Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Around California

"Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it." -Pericles

"In a rational society we would want our presidents to be teachers. In our actual society we insist they be cheerleaders." -Steve Allen

"Beware the man of one book." -Thomas Aquinas
"Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation- the other eight are unimportant." -Henry Miller

"The only thing that will redeem mankind is co-operation." -Bertrand Russell
"I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them." -Susan Sontag
"Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes." -P.J. O'Rourke

FB - 1876
USA - 1365

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bush Arrested in San Diego

Unfortunately, the Founding Fathers didn't provide for a citizen's arrest of a sitting President. If, however, a citizen wishes to have the President arrested, the Founding Fathers did allow for
that citizen to say so to as many of their fellow citizens as possible.

More Here from SDPeaceguy

FB - 1864
USA - 1365

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Dear Scarlet/Freewayblogger,
I wanted to let you know that you inspired my decision for my sociology project. The assignment was to break a norm and observe people's reactions. All throughout this entire week I will be standing at freeway exits with an anti war sign to observe people's reactions on my public display of opinion. I was wondering if I might use some of your quotations from the signs you have posted around here. I didn't want to use anything without your permission. Yours, H.

Dear H... hi, and thanks. Feel free to use anything you like of my signs, methods etc. but if you're going to stand with an anti-war sign, please please please have someone with you, preferably with a videocam, mace, or both. For the last five years, people have been hearing from their radios and TVs that people who don't support this war are the real enemy destroying this country. I'm not exactly sure why this is, but I think it has something to do with ratings. I can't be more emphatic about this: If you're going to stand with a sign where people can get to you, make sure you've got someone there for protection. Unless, of course, you're a ninja, in which case I'm sure you'll be fine. Yours, Scarlet

Dear Scarlet, thank you and don't worry. My Dad's going to be with me the whole time. Even though he's not a ninja, believe me - nobody, and I mean nobody, is gonna get past him. Will send pix. Yours, H. (in Sacramento)

Top picture courtesy of H. All others by Scarlet posted Oct. 4th)

FB - 1864
USA - 1351

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Report from the Firelines

Yesterday I went up to the firelines of the Santiago Canyon fire, taking El Toro Rd. off the 405 up into the foothills east of Irvine. The fires were moving too quickly and unpredictably, with too large a front for the police to effectively block access, so it was fairly easy to get right up to the frontlines.

I parked a couple of blocks away from the fire and news trucks at the edge of the blaze and walked through the heart of a newly built McMansionland. What were once quiet suburban streets now seemed more like a street fair. Everyone was moving in and out of their houses and garages, talking constantly, either to each other or on their cell phones, a hive of nervous energy. Groups of kids ran back and forth between their houses and the front lines, or up and down the hillsides, reporting back to their parents on the progress of the blaze. Many of the yards were adorned with tombstones and skeleton Halloween decorations, adding to the ethos of a dark carnivale. The sky above me was a perfect crystal blue, while two blocks away at the canyon’s edge it was almost pure black. The fire was moving down the hillside to the northeast, a long line of flames feeding off the chapperral. So long as it stayed on that side of the canyon the neighborhood would remain safe. Once it reached the bottom and started traveling up the other side though, all bets were off.

Every car and SUV was out and ready to be loaded, boats and trailers were hooked up, but for the most part the vehicles remained empty. Suitcases and documents boxes were piling in the garages, but only a few families had actually started loading their cars. The houses themselves were all new, million-dollar plus affairs, two and three story McMansions with small, perfectly groomed front yards, built up to the very edges of their lots. Given its wealth, I was surprised at the racial mix of the neighborhood, which seemed to be comprised equally of White, Asian and Latino households, something of a tribute, I felt, to America as the Land of Opportunity. Whether it was cultural heritage or just the luck of the draw on the block I was walking, the Asians and Latinos seemed to be getting their cars packed a lot quicker than their white counterparts.

Standing with the crowds of newsmen and onlookers at the frontlines things were a lot more serious. Firemen were spooling hoses from the street hydrants through the narrows between the houses to make a stand from the back yards of the homes at the canyon’s edge, moving quickly but not urgently, giving an overall impression that their efforts were either going to work or they weren’t: it was all up to the wind. A helicopter appeared right in front of us, coming out of nowhere from the blackness behind the houses, like something out of a movie. Plumes of white smoke began mixing with the black as the hoses started running and there was a collective cheer from the crowd, followed by a gasp as a huge gust of superheated wind blew off the mountain, covering all of us with smoke and ash. It was time to go.

I’m about twenty miles to the west now, writing outside. I’ve tried listening to the news, but with so many fires going on I haven’t heard what happened to Santiago Canyon. Little bits of ash are falling on my keyboard and it’s strange to think they may be pieces of the neighborhood I’ve been writing about.

Monday, October 22, 2007

From Our Inbox

Scarlet - Not quite a freeway, but I managed to get this up in front of a LOT of cameras... right by the red carpet at the last Academy Awards. Yours Truly, Aboriginal Media

Dear Scarlet, Found this beautiful spot by the Bath St. exit on the northbound 101 in Santa Barbara. Really, really easy to get to... unless you're driving. Yours, Santa Barbara Freewayblogger

FB - 1857
USA - 1350

Friday, October 19, 2007

Iraq Moratorium Day: Orange County


Although it's fun to get together with folks and wave a bunch of signs together on an overpass or intersection, it's not tremendously effective and probably falls more into the catagory of socializing than activism. The same holds true with most demonstrations: Why have a whole bunch of people holding signs in one place when one or two people can put them everywhere?

If what you really want to do is get a message out... if you truly want to exercise your right to full and unfettered free political expression, then what you do is paint a whole bunch of signs, drive around and place them alongside freeways.

In large urban areas with several freeways, you can reach a couple hundred thousand people by noon. Easy.

Signs placed alongside freeways last much, much longer than those placed on overpasses, and they're a lot less stressful to put up.

Once you get in the proper mindset and start looking at everything as a potential posting spot, you'll see how easy it is to do. Over and over again.

Big signs can be placed on lonely, distant fences, smaller ones on closer bits of peripheral fencing.

Or just clipped or nailed to whatever's handy. Anything that can be seen from a freeway is a place you can put a sign and it'll be read... generally by more people in a day than you'll meet in your life.

Easiest damn thing in the world to do. Hell of a lot of fun too.

But first you have to paint the signs...

FB - 1857
USA - 1348

San Diego/Washington DC

Pictures from San Diego

Video from DC

FB - 1844
USA - 1348