Tag Archives: 1775

Patriot’s Day 2013—April 15 Ennui in Boston—why I feel numb and no longer care (I hadn’t even notice four and a half months had already gone by again….)

Of course it’s a sad thing when anyone dies….. except, exactly why is it sad? Death is, after all, absolutely the only, the one single thing that all of we sons of Adam and daughters of Eve know for sure that we have in common.  Why should we be sad about that which is certain and inevitable?  Are we sad when the sunrises or sets?  

Nihil nisi bonum de Mortuis, wrote Marcus Tullius Cicero (without explaining how he felt about death after they posted his head on a spike in the Forum Romanun after Julius Caesar’s Assassination—it makes no sense to me why Mark Anthony and his allies wanted to killed Cicero—the great orator was basically critical of everybody….equal opportunity negative rhetoric was quite his specialty “Cicero was a real pompous ass” as top Newcomb Classics scholar Sarah Willard used to say back in my undergraduate days… To which my aunt Mildred replied, “what a marvelously astute young lady.”)  Cicero clearly was a pompous ass, but I wish we had just a few like him around these days….

To say that death comes too early to some—well, the miseries of old age don’t come to them at all.  Perhaps they are saved from betrayals by those they love, who instead of turning against them from greed or boredom will remember them fondly if they died young.  John F. Kennedy was simply not destined to become a grumpy old man.  Marilyn Monroe never had to worry about wrinkles or men not asking her out anymore…. Princess Diana never lost her saintly regal aura as she almost certainly would have had she actually settled down to live (in sin or otherwise) with Dodi Fayed.  An early death surely saves some people from fates much worse than death and thereby grants them imperishable fame.

But “terror” in the United States has become mind-numbingly tiresome and dull.  Thirty years ago, “domestic terror” basically didn’t exist—the occasional postal worker would “go postal” (= go berserk), riots would happen from time to time.

But every four months now, or so it seems, it’s time for another “tragedy” and we are expected dutifully either to ululate in public or at least go about wailing and gnashing our teeth in private.  July 2012—Batman in Aurora, December 2012—Newton School Children—April 2013—I can’t believe I hadn’t gotten the rhythm of it—every four and a half months we need a terroristic event, don’t we?  

I guess it keeps the blood circulating for some people, but not for me anymore.  It’s just a crashing bore: another chance for police to “boost security worldwide”, engage in “clamp down” in every city, and be extra-vigilant in their surveillance of the ignorant masses.  And talking of ignorant masses: did you hear that George W. Bush is now taking painting lessons in Dallas?

The newspapers from Paris-to-Portland talk of the tragedy, tragedy, tragedy, the pain and the tears—but who can cry for Argentina or America anymore?  I cannot.  I absolutely know that all these events are staged theatre and the use of real blood instead of ketchup or some other red tint on the sidewalks doesn’t make it any less theatrical—just a bit more primitive and sacrificial, perhaps, “Blood of the Lamb” and all that.  

I read with almost dull non-challance that the Boston Police had tweeted an announcement in the Boston Globe that there was going to be a “Bomb Explosion Exercise”, just as there was a North Atlantic Air Exercise on 9-11-01, just as there were tunnel exercises in London 0n 07-07-05.  Who cares?  

We who are awake and alert know that the government makes up the news as it goes along to suit its own purposes and those who have not realized or accepted this by now are free to cry for the runners of the Boston Marathon if they want to. 

In 1992, I thought that Ruby Ridge was a terrible tragedy—my wife was pregnant and my son was born so I was somewhat distracted that month, but I thought it was a terrible thing that the government had done.  And the conversations of just a couple of years ago with friends in Washington about how domestic terrorism was the next big threat now that the Cold War was over never entered my mind at that point.

I was likewise mesmerized in front of the TV at Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp’s West Palm Beach chambers in April 1993 during the Mount Carmel/Branch Davidian Crisis as we all watched Waco waft up in smoke fanned by ATF flame-throwers.  Judge Ryskamp had been involved in the Miami legal scene for several decades and he had absolutely nothing good to say about then Attorney General Janet Reno…. but she was not prosecuted.  Only the “little people” who survived the government onslaught were ever accused of any wrongdoing, naturally.  Little people always get in the way, you know… of big projects.  Although what the big project was in Waco in April 1993, I’m still not sure.  Perhaps it was sowing the seeds of that much needed campaign of domestic terrorism which would reshape and sustain the government after the cold war….

Two years later, the explosion and collapse of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City was shocking.  I was attending a Rotary Meeting luncheon at the time and it was so utterly boring the news from straight up north on I-35 was almost a relief….much as I hate to say so.  Maybe that goes back to the whole “we need terrorist attacks to keep our blood circulating” concept noted above.

My mother, I guess, was perhaps wiser than I was, or at least more jaded.  Her question was: if they’re going to be anti-government terrorists, why couldn’t they do something useful, you know, like blow up the IRS?  It doesn’t help anything to blow up a Federal Building.  What happens in a Federal building anyhow?  (I hate to say it but I have only the vaguest notion myself…they apparently have child care facilities there is all that came to like after OKC).  I guess the answer to my mother’s question became fully apparent only after 9-11-01: real terrorists would take out real targets, but phony fake false-flag government terrorists only take out buildings that no one really cares about anyhow….

With a hey, ho, the wind and the rain for the rain it raineth every day…

In the summer of 1998, my son and I were on Holiday in Chicago.  We had a fantastic suite at the old Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue overlooking Grant Park and the Lake.  It was really one of the best suites I’ve ever had anywhere—tons of space for a five year old to run around and play in, and a three way view of Michigan Avenue North, East, and South.  So when the news of the bombings in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam detained us in the room, and we had to explain to Charlie why we were glued to the tube….it was hard to explain to a little boy what it was all about.  It’s hard to explain to anyone what it’s all about, isn’t it?

