capitialism to succeed there must be growth, endless growth, but we live on a finite planet so capitialism and its evil spawn: the corporation can only succeed in destroying everything they touch, kind of a reverse midas-touch syndrone.

Capitialism and the corporations are destroying Gaia, our home and native land. They are creating hopelessness and dispair as steadfastly as pollution and poverty, as climate change and war. Capitialism will reap what it sows, Gaia has defended herself and the circle of life before, she will again.


Belief and the power of fear.

B: Belief in an afterlife, religious hosus-pocus, the second of the four horsemen of our self-inflicted Apocalipse, is powered by fear. The curse of forethought leads most of us to the conclusion that, like all forms, we are mortal. The subjugation of this existential fear, by 'whatever works' as Woody Allen says, is the foundation that every religious edifice is built on.

Once an individual, group or culture come up with a story/mythology to aussage the existential fear question everything has to fit in that jar, no matter what. The grand illusion of our shared reality is that we think 'seeing is believing' but really it's the opposite. Once you really believe something to be true, all seeing, every fact, every bit of evidence encountered will corroborate it. We see the world and everything in it through the filter our belief system. Beliefs come first, experience second.

For centuries my European ancestors lived in a world where no thought that contradicted the church's dogma was allowed, where people were condemned to hell for looking in a mirror, and it was a death sentence for believing that the earth wasn't at the center of the universe. Everyone is vulnerable to being blinded by a belief system.

Today the flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces, fairies and Gaia herself are under siege by our desire for more, the delusion of endless growth and the divorce of our modern religious beliefs from our pagan roots. Belief in an Easter Bunny like god is just self delusion and by itself is harmless enough, but...all this matters. we are all in this together.

Climate Change is a good example of how our way of seeing events through the veil of our beliefs determine our opinions. Some deny human caused climate change, often they believe they have dominion over all 'others'. They see everthing as a gift from the creator for their use, they believe the story that they, the real believers, are on a higher plane and separate from the mud. Any deviation from their mental model of reality would allow all deviations to be possible including it being bullshit about their entitlement and their 'special' relationship with the big cheese.

" Stop believing in anything and you may find that which is truth itself." - Krishnamurti


The ABCD's of self inflicted Apocalipse

A: The Apocalipse, the big one, strides along with us like a shadow attached to our feet. We suck up the earth's bounty and pollute her with our byproducts, we live within a finite enviroment yet believe in endless growth, we all breathe the same air yet deny the reality of the ever present connection, our immersion, our common roots in the one pagan life.

Long ago a psychotic named Abraham dragged his own son to a mountaintop and demanded proof of his one god's existance saying if god didn't deliver the proof Abraham woud kill his own son. Luckily, at least for the kid, Abe's dementia extended to the realm of hearing voices [and believing what they said]. The voice in Abraham's head said to spare the kid, and that not only was this the voice of the one true god but that humans had a special connection to the one god and that all creation was there for man's use and pleasure, that man was seperate and had dominion over all.

From this babble of bullshit invented by insanity the 3 huge religions of Islam, Judism and Christianity descended. This single central lie of the Abrahamic religions, the lie of seperatation from and dominion over the rest of creation, set the stage for the repression of the goddess, the Great Mother, the common light of the world. She was mysterious, changable, playful and the resentful priests of the Yahweh cult, a tribe of nomadic Hebrews, who led a coup against her about 4,000 years ago, most of what we know as western civilization is the result.

i can hear the Apocalipse striding along beside me, its footsteps sound like bank vaults slamming shut, it smells like crude oil on the feathers of shore birds, its voice sings the siren's song of materialism as its hand, like ours, grasps endlessly for more.

"The Goddess in all her manifestations was a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature. Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hill, trees, and flowers." - Marija Gimbutas


Shady Old Kitsilano

Yesterday was July 1st, Canada Day, and moving day for my daughter. Everything went perfect until my affordable 20 year old Astro van decieded to go on strike. Outta nowhere, at least outta the atention of the operator, yours truely, it wouldn't start, lottsa power to everything else but...we're stuck, me, my daughter, her new roomate and our dog Pancho in a loading zone.

Within a minute of opening the hood to check the connections a european sounding guy stopped to ask if i needed help, he stayed and helped check thing for at least ten minutes then said he had to get back to his restaurant a couple doors down Broadway and i should come by if i needed a phone or phonebook. He and i did figure out though that it had lottsa of battery power and that the trouble was probably the starter. We were on a side street so we started to push the van accross the street to a non-tow-away regular residential parking spot. Along came another fellow who quickly jumped in and helped us push/manouver the van in a piroette into the legal site.

The girls borrowed a friend's van and completed the main mission of 'the big move'. Halleuja, halfa halleuja anyway. Oldtimers and long time beater owners learn a few tricks as time goes on, a sorta trail and error that's mostly error with an occasional moment of elation. One of the most widely know folk mechanic tricks is to tap/hammer on the starter to rattle it into fully disengaging from the flywheel. i tried, a few times, i checked and rechecked all the connections a few times. i ate the falafel my daughter left for me and tried to dream up a scheme.

It was a shady spot in old Kitsilano, i let Pancho out and we walked around the block for a pee. On the way we met a few other people walking with their best friend too. When we got back to our hood raised van another fellow was there, chinese this time, peering in at the motor. We greeted, he asked if i needed help, though his english wasn't great he too knew of the hammer and the starter trick, tried it again, nothing. As he was leaving the guy who helped push us earlier came back and offered to try to find an open garage and see if he could get a mobile mechanic to come by. i said sure, please and thank you, off he went. i tried the hammer miracle again, 4th or 5th time, zero expectation of success and VROOM it started, full Halleuja, off we headed for the ferry back home, back to our hideout on Mt. Elphinstone.

Pancho and i spent two hours busted down in shady old Kitsilano. We met a series of generous friendly people all happy to instantly go out of their way to help a huge long haired total stranger. A longtime ago i rented a couple of Kits' old houses, many are gone now but many other old beauties remain, a few are renovated but most are still as they were surrounded by big shady trees along quiet streets. But the best thing about our 2 hours in Kits was being blessed by a spirit of community that still lives there all these decades later. Couldn't imagine a better place to break down.