Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July

freeacre

Well, the flags are still lining the streets of the little central Oregon town in which I live since they were put up on Memorial Day. We gear up each year for the 4th of July Parade that displays the 4H Club animals, the horseback riders, the Fire Truck, the Boy Scouts, and the American Legion float. Then, there’s the rodeo on Saturday, exemplifying the still lingering heritage of the American West – the cowboys, cowgirls, and the interaction between them and the animals on the ranch. We like to think of ourselves having at least a residual trace of the western traditions that include cattle drives, Indian villages, mountain men, panning for gold, one room school houses, saloon girls, and gun slingers. Those were the friggin’ days, weren’t they?

Well, we like to think so. We like to think that we still have some things to be proud of in this country, some things worthy of the sacrifices made, some freedoms and rights worth living or dying for.

So, rather than rail against all the abuses of power, the corruption, the misinformation, the decadence and decay all around us now, I am giving a nod to the Independence Day, and share the words of some memorable patriots over the years. The following are speeches that exemplify the courage and ability and nimbleness of thought rooted in our common heritage of a love for liberty.

Patrick Henry Give me Liberty or Give me Death, 1775

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!



Thomas Paine's American Crisis, 1776:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

AIN'T I A WOMAN?

by Sojourner Truth


Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention in
Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted overover mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me!Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysberg Address, 1863:

The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth

Votes for Women Speech by Mark Twain
January 20th 1901

Ladies and Gentlemen - It is a small help that I can afford, but it is just such help that one can give as coming from the heart through the mouth. The report of Mr. Meyer was admirable, and I was as interested in it as you have been. Why, I'm twice as old as he, and I've had so much experience that I would say to him, when he makes his appeal for help: "Don't make it for today or tomorrow, but collect the money on the spot."

We are all creatures of sudden impulse. We must be worked up by steam, as it were. Get them to write their wills now, or it may be too late by-and-by. Fifteen or twenty years ago I had an experience I shall never forget. I got into a church which was crowded by a sweltering and panting multitude. The city missionary of our town - Hartford - made a telling appeal for help. He told of personal experiences among the poor in cellars and top lofts requiring instances of devotion and help. The poor are always good to the poor. When a person with his millions gives a hundred thousand dollars it makes a great noise in the world, but he does not miss it; it's the widow's mite that makes no noise but does the best work.

I remember on that occasion in the Hartford church the collection was being taken up. The appeal had so stirred me that I could hardly wait for the hat or plate to come my way. I had four hundred dollars in my pocket, and I was anxious to drop it in the plate and wanted to borrow more. But the plate was so long in coming my way that the fever-heat of beneficence was going down lower and lower - going down at the rate of a hundred dollars a minute. The plate was passed too late. When it finally came to me, my enthusiasm had gone down so much that I kept my four hundred dollars - and stole a dime from the plate. So, you see, time sometimes leads to crime. Oh, many a time have I thought of that and regretted it, and I adjure you all to give while the fever is on you.

Referring to woman's sphere in life, I'll say that woman is always right. For twenty-five years I've been a woman's rights man. I have always believed, long before my mother died, that, with her gray hairs and admirable intellect, perhaps she knew as much as I did. Perhaps she knew as much about voting as I.

I should like to see the time come when women shall help to make the laws. I should like to see that whiplash, the ballot, in the hands of women. As for this city's government, I don't want to say much, except that it is a shame - a shame; but if I should live twenty-five years longer - and there is no reason why I shouldn't - I think I'll see women handle the ballot. If women had the ballot to-day, the state of things in this town would not exist.

If all the women in this town had a vote today they would elect a mayor at the next election, and they would rise in their might and change the awful state of things now existing here.

Votes for Women Speech by Mark Twain
January 20th 1901


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Sen. Huey P. Long, 1930’s: (a speech – abridged, delivered on the floor of the senate)

President Roosevelt was elected on November 8, 1932. People look upon an elected President as the President. This is January 1935. We are in our third year of the Roosevelt depression, with the conditions growing worse. That says nothing about the state of our national finances. I do not even bring that in for important mention, except to give the figures:

Our national debt of today has risen to $28.5 billion. When the World War ended we shuddered in our boots because the national debt had climbed to $26 billion. But we consoled ourselves by saying that the foreign countries owed us $11 billion and that in reality the United States national debt was only $15 billion. But say that it was all of the $26 billion today. Without a war our national debt under Mr. Roosevelt has climbed up to $28.5 billion, or more than we owed when the World War ended by 2 1/2 billions of dollars. And in the Budget message of the President he admits that next year the public debt of the United States will go up to $34 billion, or 5 1/2 billion dollars more than we now owe.

Now this big debt would not be so bad if we had something to show for it. If we had ended this depression once and for all we could say that it is worth it all, but at the end of this rainbow of the greatest national debt in all history that must get bigger and bigger, what do we find?

One million more unemployed; S million more families on the dole, and another 5 million trying to get there; the fortunes of the rich becoming bigger and the fortunes of the average and little men getting less and less; the money in the banks nearly all owned by a mere handful of people, and the President of the United States quoted as saying: "Don't touch the rich!"

