Archive for the ‘War on Drugs’ Category
Posted by jeremiasx on May 13, 2012
“What do you want from our collective?”
The teenage girl with purple and green hair asked me with the half-interest that Generation Y/Z has made infamous. I couldn’t tell if the hair was real or a wig, my vision still being blurry, but it was bobbed close and there were two long colored braids. She was probably still in high school. Sensory overload overwhelmed me after what seemed like hours without the benefit of sight or sound due to being hoodwinked with a modified balaclava mask. I vaguely recalled the ride across town in the trunk of a nondescript sedan that bore no badging or identifying characteristics of any kind. I’m pretty sure it was a hybrid of some kind because the motor cut in and out during the short journey through the city.
“I was told to contact you as soon as I got to Newark. I’m not even sure what group you represent. You could be with the assholes that kidnapped me back in Cali or even work for the government for all I know. I’m operating on nothing but blind faith here.”
I tried to get some kind of bearing on my current location. A cursory glance around didn’t provide me with much. Grey concrete walls with old rusty streaks that might have been blood complemented a cement floor with similar markings. It smelled dank but there was also an odor of recent disinfectant.
“Your caution is understandable, and we can appreciate that. You asked for this meeting, now what do you want with us?”
I sat a few moments without speaking, taking in the meaning and underlying meaning of everything she said. She didn’t seem to be the techno-punk type apart from the wild hair. She wore an expensive grey suit with a wide-collared blouse. A brand new laptop hummed quietly in front of her. A webcam on top was pointed across the table at me. Next to the computer and her purse was a small pistol. I’d guess a Walther PPK or something like that. My mom carried one just like it in her purse. Plenty deadly at close range, and since I was unarmed as agreed I wouldn’t be able to do much if she decided she didn’t trust me without ventilating me a few times first.
“Can I smoke in here?”
“Sure, go right ahead. Ash on the floor.”
I dug in my pockets and suddenly remembered having been thoroughly searched, groped in every unmentionable spot from shoulders to boots. My cigarettes and lighter were still in my right front pocket but I could feel the distinct absence of my cell phone in my left pocket and I was pretty sure they had taken my wallet. My ass met the chair a little harder than I was used to. A little padding never hurts, I learned that as a youngster in parochial school. My gym teacher swung a mean paddle, believe that. I pulled out the pack of Camels and popped my Zippo open with two fingers and in one smooth motion lit it by rolling the striker across the top of my thigh. An old habit. I’m a sucker for style, even at the cost of emphysema. Besides, in a few days I’d likely be deader than dirt.
I inhaled deeply, the rich smoke filling my lungs and chasing away the nicotine craving that the cigarette industry counts on for billions each year. I studied her reaction and her eyes. She never looked at the monitor even once to check her Facebook or email or whatever. They stayed fixed intently on me. The pistol on the table gave her a sense of security, but not enough for her to truly relax. Still yet, her air of professionalism outshone her obvious youth, and there was business to be done.
“I need your group to provide a distraction for the NYC cops in a few days. I’m not at liberty to discuss the operation, and have no details, so don’t bother asking.” I was pressed for time, and just wanted to get this over with.
“As if I care,” she retorted with an audible air of what seemed to be true apathy. Mercs are like that whether they fight battles for someone using a gun or computer code. It’s just a paycheck.
“I sense your trying to pull off the old ‘Swordfish’ routine, and while I honestly don’t give a fuck or not if it works out for you I damn sure hope that dead-drop you made was the only contact with our group you’ve attempted. We have no interest in swinging from the gallows with you, Mr. Reynolds, no matter how glorious you believe your cause to be.”
“No. You’ve got me wrong. I’m not even in this for my own sake or ‘glory’ or whatever. I’ve never seen you before and never want to see you again. I’ll be lucky if I don’t end up with a bullet in the back of my head by the time this is all over. This isn’t even my operation, I was pushed into it by…”
“Again, Mr. Reynolds, I truly DO NOT care. Tell us what you need us to do, and what your terms and method of payment will be.”
So I did.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November…no problem there, buddy. Today is the fifth. I’m in New York City standing near Rockefeller Plaza watching people ice-skating and having the time of their lives. I will definitely die today.
I never imagined that I would get tangled up in a terrorist plot to overthrow the government. I’m not a fan of the rat bastards that screw us over on a daily basis but I’ve been a pacifist ever since I heard John Lennon’s epic masterpiece, “Imagine,” and watched the movie “Ghandi,” during an introduction to Political Science course my freshman year at Berkeley. I dropped out during my junior year and joined a nascent grassroots populist movement full-time. To hell with college, I didn’t need a degree to change the world. I’m the kind of guy that wears a lot of tie-dye and sandals, smokes a lot of pot, and likes to jump in the sack with as many hippie chicks as I can convince to do so at any given rave or music festival, preferably under the influence of mild or heavy psychedelics. Most days I hold a sign in front of a bank or lobby my local congressman.
It was during one of those music festivals that my life took a seriously unexpected turn just last week. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know a lot of people are going to die due to my actions whether I want them to or not. They’ve got my whole family and all my friends in the crosshairs, and I know they’re serious. Yesterday they killed my fourteen-year old sister, Sarah Jean, just to prove a point. It was staged to look like a random hit-and-run. I know for a fact it wasn’t.
The sign at the end of the pavement read, “Mushroom Mountain Harvest Jam” and I knew I was finally about to participate in the most epic folk-rock festival this side of the Rockies. On the calendar it fell upon a full moon weekend just before Halloween, and attendance was estimated to be upward of twenty thousand folks. I figured by the line of cars and graffitied VW buses and RV’s that it was probably a good estimate. I usually show up a day or two early to set up my campsite and help my usual group of social misfits set up our group kitchen and art displays, but a busted radiator on my old Galaxie 500 kept me stuck in Santa Cruz for an extra day or two, and now I was suffering the consequences. It’s funny how even when you go to society’s fringes you still can’t escape traffic. I figured if I was going to be waiting a while I might as well get high. I pulled out my trusty “chillum” and sparked a bowl of some serious green I scored at the dispensary while waiting for the car to be fixed. I have back issues and anxiety, you see. It’s all legal here in Cali and good medicine in general…not to mention it sure as hell beats sitting in a line of cars for hours while sober. Fuck that.
