I live in Florida but the e-mails I got this week came from Michigan,
Arizona, Denmark, the UAE, Texas, British Columbia, Hungary, South Africa,
Hawaii, the Bronx, Australia, Delmarva, England, Sweden, Vermont, Arkansas,
and Venezuela, to name just a few places. All of these messages said essentially
the same thing: we thank you for your writing, but we need to know what
to do as the U.S. rushes toward war against the entire world, and our police
agencies get more and more aggressive about freely-speaking citizens in
own own communities.
Do you know when they will be beating down our doors? some of the messages
ask. I'm afraid to say anything in public, write many, because if someone
tells the cops what I said, they might come and pick me up. I'm afraid
for my children, say a few, about what kind of world they will grow up
While I'm honored to receive these questions, I'm as puzzled as the writers
about how to deal with this new totalitarian police state threat that is
growing like a nuclear-powered giant fungus in the United States and engulfing
the entire industrialized world. America has told so many lies about Iraq,
for instance, that people don't really know to feel about either Iraq or
the U.S., although international polls clearly show that most people consider
America to currently be the greatest threat to world peace.
The one thing I know for sure is that the entire American power structure
" the president and his appointees, the vast majority of judges and
prosecutors and police, the Congress and federal regulators " are
all not to be trusted because they have all " and you can quibble
with the percentage, but it's disgustingly high " proven themselves
to be untrustworthy by their previous lies, or cynical votes in legislatures
after receiving bribes that are devious and hard to trace. Imagine, almost
all of them voted immunity for a drug company that makes a vaccine that
ruins the lives of thousands of children with autism.
This stuff happens everywhere in America, and probably the rest of
the world, because utter corruption is always the state of the species.
But the level of it, and the widespread resignation about it, has risen
to such proportions that nobody can trust anything any public official
says anymore, which has resulted in our current state of depression and
Not to mention horror at the grisly fact that America is about to invade
a poverty-stricken country with essentially no defenses. And we civilized
Americans will use the devil's own arsenal of high tech poisons and devices
of explosive torture for no valid reason, other than to steal a dictator's
This is neither the action of a democracy nor a republic, nor the choice
of a free and just society. It is the selfish act of a petroleum soaked
vampire. American pride has become an unmitigated horror.
The American governmental system has completely broken down. Just think
about who is in charge of what. The vice president can continually ignore
a court order to reveal how he personally helped his billionaire friends
rip off billions of dollars from the people of California. And the president
can block an investigation into the greatest tragedy in American history
without even uttering any reason at all.
OK, we're all agreed. Things are much worse than we ever thought they'd
This radical state of corporate-sponsored human self-destruction, I
think, demands radical solutions.
I pose some suggestions here only because people have asked me what
should be done. I don't pen them because I think they can be instantly
implemented, but I just want you all to think about the possible efficacy
of the ideas. On our present path of unchecked growth, we are racing toward
species suicide, and we're going to take the rest of the biosphere with
We need to change direction. Here are some suggestions.
No absentee landlords. I'm not talking about factories, public facilities,
or places of business. I'm talking about domiciles that house families.
I'm talking about homes.
Absentee landlords are responsible for all the slums of the world,
and most of the environmental problems. If a person lives on the premises
he or she owns, chances are excellent they will care for it, nurture it,
make it comfortable and secure, because that's where they live. If they
don't live there, they don't really care about how nice it is, they only
care about the profit from it. This is human usury. It should be abolished,
and many of world's most pressing problems would be eliminated just by
doing this one thing, just by passing this one law. Home ownership would
spread across the planet, friendly neighborhoods would be reestablished,
and harmony would replace strife if actual owners of homes were interacting
with their neighbors in the best interests of the community. This is clear
Legalize marijuana now. And combine it with a general amnesty for all
drug-related convictions that don't involve murder. Louis Armstrong, Paul
McCartney, Bill Clinton and Carl Sagan can't be wrong. They all smoked
pot and tried to do good things in their sphere of influence in the world.
Study after study has shown that teens who smoke pot are more well-adjusted
than teens who don't. Look it up on the Internet. But these studies have
been suppressed by the same evil corporate influences that helped make
cannabis illegal in the first place.
The biggest benefit would be that it would solve most of the world's
drug problems. You wouldn't need Prozac if you were stoned and spreading
it around, because you'd have too many friends.
Marijuana was outlawed as a result of efforts by the liquor industry,
which correctly foresaw that widespread use of weed would seriously impede
their profits, and by Dupont, which also correctly foresaw that hemp fiber
is far more beneficial and useful than all these petrosynthetics they invented
and reaped fantastic profits from.
The hysteria surrounding this subject has inflicted a three-pronged
pox on the entire world.