I begged, I pleaded, and did everything else under the sun for over 2 years to try to get Mr. Roosevelt to keep his word that he gave to us; I hoped against hope that sooner or later he would see the light and come back to his promises on which he was made President. I warned what would happen last year and for this year if he did not keep these promises made to the people.

But going into this third year of Roosevelt's administration, I can hope for nothing further from the Roosevelt policies. And I call back to mind that whatever we have been able to do to try to hold the situation together during the past three years has been forced down the throat of the national administration. I held the floor in the Senate for days until they allowed the bank laws to be amended that permitted the banks in the small cities and towns to reopen. The bank deposit guaranty law and the Frazier-Lemke farm debt moratorium law had to be passed in spite of the Roosevelt administration. I helped to pass them both.

All the time we have pointed to the rising cloud of debt, the increases in unemployment, the gradual slipping away of what money the middle man and the poor man have into the hands of the big masters, all the time we have prayed and shouted, begged and pleaded, and now we hear the message once again from Roosevelt that he cannot touch the big fortunes.

Hope for more through Roosevelt? He has promised and promised, smiled and bowed; he has read fine speeches and told anyone in need to get in touch with him. What has it meant?

We must now become awakened! We must know the truth and speak the truth. There is no use to wait 3 more years. It is not Roosevelt or ruin; it is Roosevelt's ruin.

Now, my friends, it makes no difference who is President or who is Senator. America is for 125 million people and the unborn to come. We ran Mr. Roosevelt for the Presidency of the United States because he promised to us by word of mouth and in writing:

1. That the size of the big man's fortune would be reduced so as to give the masses at the bottom enough to wipe out all poverty; and

2. That the hours of labor would be so reduced that all would share in the work to be done and in consuming the abundance mankind produced.

Hundreds of words were used by Mr. Roosevelt to make these promises to the people, but they were made over and over again. He reiterated these pledges even after he took his oath as President. Summed up, what these promises meant was: "Share our wealth."

When I saw him spending all his time of ease and recreation with the business partners of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., with such men as the Astors, etc., maybe I ought to have had better sense than to have believed he would ever break down their big fortunes to give enough to the masses to end poverty--maybe some will think me weak for ever believing it all, but millions of other people were fooled the same as myself. I was like a drowning man grabbing at a straw, I guess. The face and eyes, the hungry forms of mothers and children, the aching hearts of students denied education were before our eyes, and when Roosevelt promised, we jumped for that ray of hope.

So therefore I call upon the men and women of America to immediately join in our work and movement to share our wealth.

There are thousands of share-our-wealth societies organized in the United States now. We want a hundred thousand such societies formed for every nook and corner of this country--societies that will meet, talk, and work, all for the purpose that the great wealth and abundance of this great land that belongs to us may be shared and enjoyed by all of us.

We have nothing more for which we should ask the Lord. He has allowed this land to have too much of everything that humanity needs.

So in this land of God's abundance we propose laws, viz:

1. The fortunes of the multimillionaires and billionaires shall be reduced so that no one person shall own more than a few million dollars to the person. We would do this by a capital levy tax. On the first million that a man was worth we would not impose any tax. We would say, "All right for your first million dollars, but after you get that rich you will have to start helping the balance of us." So we would not levy any capital levy tax on the first million one owned. But on the second million a man owns we would tax that 1 percent, so that every year the man owned the second million dollars he would be taxed $10,000. On the third million we would impose a tax of 2 percent. On the fourth million we would impose a tax of 4 percent. On the fifth million we would impose a tax of 8 percent. On the sixth million we would impose a tax of 16 percent. On the seventh million we would impose a tax of 32 percent. On the eighth million we would impose a tax of 64 percent; and on all over the eighth million we would impose a tax of 100 percent. What this would mean is that the annual tax would bring the biggest fortune down to three or four million dollars to the person because no one could pay taxes very long in the higher brackets. But $3 to 4 million is enough for any one person and his children and his children's children. We cannot allow one to have more than that because it would not leave enough for the balance to have something.

2. We propose to limit the amount any one man can earn in 1 year or inherit to $1 million to the person.

3. Now, by limiting the size of the fortunes and incomes of the big men we will throw into the Government Treasury the money and property from which we will care for the millions of people who have nothing; and with this money we will provide a home and the comforts of home, with such common conveniences as radio and automobile, for every family in America, free of debt.

4. We guarantee food and clothing and employment for everyone who should work by shortening the hours of labor to thirty hours per week, maybe less, and to eleven months per year, maybe less. We would have the hours shortened just so much as would give work to everybody to produce enough for everybody; and if we were to get them down to where they were too short, then we would lengthen them again. As long as all the people working can produce enough of automobiles, radios, homes, schools, and theaters for everyone to have that kind of comfort and convenience, then let us all have work to do and have that much of heaven on earth.

5. We would provide education at the expense of the States and the United States for every child, not only through grammar school and high school but through to a college and vocational education. We would simply extend the Louisiana plan to apply to colleges and all people. Yes; we would have to build thousands of more colleges and employ a hundred thousand more teachers; but we have materials, men, and women who are ready and available for the work. Why have the right to a college education depend upon whether the father or mother is so well to do as to send a boy or girl to college? We would give every child the right to education and a living at birth.

6. We would give a pension to all persons above 60 years of age in an amount sufficient to support them in comfortable circumstances, excepting those who earn $1,000 per year or who are worth $10,000.