The car ahead of me, an old 80s model Grand Marquis with more rust coloration than paint stopped just before the curve ahead leading down the hill to the gathering spot in the valley below and to my right. Twilight was coming on and the Sun peaked through the Sycamores and mountain pines with an orange and pink hue. Crickets stirred. I had noticed the Asian girl in the back seat kept looking back at me, but I thought nothing of it because most folks like my car. It’s cream-puff white and has a big psychedelic peace sign on the hood. Maybe she thought I was hot? It didn’t even occur to me that anything was wrong when all four doors opened and all the passengers jumped out with what seemed like maniacal purpose. I guessed it to be a “Chinese fire drill,” no offense to the aforementioned Asian delight.
It wasn’t until I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw people jumping out of the black conversion van behind me that I began to get the distinct feeling that something was definitely amiss. The fact that they were all wearing bandannas, sunglasses, and ball caps drove it home. For the first time in my life I was truly afraid. Not edgy, not paranoid, but completely and utterly terrified.
“Keep your hands on the wheel and don’t move!!”
The voice was female, perhaps the Asian girl, but all I cared about was the submachine gun pointed at my head through my window. I’m pretty sure I pissed my pants. My hands couldn’t have moved of their own volition even if my life required it. My head started pounding and the cool buzz turned into justified paranoia and the surreality of it all grew as my door was yanked open and I was gagged and dragged back to the sliding cargo door of the black van. They pushed me against the door long enough to tie a blindfold over my eyes and bind my hands and feet with zip-ties. It seemed to take less than a minute, if that, and I was unceremoniously tossed headlong into the darkness. I’m pretty sure I passed out after hitting my head on the interior wall of the vehicle.
“WAKE UP, you hippie fucktard!”
The voice in the darkness sounded gruff and I distinctly got the impression that not only were we not at the festival, but that my life was about to change forever, and not in a good way. I was sitting in a hardback chair and the temperature was warmer than a late Fall evening. We were indoors somewhere. I couldn’t smell the forest. I thought I could smell the distinct odor of cannabis drying, which in other circumstances would have been quite welcome. My face was still covered but I discovered that my hands and feet were unbound. Still, I was hesitant to try to make a break for it. I didn’t even know where the hell I was. There could be guns pointed at me ready to cut me down if I budged a muscle. The probability of that seemed high.
“What do you want?” I asked.
“You’re going to achieve your dream, Owen. You don’t have the guts to do it of your own free will, but we’ve found a way to motivate you.” The voice was female, and slightly more pleasant than the first. It almost sounded familiar.
“Mr. Reynolds, you were not chosen at random. You’re going to be an instrument of change for the betterment of the world. You will set free the oppressed masses from the bonds of oppression and tyranny under which you’ve suffered your whole life. Soon you’ll be famous. Dead, but quite famous, indeed.” Shed-dule. This one was British, undoubtedly. I began to wonder if it was all some kind of elaborate prank.
“I don’t want to be fa-..” I was cut off by the sudden impact of something very hard across my jaw. Perhaps a rifle butt?
“You don’t have a choice!” No game. “If you don’t do exactly as we say, when we say, we’re going to kill your whole fucking family, every person you’ve ever called a friend..we’ll straight up kill your goldfish, dude, just for fucking spite.” The first, harsher voice again.
They explained to me that they had picked me nearly at random from a group that recently protested against a large federal banking institution. They liked my fervor and they thought my looks and physique would make me a perfect posterboy for their cause. I was blonde and had blue eyes. I was good looking and well-liked among my peers. In short, I was the kind of person that people would copycat for years to come, so they hoped. While I was passed out they even cut my hair to make me more appealing to a larger demographic. Shit. man, I loved my long hair.
Their objective was a conference of bankers and politicians (surprise!) as well as some unfortunate media personalities and movie stars that would be convened at a certain posh hotel in New York City on November 5th of this year. Only a week or so away. I was not informed of the specifics of exactly how I was going to kill them, and that made it even scarier. I would be flown (first class!) to Newark International on November 4th. First I was to provide a distraction using a group of hackers in New Jersey. Arrangement protocols to meet a contact within that group were explained to me, and I was not to forget even one minute detail. Next, I was to meet my “handler” in NYC on the morning of the fifth at Rockefeller Center. I was to wear certain articles of clothing that would identify me, namely a plain black ball cap and a pair of bright orange Crocs.
“You’ll be reimbursed for the hat and the Crocs when it’s all over,” the female voice assured me, “not that you’ll ever need money again.”
Suddenly I realized I did recognize the voice, and I even knew where from. It was the girl who gifted me a last-minute ticket to the Mushroom Mountain festival in exchange for my promise to pay it forward to another person someday. An anonymous “friend” from Craigslist who I’d only spoken to once by phone, and I remembered her voice. It didn’t even matter if I knew what she looked like. Nothing mattered anymore. I was screwed.
“One thing more, mate…just so you know, we’ve tapped your cell phone and will be monitoring your progress all the way there. If you try to turn the phone off or deviate one smidge from the schedule, we’ll kill you and everyone you love. No funny business, my boy.”
Again with the James Bond voice. It was official. I was stuck in the middle of the world’s worst movie. No popcorn, no 3-D glasses…certain death, the price of admission.
Posted in Activism, Al Qaeda, America, Bizarre, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Dissent, Drugs, Economy, Fiction, Journalism, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Military, Money, Peace, Politics, Prophecy, Rainbow Family, Random, Resistance, Revolution, Sex, Society, Terrorism, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Wall Street, War, War on Drugs, War on Terror, Weird | Tagged: Literature, Short Stories | 2 Comments »
Posted by jeremiasx on January 7, 2008
I found this over on Digg posted by “VoteRonPaul” a bit ago…they (FOX NEWS) are SO BUSTED. Watch it! Sorry for all the tags…but hey…I want maximum exposure and PLEASE REPOST this FAR AND WIDE. OH YEA, DROP FOX NEWS FROM YOUR CABLE SERVICE…it’s time they pay for this masquerade as a “fair and balanced” news program. I hear their stock is dropping anyhow. Might as well throw some well-deserved salt on an open wound while we’re at it, right?
