December 7, 2010

I used to live Oregon, but now I'm trying to survive Afghanistan in Buffalo

I used to live in Oregon. We had just moved into this old, beater house. It was our first night when I spotted a huge - no exaggeration - rat tail slip into the bathroom. My heart sank. I pursued it and discovered a large possum sitting in the corner. I grabbed a small, empty, plastic trash can and went after her. She hissed and complained, but I managed to catch her, drive her down to the riverside and set her free. She slowly wandered into the trees. I went home.

We caught a few more young possums over the next day or two. It's funny how your perspective can change. I thought I was being a nice guy taking the possum down by the river and setting it free. In fact, I had just separated the mother from her babies. Years later when I moved I found the last one dead and dried out in the top of a box of old papers.

Helmut Smits / the Netherlands / recycled sculptural art

Here in Buffalo many years later every once in a while I catch a glimpse of a mouse running along the back of the counter in the kitchen . It would run right over the trap that is supposed to catch them but not kill them. I know nothing about their lives or their families.

Tonight I came across this picture of a drumset and fantasized our little mouse wearing a beret, playing some jazz number while another one grabbed some food. The artist and the worker.

Perhaps we should leave musical apparatus or art supplies to entice them into our always empty catcher of the creatives. Maybe we should let them stay and learn to accomodate them by leafing through some old copies of a Buddhist version of Mother Earth News. I don't know any more.

I worry that I am becoming insensitive like the Obama regime or confused by all the death and torment. I realize these are only mice and our government is killing real and innocent people.

Too much war and occupation on my mind all the time. I know it's because there is too much war and occupation.

Congress people and media hacks - simple minds sans morals - want to execute Assange for giving us too much information and allowing us and the rest of the world to see what our government is up to. . . allowing us to see all the lying they do. Execute for educating - what a slogan. Instead of asking why these things are happening, their only interest is plugging the leak at any cost. In the meantime many more people will die or be barely surviving under the boot heel of American occupation. The banking and corporate world are circling the wagons and siding with the war criminals. They are the war criminals.

I watched the WikiLeaks video, Collateral Murder. It was horrifying. It was our military at work. The day to day horrors we put on the people over there. We do this year after year, day in and day out. Back home we are sheltered from this truth when, in fairness, we should all know that this happens in our name - financed with our money. The GIs know about it. We try to tell the stories.

Amazon should be rewarding WikiLeaks with some free space, not trying to silence them by kicking them off the internet. Could they, booksellers, be worried about people getting this information for free, cutting into their profits? More likely they have been pressured by government creeps who coerced them into siding with the war criminals (just guessing).

To their credit, thousands of sites around the world are mirroring the Wikileaks. Hackers are organizing to attack the sites of financial organizations that have locked down Wikileaks' accounts. Places like the Swiss bank and VISA and Mastercard.

Hopefully people will see it in their hearts to join boycotts of these freshly turned nefarious industries such as Amazon and Paypal.

According to, Daniel Ellsberg has done just that in a letter to

Daniel Ellsberg Says Boycott Amazon

Open letter to Customer Service: December 2, 2010
I’m disgusted by Amazon’s cowardice and servility in abruptly terminating today its hosting of the Wikileaks website, in the face of threats from Senator Joe Lieberman and other Congressional right-wingers. I want no further association with any company that encourages legislative and executive officials to aspire to China’s control of information and deterrence of whistle-blowing.

For the last several years, I’ve been spending over $100 a month on new and used books from Amazon. That’s over. I ask Amazon to terminate immediately my membership in Amazon Prime and my Amazon credit card and account, to delete my contact and credit information from their files and to send me no more notices.

I understand that many other regular customers feel as I do and are responding the same way. Good: the broader and more immediate the boycott, the better. I hope that these others encourage their contact lists to do likewise and to let Amazon know exactly why they’re shifting their business. I’ve asked friends today to suggest alternatives, and I’ll be exploring service from Powell’s Books, Half-Price Books, Biblio and others.

So far Amazon has spared itself the further embarrassment of trying to explain its action openly. This would be a good time for Amazon insiders who know and perhaps can document the political pressures that were brought to bear–and the details of the hasty kowtowing by their bosses–to leak that information. They can send it to Wikileaks (now on servers outside the US), to mainstream journalists or bloggers, or perhaps to sites like that have now appropriately ended their book-purchasing association with Amazon.

Yours (no longer),
Daniel Ellsberg

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