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CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Bad Guys Multiply, But One Might Turn...

 

...and with that essay on Deep Flanking open, he got nowhere in a big hurry.

A man entered the pub, looked around, and spotted Ambros. The fellow tipped his cap—a baseball cap with some amorphous left-ish symbolism where a team logo might ordinarily be—and nodded knowingly at Ambros.

Ambros’ hackles rose immediately, and his instincts started yelling at him: ‘Cop! Cop!’

The man nodded at him again. He groaned internally: ‘Another interruption...? Well, I am in a public place.’

He reminded himself that he’d got a lot done already, in the times between interactions: ‘New Pismo says...twenty pages, approximately 8000 words. Really? Excellent!’

He looked away, but kept the man in sight peripherally. He could see the man buying a pair of whiskies, and beginning to weave among the tables in his direction. He looked over his shoulder, confirming that his bug-out route remained clear.

He heard the sound of two shot glasses hitting the table; he looked back and found the man standing in front of him, left hand on the back of the facing chair. Ambros sent a mental command to his laptop: ‘Record this encounter’. It beeped quietly, acknowledging the command.

“Ambros Rothakis? Hector Miller,” the fellow said, holding out his hand: “Friends call me ‘Heck’.”

“Mr Miller,” said Ambros, pointedly, shaking the proffered hand.

“May I sit down? I bought you a Jameson’s...” Miller pushed the shot across the table towards Ambros.

Ambros shrugged: “I’ll accept that. Sit down. Do you have some business with me?” He did not touch the glass.

“I thought you might be interested in a project I’m developing...”


 
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I put one new paragraph in here; it's right after section on economics and it's in brackets. Surrounding it there are some concepts I recently added that I want to write about soon: they are marked with three asterisks:***  

HOW many people would be willing to risk the destruction of society in order to transform it?

 

Part I- An Introduction; Some Definitions

                       

         First of all, the following essay is chock-full of opinions, that is, unsupported assertions. Some of them (most of them?) I could support with citations, and perhaps in future versions of this essay I will do so. Right now, I’m doing a first draft, and sharing it with some of my friends.

When I mention historic events, such as the Paris Commune, I am interpreting those events from an anarchist-syndicalist perspective. ‘Utopias’ that begin with non-anarchist premises, such as philosopher kings or a technocratic ruling class, I will dismiss as non-utopian.  If that troubles you unduly, you should read some other essay.

[AT SOME POINT in this essay, I need to write about how and why money economies are irrational. For now, I will state that I’ve never researched any part of history where money economies did not constantly and consistently move resources or the access to resources from the Whole to a small class of people at the ‘top’ of the social scale who no longer needed more resources, which is (I hope you see), a fundamental irrationality.]

In this essay, when I speak of  “the System”, I mean to indicate the economic, political and cultural complexes that control our lives, whether through limiting access to resources, via outright regulation, or by Spectacle and censorship. 

         Now before I go any further, I suppose I need this disclaimer: when I say that the whole world is now run by crony Capitalism and Stalinist bureaucracies, I mean the Whole World. And I don’t mean that some places have one and others another of those Crimes Against Humanity, but that every nation on the planet has both, to one degree or another. Everywhere I look, I see Stalinist-style bureaucrats ‘regulating’ incestuous profiteers or the profiteers buying off the bureaucrats.

                   

         The System we live under is fucked up in a lot of depressing ways, but trying to enumerate them all is a waste of time. In a nutshell, though (or in a nutcase, if you’ll have it that way): we are suffering from our politics, our economy, and our culture. Together, these three constructs* are destroying the ecosystems on which we and all other living things depend. To save ourselves and advance the cause of human freedom and, indeed, the survival of the species, we need to advance on these three fronts simultaneously. I was going to write that “it goes without saying” that these three problems are deeply intertwined, making it necessary to advance upon all these fronts together. But it doesn’t go without saying: too many people focus on one at the expense of even thinking about the others.

