Independence Day?

Independence Day?

We recently celebrated the 4th of July or ‘Independence Day,’ and these thoughts came to me. Due to my recent divorce and failed trip to L.A. i.e. my transmission went out on me the third day I was there, I have been getting a taste of the ‘homeless life.’ I really don’t like using the term or having people use it to describe my situation e.g. when applying for food stamps recently, a social worker referred to me as ‘homeless’ because I didn’t have an address and told her I was sleeping in my van. I don’t like the term because it has so many negative connotations associated with it. I jokingly tell my friends that I’m not actually homeless because I have my RV i.e. my 1983 Ford Econoline van with a box spring & mattress in it. Anyway, I’ve been up and down the West Coast from Portland to L.A., L.A. back to Portland, Portland to Seattle, Seattle to Port Angeles, & Port Angeles to Newport, Oregon over the last three months and everywhere I go, I feel like a fugitive. Everywhere I go there are signs saying no parking, no overnight camping, etc. I have to move every night to a new location so as to hopefully not attract anyone’s attention—especially the cop’s!

And during the day I have to be careful about not sitting in my van too long & especially not near any schools, playgrounds, parks, etc. for fear that someone will think I’m a child molester or pervert. And since the Oklahoma City bombings a few years back, I believe people are fearful in general of anyone sitting in a white, unmarked van. I periodically flash back to the 1960s when there was that wonderfully exhilarating sense of freedom in the air. I recall the almost tangible vibe of connection and care about everyone e.g. Civil Rights, the Flower Children, the Anti-War Movement, etc. I hitch-hiked across the U.S. in 1974 and met a lot of really cool people who trusted me and some of whom went really out of their way to help me out. Nowadays I bet it’d take me three months or better to simply hitch from L.A. to Portland which I used to do in a couple of days.

Some social and political critics have argued that because of the ‘excesses’ of the 60s i.e. free love & drugs lifestyle as well as all the student and anti-war protests, that America has swung to the far right politically & socially. I have to agree with this assessment sadly. It appears to me that the status quo or those in power today, have sought to kill every last bit of freedom we enjoyed in the 60s & early 70s e.g. camping on the beach, sleeping in public parks, hitch-hiking, etc. And when I hear that smug, little Alfred E. Newman look-alike we call president, declaring to the world that we are bringing ‘democracy’ & ‘freedom’ to the world, I say to myself, “yeah, some freedom & democracy, Russia is probably more free than the U.S. under our little dictator.”

Freedom? Try finding a job nowadays. You have to pass random drug tests, a criminal background check, and sometimes even a credit background check. And as I recently learned, some credit card corporations purposely give you a bad credit rating so their competitors won’t try to lure you away. My record continues to haunt me i.e. follow me my whole life. I got busted in 1972 and was convicted for possession of two ounces of marijuana. I received three years of probation and didn’t get so much as a jay-walking ticket for the entire probationary period but I continue to be punished for this terrible crime to this day, thirty-four years later. I recently reapplied to a school district that I worked for in the past and have letters of recommendation from even a top administrator but they don’t want to hire me again because of my sinful past! You can be president of the United States and admit to experimenting with pot e.g. President Clinton, but I guess the difference is that he didn’t inhale? Yeah right!

Or consider the case of our current Commander in Chief or Commander in Charge of Corruption i.e. the Bushwhacker, he was busted for D.U.I. I believe a couple of times? In addition, he was convicted of cocaine possession and was AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard for eight months or more & had his pilot’s license revoked because he refused to take the mandatory drug test for pilots. And mysteriously his record just disappeared? Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that his daddy was director of the C.I.A. could it? Freedom? Yeah right. Freedom for the rich and the powerful to get away with murder, to get their sons into the Texas Air National Guard even though ‘Dubya’ only scored one point above the minimum score necessary to get in & even though there were hundreds of other guys ahead of him on the list. Yeah, fuck all the poor bastards who don’t have rich or ‘connected’ daddies like the Bush dynasty who made part of their fortune by doing business with the Nazis.

