The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 56: Defiance

6

July 26, 2020-

Defiance is not just a city in Ohio. There comes a time when an individual must stand up and say, even holler, “No more!” There comes a time when a community, a society, a nation-even a planet full of people, must stand up and say with one voice. “NO MORE!”

After sitting in my home base apartment, most of yesterday,and responding to those with different takes on the murder of Bernell Trammell and the stabbing of Drew Duncomb. Unless and until these acts of violence are given the weight of investigation they warrant, there is, as BLM members say, “No justice, no peace”. Ditto, for the burning of the Headquarters of the Arizona Democratic Party-and I would say the same for any torching of Republican offices.

I have begun reading “Democracy In Chains”, by Nancy McLean, and am learning of a clever and insidious campaign, inspired by the life’s work of the misanthropic John C. Calhoun, initiated by one James Buchanan, late of the University of Virginia and George Mason University, and perfected by Charles Koch. Remember ALEC , the American Legislative Exchange Council? That was, and maybe still is, part of the game plan. Take power away from the common people,the reasoning goes. ‘Power belongs to those with money, with investment capital. The hoi polloi have no idea how life should be. Why trust THEM?’

So we see Senator Mitt Romney, saying that Social Security should be cut, from the oldest senior to the youngest disabled person. I do not intend this as an ad hominem attack-but Mitt Romney has his. So does every other person who has signed on to the chaining of democracy.

I do not wish to take a dime, from those who have earned it-no matter how gargantuan their fortune is. In turn, no one gets to take a dime, from me and mine. I pay my taxes. I pay my rent and utilities. I honour my debts. I give to those in need, as best I can, without becoming one of them.

So, the defiance starts there. It continues:

I honour the health protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with respect to wearing a clean, well-fitting mask, when in proximity to other people; when standing in line and keeping a six-foot distance. On my own, I am not leaving the State of Arizona, barring an emergency, until mid-October-at minimum. I draw the line at taking a vaccine whose contents I do not know. That is a fight for another day, though. Immunity to a disease may be accomplished through rigourous holistic health practices: Organic diet, maintaining vitamins, minerals and essential oils; drinking alkaline water, regular deep breathing. That is my immunization plan, for the foreseeable future.

I will not bow or kneel to an ad hoc authority- no matter how well-armed, no matter how loud the voice, no matter how “popular”. I am an American citizen who follows the rule of law-not of any man, hiding behind interpretation of law. I am a World Citizen, who obeys codified law, wherever I might be.

So, no one gets to order me to stay home. I have eyes, ears and love in my heart for the people. I will know when it’s safe to leave and where it is safe to go. I don’t need to kowtow to anyone’s fear.

No one gets to order me to believe a certain way. I have my undying Faith in God, through the teachings of Baha’u’llah, al-Bab, Mohammad, Jesus the Christ, Moses, Gautama Siddhartha, Zarathustra, Krishna and Whoever founded the pure, initial forms of Wicca, various Native American beliefs and African faiths. I have my undying respect and love for conservative and progressive, alike. Those who savage one another, based on ideology, are being duped and are on a fool’s errand, with no ultimate winners. The only “winner” in this case, will be one whose mindset is founded on lies.

I will not bow to a puppetmaster-ANY puppetmaster.

Namaste and Godspeed.

The 2018 Road, Day 29: The Cleansing Storm and Saturday’s Markets

8

June 23, 2018, Tifton, GA-

After a short pass by Clemson University, which I found closed for the evening, I headed off to look for a campsite along  Richard B. Russell Lake.  Named for a conservative senator from Georgia, who was noteworthy as both a pragmatist and a parliamentarian, despite having misgivings about integrating whites and blacks at the Federal level, the lake, formed by damming the Savannah River, draws people of all ethnicities.

I chose the first campground on the South Carolina side of the river:  Calhoun Falls State Park.  The town was named for another senator, John C. Calhoun, who strode the floor of his chamber, orating in defense of slavery, whilst privately educating his own slaves back home.  Even the most seemingly venal of people can be complicated.

The Southland has always graced my camping efforts with a torrential rain, and last night was no exception.  Despite the cleansing downpour, with copious thunder and lightning, my tent and rain flap stayed put.  It also helped that the tent site is on porous ground.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Here are some views of  the lake, looking towards the Georgia shore. Note that the soil along the shore is red.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I made a stop at the camp store, for a bit of breakfast, before heading out.  Two sweet teen girls were minding the store and made sure I had fresh coffee and a scone, on this soggy morning.

Outside, the dock and its attendant were getting ready for a more promising day of sunshine.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I took county roads to the town of Calhoun Falls, then to McCormick, before going on to Edgefield, the hometown of another of South Carolina’s more provocative figures:  J. Strom Thurmond.  Before Donald Trump, before George Wallace, Strom Thurmond stood for keeping things as they were, in bygone days- before coming to his senses in later years, and actually being mortified by those who cited him as an example of a man who could “keep the races apart”.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I found numerous mementos of the Civil War, as was to be expected, and solid antebellum architecture.  Then, there was the turkey.  Edgefield’s more eclectic claim to fame is as the headquarters of the American Wild Turkey Association.  One of the men with whom I spoke had been to Prescott, and had hunted wild turkeys in our National Forest.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I took in Edgefield’s tiny, but welcoming Farmers’ Market, purchasing a couple of gifts for my family in Florida.  Then I poked around a bit in Edgefield’s town square.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Below, is the town’s memorial to its Confederate  war dead.  Being on the opposite side of the slavery issue, I nonetheless recognize that people of earlier times had to go through their growing pains.  Then, too, so do many of this day and age.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Other memorials honour those fallen in subsequent conflicts.  This memorial stone commemorates World War II.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I stopped in Park Row Cafe, for a muffaletta, which held its own with the more famous New Orleans versions of the sandwich.  I was greeted warmly by the young lady who I had met on the street, earlier.  The cafe’s manager, though, was a bit more guarded, wondering aloud about “the western Yankee”. She was quite glad to see me go.  Too bad, as the place has wonderful fare.

Down the road, and a bit north of the river, is Aiken.  It is home to another Xanga friend, who was not at home when I visited downtown.  I can see the attraction, though.  Aiken had a larger Farmers’ Market than Edgefield, and was considerably more vibrant.  I spent most of my time here in New Moon Cafe, a fortuitous discovery, as I was missing Artful Dodger.  I sat, nursing a Haitian pour-over, absorbing the positive energy.  I found this magnetic little cafe a great excuse for returning to Aiken in the future, even if Xanga friend is not around.  Here is a small hotel that might be of interest to those not inclined to camp.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

New Moon is all about power!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I took this photo from a discrete distance as, underneath the signage, another patron was relaxing with coffee and the paper.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Leaving salubrious Aiken, I wanted to make fairly good time getting to north Florida, before turning in. So Augusta, Lake Oconee, Macon and Andersonville all wait for another time.  I made a mental note, as to the exquisite beauty of Oconee and its Reynolds properties.  There is much also that Georgia has to tell, regarding the struggles of men with one another.  Americus showed the way towards amity, whilst Andersonville chronicles the flip side of Maryland’s Point Lookout, being the site of a POW camp for Union soldiers, just as the latter was for Confederate POW.

So, I stopped here, in Tifton, just off I-75, enjoying chicken salad at a Zaxbe’s.  I still am determined to make it at least to Ocala, tonight.