EDWARD SNOWDEN AND THE FARM, v.3.0–COUP D’ETAT?

26 08 2015

Here’s the latest chapter in my inquiry into whether the demise of “The old Farm” was an “oops!” or a “whodunnit?” This is very much a work in progress. I have learned a lot in the course of my investigation.  People handed me “puzzle pieces” that fit in with other sources’ “puzzle pieces” and created a picture that the individual puzzle piece holders could not have seen, and that I could hardly have anticipated. I suspect there may be further surprises awaiting me.  For that reason, this chapter is largely couched in “supposes,” “perhapses,” and questions, and I have chosen not to name names. New information is always welcome. (In case you’re wondering, no, this story is not part of the “Green Hour” radio show broadcasts, but it does have some great music links!)(on  8-27-15, I added a paragraph to “The Plot Thickens section, making this now v.3.0.1.  I have noted in the text that the paragraph is a later addition.)

Here are links to my earlier efforts on this topic: 

EDWARD SNOWDEN AND THE FARM focusses on how a particular NSA document that Snowden released might relate to what happened on The Farm, recounts the community’s history of involvement with a number of other sociopolitical movements, and points out how those groups and others were demonstrably sabotaged by covert government action.

SNOWDEN AND THE FARM, PART TWO    is largely a response to the question, “why does it matter at this late date?”

 

1.ROBERT SCHEER, A FACEBOOK RANT, AND A PAIR OF RAIDS

In a speech in Seattle last March, Robert Scheer, author, investigative journalist, editor of the “Truthdig” website and former editor of Ramparts Magazine, had this to say:

I know why they were after King, because King was not staying put. King was a moral force. King said, I have to deal with poverty and I have to deal with war. And after Selma, I remember, because I published it in Ramparts, King’s speech at Riverside Church condemning the U.S. as the major purveyor of violence in the world today. He said, How can I condemn violence in the ghetto by young kids, and then you draft them and you send them off on to fight in Vietnam to kill and be killed? So King had become an irritant to people of power, a big irritant. When he died, he was there working with garbage collectors in Memphis who were on strike, dealing with poverty issue. So he wouldn’t stay put in his moral concerns…..

….if there is a King alive today, he will be destroyed and you won’t even know it. I’m not talking about the creepy stuff like you control his car and smash into a cliff or do all the other things that can be done with modern technology. I mean, all of us are vulnerable to people who want to smear us, whether they use true stuff or false stuff, whether they make it or they manufacture it. Scott Ritter, who was the most effective critic of the whole phony weapons of mass destruction, he gets entrapped by a police agent in some kind of Internet sex thing and serves time in jail. Elliott Spitzer, the most effective critic of the banks when he was attorney general in New York and then governor, suddenly it’s a big deal that he went to a house of prostitution or something, and he’s destroyed. So the ability to destroy people, like a Martin Luther King or anyone else, is out there. It’s in the hands of all these government agencies, all these police forces. Trust me, it’s going to be rampant.

I share Robert Scheer’s strong suspicion that King was not killed by a random nut with a gun, but by a concerted government effort, and I share his assessment that the government decided that it would be better to nip any possible King successors in the bud, without going to the extreme of murdering them, and thus turning them into martyrs.  Assassinating someone’s character or sabotaging their organization is a lot less messy, and leaves no martyrs. Stephen Gaskin, too, was “not staying put.” He was a major figure in a movement that was bringing together the back-to-the-land counterculture, Native Americans from the US and Central America, inner-city African-Americans, anti-nuclear power activists, and peace activists, among others, to challenge the dominant paradigm.  Why wouldn’t the government want him out of the way? Read the rest of this entry »





BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME

8 08 2015

In some ways, our government’s shift to the use of drones for a lot of the “dirty work” of the “War on Terror” has been a publicity godsend.  Sure, the U.S. is still committing war crimes, but look at the up side: because “our boys” (and girls, now, too) don’t have to go out on so many missions that put them in harm’s way, a lot few soldiers are coming back seriously traumatized, wounded or in body bags.  Because these robot war crimes are being committed by soldiers sitting in front of video game consoles in Nevada, who kill from thousands of miles away and never have to actually experience the live reality of the deaths they cause, and because they are not subject to suicide revenge attacks by the relatives of those they have killed, fewer American troops are getting their brains twisted up by PTSD.  Because the deaths from drone strikes happen far away from the protection of American troops, American photographers are not on hand to record the atrocities created by our drone strikes.  The graphic images and horrific experiences that helped turn the American public against the Vietnam war and our full-on invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan are being neatly avoided, leaving the corporatocracy a freer hand to pursue their plan, which seems to involve killing enough Muslims to intimidate the rest into doing things our way.

 bad p.r.!

bad p.r.!

worse  P.R.!

worse P.R.!

I often wonder how long it will be until somebody who doesn’t like what our government is doing to “Islamic extremists” gets some drones of their own and uses them against us, or figures out how to hack our drones and turn our own weapons against us.  I’m sure it’s only a question of time.

hiroshimavictim

Really, really terrible p.r.!

And, speaking of time, this week we are observing the 70th anniversaries of those ultimate terrorist attacks, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Unlike Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, they were part of a great military victory for the United States, but the public relations “fallout” was awful:  the brutality of those attacks inspired a worldwide peace movement that has helped restrain the U.S. or any other country from using a nuclear weapon in warfare ever since.  What a waste of money to spend billions of dollars on weapons that public opinion won’t let our military use!

This worldwide peace movement has, unfortunately, been at its weakest here in America, where we have not had a major conflict since the middle of the 19th century.  Here in America, we have long been insulated from direct experience of the horrors of war.  Is that photo of a corpse real, or CGI?

What if there were some way to bring the consequences of war back home, back into the lives, yards, and closets of every neighborhood in America?  With that thought in mind, here’s a macabrely comic monologue, written by Joanne Forman and delivered by Ruth Fahrbach.





STEPS TOWARDS A SANER CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

8 08 2015
She looks like somebody I know....

dead for failing to signal a lane change

I am simply appalled at the level of racial violence in this country, so much of it expressed through police violence on innocent, unsuspecting, unarmed African-Americans. Sandra Bland and Samuel DuBose are just two of the most recent victims of this plague.

But it’s not just racial violence. Police are killing white Americans, too, often under the auspices of “The War on Drugs.” Read the rest of this entry »





A DEEP GREEN PERSPECTIVE ON BERNIE SANDERS

11 07 2015
sanderswoodcut
Not since the halcyon days when Rev. Martin Luther King broadened his perspective from civil rights for African-Americans to human rights for everybody, and called for an end to poverty, oppression, and warfare, has there been such thunder on the left.  Bernie Sanders has come out swinging, not just as a populist, but as a socialist, and he has tapped into a vein of enthusiasm that just might propel him into the Democratic Party nomination for President, and from there into the White House.
Bernie Sanders’ career has, over the years, built a solid foundation for such an attempt.  As a college student he worked with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi, and he spent time on a kibbutz in Israel before moving to Vermont and getting into politics with the Liberty Union Party. He was a frequent losing candidate throughout the 70’s, and ultimately left the LUP.  Then, in 1981, friends urged him to run for mayor of Burlington, his home and the largest city in Vermont. Sanders ran as an independent and a socialist, won by ten votes, and went on to serve four terms, beating Republicans, Democrats, and Republican-Democratic fusion candidates.  Sanders’ tenure as mayor, according to Peter Dreier and Pierre Clavel, writing in The Nation, produced the following results:
… the city’s largest housing development is now resident-owned, its largest supermarket is a consumer-owned cooperative, one of its largest private employers is worker-owned, and most of its people-oriented waterfront is publicly owned. Its publicly owned utility, the Burlington Electric Department, recently announced that Burlington is the first American city of any decent size to run entirely on renewable electricity.
 