7. Until we could straighten things out--and we can straighten things out in two months under our program--we would grant a moratorium on all debts which people owe that they cannot pay.

And now you have our program, none too big, none too little, but every man a king.

We owe debts in America today, public and private, amounting to $252 billion. That means that every child is born with a $2,000 debt tied around his neck to hold him down before he gets started. Then, on top of that, the wealth is locked in a vice owned by a few people. We propose that children shall be born in a land of opportunity, guaranteed a home, food, clothes, and the other things that make for living, including the right to education.

Our plan would injure no one. It would not stop us from having millionaires--it would increase them tenfold, because so many more people could make a million dollars if they had the chance our plan gives them. Our plan would not break up big concerns. The only difference would be that maybe 10,000 people would own a concern instead of 10 people owning it.

But my friends, unless we do share our wealth, unless we limit the size of the big man so as to give something to the little man, we can never have a happy or free people. God said so! He ordered it.

We have everything our people need. Too much of food, clothes, and houses why not let all have their fill and lie down in the ease and comfort God has given us? Why not? Because a few own everything--the masses own nothing.

…. Let us dry the eyes of those who suffer; let us lift the hearts of the sad. There is plenty. There is more. Why should we not secure laws to do justice--laws that were promised to us--never should we have quibbled over the soldiers' bonus. We need that money circulating among our people. That is why I offered the amendment to pay it last year. I will do so again this year.

Why weep or slumber, America?
Land of brave and true,
With castles, clothing, and food for all
All belongs to you.
Ev'ry man a king, ev'ry man a king,
For you can be a millionaire;
But there's something belonging to others,
There's enough for all people to share.
When it's sunny June and December, too,
Or in the wintertime or spring,
There'll be peace without end,
Ev'ry neighbor a friend,
With ev'ry man a king.

United States Senate,

Washington, D. C.



Kennedy inaugural, 1961:

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will light our country and all who serve it -- and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what
America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of
America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.



Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Mountaintop" speech, 1968:

I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.

And I don't mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!



Robert Kennedy on the assassination of Martin Luther King

I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort.

In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black--considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible--you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization--black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another.

Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.

So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love--a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we've had difficult times in the past; we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

And, the speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that propelled Barack Obama into national prominence:

OBAMA: Thank you so much. Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Thank you, Dick Durbin. You make us all proud.

On behalf of the great state of Illinois...

(APPLAUSE)

... crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.

My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin- roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

OBAMA: But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that's shown as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before him.

While studying here my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.

Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather signed up for duty, joined Patton's army, marched across Europe. Back home my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity.

And they too had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream born of two continents.

OBAMA: My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They're both passed away now. And yet I know that, on this night, they look down on me with great pride.

And I stand here today grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters.

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

OBAMA: Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy; our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... )

... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America, a faith...

... a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution; and that our votes will be counted -- or at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of future generations.

OBAMA: And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents, I say to you, tonight, we have more work to do... ... more work to do, for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now they're having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay 7 bucks an hour; more to do for the father I met who was losing his job and chocking back the tears wondering how he would pay $4,500 a months for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on; more to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her who have the grades, have the drive, have the will, but doesn't have the money to go to college.

Now, don't get me wrong, the people I meet in small towns and big cities and diners and office parks, they don't expect government to solves all of their problems. They know they have to work hard to get a head. And they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you: They don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn.

OBAMA: They know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People don't expect -- people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry.

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith and service because they've defined his life. From his heroic service to Vietnam to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we've seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. His values and his record affirm what is best in us.

John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

OBAMA: John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Seamus (ph) in a VFW hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, 6'2", 6'3", clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week.

OBAMA: And as I listened to him explain why he had enlisted -- the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service -- I thought, this young man was all that any of us might ever hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Seamus (ph) as well as he's serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors who won't be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they are going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world.

OBAMA: Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated.

John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it's not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.

OBAMA: It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: "E pluribus unum," out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

OBAMA: In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't think about it, or health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

That's not what I'm talking. I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

OBAMA: Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs for the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.

America, tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do, if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president. And John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president. And this country will reclaim it's promise. And out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much, everybody.

God bless you.

Thank you.

Me again

Well, I guess we know now that the hope that John Kerry would win the election over George Bush didn’t go anywhere, and that the policies of greed and manipulation of the boyz in charge have led us to the brink of economic, political, moral, and planetary collapse….

But, Happy Fourth of July anyway. We still have our ideals. We still make good things happen, and we take care of each other.

I’m up for a hot dog and a nice big slice of watermelon.

aho

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

... and BEER!!!

-Dude

Anonymous said...

oh my. didn't have time to read yet. just scrolled down to the end. hope its not time sensitive cuz it might take me to labor day. in meantime, thx fa and happy 4th to y'all... p

freeacre said...

Yeah, I know it's way long. I posted it early, in case it took a couple of days to read...
That Huey Long quote is really long and very dated, but I thought it was interesting in terms of promoting the concept of sharing and asking "how much is enough?"
How do we structure an economy that doesn't rely on "growth" for the rich? Need to consult Gene Roddenberry for that one...

