Energy Anarchy: An end to oligopoly?

An Ozark E-Zine

First, I gotta ask: Who knows what an "oligopoly" is?


Give up? Well if you don't know by the time you've finished reading this, I'll show you a way to find out. Now...


In his erudite essay, "Escape from the Petro Prison,"  Kevin Flaherty, editor/publisher of Cryptogon, admirably articulates the problem:


“For at least the past 100 years, the world has been trapped in a prison built out of oil. Indeed, the primacy of oil in the domestic and foreign affairs of industrialized states is without question. But if one thinks the petroleum paradigm endures because there are no viable alternatives, one would be wrong. The barriers to the wide adoption of alternative sources of energy are political and economic in nature, not scientific or technical. This essay describes a clean, electrically generated synthetic fuel that could allow for a grass roots transformation of the global political and economic system; a system ruled by a corporate oligopoly whose interests are inimical to those of people everywhere.”


Flaherty references something called Bingo Fuel, the name given by Jean-Louis Naudin to the combustible carbon-hydrogen gas generated from his adaptation of an “Electrical Retort” device originally patented by Hillary Eldridge in 1898.


According to Naudin’s research, which is pictorially detailed on his website, the gas is cheaply and easily manufactured by passing an electrical current through two carbon rods immersed in a vessel of water. (Yes,  WATER!)


Better still, as demonstrated by Naudin’s experiments, this gas can be burned in modern unmodified internal combustion engines, thus eliminating the need for (and pollution associated with) petro-powered vehicles and electrical generators, essentially putting the production of energy in the hands of the folks who use it.


Flaherty calls this “Energy Anarchy” and has taken to waging an intense campaign to build awareness about, support for and grassroots implementation of this technology in the interest of extinguishing “elite control over power generation and distribution.”


“Marching, demonstrating, etc. is not working,” Flaherty opines. “And violence is not an option. Energy anarchy would threaten the regime in a powerful new way… I'm focusing on this type of sentiment because striking at core elite revenue streams is the only way I can see of affecting any meaningful changes.”


Amen, Kevin. Amen.


So, did you figure out the meaning of "oligopoly" yet? If not, cruise on over to Merriam-Webster and have a look. And whilst you're there, you might also wanna check the word "oligarchy" and see how well the definition fits so very much of what is happening today.

On My Soap Box...
Guest Editorial by Alice Chambers

Oh boy am I hopping mad!!! I just can’t believe some of the decisions made by judges! I just read an article in the county paper about a man who was given 10 years PROBATION in a "shaken baby" death. In case you didn’t see it, it stated:

"After seven continuances and two and a half years awaiting the trial on capital murder charges, Marcus Hogan, of near Choctaw, last week entered a plea of guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the death of a six-week old infant, allegedly from ‘shaken baby syndrome,’ and was given ten years probation by Circuit Judge Mike Maggio. During 2˝ years, Hogan had served 16 months in the county jail, but for the past year has been released."

The article goes on to say that there was a plea agreement made. And the Prosecutor, Stephen James, made the comment that the mother was okay with the agreement and was quoted as saying "She’d reached the point where all she wanted was for the thing to be over with so SHE could get on with her life." So the judge gave him supervised probation for five years and a possibility of unsupervised probation for the following five years.

When did it become okay to take the life of another person, without consequences?? A baby! An innocent baby!!!

What message does this send. 'Well perhaps the baby wouldn’t quit crying so it’s life was taken.' I wanted to write "the bastard got away with murdering a baby" but I suppose if I did without all the facts, I would be sitting in judgment of this man. But there is this part of me that is infuriated with a system that will allow someone to spend 16 months in jail and get 10 years probation for with a plea bargain for manslaughter.

I am boiling mad.

What kind of person would shake a baby at all. Someone who needs some serious anger management, psychological counseling and in need of some serious spiritual counseling.

And what about that mother?????????? Where was she when the shaking was going on?

Again, maybe I don’t know all the facts BUT where was she when the baby was being shaken? And even if it were out of her control, why wouldn’t she want to see it through to the end, for her baby? Her baby, that should have been loved and nurtured and taken care of. SIX WEEKS OLD BABY that was not protected from the likes of someone who couldn’t control themselves with a tiny baby.

What a sick society we are becoming.

What makes that judge think that the next time this guy is around another baby and he can't handle whatever triggered him the first time, he won’t do the same thing? I guess he is willing to take that chance. It sickens me.

I have grandchildren. I am blessed to have loving children who would protect their own children at all cost. Who take care of their children, make their children focal points of their lives and love them wholeheartedly.

If we don’t take care of the children of today, who will be there to take care of the children of tomorrow? Something is terribly wrong. What can I do, you say. Well start by writing your governor, senators, congressmen, and anyone you think can get some tougher laws passed. Write the judge and tell him how you feel if you have your own thoughts on this subject.

