Now the question is what to do with Billy, do we have him hunker down and write this all there or move on. The moving on is whhere I find the GALT character. Idaho? Missile silos, military v peaceful etc … The Utah stuff – religious freedom, multiple wives, what it all means needs to be researched a bit not now, come back. Galt. Storm the barricades the only solution is violence, that’s all they understand, it’s the course of action required now to let them know this isn’t liberal mamby pamby bullshit. They are off wreaking havoc with our tax dollars in our name under the aegis and funded by the American people. The conversation takes place outdoors, amidst the trees, a lake shimmering through the long pole pines.
“This is our land,” said Galt. “This is what we know, this is what we should be focused on. Look around you, this is beauty, this is fucking sublime. They want to mine it and drill it, de-forest and fucking clearcut it and take it from us, US, us, not us, everyone. We’re transitory, you and I and all our progeny are a blip, ten seconds in the eternity of the land. We can talk all we want about America’ but that is a construction, an artifice, a contrivance built on the backs of immigrants and thieves. Those who crossed the land bridge (Alaskan, Siberian?) experienced this land in its entirety, its wholeness, its raw form. Who arre the descendants of those first immigrants? Who knows, we may think we know, but if you’re going to go that far back why not go further and ask whether the Africans who moved north to Europe and eventually crossed the Ocean to the east coast of this land were not equally legitimate claimants to this land. We are splitting hairs. In the long view, we’re splitting hairs, and, frankly, at this point, it doesn’t matter. Cherokee, Ute, Arapahoe, Quaker, Puritan, any colonist, any immigrant, what does it matter? We are all at risk. It makes no difference what race or religion. There are those that take the short view and there are those that take the long – and that is all that is left.”
“What do you mean?” I asked brushing away the mosquitos.
“People can secure themselves. They can try to stay safe for the night. We have plenty of people like that. It’s sad, but it’s true.” He needn’t expound to me, I knew this all too well, even before my time on the streets of San Francisco. “Then there are those who take care of a week, a month, a year, you can chart in this country who is paycheck to paycheck and who has savings to make it through a year. This is all easily researched and compilable.”
“So,” he said, somewhat derisively. “So, when you get beyond that and you enter the rarified eschalons of the elite who are not only secure for their own lives but have secured the lives of their offspring then you have groups who have the choice, they have the choice, they have a choice between the long view and the short view.”
“I still don’t follow.” He gave me an impatient look. I had expected for him to talk about the end-timers, my time amongst the Mormons had me in the mindset of the very religious, the apocolyptic, Revelations and all that. But, Galt was headed in a different direction.
“We either care about the future of the land or we care about the future of our offspring.”
“That makes no sense.”
“It makes perfect sense! Take the maker of missile systems, take a war supplier, profiteers. Are they motivated by armistice, peace, amity. No. They are motivated by money. And they make money when there is fear and hate in the world. The more fear and hate, the more money. More fear, more hate – more money. They then have enough to take care of their generations. Listen, we’re all tribal, the first thing we do is take care of our own. We, all of us, just need to expand the definition conception of ‘our own’ It’s too small a world now to let hate and fear of the ‘other’ fester. There is no ‘other’, there is only us.”
“Then how can you advocate taking over the silos? There’s certainly going to be violence, and that means guns and blood, they’ll send the whole army, this place will be overrun in minutes.”
“They can’t shoot what they can’t see.”
“I hate to say this, Galt, but you’re beginning to sound like a crazy. I mean, come on…”
“You can’t beat an enemy you can’t see,” he said simply. “Look at Vietnam, look at Iraq, look at the American fucking Revolution.” Intriguing bit of emphasis, I thought.
“Yes, but don’t you think we’ve entered an era where today’s firepower could vastly, easily, trounce such an uprising on this soil, in the terrain around the silos, and…”
“You really aren’t listening. It’s not about firepower, it’s about the power of the idea.” He paused, regrouped and went on, “When the emperor built the Great Wall, the furthest outposts had to be held by soldiers for years (soldiers from the cities, from other parts of the land. However, as they lived there, as they grew comfortable or at least static, they started to assimilate into the local population. Towns sprang up on both sides of the Wall. Ironically, the thing that was supposed to separate people brought them together. That was where the money was, the outposts were where trade took place, where ideas were exchanged and before long you couldn’t discern the occupied from the occupier.”
