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.

1 comment:

Glen Michael Wilson said...

The threat was/is real. Orwellian/totalatarian and the "wrong remains the same."

But now Big Brother can see us through three feet of concrete.

Now he can run a "profile" software algorithm that can analyze the effluvia of our shopping, our postings, our downloads, and have an 80 percent better idea as to what our next five "moves", (soon to be seven; then nine; then..) than we do.

Creating the quasi-government dyamic of;

intrusion/illusion/confusion to hide the collusion of the executive/legislative/judicial branches of government braided together to form manacles that have the appearance of being a "saftey line" there for our protection.

At which point that security line will become securely attached to the wrists, and ankles of those that are compliant. And tighten to the choking point around the necks of those that are not.

The Tyrant/Slaver/Liar who is the mortal foe of all free men wasn't destroyed at the end of the Revolutionary war.

Nor in 1791

Nor at the end of the War of 1812

Nor at the end of the Civil War. And on and on.

Sometimes he works the advantage of the outsider. Sometimes he sells his snake oil from within.

Like McCarthy came close to doing.

But not nearly as close to taking it all as this current administration has already come.

Or as I believe, has all but sown up.

Even the press is afraid to ask the kind of "cut to the chase questions" that the press hucked at Nixon's head day and night.

Answer me this;

Right before Bush's re-election, 27 former U.S. Secrataries of State; Ambassadors to Russia; China; Britain; Secrataries of the Army; Navy; etc. All but three or four were appointees to these Highest level positions during Republican administrations. Did something unheard of; They signed a manifesto; Stating that For the continued Saftey of the United States- Bush MUST NOT BE RE-ELECTED.

Stating that he has done more damage to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights than all other presidential administrations combined.

Stating that he has put the United State in the Greatest danger in its 200 plus year history of being Destroyed from without.

Stating that he has taken us down the road of being the essence of man's inhumanity to man that we have historicly refused to go down.

Our statement to the World, that "There is a difference" between nations that abide by rules of law, and human decency. And those that don't. a major one.

This statement, signed and affirmed by these Highest level assessors of this country's Real World strengths, weaknesses, chances, options, etc. went world wide with this.

The next day.


No Nightline. No "This week in Review" No 60 Minutes; No 20/20. Silence.

Now you tell me; How do you get 27 of the highest, international hardball players on the planet to sign a manifesto like that one day. And not a peep out of them the next.

Threats against them won't do it.

Only the Gestapo tactic of; "Threat's against your loved ones" that you KNOW will be carried out, will get the Job done.



You don't think it is over?

Why didn't the press start howling when these guys clammed up?

Becaused they have been shown that it is over. Get out of line... There is an American Gulag.

There was a coup d'etat carried out that began with the theft/handing over, what ever you want to call it. that brought Bush to power.

Would you have believed that the VAST majority of Americans would have stood still for, let alone signed on to Torture?

I'm not talking about the few "high value assets" that almost anyone would say; "You play that game, you take your chances." to.

I'm talking, wholesale, torture.
Water-boarding was one of the most widely used and effective means of torture. If you define effective as to how quickly you can make almost anyone make up what ever you want them to say.

I don't know about where you live, but Ventura County has an annual operating budget larger than half the countries on this planet's GNP.

In what likes to think of itself as a progressive state. What ever the Hell that means.

It wasn't long afer 9-11 that the Police around here went from patroling, to prowling.

It was about the same time that Due process, and Equal protection under the law were replaced by the illusion of such.

It was about the same time as the L.A. Times, which has a three story tall, city block long and wide facility in Ventura for their Ventura County Edition quit reportig things like a local police officer that Raped a developmently disabled 13 year old girl. Who came to him for assistance. In the Police store-front about 200 yards from where I live.

He's the same one who perjured himself at my trial. Not once. But repeatedly over approx 20 minutes of testimony. But, that's just my take on the deal.

The same officer, and his "birds of a feather" protege, (who also did about 20 minutes of; "Balls up lying at my trial) a year and a half earlier ran over and killed a 50 year old woman, who was sunbathing on the beach.

Then, drove away. But about a dozen people saw them. So they gave a statement.

But for a year and a half, to this very day, they have successfully resisted giving their account of this womans death under oath. (Which means,"under the threat of perjury)

Even though one of the officers was demoted from detective, to sargent, 10 years ago for lying under oath to a senior deputy district attorney.

Even though this lady's next of kin secured the sevices of a lawyer, that is rated as one of the 10 best in Ca., and 50 best in the U.S.

The press won't run anything after the first two paragraphs blurb they did to assuage initial "word of mouth."

Around here, "they" are so secure and comfortable, they are even starting to "forego" the whole "pretense" of being a public servant.

The rural areas will be the last areas that they consolidate.

You can join 'em. Or you can fight 'em. But they make examples out of fence sitters. Harsh examples.

Everyone within the area hops one way or the other after an example. Most around here, like probably most places "get on board the "Jawuel/Sieg Hiel! Express"

They figure that they "have too much to lose" to do anythings else.

Blinded to the fact that they have already lost everything of REAL enduring value.

Rationalizations are the connect-a-dot path from human dignity to human self degradation.

You'd be surprised at exactly how few dots you hae to connect to get from one to the other.

And you flat out will not believe how fucking many you have to connect to get back to even a semblance of what dignity you once had.

Sounds crazy doesn't it.


I thought so too.

Glen Michael Wilson
Port Hueneme, Calif. 93041