What have I written until now? What have I done? I don't know. I can't recall. If I don't go back and look I'm starting over every time. A slate washed clean with dark waves and empty winds.
A few simple things is all I have. The account continues to grow, slowly much of the time but grows. My ideas about what I'd do take shape or rather firm up, clear up. How to make a living as I get started on the Great Project.
Of, not toward, Democracy.
I arrived in Baltimore Friday night or was it Thursday? I think Friday. Whenever it was, I ended up first at that TA truck stop south of town, where I didn't want to go -- I've been treated shabbily there -- but I had my TAs mixed up so there I was. Plenty of parking, and free! and the two old gals, I'll call them, in the restaurant were nice, however. Both made little movements in my vicinity which actually hastened my departure. When I went back in later to have dinner, a black girl was working. She let me look at the menu, decide, and order before informing me,
"We don't make dinners, we stop that at 12, only breakfast and..."
And something, sandwiches I think she said. I was burning and paid for the coffee she had already set down and left without drinking it, ending up, for lack of anywhere else to go, here downtown, near the docks, the other, the old Baltimore TA.
Nowhere in the mass media do I see it being reported that the US government is suppressing legal, peaceful protest activity, that the FBI and all kinds of other cop agencies are spying on activist groups and their members, that United States attorneys are issuing grand jury subpoenas to members of these groups in an attempt to intimidate and silence them.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Palestinian based initiative that seeks to use economic pressure to force Israel to end the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, has attracted worldwide support and continues to grow, as the latestupdates on the movement at the Electronic Intifada web site show.
Things have gotten way too too bizarre. It's this White House. This administration. This president, Barak Obama.
First, it's being reported that Bradley Manning, the army private being held in solitary confinement on suspicion he supplied WikiLeaks with the video of the US pilots murdering civilians in Iraq like they were playing a video game, along with hundreds of thousands of documents, who, by the way, has not yet been charged with anything, will be offered a plea deal if he turns on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. If they can get Manning to say that Assange encouraged him to obtain the documents, Assange can be charged under the espionage act, legal experts say. Otherwise Assange is no more guilty than newspapers like the New York Times that have been publishing the leaked documents.
US borderlands - authorities have discovered the remains of 252 people this year, a record number, and more than 1,800 in the past nine years, who died crossing the Arizona desert while trying to enter the US illegally. Volunteers have begun leaving water in the desert.
The first street demonstrations in support of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were in Spain, and I think I stumbled across the reason why.
Demonstrations in Spain by people wearing Guy Fawkes masks, ala the movie V For Vendetta, says the BBC, are among the first street protests in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is now being held in solitary confinement in a London prison. Many supporters of Assange are replacing their internet icons with a Guy Fawkes-type image wearing a blindfold to show their support.
As of this morning, 1,885 web sites are mirroring WikiLeaks to ensure it can't be shut down, and the powers that be, overcome by pique and consumed in spite, are simply going after Assange himself.
Israel's Loss Of Legitimacy
I'm reading an interesting book, Breakthrough, by Richard Forer, who, coincidentally, lives in my town, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are preparing for charges of spying to be filed by the United States government, based on rumors they are hearing from lawyers in the US that an indictment is being prepared or has already been filed, his lawyers say today.
Charge him with spying. I'll bet Sarah Palin wishes she'd thought of that.
More on what I discussed in my last post. The New York Times this morning says about the two women who have accused WiliLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape:
"The women have said that consensual sexual encounters with Mr. Assange became nonconsensual when he stopped using condoms."
The story is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/world/10wiki.html
We know what happens when people get sideways with the government of the United States. Ask Saddam Hussein, Salvadore Allende, Manuel Noriega, Daniel Ortega, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Mohammad Mosaddegh, Manuel Zalaya, Haile Selassie, Jacobo Arbenz, Patrice Lamumba, Rafael Trujillo, Ngo Dinh Diem, Abd al-Karim Kassem, Rafael Correa....
I have read several places now that Sweden, where the embattled Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is under investigation for rape, has some strange laws regarding sexual assault. What is casually being referred to in the media as sexual assault may not be what we generally think of as rape.
As MSNBC is reporting this morning: "He is wanted for questioning after two women accused him of having sex with them without a condom and without their consent.
Assange's lawyers say the accusations stem from a "dispute over consensual but unprotected sex" and say the women only made the claims after finding out about each other's relationships with Assange."
The Christian Science Monitor has posted a story saying that in one instance, Assange refused to stop in the middle of the sex act when his condom broke, and that in the other he had sex with the woman while she was asleep.
As in many US states now, consensual sex in Sweden can become non consensual during the sex act, and if it does, it becomes rape. That is, if the woman had consented, but during sex she says "stop" and the man doesn't stop, he can be charged with rape.
However in Sweden, apparently, consent can be withdrawn after the act is completed. If the woman finds out you used deception, or were in a sexual relationship with someone else at the time, that also can be considered sexual assault.
Although it's not clear yet what happened, one thing is true: Whenever a new batch of documents is released, the case of the rape charges is in the news soon afterward. The initial investigation, where charges were filed, withdrawn, filed again, began just as the last batch of leaked documents was released. Behind the charges was a Swedish woman who had been a CIA source at one time, and who reportedly recruited the other accuser, a younger woman she knew. Some news outlets report that the women decided to file charges when they realized Assange was seeing the other woman, too.
What is also clear is that there was bound to be an attack on Assange by the US and it's allies after he released diplomatic cables that embarrassed them. Don't be surprised by anything you read about him just yet.
Naomi Wolf, a feminist blogger on Huffington Post, has written a piece mocking Assange's arrest titled "Julian Assange Captured By World's Dating Police."
