Keith Lampe
Keith and me
Keith and Curtis ~ Photograph: James Stark

Hi Curtis,

Our friend Pondo died this morning in the hospital due to kidney failure among a few other complications. 3 of us were with him for his last hours in the hospital.

Pondo died very gracefully. I have never seen him in such peace. He was on no painkillers, only antibiotics and assisted breathing. The whole time I was there he was semi-conscious, eyes rolling back at times, big smiles on his face, and pleasant breathing. He was very euphoric and it was a pleasant experience for all of us, him included.

I will be going to his house today to tap into his emails and send the word out to his mailing lists. The other details we are working on.

peace and love,


We will sincerely miss you Pine
July 25, 1931 ~ November 11, 2014

From: Lila & Chris
To: ~@~
Date: November 16, 2014
Subject: Memorial for Pondo

Hi Curtis,

On Friday we got together to say goodbye to our friend.

We shared our stories, how we met Pondo and how he influenced our lives. I shared the main highlights of his life - it was hard, he had sooo many stories! Then proceeded to the one of his power spots, where we had done mantra sessions with him many times before, and chanted his vajra guru mantra. Then we had lunch listening to his favorite tunes and sharing more stories about Pondo. And finally drove to the house where he lived and spread his ashes in Yambala river by his house.

I've attached some videos.

We plan to gather again on the 49th bardo day, which I believe is on December 30th.

Warmest hugs, Lila

Keith Lampe Memorial photograph

Keith Lampe Memorial photograph

Keith Lampe Memorial via Chris Dale ~

Keith Lampe Memorial via Chris Dale ~

Keith Lampe Memorial via Chris Dale ~

Keith Lampe Memorial via Chris Dale ~

From: ~@~
Subject: Comments I Have Received Regarding Pine:

from Ed Sanders:

Thousands of good memories in NYC (He had the idea for the Yip-In), Chicago ’68 (he was wielding a tennis racket!), Bolinas, Earth Read-Out, Woodstock, and his inspiring dailing compendium of action. He went out in a blaze of eloquence.


from Michelle Aldrich [forwarded by Paul Krassner]:

He was very unique and will always be remembered for his contributions to the movement.


from Michael Simmons:

A total ka-RACK-ta in the best sense and a sweetheart. He fought for justice and beauty until the end.

Cheers Keith — and thank you.


from Wavy Gravy:

Good grief. A big tree fell in heaven. TIMBER!!!


from Rick Davis aka Rice Farmer:

His indefatigable campaigning for the Earth was always — and shall continue to be — a great inspiration to me.


from Marliese Gabrielson:

I have many fond memories of him. He will always be remembered fondly. We shared many adventures. May he RIP.


from David West:

I first met Pondo in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 1997, when he was using an ancient manual typewriter to produce a monthly Earth Read-Out, which he then photocopied and mailed to a dozen people. I introduced him to the wonders of E-mail, and produced the first Earth Read-Out web page, which became the fore-runners of his more recent almost daily postings.

He became my mentor, and the first to introduce me to the idea that control of the world was not as stated in the history books. He introduced me to the late Gerard Holmgren, which allowed me to participate in the detailed investigations of the 9/11 data, where we discovered that there were no hijacked planes.

During a low period in 2000, Pondo and I were the only people at my Christmas Dinner table.

We had been in almost daily contact until he left Thailand in about 2003 to go to Ecuador, and I feel sure our friendship will extend beyond the physical plane. I have had a few friends die, but none have left such a huge hole to be filled. Although we hadn't physically met in the last ten years, we met spiritually quite often.

Pondo, if you decide on having another time around, I would love to share it with you In total respect and appreciation.


from Pat "Rose" Farrington

Whole Earth Game #1, A Proactive Memorial, Ponderosa Pine, 1931 - 2014 Ethical Eternal Service To All Species.

"We are so much the victims of abstraction that with the Earth in flames we can barely rouse ourselves to wander across the room and look at the thermostat." - Terence McKenna

The world is aflame and we have elected ourselves as first responders.

Pine, your service is an inspiration.

Keith Lampe
Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine ~ Volunteer ~ Photo: James Stark

From: keith lampe
To: ~@~
Subject: For Curtis: A Day in the Life: 10/30-31/14
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:16:21 +0300

Volunteers for Planetary Climate Action (VPCA)
+ Resolving the Atmospheric Emergency +

October 31, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

First, my apologies to those of you who received Wednesday's edition in the recipients' field rather than the Bcc one.