The city has largely continued in the direction Sanders set it in, with protégés of his winning election most of the time since his retirement as mayor in 1989.  The changes that Sanders made in Burlington have remained because they are so popular with so many people, independents, Democrats, Republicans, and socialists alike.  In 1990, again running as an independent, he won Vermont’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  One of his first acts as a Congressman was to establish the “Progressive Caucus.” However, his role since arriving on the national scene has more as a conscience than as a get-it-done legislator.  He has introduced what would be landmark legislation if it went anywhere, but, between hostile Republicans and indifferent Democrats, only one bill, and some floor amendments, have Sanders’ name on them. The bill was a largely procedural one allowing Vermont and New Hampshire to co-operate on taking care of the Connecticut River.

Read the rest of this entry »





REALITY

11 07 2015

This part of the radio broadcast is a reading of the chapter “Reality,” from Charles Eisenstein’s book, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible. I urge you to buy this book and support its author, and I note with some amusement that, although I make no attempt to co-ordinate my original writing with the readings from this book, they do seem to play into each other pretty well, and this month is certainly no exception.

Eisenstein starts the chapter by referring to ended the end of the previous chapter, which he concluded with ” If we could somehow master the technology of being in the right place at the right time, if we could learn to ride the flow of synchronicity, then we would have accessed a power greater than anything the world of force is capable of.”

How do we do that? This world of miracles, the things we cannot make happen, is a world of the gift. To live in it we must let go of the old ways of controlling, keeping, and holding back. We must learn to see the world through the eyes of the gift. Today most of us live simultaneously in both worlds, the old and the new; therefore our experience of miracles is haphazard. They seem to violate the laws of the physical or social universe, which is to be expected, as those laws are formed from the perceptions of the separate self.

Despite my call for naiveté, I also want to insert a note of caution here, because there is such a thing in this world as pursuing an impossible fantasy. There is such a thing as a delusion distracting one from the work at hand. How can we tell when we are in service to a real possibility, and when we are deluding ourselves, pursuing not a vision but a mirage? I’m not advocating a credulous confidence in whatever fantasy happens to be comforting……

 

…..The deeper our service to that which wants to be born, the more it is able to arrange the synchronistic encounters and fortuitous events that allow us to accomplish that which lies beyond our understanding of cause and effect. We might say that the primary “technology” of the Age of Reunion is service. We offer our time, energy, skills, and lives as gifts, stepping into trust, letting go of the habit of looking first and foremost after one’s self. Only then can we fully align with the vision. From that alignment, a tremendous force is born. Our expanded selves are far more powerful and less fearful than the discrete, separate individual who, separate from the world, can only manipulate it by force, and looks with wariness and wonder at the amazing coincidences that line up as it lets go and plunges into service. Obviously, since these are not things that we know how to “make” happen, they happen as gifts, confirming the universal principle of the gift: that giving and receiving always come into balance in the end.

This whole process of cocreating change starts not with faith but with honesty. We must first catch a glimpse of something that we recognize as real. One kind of honesty is to recognize our delusions and see what is in front of our faces. This can be painful. It has been humiliating to admit, “I didn’t really believe what we’ve been working on is possible; all along I was doing it to belong, to appear virtuous to myself and others, and simply to stave off despair.” But there is another application of honesty that is braver still: to believe in a true vision that contradicts the consensus view of what is possible or worthwhile. It takes more courage to believe what we know is true than to disbelieve what we know is false. For the visionary, that knowledge is in the beginning a lonely knowledge, surrounded by a welter of doubt both within and without. To trust a moment of clarity and carry it forward, to translate it into belief and act from it amid all the voices that say it is crazy or impossible, is no trivial matter.