Posted in 9/11 Truth, Activism, Al Qaeda, America, Ann Coulter, Arkansas, Bill O'Reilly, Bizarre, Brit Hume, Censorship, Cheney, CIA, Civil Rights, Comedy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Democracy, Dissent, Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Federal Reserve, Finance, FISA, Florida, Football, Fox News, Freedom, Freemasons, Funny, George Bush, Global Warming, GOP, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Human Rights, Immigration, Impeachment, Investing, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Journalism, Justice, Karl Rove, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Masons, Media, Medicine, Military, Money, Music, Myanmar, MySpace, NAACP, New Hampshire, New York, News, Newton County, NSA Wiretapping Scandal, NYC, Opinion, Pakistan, Patriotism, Peace, Politics, Poverty, Prophecy, Protest, Psychology, Race, Rainbow Family, Random, REAL ID, Religion, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Science, Society, Sports, Stock Market, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Turkey, TV, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Unexplained, US Attorneys, US Attorneys Scandal, Wall Street, War, War on Drugs, War on Terror, Weird, WTC | 2 Comments »
Posted by jeremiasx on December 27, 2007
Interesting that at 6:10 into the video she claims Omar Sheikh killed OBL…bad English or inside info? We’ll never know, I guess…
Bhutto’s Security Was Handled By Bin Laden’s Former Handler In Pakistani ISI
Bin Laden to Omar Sheikh…
Omar Sheikh to Musharraf…
Pretty easy game, huh?
Posted in 9/11, 9/11 Truth, Activism, Al Qaeda, America, BBC, Bizarre, Censorship, CIA, Civil Rights, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Democracy, Democrats, Dissent, Freedom, Freemasons, George Bush, GOP, Impeachment, Journalism, Justice, Law, New York, News, Newton County, NYC, Opinion, Pakistan, Patriotism, Peace, Politics, Prophecy, Protest, Random, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Society, Terrorism, Tyranny, War, War on Drugs, War on Terror, Weird, WTC | 3 Comments »
Posted by jeremiasx on October 3, 2007
(Photo By JeremiasX…The Local Filling Station)
And these folks are slinging it around in the year 2007? Hmm…I wonder what would cause people to say such things. (Not really.)
Full Article Available From Yahoo News:
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – In an unlikely marriage of desire to secede from the United States, two advocacy groups from opposite political traditions — New England and the South — are sitting down to talk.
Tired of foreign wars and what they consider right-wing courts, the Middlebury Institute wants liberal states like Vermont to be able to secede peacefully.
That sounds just fine to the League of the South, a conservative group that refuses to give up on Southern independence.
“We believe that an independent South, or Hawaii, Alaska, or Vermont would be better able to serve the interest of everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity,” said Michael Hill of Killen, Ala., president of the League of the South.
Separated by hundreds of miles and divergent political philosophies, the Middlebury Institute and the League of the South are hosting a two-day Secessionist Convention starting Wednesday in Chattanooga.
They expect to attract supporters from California, Alaska and Hawaii, inviting anyone who wants to dissolve the Union so states can save themselves from an overbearing federal government.
If allowed to go their own way, New Englanders “probably would allow abortion and have gun control,” Hill said, while Southerners “would probably crack down on illegal immigration harder than it is being now.”
The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly prohibit secession, but few people think it is politically viable.
Vermont, one of the nation’s most liberal states, has become a hotbed for liberal secessionists, a fringe movement that gained new traction because of the Iraq war, rising oil prices and the formation of several pro-secession groups.
Thomas Naylor, the founder of one of those groups, the Second Vermont Republic, said the friendly relationship with the League of the South doesn’t mean everyone shares all the same beliefs.
But Naylor, a retired Duke University professor, said the League of the South shares his group’s opposition to the federal government and the need to pursue secession.
“It doesn’t matter if our next president is Condoleeza (Rice) or Hillary (Clinton), it is going to be grim,” said Naylor, adding that there are secessionist movements in more than 25 states, including Hawaii, Alaska, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Texas.
Posted in 9/11, 9/11 Truth, Activism, America, Censorship, Cheney, CIA, Civil Rights, Comedy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Democrats, Dissent, Economy, Education, Environment, Federal Reserve, FISA, Fox News, Freedom, Freemasons, GOP, Hillary Clinton, Human Rights, Immigration, Impeachment, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Journalism, Justice, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Masons, Media, Medicine, Military, Money, Music, Newton County, Opinion, Outdoors, Patriotism, Peace, Politics, Poverty, Prophecy, Protest, Random, REAL ID, Religion, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Society, Technology, Television, Terrorism, TV, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Unexplained, US Attorneys Scandal, Wall Street, War, War on Drugs, Weird, WTC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jeremiasx on October 1, 2007
In a quick wrap…I caught the last few minutes of the game, and I haven’t watched football since the Dallas Cowboys were America’s team…but I was bored and eating pizza and had a few home brews earlier…so it seemed appropriate.
Here it is, in a nutshell.
The EAGLES quarterback went over the line, though only a little most folks might say…but over nonetheless. The touchdown that could have signaled a glimmer of hope was taken off the board…but there was one more crucial down for the team, but Justice failed them by an illegal move while trying to block for the quarterback…and the Empire State was basically able to run down the clock on the City of Brotherly Love…
Oh well…I’m bored with football again…and a shame. I used to LOVE to play…my team in high school went the farthest our town ever has in over 30 years all the way to the “big game” – at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Posted in 9/11, 9/11 Truth, Activism, Al Qaeda, America, Amnesty, Antichrist, Arkansas, Astrology, Bizarre, Censorship, CIA, Civil Rights, Comedy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Dissent, Eagles, Ed Brown, Education, Environment, Federal Reserve, Finance, FISA, Florida, Football, Fox News, Freedom, Freemasons, George Bush, Giants, Global Warming, GOP, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Hillbilly, Hitchhiking To DC, Homeless, Human Rights, Impeachment, Investing, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Journalism, Justice, Karl Rove, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Masons, Media, Medicine, Military, Money, NAACP, New York, News, Newton County, NYC, Opinion, Patriotism, Peace, Pennsylvania, Poetry, Politics, Poverty, Prophecy, Protest, Rainbow Family, Random, REAL ID, Religion, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Society, Sports, Stock Market, Technology, Television, Terrorism, TV, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Unexplained, US Attorneys, US Attorneys Scandal, US Forestry Service, Wall Street, War, War on Drugs, Weird, WTC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jeremiasx on September 28, 2007
My fourth day began in the pre-dawn hours on a park bench in front of the church that George Bush attends about once a month, from most local accounts. It wasn’t the coziest sleeping place in the world, but it certainly allowed me some time to close my eyes and reflect upon my time walking in front of the White House.