I was utterly stupified that day. I've been severely ill for more than four weeks now. Especially difficult have been frequent episodes of convulsive/spasmatic coughing shaking the inside of my body quite painfully.

My main problem has been my lungs, which constantly fill with phlegm and when added to severe emphysema and asthma cause quite a problem.

I've had two mainstream doctors up here to my mountain retreat but they've been unable to improve my condition.

So Tuesday I asked for a visit from a local shaman whom I've known for a few years now and for whom I have great respect.

What he said is quite interesting.

Here's one of his most memorable lines: "Too much compassion for plants and animals causes a lung problem".

He said his father had been like this--and had died a month ago at age 72.

Then he said quite recently he'd also had a lung problem and just a couple days ago he'd gone to the local hospital for a chest X-ray--and it showed his lungs were clean. He even pulled out the X-ray and showed it to me.

So what I think we should take from this is that a much higher percentage of our current illnesses than we think are psychosomatic (or neurosomatic) rather than simply somatic.

For example, we may think we're sick from toxic chemtrails residues when actually we're sick from these plus the neural stress resulting from having to absorb the info that those controlling us are so evil that they perpetrate chemtrails.

Certainly the news of these past four weeks has been more horrendous than that of any similar period I can remember. One of my most aware readers commented a few days ago that "Hell has come to earth".

I've had information sickness several times before but always mildly: two or three days of deep fatigue, then back to okay again.

In any case, yesterday morning my housemate came up to my second-floor room just as I was waking and said: "I'm scared. I think you are dying."

That same thought had occurred to me just the day before as I wondered how I was going to make it through this at 83 if my friend's father had been taken out by the same malaise at 72.

On the positive side, it's certainly a respectable cause of death: Natural World Hyperconcern (NWH).

And I've already arranged for my death to instigate at least one more really good party. Forty-nine days following it, there'll be a Bardo Party for me at the Bolinas (CA) Community Center with excellent live music and excellent potluck food. Yeah, at least my death will have some value.

In recent years I've several times pointed out that there are a variety of daily practices which can gradually strengthen the nervous system so that gradually folks can absorb more bummer info before being sickened by it.

I'll paste one of these directly below. You can get into it by yourself merely by imitating what you hear in the accompanying audios and/or videos. I've been practicing it for nearly forty-four years now. It's not a panacea but it's quite helpful and also it enhances average mood.

Power to the Flora,

Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine ~ Volunteer

PS: NYC graffiti a few decades ago: Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Vocal Energy Health
Vocal Energy Health
Keith Lampe (Ponderosa Pine), Vocals and Doug Adamz, Tibetan Bell

Part One:

Part Two:

With VEH (Vocal Energy Health), after a few sessions of imitating these sounds, one can start doing them alone or--even better--with others; creating an effective practice that requires no gear. - Ponderosa Pine


Since he passed on Veterans Day, it is worthwhile to know Keith Lampe was an Army Lieutenant during the Korean War. ~@~

Ponderosa Pine,
who chanted in Bolinas, dies in Ecuador

Keith Lampe/Ponderosa Pine (center) Photograph by Ilka Hartmann
Keith Lampe/Ponderosa Pine (center) Photograph by Ilka Hartmann

PEOPLE: Keith Lampe, who called himself Ponderosa Pine, protested tree-cutting and chanted as a form of spiritual practice. He never wore shoes, said friends in West Marin, who are grieving his death this month and planing a local “bardo party.”

By Samantha Kimmey, 11/26/2014

Keith Lampe, known to his friends as Ponderosa Pine, penned countless articles when he reported for newspapers and wire services. In his last years, he wrote sweeping emails about planetary woes on an almost daily basis.

But if you ask about Ponderosa, it’s his chanting that imprinted on everyone’s memory, a low tone that resounded around town as he strummed along with a simple instrument that looked a bit like a 2x4.

“It was kind of his way of being,” said Doug Adamz, a friend and guitarist who connected with Ponderosa through music.

Ponderosa Pine died on Nov. 11, at 83 years old, in Ecuador. A Michigan native, he lived on the East Coast and traveled the world before coming to the Bay Area in 1968.

He was an unflinching environmental activist who was jailed for protesting the cutting of redwoods and the building of nuclear power plants, and he organized a so-called All Species event to bring awareness to the rights of all living beings. He expressed his love of the earth in his rugged lifestyle, living barefoot and with few possessions, occasionally wearing a mask made of pine and chanting everywhere he went.