 

[*We humans constructed our politics, economy and culture. Politics is the only part that we have even begun to see as a construct, that is, as something we can consciously alter. Think: "the right of the people to alter or abolish", applied to an economy or a culture.]

 

         Past suggestions for utopian societies have usually been too limited. That is, one or the other of the three problems mentioned above is seen as paramount. Also they have been too narrow: early risers think everyone should be up at the crack of dawn, philosophers think the world should be run by philosophers, jealous spouses... well, you get the idea. And yes, Ursula Le Guin and William Morris have done better on those particulars, mostly in the realm of fiction. [That’s the area I usually work in.]

 

         I ask myself what would constitute a Utopia  (a “better place”) in my opinion. So far this is what I’ve come up with:

The basic anarchist/syndicalist/situationist project is ‘generalized self-management in a moneyless economy’. As a minimum program this still strikes me as usable. The idea that those working on a project have the best chance of completing it if they control it themselves seems to me obvious. (Of course, if your project is going to do harm to other people, those other people will have something to say about it.)

         The fact that I felt like I had to put that last sentence in tells you how truly absurd the System is.

         So anyway, here goes:

I. Politically I think we can’t do much better than the old French revolutionary slogan: “Liberty, equality, fraternity”. I know we need a better, more inclusive word for ‘fraternity’. I also realize that I am writing this in a country where we have a modicum of liberty. I can write and even publish something like this and not get gitmoed for it.. Yet. But equality, even just equality before the law, is a bad joke in America, and I would say we haven’t ever really gotten started on fraternity.

 

Fortunately, or inevitably, depending on how you view History, an organizational form has already emerged which can be adapted to the administration of a truly free politics. Called the ‘Assembly-Council-Committee’ system, its advocates have carried it into many anti-establishment movements in recent years. The ‘councilists’ or ‘assembyists’ as they call themselves, have done a fine job so far of explaining (in theory) what they envision, and have made progress in practice in a number of different places, and within various organizational settings. For now, suffice it to say that the Assembly is also the executive; no power inheres in Council or Committee; and members of the Council or the Committees can be removed, individually or all at once, at any time, by the Assembly.

 

The details of how such a politics would function, I leave to my readers to imagine or research. But if every neighborhood has an intentional character, with such an assembly for solving problems, and every workplace, every school, every city and village, every institution whatsoever also have such, then they can federate regionally and ecosystem-wide, or even globally for the solution of the few really global problems that exist.

This organizational form, Assemblyism, is not something that sprang from the fervid imaginations of anarchist cranks, but is rather seen in its early form in every rising of the people since it first appeared in the mid-nineteenth century. (Or earlier: see “Luddites”.) More precisely, in 1871 in Paris, during the time of the Paris Commune, the people of that city took significant steps forward; and even so biased a source as Wikipedia cannot hide the inspiring nature of the various actions that the people there took in support of one another in a time of great stress. 

 

II. Economically we need to emphasize such production as will fill human needs first, and then seek to fulfill our desires.* We may indeed never obliterate greed from our hearts individually, but we can at least not encourage it collectively (more on this under ‘Culturally’ below). We also need equity, which is not the same as equality; which is to say: only once everyone’s real needs (food, drink, housing, clothing) are fulfilled do we individually or collectively seek to fulfill our desires, and never in such a way as to deny others the opportunity to do the same. And finally, I think that economically speaking we need a good way to estimate Status, by which I mean the esteem or lack thereof in which others hold a person. I think Sir Geoffrey de Charnay’s slogan, “whoever does more is better, whoever does the most is best” at least gives us a clue there. The key, I think, is to reward effort with regard, with reputation, rather than with unequal access to resources. And the increase in one person’s Status must not lower someone else’s. Status should not be seen as a zero-sum game.

