DISPATCHES
Reflections in the Aftermath of Thanksgiving
by Rob Schultheis
Dec 01, 2011 | 1161 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I don’t know where to begin; the sheer number of impending disasters, appalling misdeeds, idiotic decisions, boneheaded notions and beyond-evil machinations to gain power and money are beyond counting. 

We’re racing toward self-destruction as a species, all well and good, but do we have to take the whales, dolphins, polar bears, tigers, redwoods, salmon runs, cranes, the few preindustrial societies who aren’t part of the problem, and everything else beautiful, unique, irreplaceable, with us?

Are we living out a death wish for ourselves and the planet? The media calls catastrophes like the BP Gulf oil spill accidents, but in reality they are built into the system.

Go just about anywhere in the world where they’re drilling for oil, or gas, mining coal or uranium, or extracting any other kind of non-renewable energy resource – the jungles of Ecuador, the coast of Nigeria, the Arctic, the Navajo reservation, the ranchlands of the Great Plains or south of San Antonio – and you’ll find that the environment has been trashed.  It’s as if it’s an inevitable part of the so-called development process. 

Do energy companies operate this way to save money and maximize profits, or do they hate the natural world? I suspect it’s a combination of the two. Talk to hunting guides or bush pilots in Alaska, and they’ll tell you that a huge proportion of their customers are oil company executive types from Texas and Oklahoma, who shoot wolves from the air, slaughter Kodiak Island grizzlies just for the trophies.  And when they’re not in Alaska gunning down lions, wildebeests and the like at “game farms” where the animals can be shot easily at point-blank range…

We will never have enough energy, no matter how much of the Earth we despoil searching for it.  The lights in our empty cities burn all night long for no reason. 

Crabby old Republicans now drive 60-foot-long mega-RVs, which would have been unthinkable three or four years ago.  And don’t forget the soaring population, and the newly “empowered” middle classes in India and China who all want cars even if there is no road system to drive them on.  

We are the terminal Potlatchers of all time, extreme versions of the Pacific Coast Indians who showed off by giving bigger and bigger feasts and gifting rituals, until out of desperation to outdo each other, they began burning up gallons of salmon oil and killing slaves in front of their guests to show they could afford to.

So what did I give thanks for?  Those few brave expressions of hope that are beginning to appear. The courageous young people who founded the Arab Spring movements.  The “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and their cousins all across the country (I heard on the news that an “Occupy Grand Junction” group took on the Black Friday shopping disgust-a-thon).  The splinter Christian and Shi’a environmentalist groups, who demand that we respect and nurture all of Creation….

A few years ago the FBI announced that the worst threat to America wasn’t religious terrorism, but rather the environmental movement, groups like PETA, Earth First and the like. Make no mistake about it, if you want the planet to survive, you are the Enemy of the fat cat thieves and vandals who currently run the show. And you are very much alone. The media, including the so-called liberal New York Times, have attacked the “Occupy Wall Street” movement since Day One.  Their goal, and that of the network TV “news analysts,” is to marginalize the protestors, in the old “hippies vs. hardhats” mold. 

They are careful to avoid talking about what triggered the movement: the massive fraud among the super-rich on Wall Street, their virtual takeover of both political parties and the subsequent victimization of millions of homeowners, the meltdown of the banking system, and the reimbursement of the super-rich with the tax dollars of regular folks like you and me, so they could recommence awarding each other multimillion-dollar bonuses, receiving golden parachutes for looting and mismanaging companies to death, and lavishing benjamins on lap dancers, coke dealers and appallingly bad New York “artists,” while the Justice Department sits by smiling benignly.

Meanwhile the propaganda campaign rolls on. The Denver Post headed a story on the Occupy demonstrations there with an outraged headline about how expensive it had been for the police to brutalize peaceful protestors.  An AP female reporter described the Berkeley police “nudging” picketers with their billy clubs, while footage clearly showed the cops whacking away like they were Indian cops on a lathi-charge through a Moslem neighborhood. Liars, liars everywhere, the best money can buy. 

The Republicans yawp about “class warfare;” there probably should be class warfare in America. Sign me up and give me my old M-16 and Beretta; or better, begin the mass jailing of the kleptomaniacal financial goniffs and their shills in politics and the press. 

Meanwhile, I keep awaiting for the real Barack Obama to escape from wherever he’s been held since he was kidnapped immediately after the victory rally in that Chicago park. It will be a great scene: the body-double Manchurian Obama holding a press conference on how oil drilling in the Gulf must increase, and suddenly there’s a gasp from the Secret Service, aides, cameramen and reporters as the real President appears, a bit disheveled but unhurt. How to tell the real from the fake? They compete in a game of H-O-R-S-E on the nearest basketball court, and the phony President loses 5-0.  He is led away in handcuffs, the real Obama announces that he is purging the Justice Department and appointing Bernie Sanders Attorney General, and the great Wall Street Arrests of 2012 begin.

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