I wouldn’t call what I did on that 4-foot bench technically “sleeping.” I’d say it’s about the same type of sleep one usually gets in a forward fighting position or perhaps a deer stand on a blustery fall morning, troubled and uncomfortable. Any type of bed would be preferable, but I reminded myself that many people (including the six men there besides myself…I assumed from their level of familiarity with this courtyard and each other) well…they sleep outdoors MOST nights. I caught a wink or two. I needed it.
Giving in to the beckoning of the golden arches, I slipped into Mickey D’s (on New York and 12th?) to change my underwear, clean my face and hands, and enjoy a little greasy city slicker breakfast food. It sure wasn’t breakfast in bed with my lovely wife, no bacon and eggs with homemade biscuits and jelly to speak of. One makes do with what’s available at the time, though, I suppose…I made the most of the free refills in my small drink cup thankful for the Powerade on tap to get me hydrated for the coming day.
The majority of this day was spent exploring the DC midtown, speaking with locals and travelers, and handling my personal hygiene and dirty laundry…I had a little help in these noble but mundane endeavors. After stopping in at this place for directions and at the local valley for a refreshing shower and very pleasant chat with the secretary and steward…
…I felt refreshed and even human again…and then left those magnificent places and I traveled further West into the Latino neighborhood not too far away to do my laundry at a local lavenderia…the locals who had been maintaining the temple grounds were happy to walk me halfway there. Muchas Gracias, Muchachos!
They pointed me to a really nice little joint that had clean machines in good repair, and an owner who I believe was an African Muslim because when I put on a clean T-shirt that had Farsi on it, he seemed quite thrilled and beamed a smile at me…he checked on me several times to make sure my experience in his establishment was a great one. I love it when people run a business with pride. This man had it in spades. Unfortunately, he had to point out to me after I spent more than one quarter drying my socks that I had it set on “fluff.” Oops.
I strapped my sign to my backpack again (I had to take it on and off any time I needed anything out, but fortunately I’m not that finicky with my gear) and walked back to the White House through an Arabic neighborhood, and I think most people there all were quite receptive to “the message.” Smiles and good-natured nods abounded.
I finally made it back to the White House north lawn and joined my new friends and sisters Patricia and Laurie (who gave me the two excellent black t-shirts you’ll see me wearing in various photos here, check out some of her fine work here) in a small ad hoc protest and show of solidarity between ourselves and another man who drove the magic bus all the way from San Fransisco for the march. We were all excited about it and hoped for a good turnout.
Patricia is a professional photographer and I’m going to go ahead and use this wonderful photo she took that afternoon in this very blog, with full acknowledgment and humble gratitude, and I’d suggest that each and every one of you check out her other art at her website.
After a few hours of enjoying smiles (mostly) and occasional mindless rhetoric (VERY rarely…maybe once or twice over a period of several hours and several hundred visitors) from O’Reilly-Rush-Hannity automatons we were pretty Bushed for the afternoon. Even though the chickenhawks proliferate on the internet they seem a bit sparse in reality. They also seemed to be hesitant to talk their typical loud-mouth bullshit in person.
Most NORMAL folks seemed just fine with us being there and asked us questions and we were happy to oblige them to photo sessions (especially the Japanese…ALL of them were happy to see our protest…or at least seemed to be…they were stereotypically wonderful shooting rounds and rounds of memento photos posing there with us, smiling, and throwing peace signs to us and each other.)
Patricia and I headed to a WONDERFUL little Italian restaurant where she most kindly treated me to pizza and salad. We had a deep and meaningful exchange of ideas and I think her dedication to her pet cause (avoiding war with Iran) is inspiring at the very least.
She will be seen at first by many passersby as a distinguished looking lady in a motorized wheelchair, but her level of integrity, truthfulness, and the beauty of her spirit elevated her in my mind…head and shoulders above the walking while slumbering public. She loaned me her poncho for the evening as it looked like it might rain and offered to charge my camera batteries at her hotel room so I’d have a fresh set for the protest.
I returned once more to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and I found myself wondering more and more about the little white tent across the street with the signs and placards to each side. I’d passed by it more than once and had even been admonished by Start Loving to drop in there, but the man named Thomas had not been around during the first few days I was in town. I’d see his wife, Concepcion, and another man whose name I learned was Troy…but no Thomas, and that’s the man I was sent to talk to.
I decided to overcome my initial shyness and walked on over to check out and see what they were about. My curiosity got the best of me, and I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole.
A man sitting cross-legged and quiet as a monk caught in the midst of a moment of deep reflection sat there stroking a long and braided goatee (sp?) and being very neutral about his entire presence in such an austere location. This was, after all, 1601 Pennsylvania Avenue, the hottest piece of real estate in all of DC. (The sidewalk directly across the street from the White House, front and center.)
I asked him his name and introduced myself to him, and we proceeded from there to have one of the longest and most unusual conversations I’ve had in quite some time. It was the kind of conversation that I had hoped for the entire time I’d been in DC. I learned much during those hours. I’d learn so much more in the day to come.
At the end of the evening I was searching desperately for a payphone, as the ones in Lafayette Square are all disconnected. I guess they don’t want folks gabbing on the phone that close to the White House…maybe they think it’s tacky or something. Anyhow. I had to walk several blocks in the rain first to find a bathroom (it’s pretty tough living on the street, don’t ever fool yourself on this one…ever) and then to find that phone to call home and let the wife know everything was fine.
I literally checked a dozen donnikers (port-a-johns) and found no trace of toilet paper. I had left my pack at 1601 with Troy. I had nothing. I was desperate. I finally found a late-night Vietnamese joint and walked inside wondering what the toll would be. I quickly saw my opportunity in the drink case (can sodas with your noodles!) and bartered with the purchase of a V8 (about one federal reserve note) to gain admission into the mens’ room. All was well.
Upon returning to Lafayette’s square, I picked up my pack and walked over to the stage being set up for the ANSWER coalition event the next day, and I introduced myself to some young and seemingly nervous young folks who would be camping out on the stage…seemed like a groovy spot to me but their level of security was such that I couldn’t chill with them there.
I felt a bit sad as I was hoping to lend a hand and do some interviews in the process but I understood why they had fear…it was after dark…and most folks are shot through with it *fear* these days and who can blame them with the state of the world? Between the general uncertainties of life, the quiet and sometimes desperate struggle with the meaning of our own existence and trying to find our place in the universe and the rotten or nasty people and institutions in divers places…it *the world* certainly helps to perpetuate the phantasmal (mind) killer. *inhales sharply and exhales…run-on sentence*
I finally settled on a park bench in the farthest northwest corner. I tarried there for some time and was pleased to meet a few deaf students from the local school (Gaullatin) who were chilling there and having a few drinks whilst getting stoked to the gills about the march and rally to be held in this very place twelve hours later. For many of those gathered, including the organizers, aides, workers, and security it was their first major demonstration. I thought that was great. It was my first as well, and I just knew it would be fantastic.