I am thrilled that they finally are stopping partial birth abortion! It is a hideous thing to think a baby could be born and live on its own, only to be killed before it’s born or as it is being born. Who has a right to do that? None of us, that’s for sure.

I will probably step all over toes but it’s got to start somewhere and end somewhere. Education-is the first and most simple solution to a beginning. I would guess the couple aforementioned are young - I don’t know that because I was not there but irregardless, the teen pregnancy rate is not going away. And young people, as young people have always done, are going to have sex. And it's not just the kid who hasn't had all the benefits of life. At the very least sex education in school should be a requirement. I don’t care who I make mad at this point. Someone has got to take a responsible view point. I would rather educate a child on how to prevent pregnancy and diseases, than to allow something so horrible as their baby to be shaken to death or put in a dumpster, or for them to end up with AIDS.

No one wants the responsibility of prevention: they just want to complain or even worse - ignore the seriousness of the ills of our society. I urge everyone to take a stand against the loss of the children of our country. We are suppose to protect children. It makes me mad but it makes me even sadder to think of that baby with it’s shaken little body, so helpless and lifeless. Even if I don’t know facts other than what I read in the paper, hear on the radio, and see on the television; one thing is for sure: this isn’t the only case like this. I dare say if I see any real child abuse - I report it, I don’t stick my head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. I know it’s no picnic for kids to be taken away from their families but it might give them a chance at life that they might otherwise not have.

I could rant and rave on and on but I am sure I have said enough for now. Maybe this is food for thought for some of you. Think about it, please. Do something!

Path to Peace…
By Christine Weiss,

As I look with guarded optimism at unfolding world events, I cannot get one thought out of my mind. That is, that there is a role for each of us to play in the global peacemaking deal, and it starts right here in our own hometown by changing the regime of “local media.”

Recent rulings of the FCC should make this clear to us. That is, it seems to me that the “rule makers” are saying: “Hey, if you ain’t gonna use it, you lose it.”

But how do we “use” it, this inherent right to free speech and egalitarian diversity? Well, we start by getting the things we care about to make headlines in “the news.”

Why? Well, I’m here to tell you why. It’s because we, as “the mainstream,” are vastly influenced by the things we read, see, and hear every day. We are influenced by sound-bites, headlines, front page features, and all other sorts of media blitz. We are influenced by these whether we choose to recognize this fact, or not. We cannot NOT be influenced by this confluence of informational energy because we are immersed in it. It is like an “auto pilot” that guides the flow of (future) current events.

And it matters not whether you believe this or think I’m nutz, because I’m stating the plain and simple truth that all of us who care about the health and well being of our planet, our community and our family need to realize that "the media" is a "tool." And, like a hammer, screwdriver or chainsaw, what is built or deconstructed with any tool can work to our detriment or our good.

But now I hear you saying “Yeah, so what?” What can “I” do about it? The media is a big and powerful industrial tool, fitted firmly in the hands of elaborate multi-nationals, driven entirely by profit-seekers and obviously oblivious to anything they choose.

And I say, yes. This is the scenario we find ourselves immersed in. Great reporting is a rarity these days… when it should, in fact (given the gargantuan number of striving young folks who have graduated Journalism 101) be the norm.

But finding fault will not solve this problem, and every moment that we waste laying blame is a moment that could have been put to some tremendously excelsior use… laying new foundations, building bridges, or maybe simply picnicking in the sun… AND “getting the word out” about the greatness we are achieving by saturating our local media outlets with legitimately proactive news and views.

And I use the word “legitimate” here because I recognize that so very much of what passes for gospel in the news today is bunk. That is, far too many of the headlines we read and hear are the simple outcome of someone (with deep pockets) having purposefully orchestrated a (propagandizing) media blitz. How does this happen, well… It works like this:

First an agenda is set by the folks who want to sway the mainstream mind-set. Doesn't matter whether it's seat belts, cigarettes, marijuana or war. Clear objectives are delineated with Madison Avenue style. A “target audience” is defined by demographics, and a publicity campaign goes into gear. 

The first step is to build alliances. Get as many people (aka: organizations) “on board” with the plan as you can. Professional marketing strategists do this because they know that “the more the merrier” not only makes for great hay-rides, but is a fundamental tenet of turning a back page blurb into front page news.

The second step rocks the media boat with a saturation campaign, during which editors of every size, shape and description are subjected to a barrage of well worded news releases that all sing basically the same tune yet come from a variety of seemingly independent sources.

Along this path, all commentary will be focused on verifying (or vilifying) the “substantiating evidence" which strengthens whatever point is being made. And, given that the overall marketing strategy has been implemented successfully, the result will be that “the story” starts to take on a life of its own with lots of folks giving it credible heed.