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

My, what happened to all those fine words, did we just sit back and assume that since there was someone from the light side up there on our side we could just take our eyes off the ball and leave it all to them? And many still think that all is just fine and hunky dory and are unable to see the dawning of the dark side. “Sure things are a little difficult right now but it will blow over like it always does”. Well maybe – I hope it for them but I don’t think so, not this time. Let’s hope the black kid can keep his word like the white guys can’t. Sad what happened to Huey Long though.

freeacre said...

True. Let's hope that he doesn't meet the same fates of JFK, MLK, RFK, and Huey Long. This country has a long history of doing away with those who go up against the war profiteers.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Freeacre,

He will do ok if he has been chosen but who he will do ok for is another thing otherwise he had better watch out.

Anonymous said...

i really can't explain why but every time i'm reminded of those words of the poet aeschylus (which happen to be inscribed on RFK's tombstone as well) they have a way of drilling right down through the godforsaken places in me straight into the same tiny place where hope remains.

throw the reminder in on a day that just so happens to celebrate what was once the independnece of a nation of peoples and the hope of an entire planet and the words are even more poignent.

hope!

hope that one day, the day will come when that wisdom, through that awful grace of god, will heal the tears that fall upon the broken hearts of man and the battered body of their mother earth.

when i think of those words and that hope in the context of where we are today could it be that the awful grace of god is upon us?

freeacre said...

Speaking of hope, take a look at this video that Montana sent us about greening the desert - amazing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk

RAS said...

If you'd like to hear some more voices of people struggling for change and dissenting, go look up Democracy Now's usual July 4th show (I don't know if they broadcast it this year or not, but it should be in the archives) Voices from a People's History of the United States. It's amazing.

Anonymous said...

fungus among us...

couple interesting threads on latoc about farming mushrooms as a cash crop/food and health source/barter commodity...

http://www.doomers.us/forum2/index.php/topic,12958.0.html

see especially the comments of vinekeeper.

also....

http://www.doomers.us/forum2/index.php/topic,7197.0.html

vinekeeper started this thread to introduce their working model of permaculture base camps....

" Great Lakes Agroforestry Institute (GLAI) is a private network of active projects in sustainable agroforestry and forest garden systems. GLAI also maintains a hundred plus acre research forestfarm in the Grand Traverse Region of nw lower Michigan. It is the result of over 25 years of research and demonstration and now seeks human inhabitants to partner in its natural and cultivated food forests."

scroll down to "projects in progress" for the part specific to 'room farming.

lotta damn good info here and well worth reading the entire thread! certainly the initial entry at least.

i really, really like this concept. this might be just what you're looking for ras and the buy-in price is right!! if i read this right the lease arangement for 3/4 acre is $1 plus 40 bucks a month.

"seeks human inhabitants to partner".

where else can you position youself within a viable operating project for a dollar and 40 bucks a month? it appears the main asset is sweat equity with an incredible amount of support already in place predicated on the simple principal of "become one with".

Anonymous said...

link to the GLAI thread may have been truncated...

http://www.doomers.us/forum2/

index.php/topic,7197.0.html

the mushroom thread...

http://www.doomers.us/forum2/

index.php/topic,12958.0.html

RAS said...

Hey everyone, harking back to the last post check this out about police tasering a pregnant woman over a ticket:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/223578_taser10.html

mrs p said...

hello everyone happy 4th belated. Ditto on the juice. Haven't read all of the post but will be a nice read to look forward to. Ironic it means so much and yet the more i see and hear i realize those ideals are only alive in our hearts and not in where our country stands. If only the slaphappy goofballs of Wallyworld knew what their government was doing to them on so many personal levels they'd really have a wild fourth celebration!

Check out the whistle blower guy from AT&T, http://www.democracynow.org
re the bill Congress will most likely pass tomorrow re vamping the FISA law affecting us all severely. I made a post on it today at momsreallymad. Puts an ache in my gut that this Admin will be given immunity, of an impeachable offence, by the Dems, in Congress, tomorrow, for intentionally and knowingly commiting crimes against the American people and will also be given a green light to continue to spy on all of us all of the time forever.

Anonymous said...

This morning shortly after four a.m upon walking out upon the back deck to pee i looked up into the sky and out of the southwest a large bright light was drifting in the direction i was standing, it was moving slow and steady and made no sound, the altitude was not high like a jet and it made no sound whatsoever, nothing, not a whisper, impossible in its size not to have disturbed the air in its passing.!!! as it made its way across the sky,..it was circular but had jagged edges and looked like nothing i have ever saw in my life. The light given off of it was white but more solid then say like a light bulb, it did not shine but emanated its essence, it aroused so many emotions in its passing, ....as it passed overhead in its silence i knew that this was either something wonderful that the science people had stolen from some alien technology or was an alien technology/ it was the most wondrous thing i have ever seen in my life as it floated overhead and slowly disappeared into the northeast in its flight. a straight line it flew, and so low in the sky, like it was not in any hurry but like it was comfortable in its flight.like it was on a scenic tour or something.thats the impression i got from it and also the quite power that made no sound and seemed unlimited, my god i have been blessed beyond anything i have ever seen in the sky not put there by the hand of the great spirit...or what ever.
the ominously was coupled with the most incredible peaceful feeling in my heart that this occurrence was mean as a sign that all was well in spite of the collective pain that is inherent in the hearts of humanity in its struggle to return to its origin of light and our true place in the universe/ we are of god it seemed to say.
i asked langosta what she thought about it and all she did was smile her sweet knowing smile.

