Tag Archives: Fukushima

One American, 2014

eagle2013 was a tough year for freedom, here in America and around the world.  But as we saw with the crisis in Syria, we will be heard when we stand up collectively and say, “No!”  Thwarting the globalist agenda in Syria was a small victory in a year where liberty took some major blows.  As we head into another year of looming financial and environmental disasters, corrupt politics and massive media distractions, I thought it important to reflect on the reasons I started this blog back in August.  Already, 2014 promises to be a touchstone year for how this battle will play out.  Fukushima is near total meltdown with the Earth basking in deadly radiation, teenagers mindlessly rampage throughout suburbia and an “unknown” virus is on the loose.  Meanwhile, the dear leader is conveniently on a two-week family vacation in Hawaii playing golf.  We must, as a nation and a species, wake up from our trance!

“Governments fall from sheer indifference.  Authority figures deprived of the vampiric energy they suck off their constituents are seen for what they are: dead, empty masks manipulated by computers.  And what is behind the computers?  Remote control, of course.  Look at the prison you are in- we are all in.   This is a penal colony that is now a death camp, the place of the second and final death.”

– William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands

08/24/13: One American (An Introduction)

With politics more divisive than ever, it’s nothing special when another political blog pops up featuring the hallmark, “I want my country back!” rant.  It’s just another red-state, right-wing, rifle-toting redneck who somehow managed to figure his way ‘round the internet, right?  Or, it’s one of these regular, disenfranchised, middle-aged white guys just looking out for their families, who turn into raging xenophobes when their wallet is targeted.  Except, if you read a little further, you’ll see I don’t quite fit these profiles, and that’s important.  Because those who seek to control you want you to believe there is no common ground among the American people; they want our country polarized and divided, because it serves their purposes.

I was born in 1975 and grew up in a working-class family in the San Francisco Bay Area.  My dad was a Portuguese immigrant and my mom was born in Mississippi to Scotch-Irish parents.  Upon their families converging in California, they met and married.  My dad was a Teamster and drove a forklift.  My mom became a teacher and also worked at a semiconductor fab in Silicon Valley.  Our household was white, blue-collar and Democrat.  Ours was that mythical, normal, suburban life.  You know, Cub Scouts, soccer, skateboards and Nintendo.  We shared that lifestyle with families from many different backgrounds:  Black, Filipino, Korean, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.  And on Independence Day, we would all have block parties, barbeques, water balloon fights and shoot off fireworks together.  We were the melting pot.

As a teen, I was repulsed by politics and politicians.  I was spiritually minded, introspective and non-competitive; I leaned about as far left as possible in my manner of thinking.  Eventually, I reasoned I should be a good citizen and participate in the election process, so I cast my first vote for Bill Clinton, who defeated Bob Dole (and Ross Perot) in 1996.  In the 2000 election, not impressed with either George Bush or Al Gore, I voted for Ralph Nader on the Green Party ticket.  The events of September 11, 2001 changed my trajectory.  I remember wondering to myself that day why our jets weren’t in the air within hours.  Why the delay?  I started to open my eyes, but not in the way you might be inclined to think.  I didn’t develop a fear of Osama Bin Laden or Muslims.  Living in the Bay Area gifted me with great cultural diversity.  I had friends and classmates who were Muslim.  I studied world religions in college and as a personal interest.  I read poetry by Rumi.  When the Bush Administration decided to invade Iraq in 2003, despite no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, I started having serious doubts about the true motives of our government.  I remember the distinct feeling that something was wrong while watching the media coverage of the “shock and awe” bombardment of Baghdad.  In 2004, I voted for John Kerry and in 2008, I voted for Barack Obama, disillusioned with the declining state of the nation under Bush, but hopeful.  In 2012, I decided not to give Obama my vote for a second term and instead voted for Gary Johnson, candidate for the Libertarian Party.

