Antebellum Notes

Or, My Warning to Motorists

[UPDATED 03-09-2018 5:41 AM PST]

This is part x of a long-continuing series.

The short description for it is simple, if the reader truly understands the word: dharma.

The longer version follows. On my original post, one of the members of the logging crew that came in with the helicopter left a note confirming the story from a different angle. So …

Washington State in the foreground;
Oregon in the Background.

I do not know what YEAR of the antebellum it is (and please don’t argue that our Nintendo invasions are great wars; we are still in the peace between World War II and World War III) but we are most assuredly in it. The Afghanistan affair now ranks as the longest “war” on record, (even counting our long battle to pacify the Philippines as a mop-up after the Spanish-American War, 1898-1913 — one that they don’t teach you about in the American History Books) 2001 to present day (2018) but isn’t an actual “war.” To me, it seems now inevitable that a big* war [* i.e. a REAL war which is an existential threat to our nation’s existence] is coming: either a world-wide conflict or a new American Civil War, or, perhaps, both, simultaneously, as happened to Russia in World War I. So, as the Antebellum bleeds away …

A sad note begins it. The Democratic Daily, to which I’ve been cross-posting — since the heady days of Sean Hannity, Brent Bozell and Ted Nugent going on Faux Nooz — along with WorldNutDaily and certain “Liberal” blogs with scores to settle, evidently — to decry your Humble Correspondent and speculate upon the social utility of imprisoning him* — is dead. [Note that “The Democratic Daily” was used, instead of my actual blog, so as to catapult the phony meme that poor KKKonservatives are constantly being menaced by milquetoast liberals … such as myself.]

Whoever took it over at first attempted to use our old content, but, when informed that they only owned the DOMAIN name, switched the website to what looks like a pump-and-dump penny stock website. I dread the mischief that disinformation might cause in times to come. It is, naturally, registered anonymously via the Scottsdale conservative go-to site.

Requiescat In Pace

The domain has been sold, the website backed up, etc. The proprietor, Pamela Leavey,  began it as a John Kerry blog, as a Californian ex-pat from Massachusetts. It concluded as a Massachusetts blog with content pretty much exclusively written in Oregon. Tempus fugit. Memento mori: remember that you are mortal.

I am the eponymous, alleged “assassin.” This chiron is the
source of Mr. Nugent’s sourcing confusion in the clip above.

Blogging as a news phenomenon is pretty much dead, anyway. In the intervening years, The Big Boyz  jumped right in there, and pretty much took over the blogosphere. What was once thriving is now on life support, and, I fear, the heyday of the blogs will seem,as distant as Compuserve message forums or usenet news groups.

Take a look at Memeorandum today,* and notice how many “independent” blogs are seen.

[*hint: click on preferences at the top, right, and  check the box marked “Show Discussion Excerpts.”]

And take a look at Memeorandum ten years ago today, and notice how many independent blogs are seen.

Still, I persist.

Requiescat In Pace, Democratic Daily. We shall see what phoenix rises from her ashes.

This, is, of course, fake

Why One Does Not Give In To Despair

It has been asked of me — given my track record of being not only right about upcoming crises, but years ahead of the curve, consistently — why I do not give into despair at playing Cassandra: nearly always right, almost never listened to.

OK, the actual question that finally triggered this explanation is this: A friend I have known for many years has fallen into paranoid conspiracy theories. No: I won’t tell you which one. There are so many out there, from the Loch Ness Monster to HAARP. That’s not the point.

The sleep of reason breeds monsters. ~ Goya

I felt it incumbent upon myself to attempt to warn him, to provide some counter-evidence and perhaps even a discussion in dissuading him from spending his time on pointless fantasies and perhaps refocus onto worthwhile stuff that could ACTUALLY make a difference (as in: even if it’s “TRUE” dude, WTF could you possibly DO about it? Why not focus on stuff where you could actually make a difference?).

And I was asked: Why do you bother? There’s like zero chance he’ll respond.

And THAT led to a long meditation on my history as a Cassandra: a prophet nearly always correct and nearly never listened to, for all that.  Why do it? Why not stop and return to the rat race, and make pithy commentary on the same news stories every one else makes predictable commentary on? Why not just go for the cash-paying outlets and forget this stupid blogging thing? It hasn’t brought you much else other than grief.

Well, that one is easy to answer, and it starts with a story about a high mountain pass in the Cascades.

I was returning with a friend from a weekend acting as tour guides and telescope operators at Pine Mountain Observatory in Central Oregon. It was late summer, and the notoriously seasonal McKenzie Pass road* was open over the high Cascade lava flows. It is a spectacularly beautiful drive, and as we hit Sisters, Oregon, we took the fork in the road instead of the all-weather, main Santiam Pass highway back to town. Because it was a spectacularly beautiful Sunday morning.

[OK, officially, the “McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway.” Try saying THAT with soup in your mouth.]

McKenzie Pass Summit 5325 ft. (Public Domain)

We stopped at the top for the obligatory rest stop.

And the view of the Cascade high country.

And then we headed back down to Eugene. Nice Sunday. Sunny, perfect.

Now, kiddies, there is a REASON that 242 over McKenzie Pass is considered a “dangerous road.”

Sadly, neither the Federal, nor the State, nor the commercial websites ever note this portion of the McKenzie Pass Wikipedia entry (the same one on the GIANT SIGNS at both entrances of Oregon 242): “Highway 242 is not recommended for large trucks, trailers or motor homes due to numerous tight switchbacks.”