music:  Emmylou Harris, “Deeper Well

Tabla Beat Science “Sacred Channel

Pru Clearwater, “Sacred Places





RE-INDUSTRIALIZING NASHVILLE

6 06 2015

southernbroomI drive through Germantown from time to time, and my route takes me past a small, warehouse-type building that bears the legend, “Southern Broom and Mop Co.”  There is never any sign of activity there when I drive past. It looks as if it must have been in existence for a hundred years or more, a bit of flotsam left over from our city’s industrial heyday in the late nineteenth century, when much of what Nashville needed for its daily functioning was manufactured or grown right here in middle Tennessee.  When I went to research this story, I discovered that, in reality, the company has only been in existence for about twenty years, and is a janitorial service, not a manufacturing enterprise.  What’s more,  the building has recently been sold–for nearly a million dollars–and will be turned into yet another trendy, high-end restaurant in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.  That’s too bad.  Even the wealthy can only eat so much–but everybody needs a mop and a broom.

In a recent post, I proposed that we re-industrialize Nashville, spreading new, preferably worker-owned enterprises throughout the city so that as many people as possible could walk to work, and thus lessen the pressure on our roads, and the pressure on low-income people to spend money on an automobile.  There’s two ways to increase peoples’ disposable income.  One is to pay them more, and the other is to lower their cost of living.  Even “cheap” cars–some would say, especially “cheap” cars–are expensive!

Today, I want to talk about two aspects of my plan.  One thing I want to do is explain the Mondragon Co-operative model, and examine how it could fit Nashville.  Another is to talk about what kind of industries would be suitable for the city, where they should be located, and how to raise the startup capital they will need.  I will outline some general ideas about appropriate manufacturing enterprises, but the amount of detail involved is more than I could cover here. I think that the Davidson County planning commission and the neighborhoods should work this out among themselves.  There are many variables and alternatives. I couldn’t possibly anticipate them all, but citizen involvement and an intelligent, responsive, well-informed oversight agency should be able to figure it all out over the course of a few years.

The first thing I want to say about this plan is that I am not proposing a return to the old industrial model.  The old industrial Nashville was a pit of pollution, its air filled with coal smoke, its earth and waters fouled. Nashville’s new factories should be, in the nonpolitical sense, green.  They should be quiet, nonpolluting, energy-efficient enterprises that will not detract from their neighbors’ quality of life.  Some things we may want to do are going to be loud and/or smelly, and we can find ways to buffer these from their surrounding communities.  Since community members, as employees, will also be owners of these enterprises, they will have the power to change things if they need to be changed.

So, what are the basic principles on which Mondragon factory co-ops are founded?

Read the rest of this entry »





NAIVETE

6 06 2015

This is a chapter from Charles Eisenstein’s book, “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.”  Please consider buying it.

I love those who yearn for the impossible.

—Goethe

We are entering unknown territory, in which we have glimpsed a beautiful destination but don’t know how to get there. It is inaccessible according to what we understand of causality. Things have to happen that we don’t know how to make happen. If you don’t “make” it happen, and it happens, then how does it happen? Obviously, it happens as a gift. You may have noticed that very generous people themselves attract more gifts. Therefore, if we are giving our lives in service, we will experience more of these fortuitous events. These are key to a creative potency beyond the old conception of causality.

Anything worth devoting a life to today requires some of these miracles, these things that we do not and cannot make happen, that come as gifts. Therefore, if you follow your heart’s guidance toward any of these worthwhile goals, your choices will seem to many (and sometimes to yourself) a little bit crazy…..

….

Reader, have you ever been part of something like that, where everything seems to flow, where you find yourself again and again at the right place at the right time to encounter exactly the right person? Where everything needed shows up, sometimes at the last minute, in completely unanticipated ways? Where an invisible outside power seems to be coordinating everything and everyone?

How and why does this happen? If we could somehow master the technology of being in the right place at the right time, if we could learn to ride the flow of synchronicity, then we would have accessed a power greater than anything the world of force is capable of.

music: Mike Kirkland, “Hang On In There”








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