Ponderosa told a friend that his father was an editor for a Detroit newspaper and that he had followed in his footsteps, starting as a reporter for the paper when he was just 18, in 1950.

He said the experience taught him about media corruption; one time, the city’s police commissioner told his secretary to provide Ponderosa with a fake I.D., a quiet trade for ignoring police scandals, Ponderosa said.

He landed a job as a copy editor for the Pittsburgh Press and worked as a Paris correspondent for the International News Service before moving to New York City. In the mid-1960s he did press relations for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and co-founded the Veterans and Reservists to End the War in Vietnam.

Ponderosa, who served as an artillery officer during the Korean War, burned his discharge papers and medals with other veterans in protest of the Vietnam War. He was “busted” while protesting the production of napalm in front of Dow Chemical offices, and again when he and other activists stole onto a navy vessel slated to go to Vietnam, in the Hudson River. He was arrested twice while protesting conscription during Stop the Draft Week and, in D.C., after tossing leaflets from the Senate gallery onto politicians below.

Ponderosa also spoke and wrote about traveling the world, meeting Allen Ginsberg in India in 1962 and, in 1960 in Japan, befriending the poet Gary Snyder. Mr. Snyder mentions Ponderosa in a poem in “Back Country,” a collection published in 1967.

In “June,” part of a poem cycle written while Mr. Snyder lived in Japan in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, he describes a classroom of children learning English.

The poem begins “students listen to the tapes” and then recounts the scene—the teachers, the walls, the sunset—before listing words that seem less like the contents of a language lesson and more like an incantation: “strength strap strand strut struck,” “cord ford gorge dwarf forth north,” “try tea buy ties weigh Tim buy type/ flat tea bright ties greet Tim met Tess.”

“Why that’s old Keith Lampe’s voice, deep & clear,” Mr. Snyder writes, perhaps influenced by some early version of Ponderosa’s now-famous chanting in Bolinas in the 1970s.

In 1968, Ponderosa crossed the country and moved to Berkeley with his then-wife, Judy, and their daughter. The focus of his protesting appeared to shift, but his style didn’t. A few months after arriving in California, he was arrested just north of Bolinas for “blocking a truck carrying redwood corpses from a nearby tree-slaughter site. This in fact was the start of the US environmental movement,” he wrote. (It was not the last time he would be arrested for trying to protect trees.)

His fervent environmental activism was sparked in part by Mr. Ginsberg, who in 1967 showed Ponderosa a book about the looming threat of melting ice caps. It helped kick off Ponderosa’s lifelong devotion to activism on behalf of nature.

At the All Species events he organized in the late 1970s in San Francisco, people wore animal masks and two of his friends, musicians Greg Schindel and Mr. Adamz, now living in Willits and Marshall, played music as Ponderosa chanted. (Mr. Schindel said his mask depicted a steelhead trout.)

At another event, the Unity Fair in San Francisco in 1975, Bolinas photographer Ilka Hartmann recalled Ponderosa telling the crowd that he wanted to express the killing of animals on the highway.

“Everyone fell totally silent… He made a very, very deep sound for a long time, for the pain of all those animals, and it reverberated throughout the park,” she said. When Ms. Hartmann sees a dead or injured animal on the side of the road, she still thinks of that moment, she said.

Though many friends still living in Bolinas recall accompanying Ponderosa to protests, he is also widely remembered just walking around town or along Agate Beach, feet bare to connect with the earth, hair cascading down his body. He chanted in a single tone while strumming a stringed instrument; he didn’t play melodies, instead favoring a looser, ambient style.

He also chanted with Mr. Adamz and Mr. Schindel downtown. The two musicians would play together every week where the Coast Café now stands, calling themselves Kindred Souls. The whole town would be there, dancing, carousing or joining in the music while Ponderosa “vocalized,” Mr. Adamz said.

Mr. Adamz met Ponderosa—his first friend in California—when he was 23, while auditioning for a gig in San Francisco after moving from Texas. He and Ponderosa drove to Bolinas in Mr. Adamz’s Volkswagen van.

“When we got to Highway 1, winding along the coast, he’s sitting in the back of my van chanting to the tones of my engine. It was kind of one of those ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’ moments.”