later after reading the latest posts for the first time i got the feeling that we are all so caught up in the goings on of what seems important in the scheme of things that the little trails of each incident seem to lead off into a world where such things do not exist, and that to seek refuge in the incidences no matter how brutal or bloodthirsty or honorable they appear is to give power over our original purpose which according to langosta is to simply learn to love one another without conditions being imposed upon that love.
the words of the wise men quoted are vexes in the light of how important it is to become aware of just how jaded our minds are to the truth that surrounds us and yet is hidden for the very same reason that p speaks of , that denial in its multitude of forms claims domain and that the knife that heals also kills. it seems funny somehow to watch the wounds that have already been inflected upon us and the band-aid approach to happiness as quoted by the deceivers that will be voted once more into the palace where their only concern is to bask in the ass kissing that they will receive by the mind fucked,helpless clones of a long forgotten time ago, when they were free.
they lost that freedom when they killed their first brother or sister over a bit of twine. and how can you give back that which we have destroyed? we can't, all we can do is maybe to learn to enjoy our depraved happiness.
this sounds bleak, yes it does, however, maybe its all bullshit and the words are just part of a way to trigger into being the very same thing that either enrages or soothes a mind that chooses to worship either the curse or the cure that might be hidden in the right or wrong use of words.
there is another way taught by the ancient ones that lie beyond the words,and this is a place of silence, a place where words have very little or no meaning at all, this is also the place which is a door into the unknown and that very few have the chance or the courage to enter, but if invited and it seems that an invitation is granted to those that are so goddam tired of the bullshit that they will try anything once.
so fuck it i will knock my ass off to get into that door and see what else might available.
langosta thinks i'm nuts but says her job description has no part of judgement. i say what the fuck did you just say.? she laughs out loud.
ok its time for a fatty.
aho
mf&bug

Anonymous said...

to love one another without conditions being imposed upon that love.....

that IS, indeed, the lesson my friend. and anything that is not that love is denial in some form! thats what conditions are!!

i'm sure some wonder why i keep writing about the d word as if beating a dead horse. its because its not being seen for the role it plays and not writing about it would be irresponsible. yesterday's twine is today's entitlement. even alignment by indirect means counts. we can fool our neighbor and even fool ourselves. but we cannot fool universe. and we cannot fool truth.

however, there is forgiveness. but it can only start when we are able to forgive ourselves through true compassion. guilt has no place with love. but it is in love's place.

on this, or on any forum, we can only do in word. but mf is right... words are no more than a doorway to what lay beyond them. he and his people understand this. the silence. where both the curse and the cure await. it could be they are one and the same. seperated only by denial.

stoney13 said...

Freeacre,

ASTOUNDING!!! Damn fine work! The only reason It's taken me this long to comment is because I had to read all the quotes and digest them.

The only thing that's going to save this country is to remember who made it, and at one time made it great!

The problem is that too many people walk around and say, "What was it that this country once had, and how did we lose it?"

Well the answer is simple! Look at yourself in the mirror! THAT"S what made this country great! PEOPLE!!! Just like every body reading this!

Every human being on that long list has one common denominator! They were pissed off, and pissed on enough to say these awesome statements!! They had finally had enough! They saw what was wrong, and they didn't know exactly how to fix it, but they knew they were going to!

They stood in the face of death, hatred, legal harassment, financial ruin, torture, and nagging spouses!

They would not back down, shut up, or go home!

They would not stop rocking the boat! They would not quit being rabble rousers!

Every manner of war was waged against them, both fair, and foul. But their enemies could not defeat them, because to do so would have been to defeat a part of themselves! It is a part of humanity, that gives us humanity! It is our collective heart, soul, and spirit. It is what brought mankind across arctic wastes, deserts, ocean islands, and every spot in the world!

Mankind's problem is that most of us have lost the ability to tap into the common spiritual knowledge of our species. We see the problem, but it is too easy to go about our lives, and let somebody else do the solving! All can see what is to be done, yet nobody can bring themselves to do it! The method is written down, tested, retested, and approved! Yet the means escape us, and it always will, until we learn what it means to stand as a people!

A person is a small thing and easily dealt with. A People is a force to be reckoned with!

Problem is there's just one small part that keeps popping up to piss in the pot! Noam Chomsky put it pretty well when he said:

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for
people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
-Noam Chomsky

The foremost fuck-up is that civilization always starts out fine at first, and the best of all intentions are the foundation stones on which it's laid.

Then it breaks down into "Us" and "Them" and it all goes to shit! Just like it did the last time, and the last time, and the last time, and the last time, and the time before that!

Until we figure out that there is more holding us together, than separating us, then humanity will ALWAYS be at the very edge of what humanity could accomplish!

We will save the Earth or we will destroy it! No king or country will live forever! No Planet, Galaxy, Star System, or The Universe itself! All things had a beginning, and all things will end!

Your choices, and the choices of the richest, and the poorest, bring about what happens in the here and now. It is a weak power, and in the scope of things not much to look at. Yet it is what makes us great...and small!

freeacre said...

