Independence?

Independence is the story
That ruined reality
The lie or myth
That led to…
Where we are not.
It looks good
On paper
Or sounds good if
You say it out loud…
Independence
But if you whisper quietly
And let the truth
Reverberate
It is really just
A synonym
For
ALONE

Interdependence is a different story
A shattered illusion
Reconstructed
As a new truth
That shows the way
to somewhere else.
It looks complicated
On paper
And sounds confusing
If you say it out loud…
Interdependence
But if you whisper quietly
And let the meaning
Sink in
It is really just
A synonym
For
TOGETHER

Easter 2019

Easter 2019

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon has already cut loose from the falconer
Things are broken
There is no center to hold
The spiral now widens to consume the whole…

A sanctuary violated by greed
The bearded prophet captured by brutal authority
Dragged forward from the darkness
To face the bright light…

The war rages on
Profits pile up
Countless innocents fall victim to unspeakable horrors
Collateral damage, collateral damage
Yemen and Libya, Syria and Afghanistan…
Free market rules everything
And the freeeeest market is war
Lots of it, more and more.

Turning and turning, spinning and spinning
Whirlpool, tornado, cyclone, black hole….
Where is the bottom, I don’t know,
Down, down, down we go…
Progress progresses
Civilization conquers, consumes and dominates
But nature resists, fights back… retaliates
The monsters will come as storms and floods and quakes

Will the humans awake?
Correct the errant ship of state?
And choose a different world to live in?
Give birth to another terrible beauty?
Or is it too late?
Must we accept our fate?
And stumble blindly
Into
Oblivion…

The Guesthouse Grapevine

Hummingbird continues…

How very strange to think about now… There was no internet at all when I went on my first ever backpacking adventure in 1992-93. My only communication with the homeland for the seven month period I traveled in Central and South America was through the many post cards I sent and occasional phone calls to my parents. I tried to stay current on international news by translating local newspapers and talking to other backpackers in guesthouses. But in many respects, the guesthouse grapevine seemed an unreliable source of information. The setting alone encouraged people to play fast and loose with the facts. Stories tended to repeat and vary and change from guesthouse to guesthouse and courtyard to courtyard. There was no official source of information to check, no Google to search it or Wikipedia to compare it to. There was only the authenticity of the speaker and the believability of the narrative. Was my young and innocent mind corrupted by the 1992 version of “fake news”? Or was my brainwashed consciousness cracked open by exposure to narratives outside the corporate news propaganda bubble?

When I first heard about the “Highway of Death,” I thought it was a bullshit story. I was in a guesthouse in Managua, Nicaragua in October of 1992. I was a naive and innocent first time traveler then who still believed in the holiness of the US constitution and the inherent goodness of “America.” I was aware of some of “America’s” crimes in Central America and was generally against US military actions overseas but tended to think the bad actions were the fault of certain bad actors or bad administrations (republicans). I certainly did not believe that the US government or the US nation as a whole was “imperialist or aggressive or militaristic.” Instead, I thought that the US was the world’s good guy; spreading democracy, freedom, development and progress to the rest of the world. But I met these two European anarchist dudes and they were not very nice. One was from Austria and the other was from France. They argued with each other about a wide range of subjects in the courtyard of the guesthouse. The only subject they agreed on was their fierce opposition to US militarism. I was the only “American” in the courtyard so they directed their anger at me. I was not really interested in defending militarism but I still felt like I had to defend “America” because “America” was a part of my “persona”. I was an “American.” They started with a rant about the US sponsored contra war right there in Nicaragua and moved on to a diatribe about Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. No it was not the “Vietnam War,” it was “The American War” against South East Asia. Then, they segwayed into Indonesia where “the Americans gave the go ahead,” for the massive slaughter of communists and socialists by mobs of coup supporters. Supposedly the CIA handed out lists of “communist names” to angry mobs and promised money for their murders. Then, in the African Congo, the CIA murdered the newly elected socialist prime minister and thereby started a long bloody civil war. Everywhere you go in the world there is a problem. And that problem is caused by the CIA or the US military… Yeah right sure guys, and the moon landings were fake and JFK was shot by Marilyn Monroe…