Ponderosa introduced him around, and invited him to join a group that congregated on the Big Mesa every full moon and stayed out all night, singing, dancing, drumming and chanting.

Mr. Adamz said Ponderosa didn’t seem to belong to any particular religious tradition. “I feel he was definitely on the spiritual path, and that informed pretty much all of his decisions… If anything was his religion, that was it: loving earth and nature,” he said.

One time, Ponderosa had his famously long hair cut (by Bolinas artist Arthur Okamura), perhaps to win the favor of his girlfriend’s father. Some people didn’t recognize him; he looked more like an East Coast professor than an impassioned environmental activist. But the grew the hair back, and he kept it long for the remainder of his life as it turned from dark brown to silvery white.

Eventually, the expense of living in coastal California got to Ponderosa, who realized he could actually live on Social Security income in other, more affordable parts of the world. He traveled to Mexico and Asia, with stints back in America, before ending up in Ecuador. There he continued chanting, and began sending friends almost daily newsletters of his own thoughts on current events as well as articles he collected from the Internet.

His politics were radical. He suspected the United States government of changing weather patterns to maintain the drought in California, and accused mass media of being complicit with big corporations and the government. Every email was signed, “Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine, Volunteer.”

He talked recently about returning to Bolinas to see his many friends, but his health took a turn for the worse a few weeks before he died, as his kidneys failed. He knew the prognosis wasn’t good. He consulted with Western doctors, who apparently could not help him, according to the last email he sent. Then he consulted a shaman.

“Too much compassion for plants and animals causes a lung problem,” the shaman pronounced.

Perhaps the last person from Bolinas to see Ponderosa was Jerry Bojeste. He was traveling through South America when he ended up in Vilcabamba, and a bell went off; didn’t he know someone here? He checked his address book and realized Ponderosa, whom he had not seen in many years, must be nearby. After asking around, a woman eventually led him up a mountain path near a river. There was Ponderosa.

Mr. Bojeste said Ponderosa seemed happy. They had a little wine and talked about the letters Einstein wrote to a daughter that were made public several years ago; in one, Mr. Bojeste claims, Einstein says love is part of any grand unification theory of the universe.

“You can send love from your heart to anyone in your neighborhood, anyone you love, in the U.S., in the world and the cosmos. So love is faster than the speed of light,” Mr. Bojeste said.

Ponderosa never made it back to Bolinas. But his chanting—in people’s memories, in recordings online, in his home on the mountain in Ecuador—must have signified not just a love for the earth and the trees and the animals, but for his friends back home, too, who can still hear it.

A bardo party, or a celebration of passage, for Ponderosa Pine will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 4:30 p.m. at the Bolinas Community Center. ~ Source

Hearing in the Bardo ~ Journey through void between death & rebirth. ~

Eastern and Western World Debut 3/17/13

Published on Mar 28, 2013: If you've enjoyed what you've heard so far, please help us spread the word about this new music. In most regions of our planet these days, there are quite a few folks adept at one or more mantras. We urgently hope they'll start getting-it-together with local musicians able to appreciate how much can be added to the presentation of Western tunes by Eastern background vocalists. Indeed, let ten thousand E&W bands bloom. Best wishes, Pondo ~ View related video on Pondo's Video Channel

If I can't dance,
I don't want to be in your revolution

Emma Goldman, If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution

Emma Goldman (June 27 [O.S. June 15] 1869 -- May 14, 1940) has been described as -- among other things -- "the most dangerous woman in America" and was given credit for the phrase, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution."

She was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.

Born in Kovno in the Russian Empire (present-day Kaunas, Lithuania), Goldman emigrated to the U.S. in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement in 1889. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Although Frick survived the attempt on his life, Berkman was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth.

In 1917, Goldman and Berkman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring to "induce persons not to register" for the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested -- along with hundreds of others -- and deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Goldman quickly voiced her opposition to the Soviet use of violence and the repression of independent voices. In 1923, she wrote a book about her experiences, My Disillusionment in Russia. While living in England, Canada, and France, she wrote an autobiography called Living My Life. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she traveled to Spain to support the anarchist revolution there. She died in Toronto on May 14, 1940, aged 70.