Actually, I think the sign language is even more explicit. But it’s a damned shame that all the armchair Winnebago warriors plotting next year’s “adventure” never see that warning before they get to the famed “scenic byway.

Anyway, we drove down below tree line, to where the Giant Trees of the Willamette Valley begin.

And at the end of just such a straightaway, as the road turned sharply left, there was parked an Oregon State Police patrol car, and a red triangle warning us to stop. We were perhaps the fifth or sixth car in the ad hoc line.

Mel shut off his Dodge Ram pickup and we walked down to the corner, where it became instantly apparent that some numnuts had decided, in good Republican fashion, that the signs didn’t apply to HIM and that he’d decided to take his semi cab and trailer up 242 ANYWAY and had jack-knifed the rig around a hairpin turn and a steep hillside.

It also didn’t take a lot of smarts for US to instantly realize that there was not going to be any way down 242 THAT Sunday. As we walked back to the truck, I said: “Walk normally. When we get in the truck, execute a ‘Y’ turn and we go back.” Mel agreed.

And we casually executed the turn and drove back up towards the summit. There were already perhaps another fifty cars lined up as we retraced our route. And as we drove the five miles back up to the top and the Dee Wright Observatory at the top, I, sitting in the passenger’s seat, waved off every car we encountered. Waving crosses and then backoffs.

Naturally, nobody paid any attention.

But I had been thinking about that for months before that. That winter, there had been a savage winter storm that had washed out a bridge on Interstate 5 near Sacramento, California, over the Sacramento River.

One fellow saw it, and managed to stop just in time. He had gotten out of his car and tried to flag down two or three cars that were also speeding towards the sudden death trap. Three cars completely ignored him and launched themselves and their inhabitants into Eternity.

And I knew that when I tried to flag down the cars heading down from the summit.

Finally, Mel asked, “Why are you even trying? Nobody’s going to listen to you.”

And I said this: “I know they’re not going to listen to me. That’s not what I’m doing. What I want is for them to have to sit there for the next six hours thinking ‘that guy was trying to WARN us about this and we didn’t listen‘.”

And that’s why I still blog.

Nobody’s going to listen, evidently, but eventually, the human species can think to themselves, Somebody saw these disasters coming and tried to warn us about history in real time, and we didn’t listen. Maybe they’ll listen after that. Maybe it will even save their lives.

I am responsible for the truth that I see, and my vision has proved pretty good over the years: The “Tea Party Express” back when it was “You Don’t Speak for Me, Cindy.” Foster Friess. Robert Mercer and his Kookie Daughters. The Brothers Koch. Eric O’Keefe. Howie Rich. John Tillman. The Neoconfederate political underground. The resurgence of the Neo-Nazis. My warning on Facebook that racist groups were going to rise as “white majority” ceased to be. The hostile libertarian takeover of the GOP. Exactly what was going to happen in the first two years of the Obama Administration. That Afghanistan was far from over, and that it would return to the headlines. That the Russians were attempting to manipulate the American election, and how Wikileaks was operating as a witting or unwitting Russian agent. Etc. Etc. Etc.

At one point in 2016, it seemed like all the top headlines had been cribbed from my blog. Sometimes YEARS earlier.

We stopped at the summit, to see how many others had turned around, but no cars came back. I don’t know what happened, but it doesn’t take much to imagine that someone tried to do a Y-turn like we did, and got stuck in the tight quarters of the narrow road and everybody ahead of them ended up stuck there, as well.

We got back to Eugene in mid-afternoon on a perfect summer day. Our prudence had saved us from unknown hassle.

The next morning, I woke up early, and turned on the local TV news, and guess what led the news? Yup. The jack-knifed semi up near McKenzie Pass. And there was a nice shot of the Sikorsky Sky Crane helicopter they’d had to borrow from a logging company to finally clear that jack-knifed semi when all standard cures failed, and the reporter cheerily noted that those backed up motorists on both sides weren’t able to move until sometime around 3 AM that night.

Go back! It’s a TRAP!

So no. I don’t mind that a decade and more’s spot-on warnings have met with stone ears and stonier heads.

Like those motorists on a perfect Sunday afternoon, there will be a long time to think “Oh. So THAT’S what he was trying to warn us about!

This ‘blogging’ thing has always been meant as a proof-of-concept of the notion that one can live consciously in history, and that, if one removes one’s blinders, and observes the world closely, the truth is not at all hidden from sight.

The old intelligence community debate: which tells more? passive or active (i.e. agents “inside” etc.) observation?

My contention is that the world is fundamentally honest and that the “force of history” is discernible. The corollaries are that “conspiracies” almost inevitably backfire, given that the river of history is too strong for any man or group of men to fundamentally divert from its course, or reverse.

That may seem crazy, and I may well understand Cassandra intimately, but there it is. The results speak for themselves.

By the way, the hate-speak of Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent HAVE brought us far closer to civil war than we were in 2007. Unimaginably so.

You don’t need to be a prophet to see the way that the dominoes are falling.

Don Quixote by Gustave Doré

Still, I’ll be the one you see waving. You might want to take a moment to consider that I’m not just doing it to give my arms a workout.




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3 responses to “Antebellum Notes

  1. I want is for them to have to sit there for the next six hours thinking ‘that guy was trying to WARN us about this and we didn’t listen‘.

    You just made my day. I wish there were something I could say to console, but nobody listens to me either. The Nature of Old Men Yelling at Clouds.

    I was with the logging crew ODOT borrowed that skycrane, and her certified long line cargo handler crew, from to move that truck. Had us a grand old time, paid top dollar, more fun than making babies.

    To Mac!

    Liked by 1 person