Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

August 24, 2012

Carryin’ On the Cosmic Struggle

The universe doesn’t suck, people don’t suck. People who want to control the universe, suck.

In this video, pompously entitled “Humanity’s Greatest Secret,” Alex Jones preaches on ultimate meanings with way more insight than I’d have credited him with. His mythology speaks to my recent interest in balancing wonder and curiosity with the need to keep an eye on the dangerous and disgusting. For Alex Jones, the evilness is totally embodied in the globalists and their various plans for New World Orders. If that’s not your worldview, relax, it can’t be that hard to imagine it for twenty minutes. You already know of about a million instances where power corrupted…

“Humanity’s Greatest Secret” puts the struggle for the control or freedom of humanity onto a grand and magnificent scale, as in the Wrinkle in Time or His Dark Materials series-es. Don’t let the Spectres or Echthroi take you, friends…

“I’m merely an ant in a great colony,” cried the human being. But you are special: you are the universe having a lucid dream, pretty much. It took a lot of “Creation” to get to this point. You therefor deserve some respect (NOT to be treated as an unwitting experimental subject, a member of an unwanted caste, a draftee in a war of aggression, or any of that other bullshit the great Masters of the Universe do to us. Nor to take shit from anyone else.)

Next post, I swear I will just make pickles or something. Things are literally taking their time to ferment or ripen around here, so I will report back when I’ve learned something sufficiently interesting!

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August 18, 2012

Is My Anti-Concentration Camp Stance Unreasonably Radical?

It takes a lot of bravery to stand up and tell the world this, but I am opposed to rounding people up because of their politics or ethnicity, and sticking them in concentration camps. I know that this may place me outside of the political mainstream, into the “extremes” populated by terrorists and morons.

Asked my Facebook crowd:

“Any limit to what kind of tyranny a politician can support, and you will not vote for them? Would you boycott politicians who supported the Patriot Act? Indefinite military detention? Concentration camps for dissidents? Please tell me where you draw the line.”

Received an answer with four “likes”:

“The whole thing is rigged! I don’t want to vote for anyone because they all seem to suck!! I however feel compelled to vote Democrat, to keep the Republicans out of office, but damn, its like you are sitting on Death Row, and they’re asking you,…. how do you want to die? Lethal Injection or the Gas Chamber….”

Really? I know some smart and tough-minded people. Can’t we draw a line at concentration camps? Instead, we’d split a hair as to which way we’d rather die: “I support Mitt Romney for Zyklon-B! Oppose Obama and his one-step incineration plan, it will kill jobs!”

We need to be able to coordinate, draw a line, and not allow our government to cross it. In this world, governments turn against their people all the time. “Democide,” murder by one’s own government, is a leading cause of death in the world. In the twentieth century, you were more likely to be murdered by your government than to die in a car crash OR battle OR be murdered by a fellow OR drink yourself to death. Democide is a bigger killer than tobacco or diabetes. Alert the public health department at your local university.

My source on democide claims that only about 2,000 Americans were killed by the American government during the 20th century, in lynchings, attacks on striking workers and so on. It’s more of an export than a locally-enjoyed product. America, however, we’re exceptional in our own special way.

The police state in America is on par with the Soviets’ at their peak of repression

If, like me, you grew up in the 1980’s, you remember that the Soviet Union was known as the Evil Empire, and we and they kept enough nuclear weapons pointed at each other to obliterate all of our cities and irradiate the countryside for decades. The Soviet Union was Evil because it granted its people no freedom of speech, no meaningful vote, and it sent ridiculous numbers of its people to inhumane prisons known as “the gulag.”

The United States imprisons a greater proportion of its people than any other nation in the world (760 / 100,000). That proportion blows away the EU’s rate of 135  or the world average of 166. It’s similar to the rate of imprisonment at the Soviet Union’s repressive peak (823 / 100,000, or, to be honest, it depends on what estimate you accept, as apparently the gulag did not have its paperwork together).

“Sure, there are that many Americans in jail,” you say. “That’s because Americans are drug-addled, church-shirking moral midgets. We still have more rights than people in those other countries! We still have the freedom to tape patriotic slogans on the bumpers of our cars, and they don’t have that!”

Meanwhile, the FBI is posting flyers in the back rooms of coffee shops, encouraging baristas to narc on anyone who views content of “an extreme/radical nature with violent themes,” such as my blog entry today (tip your barista well). A diet blogger was charged, earlier this year, for “practicing nutrition without a license” for discussing the diet that cured his diabetes. So freedom of speech doesn’t extend to health or politics: however, thanks to the cussing canoeist and his lawyer, it is lawful in Michigan for me to swear in front of women and children. Well, to quote Detroit’s homeboy Eminem, “fuck, shit, cunt, ass, shoobadee-doowhop.” Any freedoms we have, we have because some brave soul was willing to risk prosecution testing the laws out in a courtroom. You can’t just count on your rights being there for you tomorrow, as some prosecutor is always out there, also testing your rights while not personally risking jail time.