During her life, Goldman was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and denounced by critics as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality. Although she distanced herself from first-wave feminism and its efforts toward women's suffrage, she developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism. After decades of obscurity, Goldman's iconic status was revived in the 1970s, when feminist and anarchist scholars rekindled popular interest in her life. [Continue Reading]

Movie Page:
Direct link to movie:
Yippie for Pigasus in 1968 by Ed Sanders - Narrated by Keith Lampe

[Note: After Pigasus, during 1972, a Rock ran for President and Roll ran for Vice President. Dinner rolls were brought to the rallies and one could eat the Vice President; changing the Role. The Birthday Party's Nobody for President campaign started in 1975 and continues today. Out of all choices for President, Nobody is perfect!]

201111.28 - Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine, Transition Prez, 1993, doing Mr. Tambourine Man:

201005.17 - Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine, Transition Prez now has a video newsletter: YouTube: usexilegovt

State of the Hippie

February 2, 2005

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As part of my ongoing efforts to improve human mood, I'd like on this annual occasion of my State of the Union Address to talk about the State of the Hippie instead.

I think that a return to Hippie spirit and values provides our best opportunity to improve significantly average human mood at this time. Not till we've achieved elation much more frequently can we resist the Fourth Reich effectively.

Currently I'm working on a Lost History of Hippie for all our dear high school students because they've been down so long it looks like up to them. That is, they've endured a merciless US police state for so many years now that they've forgotten anything better and thus can't imagine anything better. I'm so eager for them to become able to imagine something much much much better!!!

Before continuing, I'll sketch a brief summary of that history.

Most of you already know that Hippie began in San Francisco in the mid-60s and quickly spread around the nation and planet because smaller numbers of Hippies in New York City relayed the sense of it into various huge media machines there.

By '67 Hippie had become the main influence behind new forms of activism. For example, in that year a few of us in NYC started a number called Support-in-Action in order to provide support from middle-aged people (I was already 35) for young draft resisters. Most of us were Hippies -- though the venerable Karl Bissinger also was quite helpfully present. This idea then spread to a bunch in the Boston-Cambridge area who called themselves Resist.

Despite the fact that they were mainly Straights they came up with a statement very nearly as firm as ours -- e.g., their language risked a five-year-federal-felony bust. Two of the Straights among them -- Noam Chomsky and Benjamin Spock -- became the media character actors of that occasion. (Alas, it has been all downhill for poor Noam ever since: these days he's never in the streets and has kept his mouth shut about the US Government's cover-up of its murders of JFK, MLK, RFK, the OKC-Murrah explosion victims, the nearly 3000 9/11 victims, the Wellstone Family and also about the stolen presidential elections of 2000 and 2004.) So Hippies initiated the concept but Straights got credit for it from all the Straight academic histwhorians.

The great Initiating Genius at this time was Hippie Robert M. Ockene, then executive editor of Bobbs-Merrill Publishing Company. It was he who in late '67 gave us Yippie!

During the major demo and exorcistic levitation of the Pentagon in autumn '67 Judith Lampe and he slipped quietly into the Pentagon itself (behind Sy Hersh's NY Times credentials) -- he to check out the vibes and she mainly because she was pregnant with our dear daughter and didn't want to risk getting her belly bashed by the crude vicious federal marshals outside.

This gave Bob the perspective necessary to notice that the great intramural injustice of that action was the New Left Short-Hair Straights -- e.g., Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Carl Oglesby -- who totally controlled the rhetoric with their bullhorns but fled when the marshals moved in and left us voiceless Hippies to take the skull bash, tear gas and jail time.

So Bob suggested we start a group to give Hippies a voice -- and that the group should have a sense of humor to heal the psychic wounds caused by the continuing upsurge in police terrorism. In December we split around sixteen phone calls and the ensuing meeting resulted in Yippie -- a deft label provided by Paul Krassner in response to the need for humor. As most of you know, the late Abbie Hoffman and the late Jerry Rubin became the main character actors of the Yippie occasion. Bob died in autumn '69 -- evidently taken out by the dreaded US secret police.

This pattern of Hippies initiating a concept and Straights getting credit for it can be seen most clearly in the early history of the environmental movement. In autumn '69 in Berkeley three Hippies (Gary Snyder, Michael McClure and I) had dinner together because we'd played the major roles in getting that movement started and we wanted to talk about ways to protect it from corruption, co-optation, etc. The vicious secret police stomp-out of the Hippie at that time made it easy for come-lately fame-craving Straight David Brower (now also deceased) to move over into this new movement from the quaint conservation movement (I helped him) and get himself depicted among histwhorians as the "father" of it.

