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Signs of a Gathering Storm
December 4, 2001
by tom_paine

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Two very ominous things happened last weekend which gave me pause to consider the future. The first was a weather event. Two days ago, in the end of November, we had a moderate line of thunderstorms come crashing through eastern Pennsylvania and other places.

I have been in and out of the beautiful state of Pennsylvania very much during the course of my life. I grew up there, and it is my home now. But, never, never in all my life do I ever remember a thunderstorm in October, let alone two days before December. To make sure, I asked several friends who had stayed in the area when I had left. They all agreed that they add never experienced such a thing in all their years, dating back to the late 50s.

When I was a child, the months of October to December used to be largely cold, with an occasional day or week of warm. For the last decade, those months are now mostly warm with an occasional day or week of cold. I recognize that these observations do not constitute scientific data on the reality of global warming. Of course, there is plenty of that lying about in all the scientific journals of the past 20 years, and I think it speaks for itself nicely.

The second event happened today, an event occurred which was thunderous in its silence. That is, the storming out of the White House of Ariel Sharon without having the obligatory ass-kiss-fest with the Corporate Media. They had set the microphones out and were hyping the big King George is In Charge press conference. We've all seen them. King George smiles broadly and reads his obfuscatory script lines, which address no questions, saying nothing really. Even when questions are asked, now, the King's answer seems to be canned and read off a card usually. I imagine the King gets to see all the questions before they're asked. Royal Privilege, you know. Then the legion of sycophants spreads out on the Cable TV and Radio airwaves to lavish praise for the gravitas of the boy-King's Churchillian utterances. Never mind those $100 billion dollar budget deficits until 2005. Nothing to see here. Move along.

At any rate, after all this buildup, the camera showed what appeared to be a pissed-off Sharon storming out and into his limousine. No questions and none likely. No King George and none likely.

No explanations and none likely.

I noticed it instantly. The Corporate Media ignored it all and transitioned nicely...after we'd waited all morning with them hyping that they were going to bring the press conferences very very soon, comrade. In the now-customary-doublespeak which passes for news these days it was as if the Bush-Sharon press conference had never been scheduled and then canceled...no words were spoken, none were needed to be. It was an [i]unevent[/i]. And so the TV "press" (if you can call that toadying bunch of sycophants that anymore) swept onward, oblivious I suppose to the newsworthiness of not having a previously scheduled press conference. On the Corporate Media went, with their human-interest stories from 9/11(which are still going on), interspersed with breathless up-close-and-personal footage and interviews with the highlighted morning's atrocity...in the case the multiple bombs in Jerusalem and Haifa. With a little bit of anthrax thrown in for good measure.

If we still had a Free Press it would have looked something like this:

TV JOURNALIST: Today's big story... Ariel Sharon departs abruptly after convening emergency meeting at the White House. Sharon hurriedly got in his limo, after the White House had placed microphones out in anticipation of a typical post-summit press-conference. Why did Sharon leave in such obvious anger? Hard questions for Ari Fleischer and the Bush White House tonight at 11...

These events, both natural and man-made, have meaning and portent for the future of our world, if we listen among all the noise. The hogs are in the tunnel. They must be fed. pResident Damien stands ready to unleash the fury on his own Royal Subjects. The 1890s are coming back in a big way. "The Great Game", played out against the Risk Board of finite resources and surly, oppressed, poor, dark-skinned people, is back in a big way.

And standing in the background, oblivious to everybody because of the immediate danger of fascism in the air, is the environment, the Earth. She won't take much more of this, and thunderstorms in November should tell us that quite succinctly.

 
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