1. It has deprived humanity of a tremendous biological force for peace
in the recreational smoking of it. Everybody knows you don't kill people
when you're high on pot like you do when your smashed on alcohol. Think
peace, widespread, jovial, funloving peace.
2. The illegalization of weed provides governments with a perfect illicit
substance, along with cocaine, heroin and opium, to make huge amounts of
money to fund their illegal activities that they can't possibly get approved
in a public budget. Think about what Britain did to China. Think about
Iran-Contra, where the conservative hero Ronald Reagan and his fascist
flunkie Oliver North funneled South American cocaine to dealers in the
United States to pay for the weapons they illegally sold to Iran to get
them to KEEP our hostages in prison until after Jimmy Carter was defeated
in the 1980 election. The current U.S. military activities in Colombia,
Kosovo, Afghanistan and to some extent Iraq are about maintaining their
satanic hold on the world's drug trade as they are about anything else.
3. Spurious drug convictions account for more than 50% of all current
U.S. prison inmates. These are some of the best and brightest people in
our society who are actually recruited by paid law enforcement bounty hunters
to swell the American prison population in order for prison industries
to have more suckers working at 11 cents an hour, enabling those politically
connected companies to manufacture office furniture (Internet: Unicor)
and other saleable doodads at a lower cost, and thereby deprive non-convicted
Americans of jobs in these industries because American furniture companies
can't compete with slave prison labor. Sadly, it is the pill-popping, beer-swilling
American cops who put innocent and naive potheads in jail who are the real
Legalize marijuana now and the world will almost instantly become a
better place, no question about it.
- Unconditional pardon for Leonard Peltier. Of all
the atrocities we have committed, the greatest stain on the American soul
is the callous extermination of 60 million Native Americans over the 400
year period of our history. And this is a genocide that continues to this
day, as the U.S. continues to rob a far more noble race than our own their
basic dignity and security.
If you've read Peter Matthiessen's famous "In the Spirit of Crazy
Horse," you know beyond doubt that Peltier was railroaded into prison
without a shred of evidence for the 1974 murders of two FBI agents. Numerous
investigations since have only reinforced that popular perception; yet,
the forces of the police state continue to maintain their lie while at
the same time one of South Dakota's most prominent politicians, Senator
Janklow, continues to evade responsibility for the rape and murder of a
young Indian girl around the same time Peltier was unjustly convicted.
After 28 years in Leavenworth, Leonard Peltier continues to be the
spiritual leader of the oppressed American Indian community. He is America's
Nelson Mandela. A truly humane and conscientious country with the merest
whit of honesty would pardon him immediately. He would make a much better
president than the one we currently have, certainly.
- All Jews must leave Israel. The nation of Israel,
which has caused such consternation in the world's oldest neighborhood,
is a totally illegal and immoral entity. It was rammed down the throats
of the rest of the world by the U.S. and Britain, after a half-century
of plotting and bribery. When the vote was taken in the United Nations
in 1947, the entire world voted against the idea; yet, Israel was established.
Since that time, Zionist terrorists have stolen the land of its orginal
inhabitants, imprisoned them, tortured them, murdered them, and now it
wants to deport the rest of them.
All of this has come about because Jews, suffering from centuries of
neglect and inbreeding, misread their own holy teachings, and in their
pain, came to believe that Zion was a geographical location, rather than
what it really is, which is a place in the heart. As a consequence, Jews
have misinterpreted what it means to be "the Chosen" people.
Especially given the discrimination they have suffered down through
the ages, Jewish contributions in the world have been astonishing in many
fields. Our fundamental perceptions of the world have been shaped by Jewish
intellectuals like Freud, Einstein and Weinberg. But unfortunately, horrible
persecution caused their political perception to become skewed; hence the
perceived need for a fortress on earth, rather than the fortress in the
heart they already possess.
Realizing this, the time will soon come for Jews to return to their
real ethnic homelands in Poland, Ukraine and Argentina, where their creative
efforts are sorely needed. They of course would be more than welcome in
their satellite homes in South Florida and New York City, which are testaments
to the Jewish genius for comfort and fellowship.
Since they have chosen to reject the fallible concept of an afterlife
embraced by all of the other major religions on this earth, Jews will come
to understand that their true mission as "the Chosen" means that
God chose them to make a heaven on earth, and to assist all the peoples
of the earth who are less enlightened than themselves in this honorable
And as they travel and spread their genius for brotherhood and intellectual
achievement, they will remain secure in the knowledge that their Muslim
brethren, in accordance with the teachings of Muhammad, will continue to
preserve and protect and grant universal access to the Jewish holy sites.
This is Allah's will.