Thanks, Stoney, for your compliment. the speeches that I quoted are examples of inspirational thoughts - those things that keep us believing in ideals and qualities that are worth living for.

But, also take a look at the comments from our remarkable tribe: Dude, Belgium, ras, Palooka, Rockpicker, mrs.p, Stoney, langosta, and our oracle, Montana Freeman. Taken together, we have good humor, intelligence,integrity, compassion, love, creativity, nurturing concern, courage, strength, and magic. And for every one who writes, there are ten more who read and think and come back and read again.

I feel so grateful, so blessed, so privileged to have the opportunity to become one with all of you. Of all the sites on the net, this one gives me the inspiration to face the future. Somehow, in our own unique and goofy way, we are creating a new way of being. We are, in many ways, the path that we have been looking for. We extend to each other the qualities that we need when it all seems hideous and overwhelming. We remind each other to love and give each other the strength to deal with whatever challenge comes into play. We help each other to master the fear that would stifle our lives.

I don't think I am being grandiose. I take the light that Montana saw as a sign that something wonderful is not just coming, but is here. I want to see that light. Now I guess I have to figure out a way to pee off the porch...lol.
aho

Anonymous said...

I guess I have to figure out a way to pee off the porch...

jes light up a fatty, girl!

okay, so much for the humor. i'd like to respond to this independence day post in a... well, likely controversial way. yes, its good to be reminded of the inspirational words of great americans in history. but the 4th is over. and from another point of view, perhapes it never really began. perhaps its now time to reflect on the words of some other "great" americans from our history that evidence just such an alternative pov. and on their works. for they do these works in our name. and the name of our country.

but before i plug in the link to this story (its in comic book form y'all) i offer the words of one dave mcgowan, who runs the center for an informed america, as a prelude. just to get you in character so to speak. his latest newletter, published back in feb, was an attempt at annalysis of the political campaigns at that time. in it he made a comment about john mccain, war hero. but instead of the name mccain i've taken the liberty - this is the land of liberty, yes - to insert the word [america] or [american] instead. and as mcgowan asks, try to imagine you are the simple vietnamese peasant of 40 years ago. or perhaps an iraqi today. or a native american 150 years ago...

"Speaking of [america], by the way, I have to offer some commentary here on the notion of [america] as ‘war hero.’ Try to imagine, if you can, that you and several generations of your family live a simple, agrarian life. Like all your neighbors in the village in which you reside, you work the land just as your family has done for as long as anyone can remember. To an outsider, it seems a harsh and rather primitive existence. But to you, it is the only life you know – one based on history and tradition and a love and respect for the land that nurtures your crops and feeds your livestock.

(growing up on a little farm in iowa in the 40's and early 50's was not unlike that very description)

"Now imagine that that demanding yet bucolic life is under fierce attack from an enemy that you cannot see, for reasons that you cannot begin to comprehend. The faceless enemy attacks only from high in the air, safe from any form of retaliation that you may be able to muster. He is relentless in his pursuit to annihilate you, raining toxic chemicals like Agent Orange and white phosphorous down upon your land and your livestock, unleashing incendiary devices that burn your children alive, and routinely dumping high explosives that indiscriminately maim and kill. For years you endure this, completely powerless to protect your family or avenge your losses.

"And then one day, quite unexpectedly, one of the enemy’s death ships falls to the ground. And suddenly, the enemy that has taken so much from you – your loved ones, your livelihood, your very way of life – has a face: the face of [an american]. What do you suppose, given those conditions, the fate of that enemy would be? It is claimed that [the american] was tortured while in captivity. I don’t know how much truth there is to that, but I do know that, under the circumstances, it seems to me that the Vietnamese people exhibited a considerable amount of restraint."

you can read the words and of the works of these great americans to which i refer and who act on our behalf and have been doing so for 232 years here .... http://addictedtowar.com/atw1a.html

RAS said...

Stoney wrote: "The foremost fuck-up is that civilization always starts out fine at first, and the best of all intentions are the foundation stones on which it's laid."

To quote someone, the path to hell is ordered by the righteous, planned by the well-meaning, and paved with good intentions!

I had the neatest experience yesterday. We have this little bird here who leaves the nest and lives on the ground for a few days before finishing up learning how to fly. Well, I've got one in my backyard as of yesterday. Scared me when I first found it because I certainly wasn't going to let it die and what was I supposed to do with a baby bird? So I called around the wildlife places and found this out. They told me just keep the dogs from it for a few days and it'll be fine, so I am. The neat part is that this baby bird is completely unafraid of me. It followed me around yesterday and at one point hopped up on my shoulder and rode there for a bit. Um, hello? Lol. I've been called an animal whisperer before, and now I'm worried that may be true.

murph said...

Anonymous,

Checked out the link you posted to the story of war and power in western civilization. Overall, thought is was a pretty good statement of what has happened. Even picked up some tidbits of information I hadn't seen before. Of course, every bit of it would be contradicted by those in power and justifications would be pages long.

Of course history is nearly always written by the victorious and those in power. I like to speculate about what our obituary will read like. Undoubtedly it will contain all the justifications for war, misery, power and corruptions we can observe. Just like Rome and the Sumerian's and every other despotic power hungry group in history.

What a world we live in eh?

stoney13 said...