Eventually the hours dwindled on and after wearing out my thumbs on these kids’ blackberry discussing patriotism, family issues, and life in general…a couple more young folks showed up with a man wearing a Che Gueverra shirt. Could be DC undercover, could be cool folks…but the Che shirt wasn’t really much of a shocker considering the event coming up. I put my “Papa Bear” Bill O’Reilly brainwashing aside for a moment, and I tried to make the angels of Ann Coulter and Anne Malkin on my shoulders be silent and to still my beating capitalist red-state redneck heart…and I met some of the coolest folks on my trip yet.
The man and his two sons were Puerto Rican (Americans) and fine exemplars of some of the finest and most refined lessons in humility, honor, duty, and charity that I encountered in my journey. To quote Pantera…”Is there no standard anymore?” The youngest son was mostly into video games and MMOs (like my misses) and it turned out the older brother supposedly has a forum staffed by those who are haters of his character in WoW…lolz…anyhow he is also a Staff Sergeant in the US Army…and his job is to bring the soldiers home from the war. The soldiers that J.P. brings home don’t get to be with their families any more in this world…he drives them in a horse-drawn carriage through Arlington cemetery to rest with the other unsung, mostly forgotten, and (to Bush and Cheney) seemingly disposable heroes…of this current travesty in the Middle East being waged under the banner of mealy-mouthed and Mickey Mouse imperialism that has produced the one positive effect of being a lesson in worst-case foreign policy and practices. Then there are those who pay in anguish every day.
Upon learning of my personal circumstances, they offered to allow me to share their dwelling and told me they’d take me out for breakfast at a swell joint down by Arlington. I was able to update some folks on the net and I must admit that J.P.’s setup is the uberbomb for gaming with a large flat screen for maximum optical enjoyment. I remember the cool toys I bought in the service. I still buy one every year or so now. I’ll confess, I’m a bit of a minimalist these days.
I slept like a baby on that hide-a-bed…and dreamed of freedom and justice.
***-end part 3 part 4 coming soon – check back and check my other posts. My archives are extensive and at your disposal. Education is freedom. Feel free to email me.
Part 1 Part 2 Photo Essay
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Posted by jeremiasx on September 24, 2007
My ride with the trucker named Dennis got me all the way to Rock Point, Maryland. After quickly ascertaining that trying to move about in the DC metro area by the thumb was a ludicrous and insanely futile prospect, I decided to check out the public transit system. The bus pulled into a large mall parking deck and I ran across the parking lot to catch it, pausing along the way to note a young Chinese kid on a double-length skateboard with in-line wheels…transportation evolves in some venues quicker than others.
I was delighted to find that my trip over to the rail station would cost under a dollar, and then further surprised to find that I could take the subway into the heart of DC for less than two bucks. The subway station was clean and so were the cars themselves, a far cry from the sinister zombie express that one sees in the horror flicks. I enjoyed the ride, which only took about fifteen minutes. I bet anyone driving would have taken an hour or more in serious traffic. Public transportation FTW.
I noticed upon disembarking at the Metro Center Station in DC proper that the entire station was plastered with a recurring theme of picture-ads…on the walls, the sides of the rails around the escalators, everywhere (even in the mens’ room I’m sure, though I was a little nervous of running into a Larry Craig or someone of their ilk in a public DC restroom upon first arrival.) Just kidding. A little.
The theme of the ads was surprisingly not for any corporate slogan for cola or some new wonder drug for the masses…well not exactly. The ads were for a group promoting the idea of universal health care access. The most noble campaign effort I’d seen in quite a while, especially on such a large scale.
I stepped out onto the DC sidewalk and was immediately struck by the prevalence of homeless people. Not just the obvious ones laid out with all their gear on park benches, but the much less obvious dirty and shady characters hanging in the shadows of the rail station entryway bumming cigarettes and change, the silent and sick ones who huddled in the alleyways cursing God and themselves, and the youngsters who still had the knack to hustle a buck and wear designer clothes that were impressive even if days unwashed.
I was able to head straight towards Capital Hill on the advice of the subway entry attendant, the public information officer or whatever…nice fellow. I paused at various places of interest for short periods to rest my blistered feet, drink water from the public fountains (which are abundant in DC) or even take pictures of things I thought were interesting, such as the blocked up entrance to the Department of Justice…no access there for sure these days.
By the time I reached Capital Hill my feet were really worn out, though I felt a new sense of purpose as I paused to remark with fellow tourists and travelers about the dismal state of the nation. I guess liberals hang out at the Capital reflecting pool like they supposedly do in the media…or whatever.
I caught a couple free t-shirts and made a new friend before I ever went up the steps. I made positive remarks on her “Arrest Bush” t-shirt and she asked me if I wanted one…I said sure, but I have no money for a donation because I hitchhiked up here and have limited funds which weren’t really set for buying souvenirs. She insisted I take two shirts nonetheless and affirmed her faith that others would give more to make up the difference. The second shirt has the motto “We Will Not Be Silent” in Farsi with English underneath, and is a message that alludes to the White Rose Society in the Nazi German era in which many Jews were speaking out against their perception that their race was being singled out for persecution unjustly. It alludes to a point in time when something could have still been done easily to avoid the rise of the powerful Nazi state that crushed this type of dissent in concentration camps with the silent murders of millions, once things had progressed to that point. The seeds of democracy and the seeds of tyranny are long planted in the heart of every state…
I was told to stop and visit with “Start Loving” at the Cannon Office Building, and I made my way over there under the watchful eyes of what seemed to by fifty or more Capital Police armed with everything from the walkie-talkie to fearsome looking riot-action shotguns…I bellowed out a happy Arkansas “howdy” to many of them and received an interesting variety of responses…which was typical of my entire visit, really.