Somewhere during their dissertation on the crimes of America, they reached the very recent and still ongoing conflict with Iraq. According to their story, Kuwait was an asset of the United States. Oil wells in Kuwait, controlled by the US, were drilling at a slant underground to steal oil from Iraq. Iraq only invaded Kuwait to stop the US from stealing their oil. The US then used Iraq’s little invasion of Kuwait as a pretext to invade and occupy the whole region. The US military was at the beginning of a long military buildup in order to gain control of all the energy resources in the whole Middle East. They already had puppet regimes on half the peninsula and with the recent collapse of the protector state, the Soviet Union, a whole group of nominally independent states were now ripe for the picking as well. Iraq was first on the list but Lebanon, Syria, Libya and Iran were also supposedly targeted for conquest. The US military’s gruesome performance on the Highway of Death was a purposeful display of viciousness in order to scare the region into submission. The slaughter was ordered from the highest levels of the US government because the US was sending a clear and unequivocal message to the people in the Middle East… Supposedly, more than 50,000 retreating Iraqi conscripts were gunned down over a three day period as they tried to escape the war zone in Kuwait by fleeing along the highway that connected Kuwait City to Basra in Iraq. US warplanes shot up vehicles in order to cause a massive traffic jam and then started shooting the trapped and desperate men like they were fish in a barrel….

“No way,” I interrupted. “The United States military would never shoot at retreating soldiers. That’s not the way America operates. You guys are full of shit.”

“They weren’t even regular Iraqi army,” said the Austrian, “they were conscripts. Farm boys, shopkeepers, day laborers and students that Saddam force drafted into his military to fight his crazy battle. They certainly didn’t want to be there. At the first sign of battle, they dropped their weapons and fled. Some of them even raised white flags of surrender as they staggered helplessly down the Basra highway. But the US attack helicopters and jets didn’t care about any of that. They just opened fire and slaughtered. Most were shot in the back as they were running away. By all accounts, it was a merciless massacre.”

“I don’t believe a word you are saying,” I said defiantly, “slant drilling… yeah right. Farm boys with white flags shot in the back? Not a chance. That would be a war crime. It would be in all the newspapers. I read the New York Times regularly. If something like that happened it would have been on the front page. It would probably be in every newspaper in America. How come I never heard of it before? It can’t be true. You are making it up.”

“It’s true,” they insisted. “The Highway of Death story has been covered in many international publications. There is even a UN report. They want to bring war crimes charges but the US won’t acknowledge the court’s jurisdiction.”

“No way,” I shouted, “you guys are liars. America does not commit war crimes.” I pushed myself away from the table and stomped my way back to my room. I didn’t believe a word they said. How insulting. No wonder there are so many people who are anti-American when some people go around spreading bullshit stories like that….

It was about three weeks after my conversation with the anarchists in Managua that the malaria symptoms began to manifest. The vivid dreams/nightmares that tormented me for several years afterwards first began with that illness. At some point, I began to associate the dreams with the anti-malarial drug Lariam. But I don’t believe it ever occurred to me that the apocalyptic highway in my dream could be in any way related to the “highway of death” story from Iraq. Many years later, I made the connection because I was particularly fascinated by the relationship between “the highway of death”, the American imagination and the power of propaganda. I never did scholarly research on the subject but my anecdotal reality informed me that almost no Americans had ever even heard the story. I, myself, had only heard of it while traveling in Central and South America. For a couple of years after I got back I used to talk about it and ask people about it a lot. Talking about it while drunk always made me sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist. There was almost no mention of it at all in the corporate media so I sometimes wondered if maybe I dreamed the whole thing up. Every once in a while I’d see an obscure reference to “the incident” in a foreign policy story of a “radical publication” and I would confirm that the story was not a complete delusion. And when the Internet became available it was possible to confirm that it was, indeed, a true event. Or, at least, it was a story based on a true event. The anarchists in Managua may have been the first people to tell me about it. But many more travelers told me a similar story later on; including my Canadian friends in Costa Rica… Continue reading

Reality Confronts the Taxman

Call me coyote, I am a fictional character. I am not real. I am fake news. Do not believe me when I tell you about the revolution. It is an imaginary revolution, it is not real…

To pay or not to pay, that is the question; whether it’s nobler in the mind to submit to the demands of authority and feed its power with compliance or stand up to that power with the exercise of free will and thereby risk being destroyed and ruined by that power?

