Before the Clean Air Act was passed in 1972, Milwaukee was dumping raw sewage into Lake Michigan. Chicago was having to clean up its drinking water from Lake Michigan to get Milwaukee’s sewage out. Chicago sued—the state of Illinois, really—sued Milwaukee and said, You are polluting our water; it’s our property right to clean water; you’re taking it from us. The court ruled, all the way to the Supreme Court, I believe, that Milwaukee was violating Chicago’s rights. Along came the Clean Water Act, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) set down some technological standards, said, ‘Put these filters on your pipes.’ Milwaukee did it. It still didn’t clean the water up; but Milwaukee’s defense was, ‘We’ve done what government said we have to do.’ It basically obliterated a property rights solution and substituted for it a far less superior regulatory solution. And to this day, Milwaukee dumps raw sewage into Lake Michigan.
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.
Do you know what I think of when someone asks for solidarity? I think of cops. Nobody shows more solidarity than cops. You could have a cop on video beating the crap out of someone, with a dozen of his fellow cops standing there watching, and not a one will cross that blue line to do what is right . . .
Solidarity is about group cohesion, which means you have to see value in group belonging. And I don’t. I’ve never wanted to belong to a group. All too often, group belonging means conformity. It’s why the Amish all dress the same. It’s why every kid in middle school has to run out and buy the same pair of jeans as their friends . . .
If you want me to do something or support something, do not appeal to me on the basis of group identity. Appeal to me on principle. Appeal to a real human relationship that we have. If I think your cause is just, I’ll be there . . .
If you just want solidarity, join the mob or the white nationalists or the police force.
In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.
I have finally published the prologue of the story. I’m not entirely happy with it, however when compared to my previous writing it does seem to be an improvement in some respects. The name of the story is Eidolon, and the romantic pairing is Shepard and Kaidan (MShenko).
Not a lot of writing was done this month other than some small changes I made to the prologue. Depending on the response to what I’ve released so far I will either continue writing as I have previously, or start releasing more chapters as I complete them.
Some wonder whether the events of one’s life pass before their eyes as they face death. John Shepard was one of those individuals who need not wonder. Having experienced death not just once, but twice, he had a somewhat intimate knowledge of the ordeal. Shepard was no drell, however, nor was he one of the rare humans to have eidetic memory. So it was that he did not recall all the happenings of his life in those moments of ceasing consciousness, but what he did recollect was somewhat muddled and disjointed.
In his first experience of death, Shepard’s mind flashed back to the day his life took a turn for the worse. He was only sixteen when the raid came, he and the other colonists had fought back as well as they could, their civilian-grade rifles and pistols no match for the armour-clad invaders. Mindoir was a farming colony, they stood no chance. Shepard could only watch in horror, frozen in shock and overwhelmed by helplessness, as his friends and relatives were slaughtered by batarian slavers. When he escaped with an Alliance patrol he made a promise to himself that he would never feel that way again.
Fast-forward a few years and Shepard had the opportunity to put his resolve to the test. He was enjoying shore leave on Elysium at the time when the colony came under attack by a band of pirates and mercenaries. Through the lessons he learned on Mindoir, Shepard rallied a resistance force and successfully held the marauders at bay until reinforcements arrived. Despite been lauded as a hero, he personally believed that he only did what anyone else would have done in his situation.