 

***Write about the workplace as a major source of oppression and discontent; syndicalist “Industrial Unionism” as a starting point for organizing in spite of our manifold differences; “Divide and Rule”.

***The origin of the phrase “from each, to each”.

 

***Liberating that phrase from the Authoritarian branches of the Left.

 

[The problem is, in part, Productivism. We can already, right now, produce anything we need or want in quantities far beyond what our corporate masters could ever sell. The "Crisis of Overproduction" means, to a large extent, that we are transforming food and fuel into objects and concepts that are of dubious use to the Whole of humanity. This is one of the bent and twisted cards at the bottom of the house of cards that is the global political/economic/cultural System.]

 

***From here: explain how “concepts” are a product and how such concepts (or maybe Constructs is a better word?) (Concepts become constructs?) when they do not align with science, facts and reality, lead societies into extinction.

 

***The global reach of our politics/economics/culture…the global crisis of overproduction and the concomitant poisoning of the planet.

 

         III. Culturally, in my Opinion, no society could be a Utopia that did not emphasize, in it’s cultural institutions, (including most crucially the educational system): Logic, Emotional honesty, and Empirical Evidence in the service of individual choice. And no society could approach Utopian status if the use of these virtues led any large number of people to feel Greed or Jealousy of the attainments of others.

 

         Another requirement of such a culture is that it be mostly at peace, within and without. Many theorists have questioned whether such a culture could even exist without being global in it’s reach; not necessarily identical worldwide, but with at least the vast majority of the populations of the sundry regions of the planet committed to the basics of the project. A fistfight, or even a more serious duel, would not perhaps be a threat to the Whole. More general violence would be, and some means to alleviate the threat of that would be in order. I trust that people, given the advantages of real freedom, from want as well as from coercion, will find a way forward that does not involve war. It is want, poverty, lack of security, or the fear of these things that inspires Greed and leads one group of people to attack another, hoping (mostly in vain) to wrest these things from them. Only when the world is free of want can it be free from coercion and the waste of large-scale warfare.***

 

A culture that expects some level of effort from all people and rewards extra effort in non-material ways, embedded in an economy where everyone’s basic needs are the first priority of the whole people and within a politics based on real equality, and where decisions are made, as a matter of principle, at the most local level possible, seems to me to be as close to the idea of Utopia as humans are likely to conceive, at least at first. What people would be like who would be born into and raised within such a culture, economy and political system is probably beyond our limited capacity to imagine. Surely they would at least regard us as profoundly insane; and before we could incite and carry out a revolution to establish such a society, we would have to first imagine it, not just a few of us, but ALL, (or nearly all) of us. Then we would have to learn to live in it. I expect it would be a tumultuous time, with plenty of disagreements, and lots of errors and starting-over moments. The details of ‘anarchist’ organizational principles I leave to you to imagine or research. (Opinions and proposals on such matters are not very hard to find, especially in the modern world. A few keystrokes and you are at an article about the Paris Commune. I invite you, then, to follow the links and learn.)

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Just Another Day or Two

 

 

Ambros tapped away at the keyboard on the ‘house desktop’ at Rose House. He had the place to himself, and he’d been sitting there when inspiration struck, so he just opened a new document and set to work.

 

‘Been thinking about this for a while...’

 

Marie and Kim came in the door; he typed a couple more lines and then leaned back in the ladder-backed chair, stretching until his vertebrae popped.

 

“Hey, sweetie, whatcha doin’?” said Kim, coming over to embrace him.

 

Marie blew a kiss and headed to the kitchen with a bag of groceries.

 

Ambros said, raising his voice to include Marie: “Writing an essay.”

 

Marie stuck her head out of the kitchen: “About what?”

 

“How to win the Timeline Wars.”

 

“Oh,” said Kim, ironically: “So, easy-peasy, huh?”

 

He shrugged: “The idea is simple. The execution is likely to be complex and difficult. Not to mention very dangerous. I’m working on the Introduction, explaining some historical examples I am going to refer to…”

 

“Bounce it off of us...” Kim sat down and looked over his shoulder.

