Okay. We can do that. The new Sherwood/Tualatin area toll road is in the planning stages. Anything else?
Morris Dees, in his book, Gathering Storm, states that between 1994 and 1996 "...there were at least 441 militia units across the country. Every State had at least one within its borders." According to University of Oregon sociologist Dee Southard, 53% of Oregon is publicly owned and therefore full of homeless people, approximately a third of whom are paramilitary types.
Meanwhile, the newspaper reports that "Incidents of threats, violence, and intimidation against Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service workers has more than doubled since 1995," the year extremists bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building. One out of five of these crimes happened in Oregon and Washington. [ Portland Oregonian, Sept 2, 1999]
Just as during the Middle ages, walls are being built to keep all these riff raff out of our public spaces. Walled cities are called "gated communities" now. Such communities have been "..springing up around the country since the early 1980's. What we used to think of as "shared civic space" is turning into "communal residential space." the book reports. --Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States, by Edward J. Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder.
So what will the Middle Ages be like? The former Mayor of Bordeaux, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) lived in a gated community in France. He has the following advice worth jotting down for future reference:
1. When you are standing at the wall of your city, never dive for cover when you hear the distant cannonade fire. By the time you hear the noise the cannons will have already reached their target and you'll only make a fool of yourself.
2. If the cannon ball knocks a hole through the city wall, make sure you know which way to run. Have the route carefully laid out in advance. Don't be like the fellow who searched in vain for the center of town only to observe the colors of the enemy host rising in front of him instead, along with the startled expressions on the soldiers' faces, before he skidded to a halt and scurried off in a more optimistic direction.
3. If the enemy breaks down the gate to the city and works its way into the heart of the city, you may decide to kill your family. This is a hard choice, but before you decide, be sure to visit an internet site devoted to SM&B with your family in order to discuss with them the things that happen to people when they are at the enemy's mercy in the heat of a battle. It may then be possible to admire a certain homeowner in Montaigne's day who dispatched his family with a sword, charged into the street with a crossbow and harquebus, killed two of the enemy, and then, mortally wounded himself, climbed onto a parapet and "plucked out his entrails with both hands... and threw them among the pursuers, calling down divine vengeance upon them all."
Oh yes, I can hardly wait until the Republicans have dismanteled the Federal Government and transferred its authority back to the local level. I wonder what we'll think of Robin Hood then.
Business Week, August 7, 1995
Utne Reader, Sept/Oct. 1996