What a ludicrous irony! We Hippies had been in the streets risking our asses (e.g., several of us busted blocking a truck carrying redwood corpses in early spring of '69 and 1500 folks paralyzing traffic in downtown Eugene (OR) later that year) and now here comes "father" to lure the movement from street to office, from disobedient actions to obedient gestures -- e.g., write-yr-Congressperson. So Brower was the greatest individual human disaster that the biosphere had experienced till George Boosch.

I did the introductory press relations for the US women's-lib movement even though the originators were mainly Straight. The occasion was the Atlantic City (NJ) beauty pageant of September '68. Women journeyed there from Manhattan Island to remove their lipstick and brassieres and make statements about gender equality. It established Robin Morgan as the media character actress -- and she was rather Straight. Several weeks later Gloria Steinem suddenly popped up as Women's Lib Media Character Actress Number Two -- and she was so breathtakingly straight that one must suspect that she was planted by the sly CIA to prevent the movement from targeting capitalism as macho.

In late '68 or sometime in '69 a bunch of marvelous feminist Hippies in Marin County (CA) mounted a formidable challenge to Straight NYC women's-lib. They wanted to run the movement on yin energy rather than yang, wanted to link psychedelics with the liberation of both genders and lots of other interesting stuff. But they were swiftly taken over by women representing the East-Coast Yang Straightness which they'd organized to oppose. The manner of the take-over has to make one wonder whether the East Coast infiltrational energy had been instigated by the dreaded US secret police. In '71 I picked up with one of those Originating Hippies and her experience led her to say: "I have no more illusions about the women's movement." I felt lucky to be with her because I knew that most US women hadn't even begun to have their illusions yet.

So as we fold Hippie into the thick broth of Recent US History, it starts to look quite different from what was fed you by the professwhores of the military-industrial-academic complex back at your college or university -- right? The reason you know almost nothing about early eco-movement history is I didn't let Herder & Herder publish my Earth Read-Out news service in book form (despite their urgings) because they couldn't or wouldn't tell me how many sentient brother/sister trees would be sacrificed to its first printing.

The pattern of Initiating-Hippie and Straight-Getting-Credit continues to this day -- though at a much slower pace because of much tighter corporate control of the info flow. For example, fourteen years ago in San Francisco during the bombing of Baghdad I started the US Pro-Democracy Movement (USPDM) and just last month I was pleased to find a reference to "the mushrooming pro-democracy movement" in a piece by Straight Ted Glick. It's reasonable to assume that professwhorial histwhorians still are so inept and corrupt that they won't be able to trace it back very far -- and thus Ted or some other Johnny/Jeanny-Come-Lately Straight will get proclaimed the "father" of it. Fine! I'm glad not to have to go around Famous and I've used three different names as part of a strategy for avoiding such. Fame is a trap because it always slows down your evolution as you bask in it and repeat yourself within it. Meanwhile, let's hope those active in the current pro-democracy movement take it into the streets rather than merely getting paid writing books and making speeches about it.

In any case, I think it's time for high school students to know the truth rather than be victimized by all the "history" bullshit waiting for them in the wings of their onrushing colleges and universities. Of course, the history bullshit is much broader than just Hippies. For example, Ross Gelbspan -- a relatively effective climate-change commentator -- said on a radio show yesterday that warnings about climate change have been occurring since '88. Such warnings in fact go back at least to '68. These paragraphs from a letter I wrote in '01 bring that out:

Okay. Let's now take a look at my transition from anthropocentric activism to biocentric activism. In spring '68 Bob Ockene had noticed that the sinister U.S. MonoMassMedia (MMM) were conditioning Americans to accept the Vietnam War for an utterly indefinite period of time. So we did a caper called The War Is Over so people could at least imagine such a possibility. We dashed exultantly up Fifth Avenue, disrupting traffic. I can't remember whether the late great Phil Ochs did his song "I Declare the War Is Over" just before the caper or just after. (Hey, all honor to Phil's name, too!)

Anyway, I was co-ordinating the number as we gathered in Washington Square Park for the dash. The police didn't like our idea, had surrounded us and were playing with their batons somewhat menacingly. Old friend Allen Ginsberg (I met him in Calcutta in '62) came up to me and began talking about the Dialectics of Liberation conference in London from which he'd just returned. I was so concerned about the police that my unspoken attitude towards him was: Hey, can't you see I'm busy?