- A worldwide political and government "stand
down" for ethical auditing. If humanity ever succeeds in implementing
a truly just and functional society, in about the year AD 2500 the history
books will speak of an event that happened somewhere along the way when
the peoples of the world realized they could achieve better security and
a more fulfilling satisfaction by better understanding what their governments
actually did and who was actually running things.
Since civilization was first created around 3000 B.C., societies had
been centered on military power and economic exploitation, often called
by the neutral name "trade." But when the Earth's population
reached unsustainable levels, around A.D. 2000, the peoples of the world
realized that more planning was necessary to survival, and that previous
formulas of unending growth were only necessary if the planet's population
continued to increase. Economic growth, therefore, became impossible "
an injurious objective " when Earth's population growth declined toward
a relatively unchanging number.
If we, in fact, survive as a species, somewhere along the line we will
look back and see that we finally realized there were limits to growth.
The realization that growth was an outmoded illusion would have compelled
leaders to discuss ways to alter the dominant economic paradigm from one
of growth to one of maintaining stability. They realized that this data
could not be realistically gathered by a small cabal of men who controlled
farflung corporate entities with post-industrial technological magic, but
only by actual community leaders who knew firsthand the intimate details
of the actual neighborhoods they were involved in.
This epiphany, so long in coming, would have begun an inevitable geopolitical
trend toward genuine democratic decentralization, the thousands of representatives
of which each contributed personnel to an egalitarian, worldwide police
and judicial system that was not dominated by any single powerful entity
(as it is now). This system would have necessarily produced far more arguments
that the present system, but because of the egalitarian worldwide police
and justice systems not dominated by any one power source, would have resulted
in far fewer actual conflicts.
Essential to creating the genuinely egalitarian nature of this control
system would have been "the stand down," or hiatus of the existing,
corrupt political system, to be thoroughly dissected by the world's moral
and educational leaders. Representatives of religious disciplines would
have been excluded " or at least segregated " from this great
conference, because a consensus of leaders and people would have realized
that the old American idea of separation of church and state was essential
to realistic dialogue, something our current president has worked so hard
As Paul Harrison of the World Pantheist Movement has so eloquently
pointed out, religion is separate from the earth " there is no real
connection between religious precepts and geographical locations on Earth,
other than for purposes of outmoded ritual " hence, there is no real
point to including religious protocols to matters that involve geography
and economics, other than a general prayer that these discussions would
be conducted honestly and for the benefit of all.
Now, lapsing back out of the science fiction mode to the present political
impasse on this planet, I see no hope of restoring the integrity of the
United States without this kind of government "stand down," or
hiatus, where all federal officers and judges are geniunely investigated
by a politically impartial FBI for improper business dealings and criminal
activity. I am supremely confident that the vast majority of officeholders
in America in the year 2003 would wind up in jail as a result of this investigation.
(Are you listening, Bill Frist?)
I understand that this essay is all utopian fantasy. This is a world
where we talk about justice but don't really mean it. All the political
badinage about helping this segment of society or that poor country is
all just doubletalk as cynical aristocrats jockey for position to improve
their public image at the expense of millions of anonymous poor people.
These ideas may be fantasy " especially the interrogation of corrupt
governments, based on an imaginary viewpoint from the far future that we
actually succeeded in creating a civilization to be proud of.
In point of fact, our civilization is something we cannot be proud of.
Insincerity and duplicity rule. What appears in our public print little
reflects the criminal machinations of a power elite that exploits the poor
in every nation. Our most sincere teachers propagate myths that lead our
children toward hate and discrimination, and our leaders mumble deliberately
false propaganda that lead our impressionable offspring to believe that
America is a land of truth and justice, while the most percipient of the
older generation eventually come to realize that the basic dynamics of
civilization have not really changed in 5000 years, and that the truth
is bought and distributed by rich men to minds that have been deliberately
shaped to not understand what is actually going on.
In lapsing back from future science fiction to contemporary political
reality, I am forced to admit that it would be my fondest wish to see the
entire U.S. Congress, all members of the presidential administration, all
justices and judges above the level of normal courts arrested and jailed
without trial and without access to lawyers for the encyclopedia of crimes
they have all committed. I would like to see President Bush, Vice President
Cheney, his entire Cabinet and the Department heads Bush has named shipped
to and incarcerated at Guantanamo without access to counsel under penalties
for aiding terrorists that they themselves created in the Patriot Act.
But I know this won't happen. I know the world is not a noble place
where justice does not rule " only money does. And this is why we
continue, hellbent and headfirst, on our path to the destruction of own
species and most of the other ones, too.
- John Kaminski is a writer who often sits on the beach
and listens to dolphins singing songs about how the ocean is dying.