As for due process, a major obstacle to rounding people up into camps, government lawyers are arguing in court for the right to kidnap Americans in the name of national security, and stick them in military custody. Tangerine Bolen, a plaintiff in the case against NDAA’s due-process ending provisions, wrote in the UK Guardian:

In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it [the bad NDAA provision]; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported.

In the earlier March hearing, US government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA.

Judge Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law, after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. At that time, twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law.

This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest’s injunction. In other words, they were telling a US federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama’s government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them.

So what exactly is supposed to make me feel safe from the US government, and its ever-growing system of prisons and surveillance? In what way are we the land of the free?

Gone Campin’

States have actually been shrinking the proportion of people they imprison due to a lack of cash, however, Federal prisons continue expanding.

If there is a huge increase in incarceration despite a lack of funds for such, this will lead to the housing of people in camps. They will not be called “concentration” camps, but “internment,” or “reeducation,” or “safety and relocation” or such. Imperial powers have been rounding people up into camps since 1896, when the Spanish locked up masses of Cubans to cut guerrilla fighters off from the population. Defining characteristics of concentration camps are preemptively targeting people who might  be a problem (as we do in this country by defining broad swaths of terrorism suspects, and even classifying Insane Clown Posse fans as a criminal gang), and administrative detention, aka being held with no trial (which the Obama administration is claiming it can do even against  the courts and the rule of law).

In 2009, Congress considered creating camps out of closed-down military bases, for housing people displaced by natural disasters. That sounds like a good plan, but the bill authorized using the camps up for any purpose chosen by Homeland Security!

Our military is trained in containment and resettlement operations. Consider the problem of resettling Cuban refugees…

In less than a month, federal officials announced as many as 15,000 Cuban refugees would come to the 60,000-acre Fort McCoy military base between Sparta and Tomah.

Officials at Fort McCoy had only a few days to prepare 121 barracks, 40 mess halls, 15 administrative buildings and other facilities for the Cubans. Seven miles of 6-foot-tall, chain-link fence soon lined the perimeter of the refugee center.

About 1,000 military, federal government and support personnel arrived, and 850 civilians were hired to prepare and run the Fort McCoy refugee center, the fourth designated as a U.S. refugee resettlement center. (source)

By the way, the Cubans were not allowed to walk in and out of the “resettlement center.” It only takes days to put such an operation into effect. And, it can be done on a larger scale, as was done to Japanese ethnics on the West Coast during World War II.

I’m not saying that nefarious government agents are conspiring to lock us up in camps as we speak. I’m just saying that the conditions are developing. We’re losing our rights, building more police state apparatus, pushing the economic limits of our ability to lock people up by conventional means,  and on top of that we’re living in a population prepared to accept concentration camps as long as they retain their ability to vote against the party they fear more.

I’m thinking to incorporate an advocacy not-for-profit organization here in Michigan to oppose rounding people up into concentration camps. Clearly we are fuzzy as a culture on the concept that “concentration camps are bad.” The group will be organized, incorporated and ready to roll in advance of actually having an issue to assert. Actually, I suppose that racial profiling, an anti-medical marijuana pogrom, targeting raw milk providers as terrorists, authorizing the disappearance of people to torture chambers… all of these government actions should be monitored to track our progress towards a more brutal totalitarianism, such as would feature purges or concentration camps.

On the other hand, maybe a campaign narrowly opposing only the construction of bona fide concentration camps is still too radical. I don’t want to stir up trouble, alienate my friends, or ruin the Democrats’ plans for new and improved social programs. Maybe I should narrow my mission statement to opposing only death camps.

Jesus F. Christ, I’m going to post about pickles or beer next week.

August 14, 2012

Instant Poem

Filed under: Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , , — paragardener @ 2:35 pm

The Very Crucial Election:

Vote Goldstein for trusty,
for a quicker moving line,
though the barbed wire be rusty,
and the stench cut through the lime.

If Klein’s elected trusty,
all will go awry,
the bunks, unmade, go musty,
and I think I’d rather die.

August 8, 2012

Escape from Wonderland

Filed under: gardening, Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paragardener @ 12:25 am

Today I went to vote and received a sticker claiming that “My vote counted!” I seem to remember a time in the past when you received a sticker that said, “I voted.” Like “I gave blood,” the sticker was a subtle social pressure to get other people doing the same thing. If more people vote, that should tend to make our sham democracy less of a sham.