There are two fundamental ethical arguments in favor of the payment of taxes. The first reason to pay taxes is the capitalist reason. It is the contractual notion of fee for service. In this regard, we have a theoretical moral or ethical obligation to pay the government for the services it provides us. If we want the government to fix and clean our roads, set up medical services and emergency rescue services and schools, and educate our children and do a million other things, then we have to pay them “money” for the services they provide us. Theoretically, we as citizens agree to pay taxes because that is one of the mechanisms the government uses to collect the fees for the various services it provides. Of course, within the context of the capitalist metaphor and the rationally competitive consumer, it is the goal of each and every competitor in the system to acquire the most possible services for the lowest possible price. And, of course, it is the goal of the system to provide the fewest possible services to each customer for the highest possible price. The two sides compete with each other in the never ending game of negotiation and the end result is our very complicated tax collection system and federal spending programs.

The second reason to pay taxes is the socialist one: from each according to his ability, for each according to his need. Taxes are a manifestation of our moral/ethical obligation as citizens to contribute to the community/government/state that we belong to. Paying taxes is the primary mechanism by which we participate in government. It is our expression of loyalty to the central authority and our explicit recognition of the governments legitimacy. We pay taxes because it is our duty as citizens to contribute to the well being of the nation state in which we live. Of course, within the context of the socialist metaphor, your ethical obligation to contribute to society translates into a legal requirement. In other words, if you don’t pay your taxes (support the government) you will go to jail. Continue reading

Volcanic Eruptions

Hummingbird continues…

It’s true… We made a marijuana offering to a volcano God and that volcano erupted a few years later. Cause and effect? Maybe… The basic facts are indisputable. I hiked to the top of one of Ecuador’s many semi-active volcanos in the early Spring of 1993. I was joined in the endeavor by a young Canadian man. The day before the hike, we acquired some weed and a chicken bone pipe from a local campesino teenager. When we secured our permit for the trek, we were informed that the volcano was semi-active and could theoretically erupt at any moment. We had to sign a liability waiver in order to get the permit. It took us two days to reach the top. Up near the peak, there were cracks in the surface and volcanic steam rose up from the cracks and kind of floated in the air. The rising smoke against the backdrop of bright blue sky was rather impressive. It looked like the mountain was smoking something. So right up there near the tippy top, we found a comfy spot next to a spout of steam and joined the volcano in a smoke. We packed our chicken bone pipe full with weed and blew our clouds of smoke into the steam rising from the crack. How funny? How amazing? We were bonding with the volcano…. Yo Dude. Don’t you think we should make an offering? What do you mean? What kind of an offering? An offering to the volcano monster so he doesn’t erupt and consume us with lava and fire? That’s a good idea; let’s give him some weed. The Canadian guy opened up our satchel and retrieved a pinch of weed between his fingers. He offered the bag to me so I could get a pinch as well. He went first. “Here you go Mr. Volcano, enjoy the show, but try not to blow, at least not for a while. Wait until we are far away from here.” He sprinkled his weed into the steaming crack of rock. I went next. “Señor Tungarahua, my friend. Thank you so much for letting us reach your peak. I do believe I hear you grumbling. Are you getting ready to explode? Try a little tranquilo. Perhaps this offering will help you relax.” I sprinkled my weed into the steaming crack…

Of course the volcano did not erupt on us. We enjoyed our view from the top and hiked back down to the town of Banos where we soaked in the hot springs. A few years later though, 1998 I think, Tungarahua did erupt, big time… it blew it’s fricken top off. Some people were killed and there was lots of damage in surrounding villages and even in the town of Banos. I went back to Banos in early 2000 and the volcano was still sort of erupting. There were boiling, bubbling, overflowing pools of lava near the top. Obviously, tourists were no longer allowed to hike it. But several guesthouses had jeep tours to hot lava viewing spots at night. I went along on one of the tours. Lots of young drunk backpackers in crowded jeeps converged on a plateau just across the way from the volcano. It was a serious party with drinking, dancing, smoking and the popping of magic pills. I stepped away from the scene by the vehicles to get a better view from the darkness. I remembered my offering from seven years before. The cone was now gone. The place where we sat and smoked our pipes and made our offering no longer existed. It was now a steaming hot cauldron of bubbling lava. Or, at least, that is what it seemed from a safe distance. All I could really see was smoke and steam and dust rising from the center and dripping red streams spilling over the sides.