 

“Okay, the idea is old as civilized versions of warfare. Not ‘civilized’ as in polite, but as in capturing cities and castles.”

 

“Go on...”

 

“Okay. It’s called ‘Strategic Flanking’ or ‘deep flanking’ by some. Related to ‘choosing your ground’ but more to do with mobility...

 

“Maybe the best way to get it across is with an example, one that has been well-studied ever since Lee blundered into Gettysburg.”

 

“You think Lee shouldn’t have fought there?” Marie asked.

 

“Not after the first day. Most critiques of Lee and his subordinates concentrate on tactical matters: they mention that the terrain is not in Lee’s favor, but then go forward as though with different decisions he could have changed the outcome. His underlings failed to capture Cemetery Hill on the first day, and Union troops occupied it; after that, Gettysburg is a losing fight for the Confederates.

 

“Once he’d seized the town, and looted all of the supplies he could find, Lee should have split. I cannot overemphasize how stupid it was to attack the high ground to the south of Gettysburg. But Lee was intent on destroying the Army of the Potomac, so much so that he seems to have lost all sense of proportion, not to mention forgetting all the lessons he’d learned in previous battles.”

 

“What kind of loot were they looking for?” asked Marie, ever practical.

 

Ambros laughed: “Well, food and fodder, of course. But the main thing Pettigrew was looking for was shoes.”

 

“What?” Kim looked incredulous.

 

“General Heth sent him to look for shoes. The Confederate armies were chronically short of footgear. A lot of rebel footsoldiers marched and fought their way through the entire war barefoot.

 





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COMING SUNDAY!

CHAPTER TWELVE: Just Another Day or Two

Wherein Mr Rothakis works on an essay; gives his Trines some equipment for their convenience and safety; makes a new friend; goes for a run; assists Averos and “meets” a mad scientist; visits Samuel B’s for writing and meets some interesting folks.

 

Patreon

Jan. 11th, 2017 05:31 pm
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 I did it. I sure hope I got the settings correct.

Patreon.com/A_M_Brosius
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CHAPTER ELEVEN: ...But Not Insane

 

 

Ambros woke in his tent in the swamp. He sat up, stretching, and rolled his shoulders. He crawled out of bed.

 

He stood and did an abbreviated set of stretches and calisthenics, then sat on top of his sleeping bag. He assumed the position he called ‘quarter-lotus’, which was an excellent passive stretch for his legs and hips.

 

As he stretched, he pondered: “I was never able to reach the Full Lotus position, however hard I tried...”

 

He tried it again, and, somewhat to his surprise, achieved the goal: “Ahhhh!” he cried out, briefly in intense agony. He had to use his hands to pull the upper leg off of his thigh before he could unwind himself.

 

He sat a while, stunned: “Okay,” he said: “I’ve been exercising and stretching a lot more lately...it’s not just something I do for myself. Now it’s part of my job...”

 

He sat nodding, adding up all of the little changes that he’d noticed over the past five months.

 

‘It’s not just that I’m exercising and stretching,’ he thought: ‘The Combat Medical treatments I’ve been getting are having more and more effects as time goes on. Each treatment adds stuff, and the effects are cumulative.’

 

He realized what that was leading up to: “I’m not Superman, and I won’t ever be...but with that armor, that tech…”

 

He shook his head, dismissing the disturbing train of thought. “Enough fantasies. I got work to do.”

 

He knew he was putting off an important insight: “Who cares?’

 He tapped his MPS alight and looked over the Calendars, separating and merging them and thinking about all of the things he had to do. A quick check showed him the time in the Commonwealth: “First bell plus fifty leptae...forty-five minutes past 7:30 AM...eight fifteen USIT time. I slept in.”

