Back from the heart

I've been away for a bit. I've been immersed in the heart of America, filling in as a freelance relief editor for the West Lane news, a weekly newspaper published in the small town of Veneta, Oregon. The paper has more than four decades of history behind it, with huge binder files of past editions – pure treasure to a history freak like me.
I've just been watching the current world news, not writing about events or even talking about them much. I've been tightly focused on covering the local news, which is based in a reality that is impacted by world politics, but isn't connected to those events in any other way – except when a local soldier dies in the ongoing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
But my temporary gig in small town America, where the true heart of nation lives on, will end next week and I came back into focus on the world stage again – just in time to hear Newt Gingrich and Bill Bennett claim on national tv that we are already well into World War III.
Fuck that, Newt and Bill. Go sell your fear and lies elsewhere, there's no market for them at this house.
We might be killed by terrorists tomorrow, sure – anything can happen. Our house might get hit be a meteor at any minute, too. Both events are on the same magnitude of likelihood – nil, essentially zero, so low that it would be foolish to worry about it. We're all gonna die of something, and probably sooner than we think.
I'm far more worried about the people, like Bill and Newt, Dick and George, Condi and Karl and Scooter, who believe that the President must be the most powerful man in the world, and must not be restrained by the American people, or by American law or international law, from doing whatever he wants – in the name of freedom. If that includes sanctioning murder and torture, if that includes poisoning the earth and destroying the life-sustaining infrastructure of towns, cities and even whole regions – then so be it. If it's acceptable to George and Dick, then We the People should accept it, too – in the name of security.
Well, fuck that too, I say to all of you believers in the Great White Father on the Potomac. The time of military power and the Quest for Empire is over. It ended when weaponry advanced enough to allow small groups of people to inflict big damage to a standing army. Global empire will only be possible when small arms and munitions are eliminated, and that will never happen.
If there is a surplus of anything on this planet, it's effective weaponry. We've gots tons of those things just lying about, apparently, as even the poorest of militias anywhere in the world seem well-armed. They've generally got more guns than food or money, at least. And bullets, too – one gun may serve a warrior for the cause during several years of battle, but each bullet or rocket needs replacing the next day.
That never seems to be a problem...
So the empire builders are doomed to fail, in the long run – which won't be much longer, it seems. But a lot of people are gonna get hurt before they surrender their dream of Empire that is a living nightmare for the rest of the world.
The real problem for we who watch as power brokers and fear mongers carve up our planet, is that it's our collective fault for letting it happen...
So we should put a stop to it. We can, you know. We've done it before here in America, and it's been done before in other places. A state of relatively peaceful coexistance of humanity never seems to last for long, but it can be achieved once again, if only for a while.
And we need to be in that state to deal with what Mother Nature is about to bring us...
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