Smoldering… erupting… smoking… grumbling… steaming… glowing. Believe it or not, this was not my first ever experience with weed offerings and volcanoes. In Costa Rica, in November of 1992, I went to visit the active volcano of Arenal. It was the day after I got the results from my blood test. I brought my tent and sleeping bag and camped out at the base of the mountain. I now knew that I didn’t have malaria but I was still having the crazy malarial dreams. The erupting volcano added real-time sound effects to my nightmares… Perhaps camping next to an active volcano was not such a good idea… Continue reading

Imagine the Revolution

Imagine the revolution…

A new Social Contract based on the concept of a dynamic relationship between the individual and the community.

Democratic currency (money) and voluntary taxes are the organizational tools used to implement the contract.

The community/government invests in each and every individual the fair market value of… food, shelter and basic healthcare, etc… The media generally refers to this as a universal basic income but I believe that is a mischaracterization of the concept. It makes it seem like welfare or charity or a handout to the losers of capitalism. Instead, the monthly payment of currency to every single person is part of the social contract and it represents the persons legal right to participate in the economic system. In exchange for the monthly investment, each individual agrees to return to the community/system (voluntary tax), 50% of everything they earn above their monthly investment.

According to the concept of the imaginary revolution, the United States is way too large of a territory with too many people for a manageable dynamic organic currency system to function smoothly. We would recommend breaking it down into at least twenty independent systems. And the US already has an oligarchic mechanical linear currency system that would be difficult but not necessarily impossible to replace through legislation. The people who control the real levers of power of the corporate state would never allow it to happen. Nevertheless, as way of explanation, we will use the US as an example for discussion purposes.

ONE LAW would have to change in the US. Corporations would no longer be allowed to add new money to the system (create money (currency)) by lending money or extending credit that they do not have in their accounts. Corporations could only lend or create sophisticated financial instruments using money they actually have possession of in their accounts. New money would only be added to the system through the form of an equal democratic investment. Old money would be subtracted from the system when the citizen recipients of the democratic investment pay their voluntary tax of 50% on what they earn above their monthly investment.

The amount of the monthly democratic investment rights each individual gets is, of course, a matter of some import. In practical terms, it is the bargaining position of the working class. Nowadays, the oligarchs so control the narrative such that even supposedly “left wing” commentators refer to the so-called “safety net.” When, in reality, it should be consistently referred to as the opposing side in a dynamic system. Every human has a legal and moral right to interact with the economic value available in their community. In a law and order state where all natural resources are legally “owned” by something (an individual, a corporation or the state), the legal right to interact with the economic environment is controlled by currency. In other words, it costs money to do anything and everything. Presently we have an oligarchic currency system wherein new money that is added to the system is always given to the wealthy. The imaginary revolution would replace that system with one whereby every single citizen (human) would receive a monthly investment package and in exchange for that agree to pay a 50% tax on everything they earn above that monthly investment.

Here in the US, for example, I personally would recommend a monthly investment package of $1500 per month, + a basic health plan. My personal experience teaches me that a single person can live a simple and decent life on such a budget if they don’t have a car and have to drive long distances to a job or need expensive consumer products. Food, shelter, and the ability to pursue your particular passions are all you really need. $1500 a month is $18,000 a year. So then you consider the 50% tax on earnings from the investment. If a person works in the “free market” as a laborer or entrepreneur and earns $36,000 in a year, they would pay $18,000 in taxes and receive $18,000 in return on investment and thus break even. Anyone who makes more than $36,000 would pay back more in taxes than they receive in investment. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos would each receive their monthly $1500 per month and a basic health plan from the government and in exchange, they would have to pay 50% of everything they “earn” on the “free market”. Bill, Warren and Jeff could, of course, choose to not participate in “the system,” but then the system and powers of the state or government would no longer recognize or enforce or protect any of their “property rights.”

The argument…

The oligarchs would, of course, never allow the presently functioning capitalist hierarchy taxation/money supply system to be replaced by the above described dynamic system because doing so would give workers real bargaining power. The goal of the capitalist system is to get obedient workers to do as they are told in an organized functioning workplace. The great bullshit metaphor of capitalist freedom pretends like employees “choose” their jobs in a fair contract setting wherein the party of the laborer and the party of the boss “negotiate” a fair working relationship. That is why the Federal Reserve which “manages the money supply” is tasked legislatively with the goal of “full employment” and the high priests of capitalism blow so much hot air propaganda about that absurd statistic known as “the unemployment rate.” This helps them self-rationalize their myth that employees choose (freely) their jobs because they have the option of “choosing” another job instead…