* At last count there were 1,241 "mirror" Wikileaks sites, that is, web sites supporters of WikiLeaks have put up, where you can find the leaked cables if the original WikiLeaks gets shut down.
Listening to Amy from the 3rd, a debate about WikiLeaks, having done my yoga and enjoyed a pleasing breakfast of quinoa over hemp seed granola, organic bananas, rice milk with a cup of pleasing organic coffee. I’m so very pleased, with my self and my surroundings, my comfortable little home on wheels, a beautiful morning in the Mojave Desert. This is what I have these days, these brief interludes.
Listening to my podcasts...did FAIR, one I’d already listened to in their archives I guess, but now Uprising, Democracy Now -- will our hero Julian Assange outwit the meanies and bring us more candy coated popcorn....
I have been reading things all over the internet about the latest WiliLeaks, and many people are delighted. People with particular interests, like Lebanon, are delighted -- this new information fills in gaps and confirms projections and affirms suspicions, but when I put these leaks in the context of the overall struggle I see that one, these are not going to raise much working class consciousness, which is a much more critical issue than who among the ruling elite is in power at the moment or which center of Capitalism has the upper hand. And two, despite all the tit titting by the conservative press and conservatives about the harm this does to Capitalism it does no harm. Hillary Clinton, possibly, but Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, no. And you could catch one of these people red handed committing murder, like George Bush was caught and Barak Obama is almost daily, and it would not phase them or alter their course of action, which is to protect American Empire, Capitalism, and the people who put them in office and then congratulate themselves on their flawless performance and on being a part of world history.
It was a nice drive down US 95 from the vicinity of Boise....Well first, I loaded this morning in Baker City; lumber, going to CA. Then found the local co-op, where a friendly volunteer, a beaming older woman who was delighted to hear that a truck driver from near and far away had sought out their little co-op, helped me find the coffee while we chatted about coffee and the co-op. "It's very well stocked," I said. She almost blushed. "I hear the one in Boise is.." she paused to search for the word to describe it, "huge," and then she was standing by when I checked out, where a new volunteer peopling the cash register began by asking me for my number. "My what?" My benefactor, my protector, my Julian Assange, intervened, "Oh just pass him on through. He goes to co-ops all over the country!" So I think I was supposed to have been a member to shop there.
But I made it out of Baker City with my illegal co-op purchase and made it about 100 miles before last night’s not having slept overtook me. I had wanted to drive some of US 95 before it became dark out because I’d not been on that stretch of it before, but after 100 miles was I done with so stopped at some small town truck stop and slept five or six hours and woke late in the evening and wanted to wait until daylight but decided I needed to set out -- really nothing there to be done so thought I’d drive until tired, and set out.
The road immediately climbs into some rough rock hills, way on up and onto a high dry shaggy plateau, open range..and becomes immediately desolate. At 40 miles I came to a little town that was already all asleep and from there drove several half hour stretches without passing anyone. This leisure, this peace, made it worth not seeing where I was. I drive so much of the time surrounded by cars and trucks, being followed, being passed, having to pass and having to pay attention and be annoyed by annoying assholes, and the peace of driving is why I drive.
My earliest driving was of this type, when I was 17 and 18 years old I was driving alone at night. I’d be unable to sleep and lay in bed until all was quiet then sneak out of the house and back my car out of the driveway with the lights out and make my way via back roads to the expressway...and just drive. It was peaceful out there then...there is as much paved roadway now as then, but then, there was a third or even a quarter of the traffic there is now...and not only have we mushroomed -- driven-vehicle wise -- but have become an around the clock society, too.
In 2007, I think it was, I heeded a call to boycott Amazon.com because of the treatment they were giving former President Jimmy Carter's new book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which was a pretty honest assessment of the situation in Palestine. It didn't go as far as I would have gone in telling the sad truth about the ethnic cleansing and the inhuman treatment that Israel has been visiting upon the Palestinians for the past 60 years, but it was a significant book in that it was the first time such a figure as Jimmy Carter had attempted to tackle the subject. Amazon had given preferential placement to a scathing, dishonest review of the book by Israeli citizen, former IDF member and ardent Zionist, Jeffrey Goldberg, without even displaying a review that might have balanced Goldberg's out. I canceled my Amazon account and got used to a world without Amazon.
This picture is not of the TA or Boise or any combination thereof but is one I just came across in the depths of my computer -- I think that was Casper, Wyoming, or Caspar if, like me, you can't spell very well.
TA being Truck Stops of America, the biggest truck stop chain. It's basically the old Pure, later Union 76 chain. The older ones, big, two story buildings with the showers and driver's lounge upstairs, are of the cavernous concrete bunker style of architecture, American post war largess. TA is owned now by a holding company, that is gradually remodeling or replacing the old behemoths with lower buildings of standard bottom-line industrial design, and instead of restaurants with real food they are bringing in fast food outlets like Burger King.
And the plate no longer a platter, grows emptier, and the outlook for leading interesting and fulfilling lives grows bleaker. You can drive coast to coast in the United States now and not know where you are because every city you pass through has the same limited set of fast food outlets, motels, automotive repair and tire outlets and big box stores. Limited by Capitalism's dynamics and its inexorable trend toward monopoly, to sameness and oneness and lack of choice and variety. With the missing sensory stimulation now provided in whole, artificially, by television.
Net Neutrality, the concept that the Internet is open equally to anyone, the idea that service providers have to let everything go through on an equal basis and can't filter or block some content or charge more for some content, or let things like Fox News through at full speed but slow down or eliminate alternative viewpoints, is in my view one of the last best hopes for maintaining any semblance of democracy in America, and the rest of the world, and, what with the monopolization and corporate control of the media over the past few decades, for giving we, the people, a way to fight back -- against anything.