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An Ozark E-Zine
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Some of you may remember that I participated in an e-forum (see: 10,000 Commandments) this past weekend. And I don't know why I allow myself to "get my hopes up" about stuff like this anymore. I mean, you'd think that even a dyed-in-the-wool altruist like me would eventually, after 35+ years of beating this same drum, give-up on the idea of people actually "doing something" with the power and prowess oozing from their fingertips.

How did we ever get to the point of thinking that "talking about" is the same as "doing"...???

When did we first start boxing ourselves into the corner of waiting to be "told" what to do (or worse still, telling others what to do) rather than "doing"...???

What is it going to take to get us "DOING" something tangible, tactile, tactical, alchemically experiential and physiologically empirical that effectively propels our individually unique existence into a "new and improved" (ie: consciously co-generated) dimension of being  "outside status quo the box"...???

Anyway, I did something like that this weekend, though it was not the conference. Several friends and I put together a "Surprise!" backyard picnic for a dear friend who is celebrating her first visit home after 6 months of hospitalization, repetitive reconstructive surgery and intense physical therapy as the result of a near-death trucking accident.

So Sunday afternoon we sat around with neighbors, soaking up the shade of a canopy tent and blanket of trees, sipping beer, noshing on ten delicious pounds of sirloin tip roast, loaves of  homebaked bread and lots of homemade pies, cupcakes, fruits and yummy desserts!!!

The day was pure bliss.

As to the conference, after an exchange of 137 emails (that all seemed to be going in circles, stumping NOT to "quantum leap" into some "new and improved" dimension of social self-governance, but instead to dwell in an articulate rendition of each respective author's career-credentialed and preconceived point of view) the summary is:

Bill N. said "I suggest that it is not productive to try to find an agreement on end results."

I said that if people did not agree on end results we would not have buildings, shopping malls, multi-national corporate conglomerates, or 9-11.

Allan said "What citizens seem to fail to understand, the Constitution is not about them. The Constitution is "citizens" Law that creates a government of a country and rules that government. The Constitution does not rule the People, Citizens, or make any demands on them." (Which is a truth I emphatically endorse.)

Bill N. said, "Allan, I agree, but the question is how can citizens best enforce the Constitution."

I said that the answer was already on the discussion table:

<> the ballot box
<> the jury box
<> the cartridge box
<> initiative petitions
<> re-call petitions
<> civil disobedience
<> the media box

I also said that the exercise of each of these powers has different consequences, several of which may be more desirable than others. I noted that all of these "action/forces" are indirect. That is, akin to billiards, one must aim the cue stick to make the cue ball contact an intermediary ball in order to sink the desired ball.

And I said that of all these citizen powers, the pen shall be forever mightier than the sword.

Along the way, I proposed that I heartily accorded the idea John referenced, that the art of change is to create a parade large enough that the politicians will want to run out ahead and lead it.

Also that it is VERY important for us to look deeply at the fact that, as John succinctly pointed out, the Federalist Papers (which ultimately spawned our Constitution) were written with a PRIMARY INTENTION of INFLUENCING VOTERS through the MEDIA.

And I said something about how our patriotic founders "took it upon themselves to do this" and that, again as John said, "without
that influence, we might not have the Constitution we now have."

Thus I asserted that, with respect to all this, I agreed that "the job is to describe the conditions that will exist at the point where we have reached the future ideal" and then, once we have a clear expression of this ideal, articulated in nomenclature that at least 90% of the reading public can comprehend, what we do is take that "(envisioned) end product," spin a web of integrity around it, wrap it up with a Madison Avenue ribbon, and distribute it as a news release in hopes of getting more folks to jump on this band wagon, thus creating the kind of "dog and pony show" that media loves, thus getting more people aware of their own responsibilities and duties as citizens... exercising their imbued rights!!!

And I asserted that, as an "end result" I would settle for no less than (as one of the other participants had described) having my government treat me with the dignity, courtesy and respect
befitting an adult.