Reality check. Most humans “hate” their jobs and “dislike” their boss. That is because self-realized humans want to interact with other humans dynamically rather than hierarchically. No one wants to be a peon who follows orders. What is the difference between a state bureaucrat and a corporate manager? There is none. They are both bullshit bosses with illegitimate authority over your life. The ruling class goes through great effort to make those people who are at the bottom of the “economic pyramid” as miserable as possible. They don’t do this because they are particularly mean, but because they are implementing the very essence of capitalist economic theory. People have to be forced to work. Since slavery is technically illegal, there has to be another mechanism to force people to do what they don’t want to do. The mechanism capitalism uses is the abject misery of existence that will befall a person if they don’t “choose” to work and the continuing stream of Hollywood metaphorical narratives about the “nobility of work.” In the 1980s and 90s this brain washing narrative reached epic proportions. That is when the forces of propaganda transformed the idea of economic rights for the underclass into a kind of charity for the losers in the capitalist game… i.e. “the safety net” or “welfare.” The story line was all over the television back then and they passed key legislation to effectively criminalize poverty. Social services were stripped to the bone and the mass incarceration of the underclasses was begun. In the early 1980s, there were roughly 300,000 people in prisons and jail cells in the United States. Now there is close to 3 million. Obviously, it is no longer a “criminal justice system.” It is capitalist economic system that seeks continuous growth. The incarcerated poor are now assets to be owned by the “investors” and managed by the employees. The institutionalized capitalist incentives require continuous expansion so that investors make more profits and there is more and more work for more and more lawyers and judges and prison guards and cops and security people. More recent Presidents have expanded the mass incarceration business world wide and significantly into immigration. Who will be the next asset to be rounded up and incarcerated for profit?

The truth is, if the money system was revolutionized from an oligarchic system to a democratic system, a significant number of “employees” would immediately quit their jobs. The fast food industry, for example, would have a labor problem immediately. So would all the bullshit horrible jobs that people are forced into for “survival.” Indeed, it is the long term vision of the revolution to see all humans who work for corporations quit their positions and go independent. No doubt they will join together and form new kinds of working relationships… Sort of like cooperatives but more dynamic than artificially egalitarian. Since all humans will approach employment possibilities with a real fall back position (the monthly democratic investment) they will never choose to be an exploited peon on the bottom of a hierarchy. They will instead be free individuals choosing to participate in mutually beneficial organizations. Or, to look at the same reality in a warped mirror; unions could strike forever until they got a “fair share,” of the company’s profit because they would have the monthly democratic investment to fall back on while they were striking.

The other big societal transformation that could occur because of a democratic currency replacing the oligarchic currency would be serious interference in the ability to recruit new soldiers. The military propaganda is relentless nowadays. We often get to hear the story about “the all voluntary military.” Then they tell you about the financial incentives of joining the military. And then they concentrate their recruiting on low income neighborhoods. In reality, the military recruit agrees to be on the bottom rung of a strictly hierarchical institution. They can’t quit until the term of their contract is finished. They are taught to strictly obey the chain of command. They are taught to kill strangers on command. That is what “good soldiers” do. At first, many soldiers have noble ideals. They believe in their commanders and believe that they fight for the good of the people in the US. But after a while. Most soldiers realize that they are not fighting for ideals. They are only fighting for money. Their own steady paycheck and the return on investment of the war profiteers. When noble human beings realize that they are being used as mercenaries for the corporate state instead of as defenders of freedom, they don’t usually want to be soldiers anymore. But they have no opportunity to do anything else. The existence of a monthly democratic investment for each and every person would give the soldier the option of quitting. Perhaps all those brave young men and women in the military would rather spend their considerable talents protecting people from natural disasters here at home instead of following orders to cause unnatural disasters elsewhere.

Of course, some people will choose to never work…. That will be the big complaint of the capitalists and the corporate media in response to the idea of a democratic money supply. Inherently lazy people will do nothing. They will accept their “handout” and sit on their asses and leach off the hard work of everyone else…. But in reality, it would be good for the environment if lots of people chose to just live off the democratic investment and not try to make more to spend more. As a matter of fact, the imaginary revolution encourages it. To a very large degree, monetary spending (utilizing economic value) is directly proportional to environmental footprint. Capitalism has brought the world to the brink of ecological collapse. It’s not just climate change but mass species extinctions, chemical contaminations, and host of other inter-related ecological fractures as well. Capitalism is designed to destroy the liveable planet. That is the ultimate goal… the end game. It’s all in the math. The linear progress concept only goes in one direction… consumption of the entire planet. There is no built in incentive for the opposite pole… The simple life is bad for capitalism. That’s why poverty is criminalized and basic economic rights are called, “handouts, welfare or safety nets.”