Upon arriving at the Cannon Office Building, I encountered a sight that made my heart merry and sad at the same time. A man with three crosses tattooed across his forehead wearing placards saying “Don’t Bomb Iran” and “Hunger Strike”…
I sat down next to him and we had a wonderful conversation about the prospects of peace and the idea of self-denial as a means of focus in the quest for self-actualization and attainment of a higher understanding of spiritual purity. It was apparent to me even after a few minutes that this man was operating on a much higher level of faith than I, and I had thought myself to on solid ground as it were already. For instance, the three crosses on his forehead comprise what he understands to be the name of God…love…the middle cross says “Start Loving” and he has adopted that as his name of preference. He will factor into the story again later. I sat there and shared my experiences with the world and we laughed and wept together for some time. On one note we did have occasion to disagree…I told him of my plans to talk to the people there in DC and around the country, and he admonished that I temper my righteous anger with peace and love. I reminded him that in one of my favorite New Testament stories, Jesus sat down on the temple steps and braided a whip to drive out the money changers and those who defiled the place and works of God. We acknowledged that the Divine does work it’s wonders in manners both creative and destructive. We parted agreeing in solidarity that peace was the best cause worth pursuing as an extension of love, which is God. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers can dwell in peace.”
I ascended the steps to the House and Senate offices there by the Capital with a feeling of surety that something was amiss in DC…and I found out quickly what it was. The policymakers, the Congressmen and Congresswomen…were not “in the office.” They had taken an early break and were all conveniently “away from their desks.” I stopped by office after office of the people I came to talk to…and was turned away each time with the same story of the “holiday to evade protests and activists” which I assumed by the end of the day had to have been declared in some secret midnight session.
I left them all notes. On their own stationary…that way they would know I had been there in person. I told them how disappointed I was to have come all that way and not had the opportunity to tell them to their faces all the ways in which I believe they have absolutely dropped the ball with the American governmental process. It’s a sad joke, the state of things in our government right now, in case you already DIDN’T KNOW.
My note at Harry Reid’s office was probably the most scathing. It went something like, “The rumors had it that you had a spine…I guess that’s the way of rumors.” I signed them all and I expect responses…I’m not an anonymous loonie who just goes around writing cryptic messages for Congressmen to baffle themselves over for hours. My message was clear. The people do not want this war. It’s time to leave the Middle East. It’s time to hold Bush and Cheney accountable, and on that one everyone needs to stop passing the buck. It’s time to do your jobs, Congress…any day now would be fine. The people demand representation and are NOT GETTING IT.
I trekked the other way down Pennsylvania Avenue to what I discovered to be the “backside” (The South Side) of the White House. On my way I found a new way to circumvent the poster ban…I strapped my poster advertising the march on 9/15 to the back of my pack. Most folks stopped to see what it said…I hope some of the same showed up due to my getting the word out the only way I could. Turns out there were also thousands of handbills passed out by dedicated members of the ANSWER coalition and the Iraq Vets Against The War…everybody does what they can, I guess.
Anyhow, the poster advertising the march comes into play on the south side of the White House…I took off my pack and sat down cross-legged to hang out and smoke a cigarette right front and center where everyone congregates to take pictures and enjoy the view of the South Lawn…I was immediately accosted by a Capital Police officer, whose name I didn’t write down unfortunately, who TOLD me to immediately produce identification. I told him I would be happy to give him my name, address, and date of birth…but that I knew of no law requiring me to either carry or produce state-issued identification upon the mere routine request of a law enforcement officer. He told me that in DC there WAS a law on the books that said I had to. I complied but as I handed him my ID I told him that if that were truly the case, the Founding Fathers would have even more to be ashamed of that evening as they rolled in their graves. I don’t think he liked that.
He came back over and tried to play a little verbal volleyball with me, and after a few minutes of getting his ass handed to him by a weirdo with a sign on his backpack he finally conceded that I had the right to sit there on my ass and smoke cigarettes as long as I so desired. I reported his attempt to enforce a statute I’d never heard of (and probably doesn’t exist) to the Captain of his White House detail during the Code Pink protest, a man who I came to admire for his seeming virtue and dedication to his job. He was also the most knowledgeable and intelligent of the DC cops I encountered, and conceded that I had a point about the guy hassling me for ID behind the White House without any probably cause or even suspicion, and that he would “look into that for me.” An AP reporter snapped a shot of our conversation, which he might have interpreted to be a heated political debate, but the reality was that we were trying to talk over the airhorns and drums of the Code Pink protest happening immediately behind me.
The Code Pink ladies amuse and impress me equally. They have such a keen sense of humor and political irony, and such a way of expressing themselves publicly with confidence and solidarity of values. I was happy to meet many of these ladies who were invariably kind, considerate, and thoughtful to the extreme. I was proud to have been present to witness a far more humble act than my own when two 23-year old kids who walked 4,000 miles from San Francisco (walked, not hitchhiked) sat down on the sidewalk and were peacefully arrested in an act of civil disobedience to protest the war and protest for impeachment to be put back on the table.
After Code Pink vacated the sidewalk the DC police took down the police lines and reverted to the typical regulations regarding protests there, which include the stipulation that there be no static protest between the two light poles in the center of the sidewalk in front of the north side of the White House, the side most of us see in the movies with the lights and the fountain out front…anyhow, between the poles one must keep moving, and I thought it to be an odd and absurd regulation…so I protested it.
I walked in circles talking to the DC police, Secret Service, and closed circuit TV cameras until about 4:30 in the morning that first night. I had long and interesting conversations with the authorities, the passersby, and even a guy claiming to be a TV reporter from Virginia.
The conversations I had with the law enforcement officers were the most rewarding. I pointed out how ludicrous it was that I was walking in circles in front of the White House in the wee hours of the morning, and how equally ridiculous that our tax dollars were paying them in double capacity to make sure I kept moving to enforce the statute. Some were stoic and tried to ignore my rant, but I would hook them in with an impromptu game of hopscotch or even doing the Michael Jackson “moonwalk” at one point…I know he grinned on that one but I bet he’d never admit it to this day. I wasn’t surprised that with hours of helpful instruction, lessons in recent and ancient history, and kind reminders of the virtue of truth and integrity…many of these gentlemen conceded I was the sanest person they’d ever seen walk in circles in front of the White House until the wee hours of the morning.
I talked with a couple of old Jewish ladies who were vehemently pro-Bush (imagine that) and they both walked away in disgust after I managed to counter every single point they made. (It’s easy to defend peace. It’s hard to defend war.) Many more came up to me and shook my hand and walked with me as we discussed everything from health care to gun control…to the mysteries of 9/11 and the continuous proliferation of the tools of destruction unabated across the face of the planet for profit.
