Tree Folk

by Michael W. Stowell

August 26, 2002


Most people don't think about trees much. A while back I was driving through southern North Dakota and stopped at a little 'mom and pop' convenience station for gas. The folks who were behind the counter gave me a skeptical eye; I was still in my Earth First! tee-shirt and had been well received in it at Fort Collins.

"What's that supposed to mean?" the lady asked.

I said, "It's a bunch of people who do what they can to save our little portion of the earth's rainforest. The rainforest is what provides us with air, you know."

She looked at me like I was a lunatic and flipped, "Well, we don't have any trees around here an' we got plenty of air."

Now it occurs to me, from time to time, who many Americans really are and why George Bush and his cronies get away with what they do.

Some interesting things came down the pipe this week. I'd not considered the American history of terrorism for some time, at least not comprehensibly, and I've rediscovered that it began with the first settlers and has increased exponentially since. Are any of us surprised? I think not, if we are truthful with each other and ourselves.

That's the nature of this insanely competitive world in which we live. Terrorism is the ultimate sales gimmick.

There's plenty of chatter about whether or not and when the U.S. military will obliterate Iraq, or at least Baghdad, at the whim and wherewithal of Dubya, Inc. Up until a few weeks ago I was looking at October for the reinvasion while, in fact, the bombing of Iraq has already increased to at least a couple of times every week and more civilian and public buildings have recently been destroyed; people have been hurt and killed. We know this bunch in the White Cave, they will do as much as possible beneath the radar screen and employ all the 'covert intelligence' and bribe money necessary to prove their dominance. It will be extremely costly and may well bust the world's economy, but if you control of the world's energy markets you'll more than survive the future 'cleansing' of those who are 'unsuccessful'. 'God's own' will likely wait out the congressional elections and work on the U.N. Security Council's endorsement.

In quiet support of peaceful negotiations, President Putin has closed a deal for a large trade agreement with the government in Iraq. And, of course, terrorized Moslem people all around the world are looking for leadership and support so they most certainly welcomed that noble gesture.

Resident Bush's counterpart in Zimbabwe was found naked in public last week. While witnessing an interview with Mugabe it became quite apparent to me that he is primarily concerned with his own welfare. Here is a man who was touted as a reformer, a revolutionary of sorts, but when faced with some critical decisions of right and wrong chose to court the devil and the World Bank. Twice burned, his administration is now employing terror to accomplish his own ends and, though he initially supported the white farmers who own much of the agricultural land, the roving gangs of thugs who now enforce racist rule have become convenient for the counter-revolutionary assault on lifelong citizens upon which the populace depends for food. The current travesty in Zimbabwe is as much about a racist who happens to be black using the race card to trump legitimate rights as it is about transnational corporate colonialization. If the farm workers are being exploited let them organize and negotiate; they should have that right upheld by the government. Property taxes should be increased to raise money to buy farmland for redistribution through grants; the larger the farm, the proportionately higher the tax -- we'll call it 'redistribution of wealth through diversification of the economy'. The situation there has decayed to overt and unabashed terrorism of, by, and against people of less than honorable intent as well as those caught in the middle; counterrevolution in the guise of social reform. Sound familiar?

The long-exploited countries of Africa should not take their eyes of the long-exploited countries of Central and South America.

Here in Arcata, behind the redwood curtain, we're contemplating the candidates for two City Council seats, enjoying the fine weather and the brown pelicans. The Humboldt State University students are back so our psychic energy level has spiked and Earth First! has a number of tree-sits up on the land, so many forest defenders are in the area. I'm thinking about joining them for a spell...there is something compelling about these trees.

Take a deep breath of fresh air and thank them.

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When's The Last Time The U.S. Bombed Iraq?

Terrorism watch (Third World Traveler)

Chronology of U.S. State Terrorism

A CENTURY OF U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTIONS, From Wounded Knee to Yugoslavia, compiled by Zoltan Grossman


Michael W. Stowell is chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Arcata Library in Arcata, CA. He is the producer/editor/videographer of numerous public access television programs; he is a naturalist, a gardener, a bicyclist and a Swans' columnist.

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This Week's Internal Links

Gulf War II - by Gilles d'Aymery

The 1991 Gulf War Rationale - by Gilles d'Aymery

Open Letter on Iraq - by Edward S. Herman, Anthony Arnove, Rahul Mahajan & David Peterson

Iraq: A Formula For The Future - by Philip Greenspan

Zimbabwe Under Siege - by Gregory Elich

Enduring Enmity, Radio And America: Field Marshall Lord Kitchener - by Milo Clark

Seeing 3 C's in the Caribbean Sea: Castro, Cuba and Communism - by Philip Greenspan

One Of Us - by Alma Hromic

Talking Past Congress - by Deck Deckert

Relative Value - by Milo Clark

Strange Times In A Strange World - by David A. Garrett

Going Home: viii - Ancient Ashes - Poem by Alma Hromic


Michael Stowell on Swans

Essays published in 2002 | 2001

Barbarians of Our Own Dark Ages? Debunking the Myth Behind the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (December 2000)


Published August 26, 2002
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