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CHAPTER TEN: Teaching and Learning

Ambros dropped in to his preferred spot in New York state, in US Imperial Line Six: at the bottom of the ridge near the former town of Peekskill. He was in his Commando armor, with all the weapons and gear the combat belt carried. He looked around, worrying.

‘Lots of snow,’ he thought: ‘It’s more than head-high in places.’ He walked between high banks of snow, where folks had shoveled and hauled it. The walls on either side alternated between layers of pure white, slowly compressed into ice at the bottom, and other strata of smoky gray. ‘Snow is normal for early December hereabouts. But this much? I don’t think so. It’ll only get worse as the year comes to an end...’ The sky was grey and threatening, the air very chilly: ‘Tech Guilds predict no summer for this Line, for at least the next year. Oh well.’

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CHAPTER NINE: At A Tangent...


Ambros dropped in to the War Room. He walked around the room, slowly. He listened for a bit to the person or group of people operating each machine, and asked each one a question, when it was possible.

He reached the Main Board, staffed that day by Megalos’ relief, BWG Magistri Ka’ikani. She asked: “You do this whenever you drop in now, huh?”

He shrugged: “I oughta get to know these machines, right?”

“Well...”

“I won’t take RNA about this, I want to save my capacity for histories and languages. I also don’t want to obsess about it. So I figure I’ll just pay attention, and learn a little every time.” He gestured at her board: “Alf Kappa Phou: what’s that?”

She raised an eyebrow: “Apoklismo Kronenskeeno Fasísitika.”

He frowned: “We’re somehow blockading the Nazi Timelines?”

“Keeping them from ‘seeing’ some fairly helpless low-tech Lines ‘nearby’.” She used handsigns to put air quotes on some words, to indicate their approximate nature.

He nodded: “Thanks...”


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As in Chapter Seven, this chapter has some sexy-time rather intimately described. First, because Magistro Skavo is an odd duck, and it wouldn’t be fair to leave you, Gentle Reader, in the dark. Also, the “pillow talk” between bouts of lovemaking reveals somewhat of each participant’s History and Character. IMO, it would behoove the reader to (at least) skim and locate those sections.


CHAPTER EIGHT: Confrontations; Ambros and Skavo; Vandalism


Ambros looked around as he entered the bar: ‘The one place in Eugene that has this gluten-free so-called ‘beer’ on tap, and it has to be a sports bar?’ No matter which direction you looked, you aimed at a big-screen TV. Most of them showed a hockey game.

‘Fortunately, hockey doesn’t really hold my attention very well. Still, not how I’d prefer to spend the evening.’

He’d arranged to meet the Chief of Police at that joint, because he didn’t want to be drinking hard liquor while being interrogated.

He got a drink and tasted it; it seemed vaguely beer-like. He picked up a glass and served himself some ice water, then picked out a table. He sat with his back to a wall; the rear exit was behind and to his right, down a short hallway.

The Chief came in as he was sitting down. Chief Black had stringy brown hair and a bald spot, with a comb-over. At eight in the evening he had a Nixon-level case of five o’clock shadow. His uniform looked rumpled from a hard day’s police work.

The top cop ordered a shot of rye whiskey and hammered it back, then got another, a double. He approached Ambros looking grim and sarcastic.

“Mr Rothakis,” he said, sneering a little. “Or, should I say Mr Scharffen?”

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Here's a little forsoothly for ya.


Gather round, all, and hear my words. I, Ambrose, Knight and Baron, Viscount, and Squire of old to Dublin, do tell now two stories. Let no man doubt the truth of these tales, for I was there and saw the fields upon which they happened. (It may be that the words I report were not spoken with such eloquence upon the day; I follow the example of Herodotus, Father of History, and make true those things which should have been...)

I sing you of the deeds of Sir Dublin, Baron and Knight. In his deeds of valor unmatched, in humors bold and virtuous, in the legends of his life unleavened by lies, I tell you true: here is a man of An tir and Summits, who may stand unashamed in the company of any.

