Nov-Jan, 2007 -- Fall/Winter Issue
Editor / firstname.lastname@example.org
Research / email@example.com
Illustrator and Layout ArtistJoshua.Carreon@gmail.com
Rogue Design Group / http://www.RogueDesignGroup.comOur Mission
To provide Ashland and the larger Southern Oregon and Northern California region with fearless reportage and critical analysis of local, national, and international issues. To give voice to topics of importance to people and groups that are screened out of media coverage. To serve as an example of how a small, independent publication can help a community recover its unique human and environmental identity. To reverse the trend toward homogenized media produced by information czars whose agendas are controlled by corporate and government apparatchiks.Publication Information
Ashland Free Press is published four times annually. Authors may utilize pseudonyms, in keeping with the tradition of American freedom of the press as established by the Founding Fathers, who published their seminal work on government, The Federalist Papers, pseudonymously, and made it lawful to copyright artistic works pseudonymously through the US Copyright Office. Contents are subject to Copyright © 2006 as works of the Ashland Free Press and/or the respective authors and artists whose work is published herein. Aside from the fair uses permitted under 17 USC 107 and 17 USC 108, these works may not be reprinted in whole or in part without permission. Submissions
The AFP eagerly reviews all submissions. You can mail or drop off a hardcopy or CD in the mail slot at AngelPort in the Underground Market at 33 Third Street, Ashland, Oregon 97520. You may also email a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
The AFP is deeply appreciative of the support of small businesses and individuals whose advertising helps to defray the cost of publishing a top-quality policy quarterly.Contact Us
Ashland Free Press, LLC
33 Third Street
Ashland, Oregon 97520
Printed on Recycled PaperWhat’s Inside...
4 Editorial: Will write for Latte
By Charles Carreon
6 The Last Empire: America’s Nostalgia for Armageddon
Lo-Fi Nikita explores America’s romance with nuclear weapons, and why the President said “an Angel still rides in the whirlwind.”
10 A Legend In His Own Mind: Michael Ruppert Soldiers On
Charles Carreon interviews Mike Ruppert, investigates the burglary of his office, and reviews Ruppert’s big 911 book.
12 The AFP Interviews 3 Local Progressive Candidates
Randy Dolinger, Eric Navickas and Muni Court candidate Judge Joe Charter.
14 Mt. Ashland At The Crossroads
Joshua Carreon covers both sides of a mountainous issue.
15 Art In The Hot Zone
The AFP visits Gathering Glass
17 Funding Local Sweat Equity
Taylor Marks on RVCDC’s Affordable Housing Projects
Poetry by Michael Wear
18 No Good Deed Will Go Unpunished: The Mike Bianca Story
Charles Carreon on why Ashland traded a popular Police Chief for a real bad cop.
22 Burnt, Man
Carlos Ramone isn’t a fan of the Burning Man pyrofest
23 How To Have The Burning Man Experience In Your Own Home
Anonymous and indispensable
24 A Highly Improbable Production
Taylor Marks reviews the BBC version of Doublas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
26 Ayahuasca for The Masses
Charles Carreon explains how Congress and the Supreme Court view visionary religions.
Poetry by Tom Brill
32 Nature Tripping
Poetry by Michael Wear
36 President Wolf
Lof-Fi Nikita on propaganda.
39 Werewolves In Ashland
Sumner Wellbourne’s fiction debut, chapters 1&2.
44 Free Speech Weathervane
Lo-Fi Nikita on The Tidings’ phony web comment board.
46 Mt. Ashland History & Photomontage
Mt. A in words and photos.
49 KSKQ Radio Schedule
Leslie Delorean spins the dial.
49 Craft, Meet, Swap, Groove
Winter events for fun and profit.Editorial:
Will Write For Latte
It’s not always possible to see where you’re going until you get there. This has been especially true of the Ashland Free Press. When I started this adventure about sixteen months ago, I felt depressed about the state of the world, and powerless to change things. The Bush regime was triumphantly celebrating the success of its Big Lie. The Dean campaign proved that geeks have money but don’t hit the streets. The Kerry campaign was a blatant co-option of liberal sentiment that drained the last of my enthusiasm for electoral politics. Local law enforcement were acting outrageously, arresting Wes Brain for shooting a video of a demonstration, and sparking a near-riot in Jacksonville when the President came to visit the old county seat. There was a lot of head-shaking, and people talking about leaving the country. I went to Europe, and discovered people don’t hate us, they just want us to stop starting wars.