“Are you talking about infiltrating the military?”
“I’m talking about the natural progression of ideas.”
“But how? Doesn’t the army purposefully mix units, rotate them around the country. The idea is to form a unified state, plus we’re such a mobile society anyway, people jump from coast to coast, city to city.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said simply. The army is a different beast in many ways, but in some ways it is just like a massive corporation. There’s disgruntlment and dissension in any organization. We’ve managed to harness that.”
I felt a chill and shuddered. Winds blew through the tops of the pines and a soft shushing sound filled the air around us, as if the land was talking back, giving it’s approval or expressing its opposition, I wasn’t sure which. I had no idea how to respond, but deep down inside I was scared and I thought this was wrong. I didn’t entirely trust Galt, his virulent certainty (?) frightened me.
“Let’s go into town tomorrow,” he said. “There are some people I want you to meet.”
We walked back to his cabin in silence.
That night we sat together by the fire, his small stone hearth made from river rock and planed pine beams gave off good heat. It warmed his little home well. He read Master Sun and I stared at the embers. Eventually, I said ‘good night’ and drifted off to my bed on the far side of his main room, his only ‘room’ if you don’t count his loft where his bed was, where it was warmer in the winter, he said. Many nights in the summer and early fall, he’d sleep outside, often camping. He’d be gone for weeks at a time, hunting and traversing the secret trails of this country, such beautiful country. My sleep was troubled, his words rattled me and rattled around in my brain, the consequences, the meaning of the words if they were true was frightening. This was revolution, he was talking about, a coup.
(Remember treacle and tripe, TV and American entertainment is nothing but heaping portions of…
The elite taking care of generations. Maybe the four generation thing, what strain is there on the middle generation of three, if the younger or the older generation stumbles, if there’s an illness or job trouble, the middle is supposed to pick up the slack. If the top level falls the strain falls on the middle. If the lower level is flawed the responsible to fix it, to build it, rests on the middle. Four generations, an aging society that can work later in life and provide an extra layer of support is ideal.
Taking care of a clan, the larger that group is, the more offspring you get who, as one politician so aptly put it, were born on third and think they’ve hit a triple. The righteousness of the rich, the smug superiority of the successful, most of it is luck, and if you continue to promote these smug, lucky people who’ve never been beaten down and got back up then you’ll end up with leaders with unrealistic expectations. We can’t afford pollyanna and pipe-dreams. We’re in a world of paranoia and pipe-bombs and that requires more than wishful thinking and a steadfast, unwavering faith in the strength of the US military. I know the US military. I’ve served and I know there are thousands more who believe me when I say, there are flaws, massive chasms between the civilian leaders and the military top brass and there are huge divisions between top brass and rank and file and amidst all those different groups there are strong opinions at wide variance. Now, in any organization you’re going to see such stratification and disagreements, but we’re talking about groups with guns, lots of guns and billions of dollars that is virtually untraceable. Really, this is the truly scary thing – individuals have at their discretion slush funds that they can spend as they see fit, with little or no oversight from Congress or anyone for that matter, executive included.
“Come on, how do you know this to be true?”
“Trust me. I know. How else do you think I could feel as confident as I do about taking the silos?”
I thought confidence can equal madness or self-delusion as well as foundational truth.
His buddy just sat there looking at me, watching for a reaction in my face.)
[WTC guy is a proponent of NY, east coast urban strength and the economic power that a true and just democratic nation can exert for good, for peace and prosperity – not necessarily in that order. He runs at oddds with Galt, who leans toward a violent end to a corrupted structure. It is rotten to the core and the entirety of Washington-ian governance needs to be abandoned. He sees a West free from dangerous overseas alliances, a strong military as a deterrance, not projected into trouble spots to breed more trouble, and a social contract that offers a chance to all, an end to the prison culture and limited federal taxation – well, limited WSA-federal taxation. More states rights, local governance and a WSA military in the style of the Swiss, all able bodied men (and women a la Israel) are armed and trained, but are purely defensive. To attack it is to destroy it, but in destroying it you defeat the very purpose of attacking it.