I eventually wore my feet down to nothing but pulsating, blistered stubs and had to call off my all-night vigil in favor of some much needed rest. I chose (by accident?) the church two blocks from the White House where I AM TOLD President Bush himself attends about once a month, with great fanfare and motorcades and advance teams in front of the procession sweeping the homeless from the area with neat and quiet ease.
The night in question was not a night for Bush to come to the garden to pray, apparently, and there were half a dozen homeless men and myself sharing the park benches out front. Those park benches are not meant for sleeping, by the way. They are about four foot long. My feet were on the ground and my pack was on my chest in my tight grasp as I nodded in and out of consciousness, aware of the stares from both the homeless “regulars” and the pedestrians of the early morning hours in DC.
I am a stranger in a strange land, and always have been. More to come.
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Posted by jeremiasx on August 17, 2007
I’ve said this before and posted this clip before but somehow I think people just don’t quite get it yet. I don’t know what it will take for you…does it take the government lying to you to support an unethical, illegal, and immoral war? Does it take knowing that the government is going to bail out corporations and the stock market (like they have to the tune of something like $20 BILLION DOLLARS in the last WEEK…) while watching poor Americans who were suckered into ARM loans dreams of home ownership go up in flames with no recourse…and Bush has stated publicly there will be NO bailout for homeowners…or maybe it takes hearing about how they killed one of our own guys by mistake (Tillman) and didn’t have the balls to tell the truth about it and then dishonored his memory and his family by creating a bullshit story surrounding that tragedy…or maybe it takes realizing that they’ve been chipping away at our God-given rights and liberties as fast as they can since the still-unresolved event of the 9/11 attacks…or that every time you pick up the phone you can technically be legally wiretapped without a warrant…or maybe it’s the REAL ID act that’s “got ya down” and you don’t want an RFID tracking device on you at all times day and night…or maybe it’s because you don’t want to be saddled up, yoked, and whipped to death to work off two generations worth of DEBT or you don’t want to be irresponsible, like those generations obviously were, and pass it to your kids or grandkids…or maybe it’s just the way that you don’t like the way Chimpy looks…I don’t know what it takes for you, personally…but I know that I’ve just about had enough of this BULLSHIT. If we stand idly by and do nothing…we deserve whatever we get.
NATIONWIDE GENERAL STRIKE ON 9/11/07…HIT THE STREETS.
Posted in 9/11, 9/11 Truth, Al Qaeda, America, Amnesty, Arkansas, Censorship, Cheney, CIA, Civil Rights, Comedy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, DEA, Democrats, Dissent, Drugs, Economy, Ed Brown, Education, Energy, Environment, Federal Reserve, Finance, FISA, Florida, Fox News, Freedom, George Bush, Global Warming, GOP, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Homeless, Immigration, Impeachment, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Journalism, Justice, Karl Rove, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Media, Medicine, Military, Money, Music, NAACP, Nature, New York, News, Newton County, NSA Wiretapping Scandal, Opinion, Peace, Politics, Poverty, Protest, Race, Rainbow Family, Random, REAL ID, Religion, Republicans, Revolution, Ron Paul, Science, Sex, Society, Technology, Television, TV, Tyranny, Uncategorized, US Attorneys, US Attorneys Scandal, War, War on Drugs | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jeremiasx on August 6, 2007
Great..just what we needed in this new era of Supreme Chancellor Bush and his ilk in law enforcement posts everywhere…the puke stick. How appropriate that you want to make us puke with weapons…why the trouble we’re puking ALREADY!!!
PS: Isn’t this a low level illusionist spell called, “Color Spray?” DOH. lolz
Posted in 9/11, 9/11 Truth, Al Qaeda, America, Amnesty, Arkansas, Bizarre, Censorship, CIA, Civil Rights, Comedy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, DEA, Democrats, Dissent, Drugs, Economy, Ed Brown, Education, Energy, Environment, Fox News, Freedom, George Bush, GOP, Impeachment, Journalism, Justice, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Media, Medicine, Military, Money, News, NSA Wiretapping Scandal, Opinion, Peace, Politics, Poverty, Protest, Race, Rainbow Family, Random, Technology, Tyranny, Uncategorized, War, War on Drugs | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jeremiasx on July 17, 2007
My feet are sore, I have poison ivy, and my shoes are nearly worn through after the numerous trips I made up and down the hill to the various areas of the Gathering I visited. (They were another quality product brought to me by the magic of Wal-Mart, Hecho in China of course.)
Don’t bemoan my personal situation though…the truth of the matter is that I was not any more of a Gonzo journalist than any of our local reporters who visited and covered the event. I only drove out there four or five times, never camped overnight, and wasn’t interested in infiltrating any “secret inner circles” of Rainbow hierarchy (of which there are none, presumably, since it has no official hierarchy other than communally accepted elders, of which there are no elections or ritual installations of the same to speak of.) I wasn’t there on the behest of any interest group whatsoever, regardless of what some paranoid souls probably surmised, as I’m guessing a few did due to their paranoid reactions to my presence. I probably stuck out. I didn’t really dress any differently than I do in my everyday life…I can’t really ascertain the same for all the other Rainbows…some of them dress the same everyday, some just on weekends (judging by their luxury cars and SUVs), and some probably as part of their “job.” (Ooh now I get to play my conspiracy nut card…not really…it’s generally believed that many LEO’s are undercover posing as Rainbows for the normal purposes of routine undercover work and I surmise less forthcoming COINTELPRO-style operations as well, undoubtedly.) It’s well known by EVERYONE now that the Law Enforcement Officers involved with this “special ed” team that the Forestry Service has assembled are majority asshats. Video evidence.
SAY…speaking of ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT…how much impact do MULTIPLE SUV’s DRIVING THROUGH THE RIVER have? I wonder. Let’s take a look at a USFS trail during the gathering…notice anything “unnatural” after these SUVs went up and down the road in the main gathering area which was blocked off to private vehicles, ostensibly for the preservation of nature?
Hehehe…either way, I wasn’t dressing to impress or try to be anything other than what I am, which is me. HOWEVER you want to dress yourself (or maybe even your woefully subserviant partner or child), if you really dig it, it’s you being you. I’m just saying not everyone is so lofty as to express anything other than a mindless devotion to “fill-in-the-blank style/trend/fashion.” There are such creatures. If it were not so, there would be no market for Club Gitmo T-shirts or retro Debbie Gibson CRAP. Hot Topic would probably go the way of the dodo bird. I might miss it…nah.