I returned to Ashland realizing I could do one of two things -- go on as if nothing had changed, when obviously everything had, or do something utterly outlandish that would satisfy my soul. I checked my bank account and saw that I was not yet destitute. I checked my age, and concluded that by reaching the age of 49, I’d done better than most human beings since history began. I checked the time left on the planetary habitability meter, and decided that there was no time to waste. I’d better do the outlandish thing right away, or I would have no one to blame if: (a) I never got around to it, (b) the world went down the tubes while I was waiting, or (c) I got carted off to re-education camp for having a bad attitude about the Chief.
So I began this adventure -- playing the game of journalist, using the mainstream media as my guide -- if they did it, I wouldn’t. Looking for topics that mainstream media doesn’t cover, won’t cover. And most of all, just lending my brain and analytical skills to my fellow-Ashlanders so they could take a look at the same stuff I was examining. Guess what? You liked it. You commented. You called me up, and buttonholed me in the street. You asked when the next issue would be out. You gave me ideas for other articles, asked my opinion about current issues, and often enough, gave me a big thank you. So to every one of you -- thank you right back!
Nowadays it seems as if the fog of blind belief is thinning out, and people are less afraid to speak out against the authoritarian mystique that held sway over the nation for about five years. We’ve got a crop of new politicians coming up. Carol Voisin is taking on Greg Walden. Randy Dolinger is seeking election to replace appointed councilman Dave Chapman. Eric Navickas and Nick Frost are seeking council seats. Alice Hardesty’s taking over Jack’s seat on the council. The real estate boom is sputtering, so there is a possibility that the City of Ashland won’t disappear under a wave of million dollar homes. The 9/11 Truth Movement is picking up momentum, primarily because people are starting to trust their own eyes, and opting to consider terrible truths rather than embracing ignorance.
But one thing has not gotten better, not at all. We still are almost entirely without an independent press on the newsstands. I can tell you why, too. Paper and ink are expensive. Distribution is hard work. Advertisers in a small town are hard to get, and your best friends, people who think your paper is just the very thing our town needs, are still afraid to back an outspoken paper that attacks hypocrisy under whatever banner it masquerades. This is not a complaint -- it’s realism. For merchants, it is intimidating to court the disapproval of the City Council, the Police Department, the Chamber of Commerce, the real-estate agents and landlords. For hippies, liberals, progressives, or whatever you want to call us, the disapproval of Peace House, the local New Agers, or the Green Party insiders, can seem like a life-or-death issue. Nationally, the stakes are even higher.
As a result, our nation simply lacks an independent press. Almost as much as a lack of literacy, the lack of an independent press is a huge hurdle to honest government. Locally, countwide, statewide, and nationally, people read what is cooked up daily in newsrooms that are powered by sound-bites, manipulated by publicists and spinmeisters, and operated by the same companies that own the TV, the cable, the sattelite, and the big Internet portals. The technique for keeping the readership enthralled is simply overkill. Each day dawns, and the anchorwoman launches into a litany of concerns, telegraphing her earnestness, her respect for the government, her love of our soldiers, her deference to the rule of law, her willingness to gild with her belief anything that appears on the Teleprompter. New news is superceded by newer news, and the President’s “approval rating” is monitored like a heart patient’s blood pressure. When it seems he might flatline, they find Jean-Benet’s Killer. Not. The Vice President harbors perjurers, shoots a man in the face, and menaces all opponents. A conservative dirtbag molests pages! The media yawns, and the FBI, on the alert for terrorists, can’t find one Congressional pedophile.
Is it any wonder that Americans have lost control of their ship of state? Any wonder that the nation spends on weapons as if there were a war in our streets, and spends on schools as if education were a luxury?
So we’re putting the idea to the test. For the price of a latte, you can fund a local, independent press, and the AFP will keep delivering the truth to a community that isn’t afraid to hear it. Because truth, my friends, is priceless. AFP