Mrs. P,

I read that bill, and the very fact Bush plans on signing it proves just what an idiot he is!

The thing is slow sloppily written, it actually provides for civil immunity in on paragraph, and takes it away in the next!

And the really rich thing is, that criminal immunity is not even addressed, except to say there is no criminal immunity! It's laughable! it looks like a first year page drew it up!

The funny thing is that everybody thinks that it gives the telecoms immunity! It does, but only civil immunity, and only cases which have been approved by FISA! There is no immunity in the criminal courts, and that's where we're going to have to go to catch these bastards!

Just keep raising hell, and let the dumb fuck sign the damn thing! Let him think he's putting something over on the people! Give him a reason to sign it! He's cutting his own throat and doesn't even know it!

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Just a passing thought, Israel’s military tests a month ago which were generally seen as a preparation for a war with Iran met with praise and approval. Iran’s latest tests designed to say “Don’t even think about it” have met with overall condemnation drawing this comment from Condi Rice. “Iran needs to get on the right side of the international community”. “Hello, anybody in there”?

freeacre said...

You may be a whisperer, ras. That would be a good thing, I reckon.

Animals are pretty surprising. Our mainstream culture is woefully ignorant of the nature of critters. Last night, we let the chicks out of their box because it is plenty warm and we figured they must be bored being confined in a small space. So, they were all over us and the dog. One crawled up on my chest and fell asleep as we watched "Rambo" together.

To think that chickens are treated so monstrously by the commercial chicken processing factories is just incomprehensibly cruel to me. They are adventurous, curious, social, strong-willed and affectionate little creatures that deserve so much better.

freeacre said...

Belgium,
Condi Rice must be some sort of mutant. Our whole government seems to have been taken over by pod people. Best to shun them and localize as much as possible.

New project: learning to make cheese.

RAS said...

Murph and Freeacre,
I've decided to look into relocation and I was wondering if you'd be willing to tell me what Oregon is like. Specifically, what are the conditions there? But where you are and throughout the state. Climate, job market, etc. I'd like someplace where I could eventually buy a small house or some land. Possibly some place with good farmland. I wouldn't want to live in Portland (too big) and I'm not sure about real small towns either. Being Oregon and much less conservative than here they might be ok for me though; here in Alabama with my "issues" I'd get shot in most small towns within a month. I'm feeling this strange tug northward and I don't know why, but its not generally good to ignore such things. If you don't mind answering my questions (I understand if you don't want to), you can either post the answer here or send me an email. My address is on the last post.
Thanks!

murph said...

ras,

Can't find your email address. Drop a line to sunrise3@coinet.com

talk to you about Oregon.

freeacre said...

ras, there are several good things about Oregon. The laws are more lenient. Pot possession is practically legal, can grow with an easily obtained medical marijuana prescription, death with dignity is legal,and you can get a license to carry a concealed weapon if you have no history of criminality or craziness. Not supposed to bring guns into a post office, but the DMV is OK (go figure). Portland and the Willamette Valley are pretty liberal. Eugene is a cool college town with a bunch of anarchists and hippy tradition. Sustainability is pretty good here and gaining support. Central and southern Oregon is much more Republican and conservative, but they are pretty mellow about it. Water and power sources are excellent. Great growing land in the Willamette Valley. Good streams and lakes and forests. Nice coast. Go to Oregon websites for more info. All kinds of weather, depending on where you live and at what altitude.You are welcome to come here and stay with us and look around. We have tents and a heated garage with a futon sofa to sleep on. Ain't fancy, but it's free anytime. The state just started a program that cuts your medical prescription costs in half if you don't have insurance. Lots of nurse practitioners and alternative medicine doctors. We like it here.

Anonymous said...

ras...

did you check out this thread on lotoc?
... http://www.doomers.us/forum2/
index.php/topic,7197.0.html

lease 3/4 acre for a buck plus $40 a month. appears to be lots of community support to help get you up and running.

Anonymous said...

o great spirit
we give thanks to you for this day

we give thanks to you for the many brothers and sisters that have taken part in the dream we weave together in forming up something we are not sure of yet

we give thanks to mother earth for feeding us even when we dishonor and rape her with candy bar wrappers

we give thanks for the enduring universe which beckons us ever onward into the great mystery,to know its meaning and to understand our own place in that mystery

we give thanks for revealing to us the wondrous nature of our ancestors in being able to pass on the truth in a fashion that will be understood by very few

we give thanks that the vine of life is renewed and those that taste the leaves and fruit of it may also taste the bark should the self desire to evolve

we thank you for the love affair we have with all our relations and that doesn't necessarily mean our cousins although the bushes have been known to rustle at the most inappropriate of times

we thank you for substance and the teaching of how to love someone even when we would really like to kick the shit out of them

we thank you for allowing us the courage to stand in the face of certain ruin and look at death squarely in the eyes and only snivel a little bit as pee runs down our legs

we thank you for the leaders we ( our selfs even though being unaware of at the time ) have instilled, to guide us to that place where we can look at the dark side of our own nature,we thank you

you thank you o great spirit for our mother in law which gives us great love and advice but if we had our druthers would just as soon see her teleported to the other side of the moon, just kiddin about that one o great spirit

we thank you o great spirit for the steam wafting off the coffee on a star filled night, and the fiery things streaking from the void and entering mother earth as sperm from the mysterious one

we give thanks for the lunatic's that live in our village and are proud to be one of them

we thank you o great spirit for the love of our brothers and sisters that sometimes manifest as go fuck yourself

we give thanks that we can joke about the most shittiest things in the universe and not see the tar and feather

most of all dear spirit we give thanks for the little ones that leak when we pick them up to show off to our relatives

may the chafe of a good ribbin fall as snow on a hot afternoon and we stand with a leg in this world and one in the other and gives one cause for wide awake

langosta rubs legs with great
enthusiasm

in useless humility we thank you, for we are you great spirit

aho

mf&bug, to all of you, thank you so much for being here, we love you

RAS said...

