Imminent Domain and Domestic Tranquility

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marce...
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This morning’s first-cup-of-coffee browsing path has hijacked the light-and-fluffy topic I had thought I’d write about today. NOT looking at emails until 10am is probably a really good way of retaining some degree of control over one’s writing focus and thinking time. But that habit hasn’t taken hold yet.

The bottom line of this thread of reading inelegantly presented here is a deep angst that individual people can know and do what’s right. But ruling bodies and corporations inevitably grow short-sighted, greedy and blind to bigger, long-term living-on-earth issues. They seem doomed to thought-boxes bounded by quarterly returns, fiscal years and 2-year governmental election cycles.

And those who profit from short-sighted riches will not relinquish control over the Marcellus shale’s methane fortunes or the false prosperity that comes with the building of the world’s third largest dam in the Amazon rain forest.

Now, to even more deeply entrench the rule of government by, of and for the corporation, those crowds who always wield the biggest club have been granted citizen status in the US by our “supreme” court. There are far more people outside than inside these financial machines. And sometimes, the disenfranchised masses become the prevailing force, I remember as I watch the throngs among the tear-gas stream across the bridge over the Nile.

Time comes when corporations and armies, presidents and generals, can be cast off; a time when the people, the sold-out whose rights and dignity has been trampled, won’t take it any more.

Is this the future?

Belo Monte dam, Amazon Basin / Brazil displaces indigenous population in onslaught not unlike Avatar.

Corporations Ain’t People, So Why Do They Have the Power of Citizens?

Have Public Servants Charged with Protecting Drinking Water for 15 Million People Sold Out to the Gas Drilling Industry?

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Sounds strange but it might well, indeed, be the future. It is hard not to sympathize with those on the street who have nothing (a larger group even in this country each and every day) and are cast aside by the super rich who want to have even more.

    But, and this is a big BUT, I am frightened by the masses being over swayed by fundamentalism that can so easily convince them that the right path is reverting to the politics of the 16th century.

    Hope lies in education and activism. Strange times these are.

  2. I have to agree with Bill. Climate-change deniers to the contrary, Australia is besieged with flooding and there is a vicious storm sweeping across this country right now, which, of course, is not at all caused by the burning of fossil fuel. No way. Unfortunately, the days of resource shortages are upon us. Between challenging climate events and the resulting food shortages, there will, indeed, be some interesting scenarios coming to your local theater. I think the elections next year may be the preview of the future we are not looking forward to.