I've been summoned to a City of Minneapolis, Administrative Hearing, Nov 17, about my greenhouse. I suspect it will be much the same as the time the City hired contractors to remove white pine logs from my garden, that I had intended as garden art. That Hearing was me, a guy from inspections, and a retired lawyer as arbitrator. Off the record. A mere formality, the City doing it's due diligence, to fine me what they want to fine me, and add it to the property taxes, or put a lien on the house. I lost that hearing, but there was no way to win it. Like the saying goes, you can't fight City Hall.
I would prefer to go before a judge, in a court of law, on the record. But the City doesn't want to shine too much light, that they are after a guy for not applying for a permit on a greenhouse built from reclaimed glass and lumber most people would toss in a dumpster. That could make for bad press, in this age of viral Internet communications. They want a closed hearing on their terms, quiet, without context. I am wilfully defying city code, which is all anyone needs to know. In fact, I don't believe the City is conscious of me, or what this violation even is, it's just the gears of bureaucracy churning. If I would simply pay the permit fee and have the greenhouse inspected, they would probably rubber-stamp it like nothing happened.
What is the point of fighting it? Seriously, in the context of the Federal government bombing hospitals and wedding parties, the privatized Military Industrial Complex training Jihadists and assorted killers in the ways of modern warfare, to destabilize whole nations and regions, to fight proxie wars against undesirable governments (govt's that won't become debt slaves to our banks and corporations), without accountability of any kind - what hope do I have fighting this system, this local government branch of American governance, bureaucratic enforcement of International building codes, on threat of fines, jail, condemnation? What does America do to it's truth tellers, those who shine light on the abuse of power, institutional corruption?
Fact is, there is a lot I want to do here, that would amount to many hundreds/thousands of dollars of fees paid to government and it's contractors, to simply let me do it, and some work I know they simply will not let me do. Like build a thermal mass stove to heat my house. It is not code, so it can't be built legally. But it could reduce my natural gas consumption by 80%. That won't matter either, because if the City can't prevent me from building it, they could order a cease-and-desist/order-to-remove, or initiate the condemnation process. If the Insurance company found out I built such a thing, the increase in the price of insurance would probably wipe out any savings in natural gas payments, and then some. They might refuse to insure the house; what then is the status of the mortgage without insurance? Foreclosure.
It reminds me of a book by Joel Salatin, "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal." People like to think we live in a free country. You are free to buy stuff, if you have money. You are free to choose your career, more or less, within the confines of what this society will accept. You are even able to define your own career, if you have the money, and society deems it acceptable. Otherwise, there is a very rigid framework underpinning civilization, and as long as you stay within the bounds, it will feel very much like freedom, like it is your choice. Challenge those bounds, and see what happens. That is the thing that actually unites all Americans - fear of their government. We all know it. It is easier to stay within bounds.
It is also like the death of creativity. How are we supposed to redefine the rules of society to be better for everybody and the earth, when not only the codes and rules and laws dictate a status quo, there is a vast surveillance machine copying all of our digital communications, tied to a vast humorless militarized police state? It's like totalitarianism 2.0. It is not right up in your face, but step out of line....
And Americans? How do we respond? Some lost boy shoots up a school, half the country advocates to militarize the culture further, while the other half having next to nothing to say about a privatized military industrial complex contracting for multinational corporations and banks all over the globe, wails to disarm The People!
Meanwhile this government has proffered forth a trade agreement, TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership, part of a triplicate of trade agreements, including TTIP (European version) and TISA (purely for the abstract realm of global Finance), that are fundamentally undemocratic, totalitarian, creating a quasi-state made of multinational Corporations and Banks, with it's own judicial system, superior to any Nation-State. If you are inclined to think this society is lock-down nazi/fascist, wait and see what totalitarianism 3.0 globalists are building.