That is, the various media editors will, in many instances, run these new releases verbatim (which is scandalously unethical journalistic practice, yet due to the deadline demands of mainstream media today, this is the sad status quo) or assign "follow-up" (fact checking, collateral research, confirming and/or dissenting interviews) on these news releases to reporter-interns... most of whom (because they have been rigorously trained by to “stay between the lines” in order to keep their jobs) will dutifully regurgitate whatever the (self-appointed) "experts" have said.

All too soon the "same story" will be headlining nearly every (mainstream) form of media and we, being the general public and not wanting to be "out of step" with our peers, will begin to subtly shift our view point, falling dutifully into line with whatever (the pollsters say that) our brethren say is "the norm."

And no matter how much we fight against or try to deny the existence of this perpetrated manipulation, the fact is that it is a fact. However, there is something that we can do about it. That is, we can utilize the tools of media to wage proactive campaigns of our own.

We can do this even if we do not have “deep pockets” because, thanks to email and the Internet, one does NOT have to have a gazillion dollars to put this Madison Avenue marketing strategy to use.

That is, the “wheel” has already been invented and all we need do is learn how to grease it with innovation and integrity in order to grind the grain our own unique way.

Of course there is a “process” involved here, but as with anything it can be mastered… we can master it. If we choose to. If we invest in it. If we utilize the tools and become practitioners of the strategies we earn the power to turn any tide.

And it all starts right here in our own backyard with our very own hometown media. First, by understanding the process which delivers column inches to those who make the headlines and second by utilizing this same process to empower our altruistic hopes and dreams.

So the next time you “read all about it” remember how so very much of what we take as “news” is generated… and then get out there and generate some news of your own!!!

PS: In the interest of empowering a grassroots-driven takeover of the media regime, I’m putting together a step-by-step guide full of “insider tips” for waging your own media blitz. If you’d like to know when its published, email me!!!

Websites for a rainy day…
Let’s start with a virtual visit to The Continent with a look at the IndyMedia accounts about what's happening in Europe, re: the WTO and its aims for "water privatization."

Then for a refreshing aperitif, sip as you stroll with me to Cryptogon where commentary on the deregulation of media monopoly (see: Gozarks, May 2002), under the heading “Ted Turner: Monopoly or Democracy?” encourages us: “At some point, people will need to realize that trying to fix something that is hopelessly broken is a waste of time. Stop consuming their nonsense. Turn off your television. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Grow some vegetables. Make some nice tasting tea. And just let the system collapse. It's near to the end. There's no sense in getting upset about it.”

As I look wistfully out my window sipping tea and eagerly awaiting another visit from the hummingbirds who have taken a liking to the potted Petunias trailing there, wander with me over MadCowProductions and feast your minds on an articulate story about the shadowy financier dealings surrounding the 9.11 World Trade Center tragedy.

Feeling invigorated? Well…

Pack up that bubbling enthusiasm and let's visit the Idaho Greens where by clicking the "Paul Revere Project" button you’ll be able to read with glee about proposed Patriot II legislation which allegedly grants governmental authority to carry out a wide range of communications-tapping actions, searches without probable cause and the unwarranted surveillance of personal records and religious activities, all sans the authorization of court order, nullifies the protection of attorney-client privilege and also makes it legally permissible to quantify acts of civil disobedience – a longstanding mainstay of protest employed by many political activism groups – as “terrorist activity.”

Have you finished (upchucking) lunch yet?

As you’re thinking about having some kind of sweet treat for dessert, sample the recent New York Times article about the “mean-spirited and wholly unnecessary act, a clear display of the current regime's outright hostility toward America's poor and working classes,” which just recently passed through our federal legislature under the heading of the President’s tax relief program.

For a stimulating cordial you might imbibe any of the top stories on AlterNet. My personal favorite here, right up there with Carolyn's Irish Cream, is titled “The Day of the Jackals.”

Feeling emotionally satiated? Well… we can take care of that!!! Have a gander at Joan Chittister’s May 27 column, Is there anything left that matters? or Sean Gonsalves June 2 article, Bridging the Credibility Gap?

To work off that bloated “Oh! I ate too much” feeling, surf the links at WebActive and then jog on by DemocracyNow for a relaxing listen to an audio recording of Noam Chomsky speaking at the University of the District of Columbia about President Bush and Osama Bin Ladin.

Ready for dinner? Well…

A veritable smorgasbord is ready to tingle your intellectual taste buds at sites like PR Watch, Progressive Review, Free Speech, Zmag, Michael Moore, or by clicking a few links to peruse the pages of International Media.

And if you just can’t go to bed without your daily dose of “the tube,” put on your couch potato cap, prop your feet up on that (worn out) ottoman and have a look at World Link TV.

Now wasn’t that a lovely way to while away a rainy day?

Wishing all of us the future we prefer, desire and deserve to enjoy...

Christine Weiss

Hey! Come visit us at SassafrasWilds!!!


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Photo: Exterior of the Van Buren County Child Care Center building.

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