The truth is, I’m not a Libertarian.  I’m not a Liberal.  I’m not a Conservative.  I’m not a Progressive.  I’m not a Democrat or a Republican.  I’m not the Tea Party.  I’m not a Socialist, a Communist or a Capitalist.  I’m not an environmentalist.  I’m not Occupy.  I’m not Anonymous.  I’m not an anarchist.  I’m not a conspiracy-theorist.  I’m not LGBT.  I’m not a Portuguese-Scotch-Irish-American.  In other words, I don’t have an agenda.  I am One American.  And I don’t own a gun… yet.

Without disparaging these groups, I have to ask, why are we, as a nation of individuals, so inclined to identify ourselves so narrowly?  Liberals are not liberal and Conservatives are not conservative.  I started this blog, in part, to demonstrate that despite our differences and contrary to what the media conditions you to believe, we all have a lot more in common.  And, we all have a lot at stake.  I am proud to be an American.  I love American culture.  I love American values.  I don’t believe in “tolerance” I believe in celebrating and embracing diversity.  I love all people.  I believe in family.  I believe in humanity.  I believe in love and compassion.  I believe in freedom.

Fully acknowledging the many blemishes on the history of the United States of America and the imperfections of the men who founded our country and wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the ideals that we, as Americans, value and aspire to are noble and unmatched in the history of Western civilization.  The values of liberty, truth and justice are worth fighting for.  The errors of the past and present should be held up to this light and made right.  Even if one argues that the Constitution was not originally meant to protect Natives, or Blacks or women or immigrants, it shall, by will of the people.  The problem is, the idea of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is rapidly being washed awayOur ability to function as a free nation will end if we do not identify the true enemies of freedom and stop them.  In America, the idea of representative government has been usurped by subservience to special interest groups, the military-industrial complex, multi-national corporations and banks.  In this type of society you are not a citizen, you are a subject.

The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees my freedom of speech.  Despite this, for what I have just written in these few paragraphs, I can now be targeted by our government as a potential terrorist.  That should be disturbing to anyone reading this blog.  In fact, to be considered a terrorist, you no longer need to express disdain for the government, you merely need to proclaim support for the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  If you’re a veteran returning from war or you proudly display the American flag, you’re dangerous.  I have always been an independent thinker.  As such, I have witnessed my own philosophy and world view morph several times.  Now it’s beginning to crystallize.  My core values and beliefs, those which have been constant throughout, have triggered an alarm inside me.  I am distraught.  Even I, not being a member of any Tea Party group, not owning a gun, not being particularly religious, can see the injustice of the IRS targeting conservative groups.  Perhaps you think this is ok, since you don’t agree with Tea Party politics.  But the fact of the matter is, wrong is wrong.  It is not politically relative.  They’re coming for everyone, eventually.  They’re coming for you too.

Those crying “I want my country back” can’t be so narrowly categorized anymore.  We’re not all “bitter clingers” or “joe sixpacks”.  We are students, engineers, laborers, farmers, veterans, journalists, police officers, taxi drivers, scientists, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, truckers, doctors, teachers, designers, athletes, mechanics, small business owners- people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds.

Ironically, in 2004 I stood on a street corner in Northern California with my wife, who is Lakota, and our newborn daughter holding a sign reading “Iraq Lies Cost Lives”.  Even in “liberal” California I was cursed at and threatened.  It distresses me to see people who so vehemently opposed the Iraq War and then President George W. Bush, now lining up in support of President Obama, when he has only extended and deepened Bush’s abuses of executive power.  We are a label-handicapped society.  Is this irrational support of Obama because he’s a Democrat?  Is it because he’s a Liberal?  Is it because he’s Black?  Now, as I witness liberty groups, defenders of the Constitution, gun owners and people opposing President Obama’s policies being labeled as racists and potential terrorists, I have to wonder, who do they think we are?  If you and I are the enemy, who are they?