Notice there is little to no discussion about TPP in the media. There was no real debate about Fast-Track legislation, which passed in the summer of 2015. You don't believe in conspiracy? It is like the first Democratic debate of 2015, how Bernie Sanders won all the initial polls and focus groups by a landslide. Then the major media Left and Right went on a blitzkrieg declaring Hillary the run-away winner, and low and behold new polls came out declaring Hillary the debate winner (after group-think Dems had been told what to think.)
TPP didn't even come up in the debate, except in the context, right out front, of Hillary flip-flopping, supporting TPP then not, painting opposition to TPP in the negative, and then forgotten. The national debate about TPP is not even a debate, it is a white-wash. Hillary even left the door open to TPP, by claiming that it's all about jobs and wages. The discussion is always focused on jobs and wages. But what are jobs and wages in the context of increasing totalitarian controls, less sovereignty, less freedom? Jobs and wages supporting and reinforcing totalitarianism?
What this is is nothing less than a kind of quiet coup. That is how foolish Americans have become, that they do not see how establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans are all fighting for the same thing, total global domination, total global control, threatening total annihilation to anyone not willing to become debt serfs to multinational corporations and banks. That is why elite on the Left and the Right called Hillary the winner, immediately after that debate, why they talk as if she has a lock on the nomination. Because Hillary won't upset the apple-cart; Hillary is a neo-liberal economic monopolizer and a neo-con warmonger, just like her Republican brethren. The elite on either "side" have nothing to fear from Hillary. Americans generally, if Hillary wins, or any of the Republicans, are going to get the worst of GWBush and Obama: more war, more economic inequality, less freedom.
I've said elsewhere, there might be war and economic collapse before TPP comes up for a vote, after which Dems and Repubs unite, to pass TPP to "revive" the economy, thereby cementing their status as traitors to the Republic - empowering a foreign power/quasi-state for multinational corporations and banks, at the expense of America.
We already live in a totalitarian America, more or less direct rule of the corporations and banks, the richest financiers and families. With TPP/TTIP/TISA you would still appear to vote for a legislature, local to Federal governments, but they would all be powerless to do anything contrary to the will of multinational corporations and banks.
What is there to do then, in the context of successive administrations Right and Left, eviscerating Constitutional protections in the name of "security," Right and Left elite working together to make certain Hillary gets the Democratic nomination, so that Dem or Repub President, we maintain continuity of empire, continuity of totalitarian controls, status quo/business-as-usual warmongering, cannibalistic economics?
What is needed is a kind of revolution of consciousness in America, and really, for all of humanity. Bernie Sanders talks about political revolution. What he means by that is, regular people coming together to educate themselves about the issues, speaking out. I don't know if he could be an effective President, or even that he wants to be. If he wants to win he needs to humiliate Hillary in the debates, about Libya and her comments about "smart" power, in the context of her sociopathic "We came, we saw, he died..." and her equating Putin with Hitler; How can she communicate effectively with Russia and Putin, as President (that alone disqualifies her to be Commander in Chief, IMHO); is there any check whatsoever on this privatized military industrial complex, demolishing whole countries, perpetuating wars of terror; are you Ms Clinton merely a puppet of said machine or do you get off on the idea of wielding it? I don't know if Bernie is willing to do that, or even want's to. Necessarily, I don't hold much hope for political revolutions.
A revolution of consciousness would look a lot like greater responsibility for the care of the earth. For all the Democratic talk about climate change, that seems, in the context of the mostly unmentionable TPP, like more totalitarian controls, only tangentially about care and concern for climate. That's not much of an evolution of consciousness.
Such an evolution is not going to come from the top down, any more than trickle-down works as economic policy. A true consciousness shift is going to have to come from the heart, grounded in care and concern for the living earth.
I'm not sure fighting the City about this greenhouse is anything but martyrdom. But, economically, I can't not do what I want to do here, illegal or not, when it comes to growing my own food or saving energy. Not because I want to fight government, but because I want to prevent government from crashing and burning and chaos ensuing, because government tried to control too much no matter what the cost.
I've received a summons, I will attend the Hearing and report faithfully.