His buddy is ex-LA cop, sick of the system. Laws that everyone breaks, drug laws that cannot be uniformly enforced breeds a world of discontent. Neighborhoods and entire classes of people who have no hope for change and see the system as rigged against them. He was merely a security guard for the rich, who, when engaged in the same activity as those in Compton or Watts were rarely prosecuted and never did the kind of time the poor did. It was patently unfair and an entirely untenable situation for the LAPD. It was triage. They fought the symptoms but the disease raged rampant.
“I thought I could escape to here, but I was wrong. There’s this sort of crime everywhere. Wherever there are people who want to get high on some illegal substance there will be an illegal underclass covertly serving them. You would think we would have learned from prohibition. What’s the difference between a meth lab and a backwoods still? I say legalize it, regulate it, and tax the shit out of it so you can fund drug treatment programs, education and job training. This, this ineffective half-assed police state has so fucked up our country I think it may be too late to fix by degrees. A radical correction may be in order.”
Franklin is more in the fixing by degrees camp. He thinks with his broadcast and education scheme he can bring enough people around to repair an ill body. The victim is sick, but chemo may remove the cancer. Galt and buddy and their ilk advocate amputation. (And the contagion is being spread, ‘democracy’ or lunacy?) What if it’s brain cancer. Do a brain transplant. Bury it and move on.
Jake is trying to corral all these forces. He has me and others on the ground eliciting support from the quiet masses who can afford to fund it but can’t afford to come out about it. Politicians (western) are being influenced, they are hearing the grass roots rumblings and larger public debates finally enter the realm of loyalists vs revolutionaries. Foreign agreements begin to take on the tone of alliances. The east coast establishment begins to take notice, but too late. A few radical governors make their move. Dissent turns to dissolution, secession, and an end to the flow of tax dollars, a Boston Tea Party.
An end to automatic deposit. The people of the west just start getting their paychecks the old fashioned way and then stop deductions at the direction of state governments. Need a real western banking power, would have to be alliances with powerful economic forces. The asian powerhouse economies, maybe consent of ‘Old Europe’ banking establishments. Strength of Euro v $, end of petrodollars, China calling in debt transferring it to WSA. Bank Wars – Citibank and who? How do you create division amongst groups that are so large and universal? And the corporations? Where are they headquartered might determine who they align themselves with, wouldn’t business balk. Banks and cos are about making money, all about profit, this would throw that out the window, unless they could be convinced that the present course is disastrous.
Where am I now? The cranberries are playing at Commuter Comforts – tough day at work.
From Boise, where? Canada? Fly out of Canada? What about the California political scene with Scoop? If I go to the border and fly to the international section of the story do I let the CA stuff proceed without me. Or do I follow it on the news and online and then return to a crescendo. (This is what I figured out last night – the ending is on the ferry going back to Las Piedras, there is nothing spectacular, he finds the Sound sublime, mountains and water and sky and peace and when he arrives Soo is there with Nate smiling and everything is just as it had been and Billy wonders whether or not the entire thing was but his imagination, that he had just gone into Seattle for the night and was coming home the next morning after a very remarkable dream. He walked off the gangplank and up the ramp, his mind pondering such possibilities. Soo stood holding Nate’s hand, Nate came running and jumped into his arms, Billy walked forward and gave Soo a short kiss on the lips, “Welcome home,” she said.
Inchon, Seoul airport, spend a few days just taking advantage of high speed Internet – moving pawns, exercising control, doing shit in CA from a Korean airport terminal, that’s kind of funny. Billy could connect with Scoop and tell him the back story re Marty’s arrest if he doesn’t know it already, the missing link would be Scoop to Jake. Marty would attract the attention of Scoop in CA, but neither would know Jake. So, in the airport and perhaps earlier, Utah, Idaho, Canada, Billy gets Scoop and Jake working together.