Originally published: 08/24/13

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Lamenting The Coast

bean_hollow_tide_poolIn 2006, before my family left the San Francisco Bay Area for the state of Montana, my wife had a dream.  In the dream, her and I were living in a futuristic apartment near the shore, but there was something separating us from the ocean.  It was a dome.  We couldn’t figure out how to get down to the water, which washed against the exterior of the dome.  Inside the dome there was a form of artificial daylight, but gazing outside, we could see a starry night sky.  We were upset.  At the time, she didn’t know what the dream meant.

My wife and I were married on the beach in 2002, and it has always been a spiritual place for us.  We honeymooned along scenic Highway 1, from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz to Monterey.  Some of my most cherished memories center around our many trips to Pescadero or Bean Hollow: falling asleep together on the sand dunes and waking up sun-burnt, playing the kalimba to the sounds of seagulls calling and the crashing surf (I still have a mini-cassette recording somewhere) or watching baby sharks swim through my legs- baby sharks!  When I was a teenager, my friends and I would frequent the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in the summer and go boogie-boarding.  We would marvel at the golden flakes of iron pyrite in the water as they shimmered in the sun.  In high school, the ocean nearly took my life when I caught my leg between some rocks while trying to escape the incoming tide.  The ocean is home, and when my wife moved to California to live with me, it became her home as well.

Life has not been easy for our family in Montana and for years we have tried in vain to return home to California.  One thing or another has always stood in our way:  family, money, college and now it seems atomic radiation, due to the ongoing situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan.

If, in reconsidering a move back to California, I were to attempt to explain the very real dangers of radiation exposure to my folks, they would undoubtedly say I was overreacting.  After all, if all you do is sit in front of the television watching mainstream news, you would assume the whole Fukushima nuclear disaster was over and everything was under control.  The current media blackout on Fukushima is even more complete than the blackout over the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  With cooperation from the media, TEPCO and the governments of Japan and the U.S. have largely downplayed the risks.

But many scientists and experts believe the risks are significant.  We know that the Fukushima nuclear plant is still in crisis.  We know that TEPCO continues to evacuate hundreds of metric tons of radioactive sea water into the Pacific Ocean.  The initial disaster resulting from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011, has already exposed thousands, if not millions, of people in North America to a sizable amount of radiation, and, as I write this post, a massive plume of contaminated water is heading straight for the West Coast.  It is set to arrive in 2014.  Hardest hit will be Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia (Canada), Washington, Oregon, California and Baja California (Mexico).

Furthermore, next month TEPCO will begin the daunting task of manually removing over 1,300 fuel rods from the facility’s damaged No. 4 reactor.  The entire operation will take years to complete and is wrought with potential mishaps, reports RT and others.  Worst case scenarios approach the cataclysmic, but best case scenarios are bad enough.  Even now, high levels of radiation have been detected in cow’s milk from U.S. dairy farms, which indicates the radiation has penetrated the food and water supply.

Surely Montanans are being radiated too- we all are.  But what kind of exposure levels should we expect if we decide to move back to the Bay Area?  What should we expect after visiting the beach a few times, wading in the water and breathing in the ocean mist?  What if my wife or daughter were to develop thyroid cancer or leukemia several years from now?  These are the risks that need to be analyzed and addressed by our government, for the safety of our citizens.  But as cancer rates see a sharp rise in North America, or more dead sea creatures wash ashore, more than likely it will never officially be blamed on the Fukashima disaster.

It’s surreal.  These days, I feel as if I’m clinging to my memories of the ocean like a fading dream, meanwhile my wife’s bizarre dream is becoming more and more like a prophetic vision.  I understand dream symbolism.  Of course the dream represents obstacles to returning home.  It represents being separated from a peaceful, comforting place.  My thoughts brought me to tears the other day.  It was not an ordinary sadness, but an exasperation over the dire condition of our planet and what we are facing as human beings.  Perhaps God is working to keep us from going back to California, to protect us from one calamity or another.  I have tried to comfort myself in this, knowing full well that our nation is teetering on major upheaval.  Maybe I am overreacting; maybe we’ll go back after all.  I’m confident God will reveal his plan to us, that our path will become clear.  In the meantime,  I guess the mountains are nice too.