Also, I shared my strong believe that our society would take a giant leap toward this achievement by repealing every law on every book that is discordant with the fundamental Constitutional ethic of individual "private citizen" liberty & justice -- which could, in essence, be a fine idea upon with to convene a "media parade."

And I requested of this illustrious fellowship that we come together in employing our highest ideals and stretching our
imagination to the fullest to articulate the end result that each one of, personally, seeks...

After which came 20 emails, not a one of which proposed any sort of alternative strategy for "doing" something, nor did any offer to build any cohesive "group effort" upon my proposed action plan.

And along the way, they bumped a forum participant out of participation because the moderator arbitrarily felt that this person's take on the subject was "distracting us."

Thus I finally said that if any of the fine folks on the panel were ever ready to stop jack-jawing and take some beneficial action, they should feel free to gimme a call!!!

In the interim, you'll find me right here, whittling.



Where is Wanda...???
From: Glen Schwarz
Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2004 4:34 PM

Subject: Where is Wanda Vickers?

Dear Arkansas Activists,

Last week Denele gave me the task of finding Wanda Vickers, the notary who neglected to sign her middle initial, thereby nullifying 16,000 signatures down at the Sec. of State's office.

I went to her listed address in NLR, she has not lived there for over a year. I looked on the petitions themselves, only "Pulaski County" is written on the form. Now the bonding company, which is liable for the her surety bond, also has only an old address.

This e-mail then, is the first of a public appeal to find Wanda S. Vickers. She needs to contact me or Denele (479-839-2475), and get down to the Sec. of State's office to re-sign over a thousand petitions forms. She must be found by mid-week, or the entire effort at making the ballot this year will be in jeopardy.

In Solidarity, Glen Schwarz
Pres. ArkNORML

And now I have a special announcement!!! The countdown has officially begun to Gozarks 5th Anniversary Celebration, coming to Beautiful "uptown" Shirley Arkansas, April 16, 2005!!!

A mere nine months in the making -- and well over 5 years in the "getting to" of that future space in time. Time that will, as the poets say, slip through the hourglass ever so quickly. Faster by far than the past 5 years have flow. "Faster than a speeding bullet," as they say about Superman. But still, at the leisurely (magical) pace that converts the twinkle in a parents' eyes into a birth. 

In addition to celebrating Gozark's 5th, we'll be dedicating our spectacular event to Earth Day and to Liberty & Justice -- each of which are, of course, celebrating significant anniversaries themselves. 

Liberty & Justice -- in the American sense -- was first codified in the pre-U.S.A. by terms of the "Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire" in 1639... 366 years ago. And I heartily encourage everyone to read-up on our shared civic heritage, considering it both a duty and a pleasure to browse through, for example, The Federalist Papers, instead of, perhaps, renting (yet another) DVD tonight.

Also, Earth Day turns 35 next year. And as you may already know, Gozarks is one of the convening sponsors of Conway Earth Day 2005, slated for April 23, one week after our own big event. Thus by adopting this eco-friendly theme for our 5th Anniversary celebration, we're looking to build awareness about all the things that, to the best of our ever growing capability, Gozarks has come to "stand for" in terms of having a world that works beneficially and benevolently for everyone, everywhere.

So... if you've been standing around with your hands in your pockets, dabbing your eyes with tissues, weeping and moaning about all the crap that is going on in the world, well...

GET OUT YOUR 2005 CALENDAR!!! Join us in birthing this baby!!! Mark the whole week of April 16 through April 23 for the celebration. Maybe think of it  something like "Earth Day Liberty & Justice Week."

Then start planning on joining us here in Shirley or Conway (or both!) or anywhere you desire along this productive path of co-generative plotting -- perhaps maybe even by starting right now to invent something equally rewarding (not to mention highly civic minded) in YOUR community sometime that week YOURSELF!!!


More later... and as always, I'm wishing all of us a life worth living, filled with all those things we prefer, desire, wholeheartedly celebrate and richly deserve to enjoy.

Christine Weiss

Hey! Come visit us at SassafrasWilds!!!

August 14


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