Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 was the year...

This was quite a year for me, perhaps a watershed in some ways, but one that will at least allow me to truly move forward in my life and to be a free of the terrible stress expediting the completion of a historical account. There are no rules for that, and only a few guidelines. In the end, you're the only one who knows what you experienced, and even then, that's not always a given. You know what you were told. You know what information was conveyed to you. You know what you experienced during these interactions, but they're fragmented, obscured, and questionable in one way, completely credible in others. That's navigating a labyrinth. 

This wasn't just 2012 for me, it was the last five years of my life. What was real? I discovered many things that were, many more that were not, and more than all that combined that remains a mystery to myself and others. The terrible part is to then extricate yourself from the narrative continuum to continue on with your own life. There are apparently some out there who don't want this to happen, but I have news for them. It is going to happen.

I'll promote the book, and I'm open to interviews, all that's fine. However, I won't be dragged into other people's agendas, and there have already been attempts to do this, right out of the gate of the release of Let the Dead Bury the Dead. When else would it occur? There will be more. Interestingly, the phony cease and desists have halted, a form of harassment that I've experienced from the beginning of my involvement with Jeane's case to the present, several months ago, then once more just weeks ago. The fact that they've now become silent in their legal harassment from the shadows tells me what I always assumed: it was all predicated on scaring me out of publication. That was never going to work in a nation where prior restraint has been ruled unconstitutional so many times that it's solid precedent. A first year law student would know this, and so too would many millions outside of legal profession. Were I to discover their identity, I could sue them in a civil court, and maybe even hit them with criminal charges of harassment--that is, if it's not the government, then the funhouse rules come into play.

Is this a story many don't want to be told, Jeane's story, the information that I and others came into possession of? It was uncanny how often the information was coming to me, not the reverse. There were many times that Jeane would mistakenly send me entire email-chains between herself and counsel and others, and doing so when I wasn't even part of the defense as a researcher. Was she trying to let me bear witness? Sometimes, she was, unquestionably, but I don't think the chains always were. When she Cc'd her exchanges with journalist Jason Leopold, whom I bear no ill will mind you, she was most definitely doing this. There were other occasions, sometimes to bounce my opinion off of things counsel was conveying to her. What did I think of this crafted motion? Did I trust counsel? Did I know more about their and numerous other players' backgrounds, sometimes collective, interconnected ones? The answers were always varied. Sometimes I was able to find out, many other times, she was simply asking the impossible out of desperation. This all had to be written down and chronicled before it gradually vanished from my memory, and the memory of others, because so much is lost to history when this kind of action isn't taken immediately. It escapes into the Aether, subsumed by darkness, assimilated into the Abyss. You can bet that a lot more is sitting on a hard drive at some "fusion center" in the continental United States. An FOIA isn't going to free it up anytime soon.

I'll continue to answer questions to the best of my ability on the subject, because I think it was a far more important case than most of us realized at the time. It took a great deal of after-the-fact research on my part, a lot of reflection on what happened when Jeane was alive, what my role, my place, in it all really was, and to question, question question, and that includes myself, my assumptions. It turned out that many of my earliest ones were either correct, or that I was on the right trail.

The public has a right to know what's being done in their name and how their taxes are being spent. This is why my account is important. Besides being a historical chronicle for the historical record, it can be a starting-point for further inquiry. Because of the information I came across, I'm not naive enough to believe that this is going to happen. Our political system is in what I consider terminal crisis that's borne out of the natural lifecycles of democratic societies. They have a shelf-life, and we're around the time of the expiration date. 

The cycle, as one would imagine, is a circle. I recommend looking at the democratic and republican experiments in ancient Greece and Rome. Western societies appear to begin with warrior king leadership that grows into some general form of feudalism, then to forms of republicanism where it's primarily based around land ownership, often headed by a senate, some parliamentary structure, and on into wider forms of democratic franchise, popular democracy of some sort. Unfortunately, and the ancients saw this firsthand, democracy is also the most fertile soil and prerequisite for tyranny, either by the masses or a dictatorship. Because the general population is usually uneducated, ignorant, stubborn--holding all the human frailties related to pride--there's a tendency towards an overemphasis on the military. Appetites, often arising out of inequality, must be fed in order to rule, and so, it's not simply leadership that demands empire, it's the people, the working-class wage slaves, the populi, the plebes. Military adventurism becomes a virtual inevitability. 

Because of the social reality of a minimum degree of democratic rights, the franchise, the vote, a say in how things are done, we must have bread and circuses, the mob must be placated and diverted away from a real voice in the operation of society ruled by some form of aristocracy. More often, people want to be told what to do thinking that it's easier, and too often, they want a strongman leader to show them the way. Sadly, I see us at the end of this cycle and heading towards dictatorship. The American public will hold just as much of the blame as the current rulers when things disintegrate into this. Can something better arise out of this? Eventually, if we can survive. The Greeks are still waiting for democracy, so there's a good idea of how long it might take.

Do I see much change in our course in the United States, to avert what no other democratic society was able to endure, besides maybe the Swiss? No, I'm afraid not. We're going to continue our military adventurism, until there's no more money left in the Treasury--what happened to Athenian democracy--or someone creams our ass, more likely a combination of both, which has many precedents. Democracies die of neglect. When the 17th and 18th century liberal thinkers spoke of revolution, it was as a warning, not a threat, that there must be reform or that things will collapse into chaos and violence. This is what the social contract is about. We either work together, looking out for each others' well-being, or we will surely die together. Apathy and indifference towards others is a ticking bomb, and it's why I have a serious problem with American Libertarianism, a subject barely worthy of comment for its obvious irrationality. Thinkers such as John Locke were saying that breakdowns of order happen when a society becomes so dysfunctional from misrule, and the missing-ingredient is the public, that people begin killing each other. But the public too often is unaware of their power. They're apathetic, divided over petty squabbling, generation after generation, making the exact same mistakes. Worse still, the public is very often wrong like their rulers. Now, you, the thoughtful reader, will know why my book is only going to reach so many people. The truth hurts. And now on to other related things that happened in my life this year...