Frankly, the notion that human beings “won’t work” if they have economic rights is ridiculous. They may not work “for you” as an “employee.” But they will probably work on something. They may very well work for free because they make a decision that limiting their environmental footprint to the spending of the monthly democratic investment is a healthy way to interact with the world. Or they may seek material wealth through the mechanism of the now “fair market” as long as they return half of what they earn to the community. But the important factor is the reversing of the polarity of the linear progression forward. Transforming the linear economic system into a dynamic one. Balancing the equation so that the goal of the system is dynamic sustainability rather than “growth”. Quality of life is the focus not quantity of income and ownership. The monthly democratic investment becomes the opposing pole to the greed machine. The simple life is encouraged by the new system instead of criminalized. This systemic transformation (imaginary revolution) will not resolve the world’s ecological problems by itself. But it will create a framework so that humans can at least choose to live “within their environment” instead of having to fight to dominate it.

Implementation:

The US is too big and the oligarchic war currency too strong such that it is not realistic on a national level to try and transform the currency system through participation in the corporate controlled federal election competition. It would make more sense to set the alternative system up at the regional or state level. How big is too big and how small is too small? I don’t know. It has to be big enough in terms of territory and economic resources such that it can sustain all the participants and you have to convince a large number of people to participate (the hard part of any revolution).

One possible strategy would be participation in electioneering for purposes of educating the general public about the concept. A new political party would have to be formed because none of the present parties are pushing for the fundamental philosophical and structural transformations that an organic economic system requires. The new party would be sort of like the bastard love child of The Green Party and the Libertarians. Maybe call it the imaginary political party because it doesn’t exist in reality.

It is perhaps, possible, that the imaginary party could become popular and win big at the state level. Get a governor spot or a take over a state legislature. Then, maybe, they could try to implement a dynamic currency system at that level. But the federal government would never allow it. According to the constitution, the federal government controls the currency. No state has it’s own sovereign currency. If a small state tried to introduce an alternative currency based on dynamic democratic principles instead of linear hierarchical principles, the Feds would prosecute the state leaders for federal counterfeit violations or possibly treason. If, on the other hand, a small state tried to set up a dynamic tax and money supply system using US dollars, the investor class that has the “special legal rights” to add new money to the old system would manipulate currency flows to try and undermine the new system.

Ultimately, the best method would probably be the establishment of an independent organization sort of like a public bank that is not connected to the government but would operate like the opposite of the federal reserve. It would invite all people who live within the region where the new organization operates to join the organization. Instead of lending money at interest. It would give people a new kind of “money” in monthly installments. In order to avoid federal counterfeit charges, they could call the new “money” something different. It’s not money because it operates on different principles… it is just game pieces. In exchange for the monthly installment in games pieces, all the members of the organization agree to accept game pieces as monetary value and agree to return 50% of everything they earn elsewhere (in whatever currency.. dollars, rubles, yen, bolivars or game pieces back to the organization.). Thus, at first, the new currency would be backed primarily by the agreement of the participants and the economic potential of all the participants. But, after a while, the new organization would be backed by a basket of currencies it has collected through the voluntary taxes as well as the agreement and economic potential of the participants.

Once a parallel dynamic democratic monetary system was set up, it would compete as an institution against both the federal government monetary system and the federal government social welfare system. People within the territory of the organization could choose to use the new peaceful dynamic currency system or use the traditional oligarchic hierarchical conquest currency system. At first, many people would probably use both systems simultaneously (trade in dollars and game pieces). But ultimately, the revolution would have to convince people to stop using dollars as a matter of moral or ethical principle. Do you want to invest your time, energy and economic value in perpetual war and the ideology of corporate conquest (capitalist competition) or do you want to invest your time, energy and economic value in peaceful sustainability and the ideology of ecological inter-dependence (organic cooperation)? Could a loose collection of friendly dynamic currency systems put the corporate empire out of business. I don’t know. But I can imagine how it would be possible.

Imagine the revolution.