September 11, 2001, was an epic day for me in many ways.  It started out with…well, some evidence of paranormal phenomena in my home and family life, progressed to a long drive listening to Lohengrin, and I only became aware of what was going on when I arrived at my destination at the Southwesternmost “Pinnacle” Campus of Austin Community College…. (The ACC Pinnacle Campus, 7748 Highway 290 West, Austin, Texas 78736, is one of eight campuses in the ACC District service area).  I was supposed to teach something about Political Anthropology and Cultural Evolution, but the television screens taught us all much more about those subjects.

I didn’t exactly know why but from the very moment it all started I could not think of anything except that Osama bin Laden was going to be the new Guy Fawkes…. this was all well over four years before V-for-Vendetta came out—it was originally scheduled to be released on Guy Fawkes’ Day in 2005, but it was delayed until the Spring of 2006 I think.  

By noon of 9-11-2001, I suppose my destiny as a “9-11 truther” was already fixed in stone—although I didn’t become aware of the movement or actively involved until 2003-2004.  But by noon of 9-11-2001, I knew I could see no aeroplane wreckage at the Pentagon.  NOT A SCRAP, and I knew it was quite simply physically impossible that an aeroplane actually hit the Pentagon, so what happened?  By that afternoon, when Building 7 came down—I was deeply puzzled but I didn’t know anything about controlled demolition…..so I couldn’t form the scenario in my head completely.  

By that evening I could tell that George W. Bush’s reelection campaign had already started.  I later found out my mother had come to exactly the same conclusion.  To paraphrase both Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt simultaneousely, the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush had nothing to offer except Fear Itself, and nothing to fear except blood, toil, sweat, and tears….  And I suppose that’s why a couple of months later GWB went on television to tell everyone to go have a Merry Christmas and be “patriotic” by going out and doing lots of Christmas shopping.  I think my grandfather would have dropped dead, had he not died 21 years before that… he was always scandalized by America’s “crass materialism in time of war”, having been for a couple of years in charge of regional gas rationing and similar forms of organized, Patriotic, sacrifice during World War II, in which he heartily participated although he had not initially believed War was necessary—and his elder sister Marguerite was  an “active pacifist” associate of the anti-war Bund.

I guess the last time I was sad about any of these events was after the Madrid train bombing mostly because I had taken the exact same route and knew how beautiful the train route was and how completely unwarlike the Spanish people were, whatever their ancestors in the 1930s or 1450s-1590s might have been like.

So 7-7 in London was just “predictable” as were the bombings in Djakarta and I didn’t even bother to keep up, honestly.  2011 rolled around and I just commented to my friends, including William Rodriguez, a former janitor/custodians at the World Trade Center whom I had gotten to know through the Truther movement and from working with Philip J. Berg, “Well, Norway can expect to have it’s own Patriot Act within about 60-90 days, want to make a bet how long it will take?”  

Quite simply, it has become absolutely impossible to believe ANYTHING the government or mainstream media says.  “You got the CBS, and the ABC, you got Time and Newsweek, they’re the same to me—-PUZZLING EVIDENCE, PUZZLING EVIDENCE” to quote from the wild-eyed Texas Pastor in “True Stories” (David Byrne & the Talking Heads’ 1986 masterpiece, the clarity and depth of whose brilliance has only grown with time, even as the Texas Sesquicentennial of Special-Ness has receded into dim memory).

So, sorry folks: here are my great hopes about the possible results of the 15th of April in ’13:  (1) I hope that the commemorations of Paul Revere’s Ride on the 18th, and of the Battles of Lexington & Concord on April 19, will go ahead as normally scheduled, because THOSE were all very important events, (2) I hope that as a real result of the “tragedy” of the Boston Police Department’s Bomb Explosion Exercises which took place yesterday (whoever they decide to try to pin the blame on eventually—I wonder how much they have to pay to Patsies or their families these days???? I hope it’s a lot—I hope they pay in Gold and Silver in fact…), I do hope that as a real security measure, they will now forever BAN Urban Marathons.

Urban Marathons really have no purpose except to create traffic congestion and major driving problems for ordinary folks, whether it’s Boston or LA or you name it.  Healthy, safe MARATHONS could and should be run WAY OUT IN THE COUNTRY.  In rural agricultural areas or forests or on seaside roads snipers will have to hide behind trees or in cornfields or rocks and will be easily visible. Any potential attackers will be all the more visible and apparent because  very small (if any) crowds will ever assemble to watch, so that if bombs are set off, they may disturb the vegetation, but little else.  Now THIS (the abolition of Urban Marathons) would be a REAL security improvement AND a real advance in Urban life in America generally.

Here endeth my most severely curmudgenous meditations on this most solemn day.  To the victims of the Patriot’s Day Marathon “terrorist attack” in Boston, and their families, I’d say: “You got a lucky break—yesterday you were absolute nobodies, today you’re either the ‘honored dead’ or the ‘worthily wounded’ and you can count on a lifetime of government honors, support, and assistance—just like the victims of 9-11” (oh, uh, er, um, well, uh—maybe you’ll do better than they did, actually, I’ll give you a thumbs up on that one—the victims of 9-11 (see, e.g. the “Jersey Girls/Jersey Widows”) for the most part got screwed).

Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech—233 year and 5 months ago—lest we forget, lest we forget….

St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775.

MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free² if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending²if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but 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!