Anyhow, enough about my opinion of people who try to be outlandishly different from society by looking outlandishly similar to each other for the sake of the same. I’m losing your interest, perhaps…so back to our story.
I’d heard so many things about the festival from locals and from the internet…very little of the negative hype the government has thrown at the Rainbows stood up to even moderate scrutiny and their reaction to this annual event defies logic whilst taking a piss on reason and duly decimating whatever general concept of Liberty one might assume was left in the world…then shredding general decency as an extra bonus…needless to say myself and MANY OTHER locals are in various stages of disgust with the federal, state, and even LOCAL COUNTY police response due either to the harassment we received ourselves or the harassment, incarceration, and abuse we witnessed the Rainbows receiving. Oh…by the way…we WON’T FORGET IT come election day, either.
So regardless of the hype I wanted to do a cool, level-headed and thorough follow-up on the Gathering and I thought I’d address a few of the issues surrounding the event and see whether there was any truth to them…you know, see for myself instead of just mindlessly accepting what others had said. I started at the Fallsville Store.
Elizabeth Moak was helping a new summer hire with a few of the ins and outs of the business during the 3pm rush hour in Fallsville (there were several customers buying gas and sundries including myself and apparently some of those “Rainbow Folk”) and I felt it prescient to the discussion to ask her about all the alleged theft at the store by many and various local figures. Turns out, nothing was stolen from the Fallsville Store, according to Ms. Moak…and she doesn’t know that any local gardens were verified to have been raided by would-be “Peter Rabbit Rainbows” either…apparently there is a trend in these rumors where they are ALWAYS second-hand, and usually begin with “well so-and-so said that…” She chalked it up to a lot of rumors and fearful fear-mongering and said her experiences have been pretty GOOD with the Rainbows and called many of them “adorable characters.” I agree.
I left the store and turned my attention to the Gathering area itself, for surely in the dark forests there lay certain “eco-Armageddon” just waiting to be laid bare for my discovery if some local accounts and interstate blog comments were to be believed. (Yes, that’s a swipe at some of the comments made on my PAST posts, and it’s well-deserved.)
I encountered the same monstrous pile of garbage that the local reporter did except for one difference. It was at the TOP of the forest service road by the highway instead of at the BOTTOM in the valley just past “A-Camp.” Quite a relocation effort, considering the modest group of men involved. Here’s what was left of the “front page photo” pile of trash.
Don’t be mistaken about it: this is a MASSIVE clean-up and restoration effort being led by a team of roughly 25-50 good-hearted Rainbows who have stayed behind to do the
yeoman’s work of removing and then SORTING and RECYCLING all the refuse…and currently trying to find the most environmentally safe and economically viable means of DISPOSING of it. (Any churches willing to donate a dumpster? The county and the forest would APPRECIATE it…will you complain about the mountain of trash or help to be rid of it?)
Anyhow after a short time there I met Richard, a former taxi driver from New York who made coming specifically for the clean-up effort his goal for this year’s Gathering…along with attempting reconciliation between the tribe at large and the Lecotah Sioux Nation over some strange “sweat lodge” beef…I’m not sure what the details are but apparently even methodologies and esoteric considerations as they might relate to spiritual medicine, as well as their methods of administration and eligible participants, can be the topic of hot debate between light workers and peace pros and even indigenous tribes of Native Americans…curious, eh? Here are the remains of the sweat lodge. Unfortunately I did not attend, though I look forward to being there personally in the future. Time makes many demands, though, as you might expect.
Far out and away from the virtually non-existent Montana Mud (which I observed to be the main area of congregation during my previous visits)
we scaled the mountain to the “Fat Kids Camp” which I quickly found out is not named on behalf of your averagely obese American, and I probably lost a few pounds hiking up there. It’s named for the idea of “living fat” which means to basically have the maximum luxuries of home available to increase the comfort level in the outdoor kitchen /camping setting…they had basically re-molded the Earth completely to suit their purposes…large stone kitchen megaliths and flagstone stairways abounded and all of these are sworn by the wrecking crew to be brought down as soon as the last campers make their weary exit. On the way out there is a food/supply drop area as a midpoint for the exiting campers to hide if the rain comes during their exodus. It’s rained a lot during the Gathering. We love the rain this time of year. Here’s a picture of Richard on the “altar” (firepit) and of their nifty zip-line which was used to transport cooking supplies and food.
We made our way back across the river and I snapped some more shots of a nifty stone bridge and a few more empty camps…
there was a pile of unclaimed camping supplies we encountered which Richard said probably wouldn’t be there much longer near the Arkansas camp, which was still inhabited but reasonably clean…
Heading back up the hill we encountered “Handy Dan” and his rest stop where we saw him trying to help one of the cleaning crew fix a flat tire with his vehicle’s air compressor…
Before we left I took the opportunity to interview a nice middle-aged couple who were strictly on FS 1463 to do a little tourism and fishing. They were from Hot Springs, and were in visiting in the hopes of catching some fish and soaking in all that nature had to offer. I asked them if they were aware that thousands of people had just been camping in the exact spot they were currently fishing. They said flatly, “Really? No. We didn’t notice.” That pretty well sums it up for me, personally. Oh…they also caught fish. Kudos.
So back up the hill and I dropped off Richard and took on “Sammy,” a young man from Texas who had come up to check out his first Gathering but ended up spending most of it in the Newton County jail. Although he didn’t really speak poorly of any particular officers, he said the initial arrest incident seemed like “a crock of shit” and after a series of charges ranging from public intox to obstruction of justice the LEO’s had managed to work up a $1200 bill (fine) for this young kid who thought he was coming to have a good time. He got poison ivy too, but never got anything other than a bleach rag for it at the local poke. His case was much more severe than mine…and mine is driving me crazy even now with plenty of calamine and alcohol to bathe it with. Connect the dots on that one. Anyhow, he was done with Newton County though he looked forward to going to the next Gathering, possibly a regional or the next national. I dropped him off close to the county line. I hope he caught a ride from there. I’ve done enough hitch-hiking myself in the past…I help when I can.
Anyhow…to summarize. The event is largely what you would have imagined it to be, and if you ever go it could be your reality, too…but for now just know that it’s over and it will happen again and no matter how much money our government wastes trying to hassle these folks they aren’t going to quit and they aren’t going to buy a piece of paper that says they have the right to do so. They (and I, and millions of other sane Americans) believe that we already have a “permit” to Gather and Remain peaceably as often as we wishand with as many people as we’d like…it’s called the Constitution.
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