Retrograde Permissions

pk versus NYU

2006 09 17
Team theft is more effective than individual theft the way team hunting can be more effective than individual hunting. The leopard finds prey, the lions, the hyenas … the men … find more.
The pickpocket’s confederate bumps the mark just as his wallet gets lifted. Why the confederate didn’t pick the pocket: After the pickpocket has handed the wallet off to another confederate, he has no stolen goods on him: how can he be a thief? !!!
I was born in New York. I didn’t take any land from any Algonquins. How can I be a kleptocrat? Now I’m in Florida. I didn’t drive the Miccosukee from their Palm Beach beaches.
Everyone knows that the gold that started the gold rush, 1849, was found at Sutter’s Mill. It wasn’t Sutter who found it: but the guy who did find it brought it right away to Sutter. ’Cause he worked for Sutter. Everybody there worked for Sutter. Sutter was the original settler. He was the first European to find a land route west through the Rocky Mountains. He was the first developer to show an interest in the Sacramento Valley. When he couldn’t find any other whites who were interested in farming it with him, he sailed to Hawaii, brought back Hawaiians.
Sutter was potentate of his own country. He was careful. He had treaties with Russia, with the United States, with Mexico. He had his own standing army. He’d done a bang up job with the farming. He had cattle. Now he was into lumber: hence his new mill. As soon as the lumber was under control, he’d pan the gold too. It all belonged to him.
Sutter was so successful — in an amazingly short period of time — that lots of whites were now traipsing over the land he’d developed. Oh, sure, in time they’d have come anyway, someone else would have found a route. But it was Sutter who’d done it. They were traipsing by because of him.
Word of the gold got out. And that was the end of Sutter’s sovereignty, his independence. That was the end of all the nice treaties he had with his neighboring fellow sovereignties. The most powerful pack took the kill of the dog.
Other whites didn’t just take Sutter gold: we killed his cattle, trampled his crops, burned his buildings.
And when the court in San Francisco agreed with Sutter that the new territory of “California” owed him three or four hundred million dollars in damages, the indignant new settlers of California burned the court to the ground, scattered the judges into the Pacific and didn’t pay a penny.
When the debt is too great no body has to pay. That’s civilization.
Sutter went from pauper to one of the richest men in history to pauper. He spent his last days in Washington DC petitioning Congress for a pension. The US gave him nothing.
Hell, Congress didn’t take his gold — individual riffraff did that. Congress just took his whole country, his whole everything.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Sutter was probably a no good son of a bitch. He’d abandoned one family in Switzerland before we slaughtered his new family in Suttervania, New Helvetia, become California. Russia recognized New Helvetia’s sovereignty? Well, Sutter forget to recognize the huge loan he’d finagled from Russia when it came time to repay it. But it doesn’t matter what Sutter was like, any more than it matters what the Jews were like that the Third Reich was gassing and machine gunning in concentration camps: they were victims. Sutter was our victim. I’m talking not about him, I’m talking about US. Us.
That’s the same US that stole our bicameral democracy from the Five Nations.
White settlers of North America were thinking of stiffing their old English king (German, actually, the Georges). Yeah, we were talking about forming our own government. The tribes sometimes called the Iroquois heard about it. They’d formed their own government hundreds of years before that. Prior to the Thirteenth Century the Five Tribes were always at each others’ throats. Hiawatha brought them their Great Law of Peace, and things had been much better since. The Five Tribes had two legislative houses, an executive … Sound familiar?
(The Five Tribes also had an extraordinary degree of “equality” between the two major genders. Now that does NOT sound familiar.)
Blah blah blah. Do you see? The Iroquois went out of their way to GIVE us whites their democracy. We took it. But we didn’t exactly thank them. We knocked them down, said bad things about them, took more, then still more, of their land … and everything else.
So: we stole from Injuns. We know that. But we stole from whites too, when it suited us. Sutter.
And nothing has changed. You stole from pk too: without even knowing you were doing it. I offered a cheap internet. You ignored me. Pushed me aside. Trampled over me.
Then suddenly the universities, the Pentagon … international science, CERN … offers an expensive internet … give it away, but then make everybody need a new PC every six months: or, if they’re smart, a Mac — so your files won’t work until you buy thousands of dollars worth of software upgrades every other year.
But just like the confederate holding the stolen wallet … “I didn’t steal the wallet.”
No. That’s right. You just HAVE the stolen wallet.

Now, the other day, itching to write this file, to repeat familiar  points in a hopefully more streamlined manner from my original fumblings with those points, I got distracted, side-railed. I’d already titled the file “Retrograde Permissions.” Now I jotted the file, nice and fast, well enough I think for a very fast first draft, but I haven’t said a word about either word: “retrograde” or “permissions.”
Well, figure it out. Or give me a minute: I’ll be back. [would have, but got arrested, jailed]

See Law & Order.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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