“My vote counted” means something completely different. It means “I have faith in the electoral system.” Which I don’t… I can’t really say if I fed my ballot today directly into a paper shredder or not. Anyways, the candidates who win are generally those anointed by party machines, which live as a sort of parasite or symbiont on the corporatocracy. By and large, we the people don’t count because we almost  always vote as those with advertising dollars tell us (the more educated will listen to the pet journalists of the corporatocracy, who depend on the advertising rather than writing it. Advertising trumps investigation either way).

“My vote counted” is just a little intrusion of the phony propaganda world into my real life. The worst is when I try to find some news of the world and extend my view beyond my narrow little Michigan horizon (although, to be fair to this fine state, I do  feel like the trees limiting my line of sight, are at the right height.) The politics is all left-right, while the people at the center of it, never mentioned, suck money and life-blood from all the peoples of the world. The science is all gee-whiz, and an unexpected result in a laboratory game is always hailed as a groundbreaking new insight into the human condition. History only goes back as far as World War II. The United States isn’t an imperial power, we’re the champion of freedom around the world. It makes me want to snort bath salts and run amok, naked and howling.

The Powers That Be have yet to attain total control over our information. In fact, you can frequently hear them wringing their hands over the breakdown of consensus and the rising popularity of alternative, odd, and sometimes unbelievable beliefs. When people have been raised by T.V. and the K-12 system to be non-thinking corporate servitors, and yet they can no longer accept the nonsensical mainstream chorus message, they’re going to invent some funky explanations for the way the world is. As long as they’re not blaring hateful vibes, look at the funky beliefs of (biodynamic gardeners, state militia members, Wilhem Reich followers, the Tea Party…) and try to find the grain of truth that’s driving them.

That said, with the help of friends and family, I have developed some strategies for getting less-warped news of the world.

You can avoid the American corporate media. Read a local paper from Canada, available online (that’s how I discovered that U.S. States were floating bills to ban photography of farms, largely to facilitate horrible conditions for animals). Listen to the BBC, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, or even NPR. I don’t particularly trust these sources as truthful, but they will widen up your field of vision.

There are also independent voices you can hear over the Internet. I really enjoy Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert — they are on Russia Today and an Iranian channel, amongst other outlets, including some truly independent ones. It’s true that the duo won’t slam Russia on RT, but Russia doesn’t loom huge on my list of concerns. Max and Stacy’s job is to expose financial scams, which are plentiful and expensive in this world. Max was once a Wall Street broker and knows first hand what kind of rip-off artists inhabit the circles of high finance. There is no kowtowing to “technocrats” or Too-Big-to-Fail institutions from the mighty Max & Stacy.

Now, I don’t have an endless hunger to hear about financial scandal, but there are often other good news items reposted on maxkeiser.com, or Max will have guests on who you can look up to find out something new. He’s hosted the likes of Dmitry Orlov and James Howard Kunstler, who hold the view that the corporatist economy has grown to its limits and must now crash (credit and investment don’t work so hot in a shrinking economy. And it will be a dark day if the money system becomes so shoddy that, for instance, delivery drivers wake up and decide that it’s no longer worth going to work).

Most recently, I’ve been visiting the Internet home of the Corbett Report, broadcast from “the sunny climes of Western Japan.” Corbett follows the activities of elites to gather “Open Source Intelligence” on them and discover what they are really up to. Hint: the ranks of those with great wealth and power are made up largely of people who crave great wealth and power. Everything Corbett presents is sourced, thus shedding light on many new fields for the Internet-scrounger.

Corbett believes that Peak Oil is a hoax, Orlov believes it’s as certain as gravity. There is no phony consensus outside of propaganda Wonderland, but you can bet that Orlov and Corbett have a reasonable disagreement, and aren’t paid to speak from their particular opposing positions. What kind of person can be paid to hold to a particular line? What kind of credibility should you grant such a person?

It is totally necessary to dig into the dark, hidden side of things, like Smeagol fishing in a dark hole or turning over rocks to find worms and wood lice. If you have no drive to look at the evil, you would totally allow Nazis to take your neighbors away and figure that they were really going to a fun and educational camp. But there is also a wonderful side to life, of volcano-painted sunsets and meteor showers and creative people to appreciate.

Sometimes it’s hard to get out of The Grid, the mile roads and power lines and mowed fields of Southeastern Michigan and ten thousand other metropolitan sprawls around the world. So, I suggest escaping its all-stultifying influence by allowing one corner of your backyard to go wild. You could water it in a drought or cut back a nasty invasive plant, but mainly just support the life there, and don’t try to utilize or prettify it too much. This is a place to forget about the endless echo of human chatter and value judgements and artifice.

Learn from weeds.

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