MF -that was beautiful.

Anonymous -I looked at it and had a lot of concerns with it. For one, I'm not sure the gourmet mushroom business is going to be viable for more than a few months. Second, I'm uncomfortable with the idea that with a lease it could be terminated at any time; I could go to all the trouble of building my own homestead only to have someone say "We've decided you don't fit here after all; leave." Third, I seriously doubt I would qualify even if they were still taking applicants. It strikes me as a yuppie escape enclave, though its less blatant about it than the so-called eco-villages. (Some of which actually state up front that they have a $10,000 buy-in fee.)

Anonymous said...

Hey Ras,

I lived in Portland, Oregon in the early '90's -and LOVED IT! Wish I'd never left. The first year I was there, they banned styrofoam, which caused McDonalds and the other death merchants to yell bloody murder, but it quickly died down. Practically everything is recycled. Numerous brands of recycled products can be had at the stores and I never heard the phrase, "paper or plastic" 'cause you brought your own paper or cloth bag. Almost all apartment complexes have recycling bins (I lived in South Carolina and there they think recycling is tossing trash outta their BFT or SUV). There's no sales tax. The Oregon coast is just beautiful. The Willamette Valley has a temperal climate which means that there's every shade of green, and -no A/C and no friggin snow shovels!

I found the the people to be liberal with a touch of Northern California and when I was there, it was called micro-brewery capitol of the world!! Which of course, is TOTALLY cool.

Geez, I reeeeaallly want to get back to OR. Someday I will. Living in Mormon HQ is somewhat sufficating. If it wasn't for this great job I have, I'd probably be hanging-out in Eugene. "The Mighty Ducks" is good football team, too.

Problem was -no jobs. There were soooo many people moving there that there just wasn't enough to employ even a fraction of those ariving.

But, there's hope for LDS Central, I think. It has a light rail system similar to Portland, it just started a new rail line called "Frontrunner" which connects Salt Lake City to a good portion the other cities to the North. They're expanding both rail systems very soon to connect more cities with SLC. And, more and more liberal-thinking people are coming here due to the skiing and scenery. I just wish there was a beach close by and not so much friggin snow, BUT, there's a microbrewery within walking distance of my house, so hey, things are... ah.... ok, I guess.

-later

Dude

RAS said...

Has anyone seen the news? IndyMac got seized by the feds last night. Figured that was coming. Notice that they did it AFTER the markets closed -I guess they didn't wan the dow shaving off another few hundred points!

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

It made the news over here too. Dubya is reported to be concerned about the finantial health of Fanny and Freddy also, but not enough to put him off his golf swing I will wager.

freeacre said...

Yeah. The lamestream coverage of the Freddy and Fanny debacle is too lame for words. They say it's "too big to fail." Meaning, I gather, that all efforts will be made to ensure that the banksterz and Wall Street gangstas do not lose any money. But, the taxpayers will be on the hook for their malfeasance, plus interest. Meanwhile, the Bush administration just denied the West coast salmon fishermen any help due to having to cancel the salmon season. "Screw the fishermen, save the investment class!!"
The news on so many fronts is just appalling. One truly sick thing is the suggestion of putting electric shock collars on all airline passengers, just in case they need to be subdued. Anyone who would put up with that shit deserves the prisons that will be created. Have we lost all reason? Does anyone remember that all this is in response to a false flag incident that happened once, seven years ago? What is next? Rig us up in the schools, work, public offices, city council meetings, during trials, etc.?? Ensuring "freedom" with cattle prods, tasers, burn rays, an aerosal chemicals to induce panic or nausea?
ras, maybe when you think "North" you ought to be thinking "Canada."

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Any of the regulars who want to head in this direction I will give whatever help I can although I must tell you I am one of the 95% not included in the 5% at the top. The latest GEAB report predicts that we will merely tread water whilst you guys sink in the quick sand. Sad, but anyway the offer is open.

RAS said...

Freeacre, Canada has *very* strict immigration rules. Even if I married a Canadian I would have a very hard time getting in. Yeah, I checked.

Besides, I couldn't put up with 10 feet of snow!

Check this out all, its quite funny: http://survivalacres.com/wordpress/?p=1404

freeacre said...

That's a very gracious offer, Spirit Across the Sea. Even though we probably will never make it there, it is my dream to at least visit you and Chris one day.
It hit 32 degrees briefly last night, but happily, nothing died. Got up to 90 during the day. But, we just put the heat on in the greenhouse and covered the squash, just in case. Boy, this weather...