Long ago it was, and far to the south: Sir Dublin strode the field, Roachy Crest upon his helm, a pike in his hands, sneaking...er, searching the edges of the field for Western foemen.

Whence came that foul roche that sat upon his helm, as it were a crest? And by what foul spell did it dance and sing, distracting friend and foe alike? I know not, nor I deem does any man now living.

It came to pass that certain Knights of Western fealty were at rest beside the trunk of a great Tree; and Sir Dublin came upon them at unawares, and approached them from behind.

Alas! That roachish Crest upon his helm, rocking side to side as he approached his foes, must needs have felt some twig or leaf against it brush; and waking from its torpor, began to sing and dance as was its wont.

“Slay him!” warbled Westies, and charged the Hero, intent, it would seem, upon his demise. Sir Dublin stood, and struck, and slew the enemy Knights ere they could approach.

Save one; that one drew back his mace and made a mighty blow---and slew not Dublin, but the singing Insect that had so taunted him.

That night, the Knight who slew the beast did drink and dance and brag of his great deed, and all there feted him, Monarchs and peasants alike. Gold he gained, and great gratitude for his deed.

Was it Western King that so rewarded the Slayer of the Roach? Or some other Monarch?

Two years passed, and it came to pass that another great field was fought, upon the Ground Where the Roach Died. This field had before been known as the Field of Pigs, and as the Place of Never-ending Wind.

For the wind blew there, and never steady in its course, came from all directions, severally or all at once. And when the wind blew from the west, it carried to the assembled armies the odor of a Great Farm of Swine. And it was very foul.

On that field Sir Dublin strode, strong if squat, and bore up the surcote and banner of his newest rank: Prince of the Summits was he, and led a mighty force to the aid of the King of An tir.

It came to pass as the battle swept back and forth across the land, that An tir’s mighty army gained most of the field; and for that time, the Western King and all of his host were pent within their own Castle, and they valiantly defended the smashed Gate thereof.

Mighty Dublin, Warrior Prince, led the Muster of his realm into battle, driving the Western host deep within its own redoubt. But the Western King, clever and cunning, brought forth fresh troops to the battle.

Step by step the Host of the Summits retreated, beset by Dukes, Knights and Footmen three times our number and more. As we fell back to the gate and beyond, His Highness turned his back upon his foemen.

Did he flee? A pox upon he who thinks it! He stepped backwards into the line of the foe, and made as if to strike us, his own men.

The foe, thinking him one of them (Cynagua, perhaps?) strode to the breach and to the fight...and Dublin, ever clever, called out: “Stand your ground, O men of the West! Hold the gate, for the enemy brings many more men to the field, and we are like to be o’erwhelmed!”

(It was true; a host of An tirians was there, just out of bowshot, preparing to charge. ’Twas Sir Daegar led them.)

But even as the Westies backed up to hold their broken Gate, Prince Dublin turned upon them. He struck and slew as Western footmen floundered, flustered and frustrated. We of Summits’ Muster pressed them yet again, and Dublin, mighty Prince, returned into our midst; unscathed—indeed, untouched.

Did Castle West then fall? Did fail the stout and lordly defense of the Western Host? Did the King die, or did he escape?

These are tales for another day. ’Tis Viscount Dublin whose deeds we celebrate today: Knight, Baron, and Sheriff of lands untold and people unnumbered.

Good Gentles All, I remain your Loyal Servant,

—Viscount Ambrose, Knight and Baron
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JUST A NOTE: If you are one who skips the sexy-times, be aware that part of this chapter is one. There is also Philosophy and some Information about the Nature of the Multiverse within that part of the chapter. So...maybe skim the sexy-text and read those parts...


CHAPTER SEVEN: A Series of Lessons, Subtle and Not


They strolled down the hallway, hands brushing against one another’s sides and backs. The big towels that they’d wrapped around themselves fell away as they reached the door: “This one,” Voukli said, breathing a little harder: “Come in...”