2012 was the year that I:

...finished and published the manuscript of my experiences in the DC Madam case (and beyond it, stories never end, or ever die). Let the Dead Bury the Dead can be traced back to an exchange in the New Testament between Jesus and a disciple who said that he needed to bury a loved one before he could go with them on the road. I was unaware of this at the time I decided on the title. It has become an idiomatic phrase throughout the world over the centuries, and there is no agreement on what Jesus meant by it. Some say he meant to let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead in a dead, fallen world. Others say that it means to move on from the past, to not dwell on it, to not live in the past. I don't claim to know what he meant or originally said, but I think all the meanings relate to me and the book. This is when you begin to realize that you've hit on some very fundamental truths, and not merely artistic truth, but truth itself. So much of this has been serendipity to the point that it cancels itself out, it is no longer coincidence, but the truth, however terrible, liberating, or great. I can only feel humbled by it all.

...was asked to research the Wikileaks StratFor emails cache, along with many others of course. This didn't come to be, unfortunately, over technicalities I'll go into one day. To be asked was very exciting. My opinion of Assange is yet to be finalized. On an interpersonal level, I'm sure he can be a pushy asshole. On the other hand, it's probably worth it to kick people who aren't serious to the curb, which he has done on numerous occasions. The amount of information coming out of governments around the world? I can tolerate a lot there. The people Wikileaks is working against are the worst in the entire world.

...began watching the great works of cinema as much as I'd been wanting to for a very long time, and when I purchased a Blu-ray player when my old DVD-player croaked. Watching a cinematic classic in HD is maybe one of the few great technological achievements of the current era. If it serves the dissemination of the arts, information of value, in a better way, I'm all for it. There is nothing more important than cultural expression when it's the truth.

...noticed that for some reason I'm aging well. This is probably because I rarely drink and smoke and get regular exercise. Why stress didn't contribute more might have to do with the fact that my family has naturally low blood pressure. The other good side is that the more I grow older, the great my resemblance to Oscar Wilde, and that's not a jest.

...realized how wonderful my mother's parents really were, and how their home is truly my home. America is my home, I cannot leave her. As fucked up as she is, I still love her, or I wouldn't be trying to save her from herself. At some point, it doesn't matter what the odds are. You must act out of decency and honor, armed with knowledge and a sense of persistence and the long view.

...found that many of my fellow Americans are a pathetic embarrassment that far exceeded my worst opinions of them. This includes many Democratic voters and supporters who refuse to criticize the president for committing war crimes and wrecking the Constitution, all but gutting the 4th Amendment, the right to privacy. He has yet to restore habeas corpus. We are not facing the threat to public safety and order that President Lincoln had to when Southern politicians and officers committed treason over his election in 1861. Why doesn't anyone become alarmed by this? Congress just re-authorized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program for another five years. See how well they can all get along when they want to? What the hell's wrong with the public, where's the outrage over these encroachments on our rights? Much of it is ignorance, but it's also the desire for a strongman leader who has "taken-off the gloves," who is no longer restrained by the law. These people are the worst kind of citizens of any society, in any era of human history, and are scoundrels. Many American look at politics like it's a football game. This makes these people incredibly stupid assholes.

...realized how much I value living outside of cities in what could be best described as a "light rural" area. I've been here for over a decade now and love the lack of many people.

...realized what a genius Pier Paolo Pasolini truly was, one of the greatest artists in the span of Western civilization.

...installed my Tor browser (thanks Wikileaks). I suggest everyone do the same and to learn more about encrypting your online communications. to know my wonderful niece Zofia better. Picking her up from the bus stop every day for the first five months of the year is something that I'll always treasure. It showed me a little window into how my late grandparents, especially my mother's mother, loved spending time doting over us. She's a great kid, very intelligent.

...learned that blood not only isn't thicker than water, but that it's often the consistency of liquid-shit.

...remembered why I hated school, church services, and anything so boring that it begins to kill your soul: it's someone controlling your life, and wasting your precious time.

...recalled what an inhuman asshole my ex-wife really was in-sum.

...learned how much I love our new miniature schnauzer, Lily.

...found a lot of old books I thought I'd lost.

...stopped trusting almost anyone outside of my family and a small circle of friends.

...felt vindicated when former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on over forty counts of being a pedophile. For anyone who's been a victim of this, you know what I mean. I'm hoping the SOB gets shanked in prison, or beaten to death. There's no reason to show mercy to these terminally-pathological pieces of shit. They should be watched and tracked all of the time once they've been identified by society.

...saw the combined effects of de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and the wide-availability of heavy weaponry on the lives of 20 schoolchildren, and six of their adult caretakers, in Newtown Connecticut. The time to reopen our state mental health institutions is now. We have no real mental healthcare system, and it must be part of a socialized medical infrastructure. 

...still hate the idea of ever going back to Seattle for any reason.

...was reminded that most so-called "upstanding citizens" are more criminally-minded than so-called "criminals." To be accused is not to be guilty. We have something called the right to due process. The public and the press seem to have no concept of this. Put the 6th Amendment on the same critical-list as the 4th, and more recently, the 1st with the attacks on dissent and independent journalism.

And there was more. There was a lot more. Wish us all luck in the next year, because we're going to need it.

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