Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Spring(?) and miscellanies...

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“When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to it's subjects, this you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motive.”

~ Robert Heinlein
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Wow. An historic moment. A milestone guaranteed to spawn a million conversations. An occurrence that will raise the hackles of bigots across the land... a black man will be representing his party as candidate for President. I'll be damned...

Now, do I think it will matter? Nah. Personally I think our "two party system" is but one party that likes to pretend it is two. I truly believe that the time has come for voters to -- as they did to the Republicans in 2004 -- dump the bums and prove that it is, really, we the people who hold the power in this country.

I believe that we the people have relinquished the power vested to us by our founders, in exchange for the ease of allowing government to not just govern representatively but to dictate to us the boundaries of our lives while expanding the bureaucracy's powers at our expense.

Remember the film Brazil, by Terry Gilliam? (if not... rent it)



a graphic and strangely dreamlike look at bureaucracy gone amok... well, thats my view of where we've come to today. A very strange world in which we operate under a mountain of rules and regulations which no sane man or woman could ever understand or even begin to fathom. And we've allowed our Constitution and its primary Bill of Rights to become the tool of government, open to its own bizarre definitions of the intent behind the words.

When it comes to the Bill of Rights, they are a pretty common sense group of Amendments, consisting not of language scrambled by legal twistings and fine permutations but presented in a manner easily compehended, with the intent of controlling not the people by government but of the people having a tool with which we control our government.

And while I'm sure the Supreme Court justices are ok folks



I seriously question their interpretations of a very common sense document. But what do I know? I'm just a barely educated forklift driving middle aged (...sigh...) longhaired white guy Vietnam era veteran with an opinion...

I do know that I love this country and I don't like where we've allowed ourselves to be led to... as we stand on the brink of a new depression... and it breaks my heart that every real leader who has stood for peace has fallen under an assassin's bullet... and I sincerely hope and pray that an epidemic of insight sweeps across the land and infects us all with the virus of compassion and tolerance.

But hey, thats just me.
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In my posts awhile back on the Olympics I posted the picture of the "tank man"... an iconic photograph that stands in my memory. Last night I watched PBS' Frontline story on "tank man." Excellent, excellent piece. An indepth look at that 1989 peaceful protest by the Chinese people in Tiananmen Square that gave me a larger picture of that story and why people should not just boycott the Olympics but continue to expose the Chinese regime as the brutes they are. And for my Chinese visitors... I don't protest you. I protest government power that goes to excess in abuse of civilians... anywhere. Like here in the U.S. One of the points that continues to stick in my craw (not craw, CRAW!) about the U.S. drug war is that we imprison black males at a rate nearly six times greater than did South Africa at the peak of their hated and universally condemned regime of Apartheid.

It would be nice to hear the Dems young black male presidential candidate Barack Obama mention that somewhere down the campaign trail.
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I went up to Opal Creek a cuppla weekends ago with son Alex. Last year at this time of year the bear grass and rhododendrons were almost done with their blooming. This year there was still snow when we got to the old mill site. And not just a dab here and there but about 2' of snow. When I told brother Marty about the snow he asked if I had seen the Opal Creek website pictures. I hadn't but then I went to the site and wow, they have had just a bit. 7' in camp. But go and look for yourself.

Alex and I didn't hike all the way into Jawbone Flats. Instead we went past the old mill and turned north into the backside of the Hewitt Grove and went stalking waterfalls. Once into the woods it was a rare sight... all the ferns and salal were pressed flat from the weight of a heavy snow pack. Nary a flower in sight. The duff was soaked, and it was like walking on a sponge. Which of course it was. Part of why we fought so hard to save that forest back in the day.

At the parking lot we saw a pair of hikers loading up their backpacks including several bottles of water. We ran into them on the road near the head of the Opal Creek Trail and I mentioned I saw their water bottles. I told them about the quality of the water in the valley and how all drinking water in camp came not from spring water but from the creek and that the forest was one of nature's best water filters.

Here are a few images from that meandering:










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“Knowledge is awareness, and to it are many paths, not all of them paved with logic. But sometimes one is guided through the maze by intuition. One is led by something felt on the wind, something seen in the stars, something that calls from the wastelands to the spirit.”

~ Louis L'Amour

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