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CHAPTER SIX: Cleaning up; A Date with Skavo; Obligations and Challenges

He dropped in to the cubbyhole on the outside of the Exhibition Hall, where he pulled the knockout patches off the naked cops. He set the bin containing the tattered remains of their clothes and their other effects on the ground beside them. He opened the box briefly, to check Police Woman’s name tag: “Angela D’Angelo,” he muttered: “That name can’t be a coincidence. Well...It could, I suppose.”

He walked around towards the front of the building, contemplating: “Thompson is such a professional idiot that I’d be a fool not to keep tabs on him. I better see what I can find out about Police Woman; she must be his partner, and she may not yet know what a jerk he is. Of course...she participated in a ‘no probable cause’ stop. She may be a jerk, too. If she’s related to Hannah D’Angelo...”

He accessed his Desktop via his MPS; he composed a message to a reporter he knew, who worked for the local Wobbly paper, tipping her on “naked cops asleep at the Fairgrounds.” He snickered a little as he sent it.

He passed a blank wall between the window of Holiday Hall and the west side of the building with its multiple entryways. He heard a sound: footsteps coming up behind him, quickly.

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CHAPTER FIVE: Chiefly About Food and Drink


Ambros walked along the berm next to the south branch of the ‘Amazon Canal’, which in reality was a ditch. Amazon Creek had its headwaters in the southeast hills of Eugene; before the City dug the ditch, the Creek had passed through the south central part of town, resulting in flooding every winter.

“The Amazon Canal diverts water from Amazon Creek to Fern Ridge Reservoir, out near the Country Fair site.” He contemplated the geography; he nodded, continuing to speak aloud: “I guess it’s more accurate to say that the Fair is out near the Reservoir.” The ‘absolute location’ power that he had gained with his first RNA treatment in the Commonwealth kicked in, and he could see a three-d map of the area.

He held that image in his mind, and continued along the raised berm, seeking the best spot for his camp.

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CHAPTER FOUR: Missions and Permissions; Strategy and Security.

It was quite a large and lively group of them who descended on Café Xenosenos later that day: Danilos and Ambros had initiated the gathering, to discuss their various educational and propaganda activities, in the Lines where they were or had been resident. Skavo arrived shortly after they did; Arrenji and Voukli appeared soon. Two other BWG reps had come along with Danilos. They stayed silent for most of the meeting, but they recorded everything, using laptops and flying cameras. The Postal Guild rep from the previous day’s meeting was there: Voukli introduced her as Magistri Prazini.

Ambros reflected on her name: ‘Prasina is the word ‘green’ as an adjective. I’m guessing Prazini is a nickname, from her eyes and hair.’ Prazini from
Postal had very bright green eyes and iridescent green hair.

“I’m not sure we have any dye in my Line that would create such an amazing hair color,” he said, smiling at her.

“We don’t have any dye that would do this, either. Nothing that would leave the hair unburned. I had a genetic modification.”

“Oh,” he said, taken aback.

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Trump is not Hitler, if only because Trump is too lazy. All his cronies are the same. When Adolf came to power in 1933, he had been working like a draft horse for 11 years. He had the SA (stormtroopers) a disciplined, organized group of thugs thousands strong, He had recruited all of the future war criminals who made up the working bureaucracy of the Reich. He had the beginnings of the SS and Gestapo prepared, and the bureaucrats needed to run them already lined up. He had an organized propaganda ministry that never said anything stupid or contradictory. (They LIED all of the time, but that's different.)

Even as we speak, Trump's closest (political) associates are purging each other and fighting over the spoils. Adolf would never have tolerated that.

NONE OF THE ABOVE is meant to say that the President-elect is not similarly *dangerous*, but to point out that he has a lot of work to do before he can "be" Adolf Hitler. Or even Mussolini.