This essay is not copyrighted, feel free to copy it, paste it, steal it, share it or re-print it in any shape or fashion. Critiques and commentaries are encouraged. This is only a seed of an idea. It needs a lot of shit to grow…

Finding the Pools of Paradise…

 

 

 

Hummingbird flashes forward…

So we got the boot from Buddha Hill and now we live back in town. Somewhat ironically, the reason given for our expedited departure was a taxation complication. Nothing we did personally. Just a minor karmic kick in the butt. Ha ha ha ha. So we had to move. The wheel of destiny spun, the door opened, and another opportunity presented itself. My friend coyote complained because our new digs require us to be the legal “owners” of the premises and he was against the whole property ownership angle. I tried to explain that ownership is an illusion but possession of a home is important. The rent we pay to the imperial masters for the right to live here is called a “mortgage” rather than “rent” but it is really the same process. No reason not to use the legal technique of “ownership” in order to take possession of an amazingly beautiful place to live as long as we don’t take on the religious baggage of dominion that goes along with the whole ownership metaphor. Coyote told me I was full of shit and went to squat in some empty Catskill vacation home he knows about. You can’t fault the guy for his principles… even if he is stubborn. No matter, we are going to meet up once a week at the cafe’ to discuss our literary project and we may even work together on a few stone projects this season too…

My version of the story left off in the Fall of 1992 when I thought I had malaria in Central America and I was having those crazy apocalypse dreams. I actually remember the one dream quite well because I had it probably fifty times in the following three year period. I even have it every once in a great while in the present if I eat too much peanut butter before bed. I call it the Highway of Death dream. Sometimes it begins in the travel clinic and goes forward to the scene on the highway and sometimes it begins on the highway itself when my truck catches fire. The scary stuff happens after the seat belt finally bursts open and I leap out of the car and run down the highway. But all that is crazy… very crazy. Indeed, the whole story of the dreams might be described as a metaphorical journey into a world of madness. It is very relevant to the overall plot of how I transformed from a lawyer into a stone mason because the dreams finally ended when I started doing stonework. Totally exhausted physically and spiritually from a day of handling rocks, I collapsed satisfied in bed each night to blissful dreamless sleep… No, no no… I don’t want to remember those long ago forgotten night time torments…

So let me tell you about the seven pools of paradise instead… I discovered them recently in my own backyard… Well, okay, it is not exactly in my own backyard but I can walk there in less than 15 minutes from our new home. It is so amazing I sometimes think it is my imagination. How did I ever get to be so lucky?

We moved into the new home in August. It is, perhaps, a bit on the small side compared to the luxury of Buddha Hill, but in the very important reality of ecological footprint it is an order of magnitude better and that simple fact provides big relief to my soul… Although we are located in town, I call the new place the Forest House because we are on a street called Forest and the vacant lot next door to us has lots of trees and vegetation. The back of our lot is a steep bank that leads down to a small creek. The creek is not connected to our lot. Technically it is “owned” by the people on the other side of the creek. But I can see it from a hammock in the trees on our lot’s hillside and access it for entertainment purposes without too much trouble. So for realistic purposes, the creek is, therefore, part of our living environment.

My daughter turned three just before we moved here in August so she is at that age where she likes to hear and tell stories. “Dadda… Tell me a story.” I’m not sure how it started but somewhere along the way we seemed to stumble upon a series… or a formula… or a continuing saga that always begins the same way…. Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl who lived with her momma and her dadda in a comfortable little home on the edge of a forest. Then one day, the little girl snuck out of the house and went to play in the forest on her own…

Somewhat incredibly, there really is a very beautiful forest near our new home with an access trail on a dead-end street just three blocks away. I know this forest fairly well but not this side of it so much. I used to hike into it quite frequently from the access trail on the other side of town when I lived over there. Indeed, my knowledge of this forest was one of the main reasons I was very happy with our new home. Of course we don’t “own” this forest. And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure who does own it. But there are marked mountain-biking trails and even a few signs to point out landmarks so at least some of it is open to the public. I believe the mountain-biking trails are city property or high school property or both but I’m not sure. Further up in the hills; beyond a place that I call Big Rock Mountain you start to see no trespassing signs pop up and other threatening signals from deranged humans who take their ownership metaphor way too seriously. But I have never seen anybody walking around up there other than me and I certainly have not been informed in person that I’m not supposed to walk there. Actually, since I have almost five miles worth of bike trail on clear public property, I don’t venture onto the dubiously posted lands very often. It’s just that sometimes I can’t help myself. My inner anarchist emerges and the thrill of trespass is just too much to resist. Continue reading