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Friday, January 6, 2017

Rough draft.

I'm sure I put that window putty around here someplace. And no, I'm not using masking tape again. You think tape is the answer to everything! Look at your clothes - they're all taped together, for chrissake!

Whoa, damn it. Sorry for all the shouting. Not the best way to start out a new year. Tempers wear thin when you get extremes of temperature - I don't think that's a coincidence. It's been decades since the abandoned Cheney Hammer Mill has had anything like climate control technology, and back then it just amounted to an enormous, octopus-like boiler in the basement. In the summer, they opened a few windows. (With all of the broken windows in this old barn, we don't need to do that anymore.) But now, when the mercury dips below zero, well .... we have to innovate.

Now, you would think that we would benefit from having a mad scientist on retainer (no, really ... his dentist had him fitted for one last week), even if his advanced knowledge is somewhat tainted by the sound of wild cackling in the night. I took it upon myself this past week to ask Mitch Macaphee if he had some solution to the cold; you know, move the earth a few million miles closer to the sun, or laser open a magma vent ... stuff like that. He pretty much ignored me. I was picturing some kind of atomic solution - the equivalent of a neutrino space heater, but no luck.

Well, that's ONE way to stay warm.Even so, Mitch seemed not too bothered by the sub-zero cold. I got curious, so I sent Marvin (my personal robot assistant) into his mad-science lair to take some web cam video. Turns out, Mitch has been holding out on us. Apparently, he's been using the Orgone Generating Device left behind nearly a decade ago by our old friend Trevor James Constable. He switches on the OGD and creates a curved time-space anomaly that amounts to a portal to Miami. Well, that's the rough equivalent of having the windows open on a summer day, right? So it's nice and toasty in his study; meanwhile, we're burning the furniture out here in the not-so-great room. Christ on a bike. If you've got a cure for leaky mill windows, send them our way.

New year, old story.

Hope you're all rested and fully recuperated from your holiday festivities. Looks like we have some heavy lifting to do, and it's not clear to me that we're going to get a lot of help from the institutional Democratic party. The fact is, we are going to have to push them to do the right thing at least as hard as we push the Republicans (a.k.a. our one-party state) not to do the wrong thing. Nothing new, right? Any time anything useful gets done in America, it's because there's an army of activists locking arms and pushing it forward. Progress doesn't arrive in a sedan chair, eating sweetmeats; it's dragged kicking and screaming every inch of the way. That's what we're looking at, once again, as we work to preserve the remnants of our social safety net, keep ourselves out of devastating overseas conflicts, and protect the most vulnerable among us.

Um ... are you ready?The challenge this time around is being able to move fast enough to make a difference. The GOP-run Congress is going to ram a stack of legislation through over the next few weeks that will disable the ACA (so called "Obamacare"), cut back or restructure (privatize) Medicare and Medicaid, cut Social Security (perhaps privatize as well), and more. We need real-time information on specific legislation that's being proposed, voted on, etc. Sourcing that will be crucial. We also need to organize on a local, Congressional district level, to apply pressure where it will have the greatest impact.

Some of the organizing work appears to already be in motion, at least as far as setting a template for activists to follow. There's this new group called Indivisible (http://www.indivisibleguide.com/) that has assembled a kind of activist cookbook for lobbying individual representatives. The group that grew out of the Sanders campaign - Our Revolution - is also pulling some of this together, as well as more longstanding groups like MoveOn.org. I think that part of it is taking shape, but the information component is still a little sketchy. If anyone has any insights on how to get timely, detailed information on pending legislation, let me know (use the comments field on this post).

I hope to work with some neighbors on lobbying our new tea party Congressperson (most reactionary representative we've had in my lifetime, I believe). I strongly suggest you do the same. Start today. Aloha.

luv u,

jp