Phoenix, St. George, the canyons of Utah, Boise, the woods of Idaho (Indian nations), would need to get new ID somewhere maybe Murray could forward stuff to a PO box of Galt’s. Then Idaho to Canada with the ex-cop, time in Vancouver, then international, Seoul and Tokyo, and then back to Seattle and the ferry to Las Piedras. CA political tumult, all the economic blah blah blah
Boise cop’s LA connection, to Sacto to SF to OR, WA and then the cops are divided, there are factions who support WSA. International agreements, they are tenuous, cloudy and built from the ground up, leaders of the people, the underground like the Korean guy I wrote about recently, he is the archetype, they have military or government connections and then they use that and their popular support to drive the politicians to not oppose the WSA. Japan is different, it’s not military power, but the liberals, the desire for peace and a safe environment for business. They battle exclusionary politics, they want to stay Japan and they don’t like the US dragging them into these foreign adventures when they are seen as being subservient, the Korea, NK, Japan, China interplay is complex and the US is fucking it up.
How to exploit the media, that should be easy.
OK, the cop that Galt introduces me to is disgruntled with the system. He doesn’t necessarily like the blacks and hispanics that he had had to arrest, abuse and otherwise police, he just came to believe they were in an impossible situation. While with Galt this cop hears about someone like me, or should it be public? In the newspapers? (Here’s where the dream part can get played up, nothing in the newspapers, no printed record, it’s all online, Jake is never seen it’s all voices and email, I could play this up, but it sounds too Vanilla Sky, twist it somehow) No, he still has connections in law enforcement and the SFPD, LAPD are tied into the feds who are driving an odd investigation, bringing in detectives across the state to get info about friends and relatives of Billy and Marty. Martin is arrested. Willie Brown type politician and F. Lee Bailey type lawyer rally to his cause. FLB is Murray’s trustee. It becomes a huge case that the feds try to stifle/put off/hide/delay and simulataneously inflate, as long as they have Marty in custody and there is no trial they can leak whatever they want, habeas corpus. Top secret national secret, they keep Marty behind bars, but Scoop et al are pumping his story talking to the press doing interviews, the online community is outraged.
So, Billy needs to flee. Cop takes him to Canada. Approaching the border the cop says, “You know it may be best if you get in the trunk.”
“Are you serious?”
“I know it may sound extreme, but you never know. It won’t hurt.”
“It won’t hurt you! You’re not the one getting in the trunk.”
“What if they search? Don’t you think it would be slightly suspicious if they found a man in your trunk?”
“I’ve still got my badge, they won’t search.”
“If you’ve got your magic fucking badge (get out of jail card), then why do I have to get in the trunk?”
“Look if you have some sort of federal APB out on you, then they would have briefed the border guardds, they’d have shown them your picture. You would be on their wall, on their list. This is critical for these guys. Without you or Jake all they have is Martin and they’ll never be able to convict him. Your smiling mug could be plastered all over every border station from Bellingham to Tijuana.
I shut up for a second. “That sounds over the top, I mean, who am I, I’m nothing.”
“You need to stop thinking that way, you are vital, this is serious shit and you’re right in the middle of it. You’re the one that dragged Martin into this, it’s your fault he’s in jail, if you get caught the whole movement could collapse, they would crush countless people, myself and Galt included. So, you may want to take the chance because you don’t want to be uncomfortable in my trunk for a few hours, but I’m not willing to take that chance.”
“A few hours?!” I thought you said it was just across the border?”
“Well, I’ll need to find good spots to load and unload you. We can’t just stop on the side of the road and have you jumping in and out, someone might see us.”
“Fuck me,” I finally said in exasperation. “Fine.”
“Don’t worry, there’s plenty of air and I’ve got some jumper cables you can use as a pillow.”
Humor was not his strong suit. He actually had a blanket and honestly the trunk of a Lincoln Town Car (?) is not a bad place to catch a few snatches of sleep in a pinch, and I was definitely in a pinch.