Mike Straight
1127 s. 51st, street West Philadelphia, Pa. 19143

Thoughts & Stories of Mike Straight #89

Dear Chris,
    Greetings from Nova Scotia in the far north. Life is going quite well here in my adopted home. I am recovering from the Canadian Thanksgiving dinner we had last night.  Thanksgiving 2026, it was a nice one I tell you. A bunch of folks came over to spend the day - with food, friends, & fun - just the way life should be. We all gathered in our home, sharing what we had, enjoying the day and silently counting what we are thankful for. Of course the drink flowed later in the evening, so I may be a bit hungover today. Actually we haven’t had such a party since my annual 50th Birthday in the summer, and yesterday was good, and needed. Harvest time is a good a time to have a celebrations, and celebrations are a worth wild activity - a good time to get together with those who you love.
    Really I have little complaints about my life up here these days .Work has been good, and I have felt quite proud of what I have been creating. I have been fixing up this 19th century home and working on different stained glass pieces. Most of my glass business goes to the EU these days, since the trade embargo between the US and Canada cut of a lot of my old customers. The war inspired recession also took away almost any disposable income Americans once had. What tough times fell upon my home country.
    The US - Islamic War was just so unheard of. I guess it made sense that it would happen when the right wing Christians took full control of the government. They promised that conflict and they delivered. How dreadful it all was, the endless suffering of the last crusade. I am just glad that Canada said no to the US. I mean most of the world did, the issue caused the end of the UN. The rest of the Western World told the US that they were really on their own in this one. You think that would have stopped them, but as we saw, not at all. Zealots are hard to derail once they have a mission, and that mission was a military pilgrimage against the Islamic Arabs. A continuation of the racism of a 1000 years before. Aww, but this is history, all that history that helped make the USA such a horrible place to live today. The War destroyed everything worthwhile left in the US - What was left of the social welfare system, the standard of living of anyone but the rich, and the basic few freedoms that we once had in the country. I mean, I am not fond of any state, but all things considered, the Canadian government is a lot better off to live under then the US one. Now that fascism is basically openly espoused in the states. All in terms of the doublespeak of “homeland security”, I thought it was a sham 20 years ago and now it is even more ridiculous. What is left of the country is a sham. When, yet another Bush was supposedly elected, the royal family stayed in power. It is so weird, like bad Sci-Fi, the Bush dynasty. After Jenna Bush declared martial law I guess that is when they gave up the charade of a so called democracy.
    I can’t even count how many people that I once knew are in camps or have just disappeared. Taken in for questioning, never to return. I remember the beginning of the Green Scare, when the state was building the dangerous image of the eco-terrorist. Who knew how far they would go with it. Who knew how many lives they would wreck over the years. I guess that was the point, to destroy all those in resistance, everyone against the new Christian order.   
    I keep thinking about mistakes that we were making in the turn of the century, after the year 2000, in regards of how much information we made public on that new fangled internet-cyberspace. We unknowingly set ourselves up. I mean by putting your thoughts, beliefs and actions, on your easily read cyber-profile, it just made it so much easier for the state to round up dissenters. Fuck, it is all so clear in retrospect. I was guilty of that myself... I mean it made since, a networking tool of like-minds. Unfortunately those of unlike minds had full knowledge of who we were and what we thought. It was all so clear and foolish. Was that youth? The excitement of it all?  It is funny how naive I still could have been in my 30’s. We dropped the ball with the self imposed internet profiling that we did, and we got burned because of it.
    My friends still left in the US say they can survive, they have to keep silent publicly, but they still have electric communication.  They meet in the cyber world to try to live out their free lives. It does seem plausible to me, cyber society but it still feels lacking. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but speaking your thoughts to others, face to face, in relative freedom to do so is something so important, so priceless to me that it would be hard for me to exist as I am that way.
    I remember reading this quote from a French writer living under the Nazi-Vichy regime. It said something like “you are always free, because they can never take your thoughts.” I have always thought of the truth and the fiction of that statement. While it is true that you can always control your own thoughts, the inability of expressing them is the highest form of alienation a person can experience. To scream in your own mind, a hell if I have ever imagined one.
    Ok I need to go, the dogs need to be let out and I need to tend the garden. Who knew how much food you can grow in a backyard garden, even in these northerly climates. Plus I need to check on the kids as you never now what form of playful destruction they have gotten themselves into. I hope you can stay strong in yourself living under the Bush regime. My heart goes out to you and all others who were comrades of mine who are living during these dark times of the USA. I know you’ll be able to make it through and share the knowledge to the next generation so they are ready to make something when these dark times end.
    Love & Friendship, Michael Scott-Straight