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An ethical man is leaving office. A man who can be bought with a “deal” is taking his place. How do we carry on? We're in an extraordinary time in government.
My ethics do not change because people in office change. My ethics are simple, live and do no harm. I have been awakened from a relative calm sea of ethical behavior of the ones who I chose to be in charge. I can’t trust the ones who were voted in this time will do the job for me. They can’t. I’ve known the ugly truth that people can be bought, that politicians are bought, that the ones with the money buy and own this country and they make happen what is in their interest. According to democratic principles it’s possible for the average person to determine the rules of the land. But does it happen?
Most of us were raised to obey our parents, our teachers, our protectors of the law. As we swallowed our mother’s milk we were utterly dependent on this source of food for survival, and we generally obeyed the rules to get to this source until we grew old enough to take care of our own survival by offering our labor, our skills. We don’t hunt, we don’t farm to produce our food anymore—yes, even farmers go to the store to buy most of their food — we sell our self-reliance in the process of getting our food.
Obama is right when he said in his farewell speech that self governance is the underpinning of our safety. But America isn’t about self governance any more. The Native Americans were self governing before the white man came. The white man stole what belonged to everyone and started the system we have now. This country is owned by a few. Those few didn’t plow and sow, didn’t hunt and live close to nature to know what could be hunted without disturbing the food chain. Those few enslaved others to do their plowing and producing. They made their claim for land and resources, a bigger claim than they needed to survive. The white man escaped European power-hungry monarchies to become American power-hungry corporations. We worry about the wave of heroin addiction sweeping this country, while power addiction has been eroding the moral order of our society for two centuries. Will the balance of power of the constitution prevail and prevent total disintegration of this society? Not if those holding the scales are the addicts and need their fix of power at any cost.
Obama said, democracy can buckle when you give in to fear. The average person in this country has been thoroughly alienated from their sources of survival, the land and its resources. The average person is lost without access to a grocery store, without a car to transport their inactive bodies to the places where they buy what they need. The average person lives with fear, fear of losing their money, losing their home when they lose their money, losing their access to supplies when their car doesn’t start. Because of this fear the average person wants more, more of everything. More money in the bank, stock market, real-estate in case it all crashes. More stuff in their homes, more food in their fridge to safeguard against that hollow feeling of not having control over their lives
We need to get back to self governance, the underpinning of American safety, to alleviate the fear that is the river that runs under this society. I will look out for me and for those that are dear to me, for you and for everyone who wants a chance to be heard. I will do the ordinary things of living: walk, move my body to stay healthy, I will grow food to supply my pantry. I will repair the things I own to make them last. I will go out in nature to know my true dependence. I will create community where I live so we can support each other. By doing the ordinary we all can get back to that extraordinary feeling of being charge of our lives.
We spoke up in Southern Oregon and have an expanded Siskyou monument, a vital piece of nature’s diversity. We spoke up and we have protection for the Klamath river for the next 20 years from strip mining. Keeping the earth and the rivers safe, matters. I will march, sign petitions, refuse to hate. I won’t watch the inauguration. I will listen and look for opportunities to support the causes that matter. I will live and avoid doing harm as much as possible.
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