We should be watching.
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CHAPTER THREE: The World Turns in a Gyre

“Saturday practice, rattan swords and armor, fun and games...” he murmured.

The essay had nearly written itself. ‘Often happens when I’m on a rant,’ he thought. ‘Now I need to edit it so as not to insult anyone unnecessarily.’
He pulled into the parking lot at a city park in nearby Springfield. He stepped out and stretched, groaning. ‘I always knew that staying in shape after age fifty was going to mean a lot of sore muscles and aching joints. Even with Commonwealth medical science that’s true, apparently.’ He knew, though, that he was in better shape than a fifty plus year old man should expect to be.

He looked around, wondering at the greater activity at this practice, compared to previous one he’d attended. The high overcast lit the scene in muted colors, save for the bright heraldry on some of the combatant’s shields and surcotes.

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So, I was awake for most of the night on Election Day, but not for the reasons that many of my friends were. I spent a long time staring at the walls and ceiling trying to figure out: “Why am I so blasé about this disaster?”

That’s right: I felt so disgusted at the choices people had made when filling out their ballots that the next day I posted a rather insulting status to several sites. But what was really on my mind was wondering why I wasn’t in worse shape.

Wednesday night my friends Paul and Julie and Tony invited their friends list to come to our local pub and ‘co-miserate’ (their sp) with one another and a stiff drink. I thought it over and decided to attend. They three, and me, and after a bit, Sue and Steen, showed up and had some booze.

And after listening to the expected disappointment and rage and despair etcetera, I asked politely if anyone would be offended if I gave my own (different) take on the events. Those present assured me it would all be well, so I held forth.

In the process, I found my own way to making sense of the weird way I act around election time.

Here it is, highly elaborated from what I actually said that night:

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HUH?

Nov. 9th, 2016 08:11 am
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By all the gods above and below, what a bunch of redneck morons.

(If that shoe doesn't actually fit you personally, just don't even try to put it on. You ALL know who I'm really talking about.)

So...

Say goodbye to your Social Security. I hope for your sakes you got a bunch of money saved up for rent and food and medicine in your retirements, cuz Medicare and Medicaid are on the block as well.

Say goodbye to your VA benefits, too. The last time the Rs had full control they cut the sh*t outta that while illegally invading two countries.

But hey, at least your personal firearms are safe for another few years.

Sh*t. See ya, I guess.
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Chapter Two: Introductions; Operations; Criticisms

Ambros left Seventh Avenue at the end of the pavement and hiked along the raised berm next to the canal: “This northern fork of the so-called ‘Amazon’ ain’t much. Just a glorified drainage ditch.’ It was straight as an arrow and not landscaped at all.

He knew that the southern branch, on the other side of 11th Avenue, was more winding and scenic and ‘wild’. The bike trail wound along that part of the ditch. He’d even seen river otters in there.

He walked very slowly up to the edge of the encampment. He stood quietly, his hands deliberately shoved deep into his coat pockets. He carried a beat-up rucksack that he’d got from Jerry Mallory. It was breezy and there was a mist in the air.

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Chapter One: Questions and Answers


Ambros Shifted into his usual drop-in spot in Veneta. He slipped the Shifter, which resembled a hockey puck in size and color, into the left thigh pocket of his cargo pants. He began to walk.

Veneta, Oregon is a small town about twenty miles west of Eugene. Ambros had been using a café in the town as a retreat for writing and research ever since he’d become a citizen of the Commonwealth. That, and he’d had to spend time spying on the local populace in the weeks leading up to the Mainstage Operation.

As it happened, he was cogitating on that sequence of events as he approached the café: ‘I suppose it wasn’t a coincidence that so many of the events of the past few months circled around the Country Fair site. It’s an obvious crossing spot for Timeline explorers. During the Fair even their oddest eccentricities are liable to go unnoticed. Or at least not remarked upon…Of course, I noticed. Hmmm.’

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