Bush loves to rail against the welfare state, well what about the millions spent to train him to be a pilot wasted because he didn’t want to stop partying? It’s the same old story i.e. welfare for the rich—billion dollar government contracts with no outside bidding allowed, paid for by our tax dollars & when they start to make a profit, the profits are not shared with us, the taxpayers who financed their business venture, no, the profits are split up between the top executives & often not even with their employees. And these free market champions are the ones who demand the end of social welfare spending & slash the budget of every federal social welfare program they can get their hands on. So, those who really need help, are left to beg and go homeless in this ‘compassionate conservative’ t.v. western land where the phony, bantam chicken-hawk we are saddled with, struts the world stage saying “bring ‘em on” so all the working class poor slobs who have little if any other options than to join the military, can die for their country but their country won’t even provide them with health care, a quality education, or welfare should they return from war & not be able to find a job!

Making the world safe for democracy and freedom? Yeah, like hell! Bush is the Wizard of Oz i.e. the master manipulator behind a screen of secrecy & deception, but unlike the benevolent Wizard of Oz, Bush & Co., are evil warlocks plotting the overthrow of the world & their real goal is anything but democracy and freedom. They are striving for an absolute dictatorship, oligarchy, or theocracy with them and their kind in total control over every single, minute detail of our work lives & our private lives! And they wonder why the young rebel?

No sleeping on the beach or in the parks. No being in a park after dark. All dogs must be on leashes. No camp fires on the beach. No alcohol allowed. We pay and pay with our tax dollars for all these so-called ‘public’ parks local, state, & federal but it’s never enough because when we do visit them, we pay again & it’s often the price of an inexpensive motel? Where are the poor, the working class, & the homeless allowed to be? They’re not allowed in our ‘public’ parks because they can’t pay. It’s like it’s illegal for them to be alive! The corrupt cockroach class in control have unofficially and secretly declared war on the ‘lower strata’ of our society because they offend their aesthetic & delicate sensibilities.

Furthermore, consider the fact that it’s the law that you have car insurance even though they cancel your insurance the minute you get in an accident. It’s the law that you have a babysitter even though you only make minimum wage. And note that Congress always fights any attempt to raise the minimum wage but regularly gives themselves raises. It’s against the law to drink and drive but if you’re a cop, a judge, a lawyer, a fireman, etc., you either get a free ride home or the cops escort you home allowing you to continue driving even though you are drunk. In other words, the laws are made to keep the rabble in line not because they really give a shit about us. The laws are made to keep the poor, the workers, & the middle class suppressed & obedient. The laws are also made to force the poor to give their meager earnings to the rich e.g. mandatory auto insurance, no sleeping on the beaches or in the parks, etc. I was hitch-hiking from L.A. to Portland many years ago and got into Santa Barbara late at night. I knew I wouldn’t get another ride that night so I went in search of a park where I could crash for the night. I had just unrolled my sleeping bag when I saw a cop’s searchlight fanning across the park. I had my license out before the cop even got to me. I told him what I was doing and he said sorry but the motel owners around the park here complain whenever travelers try to spend the night in the park because they want everyone to have to pay them to stay overnight.

Of course, one could argue the merits of these laws and I could list hundreds of other ‘laws,’ but my purpose was to illustrate the overall repressive & restrictive state of our society. As for George ‘Dubya’ Bush, that coward of a cockroach from Crawford, we need to turn the light of truth & critical analysis on him & all the corrupt, corporate cockroaches. The task falls to us because the corporate media are spineless, money-grubbing miscreants who don’t give a damn about their duty to inform us or speak truth to power. Each of us has to face up to our responsibility before the last vestiges of those precious freedoms we so love to brag about, are gone forever! If each of us follows the light of our spirit and our reasoning, collectively we will have the light of the sun & all the corrupt and crass cockroaches will run for the cover of their dark souls! One last note, I guess in the perverse minds of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc., anyone who isn’t physically locked up behind bars is free? Is this the kind of freedom and democracy they taught us about in elementary school? Is this what we’re fighting to protect? Is this the kind of society worth sacrificing your precious children for?

—Rob DeLoss, July 13, 2006

2 replies
  1. hurley
    hurley says:

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    • admin
      admin says:

      thanks again and please keep on reading and responding. I am searching for answers and this is just an open-ended conversation. No man is an island.


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