But what he told me led several months later to perhaps the biggest single change I've ever gone through. At the conference -- besides Stokely Carmichael and Bertrand Russell -- was an anthropologist from Hawaii by the name of Gregory Bateson. In his speech he said the planet was heating up and rather soon the polar caps would melt, inundatng the continents. Wow!

Thus soon after moving to Berkeley at the beginning of '69 I started the planet's first environmental newsservice. It was called Earth Read-Out (ERO) and it ran as a column in fifteen or twenty newspapers. It was the main information conduit for the new environmental movement, which had begun with a civil-disobedience action in Marin County about six weeks before my first issue on May 15.

The movement began when several of us sat down on a road north of Bolinas to stop a truck loaded with redwood corpses. We stopped it and were busted. So we started with a victory (extremely rare since then): never again has there been logging of that sort in that county.

All the bloody flotsam historians will tell you that the movement began with Earth Day '70 -- but that actually was the occasion that swiftly led to the movement being co-opted by effete bureaucrats using movement-sounding rhetoric in order to suck foundation grants and get book contracts. I was asked to make an Earth Day '70 speech in Denver or Boulder (can't remember which) but told them I was unwilling to expend so much petrol getting there and they should get a local person instead.

So a vibrant predominantly Hippie volunteer in-your-face movement was taken over by people like Stewart Brand, the late David Brower and Jerry Mander -- people who manipulated the eco-emergency on behalf of their personal desire to get famous and become adulated.

In autumn '69 Gary Snyder (whom I'd met in Kyoto in '60), Michael McClure and I had dinner together because we'd played the major roles in establishing the movement and wanted to discuss ways of keeping it from being co-opted and corrupted. We'd opened up a rather wide media-niche for it -- enough that David Brower, then a book editor in the quaint conservation movement, sensed he might be able to get in front of more TV cameras as an environmentalist than as a conservationist and so started moving our way. I actually helped him with the transition by doing press relations for a speech he made in Berkeley.

It was lewd of Jerry Mander to aid and abet Brower's ego-ridden fantasy that he was the fuckin father of the eco-movement. Jerry is easily bright enough to know the difference between the father of a movement and the oldest person in it. Between '71 and '99 Brower was more responsible for the breathtaking weakness of the movement than anyone else. The Backroom Boys controlling MonoMassMedia were delighted to feature David as a leader because they knew he was abjectly obedient to both their nefarious legal system and nefarious tax system and would advocate only the very most effete gestures of resistance to their ongoing destruction of the biosphere. David specialized in cutie-pie environmentalism. In a way, it's appropriate that Berkeley was selected for a David Brower Day. The citizens there already live with so many illusions that they might as well add one more.

In '69 I felt our strength lay in anonymity rather than fame. So I stopped signing my pieces with "Keith Lampe" and started using "K.L." Or if I could find somebody to add a paragraph or two, I'd then use "Members of the Staff." In late '69 or early '70 I did an issue which included poetry by Ginsberg, McClure and Snyder. I used only their initials and they were pissed -- though Ginsberg less so. They'd become junkies of their own names! Their names were their ticket-to-ride!

On the spring equinox of '70 I did an issue devoted to regionalizing North America. Fourteen years later Peter Berg would come up to me at a bioregional gathering and say, "So what do you think of this?" I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Hey, man, the two of us started this thing." That was accurate except for some major male chauvinism. In alphabetical order the actual founders of bioregionalism are: Judy Berg, Peter Berg, Judy Lampe and Keith Lampe (I was still using my human-chauvinist name). Sadly, I must report to you that a few years later Peter had become so ego-ridden that he failed to relay to flotsam historian Kirkpatrick Sale that I was a co-founder.

I must also sadly report that within just a few years after that dinner with Snyder and McClure, both of them had degenerated into fashionable eco-lapdogs. Perhaps they'd been frightened by the infamous U.S. military's murders of those four well-intentioned Kent State University students in spring '70. In any case, these days I'm not willing to be seen in public with either of them.

One reason you don't know anything about all this is that I did not allow Herder & Herder to publish Earth Read-Out in book form. They were eager but I said I wanted to know the number of sentient arboreal beings who would be screamingly sacrificed for the first edition. I wanted to include the number in the volume. I felt that minimal human decency called for at least that gesture. They couldn't or wouldn't give me a number.

And obviously there was lots of other important climate-destabilization info made available between '70 and '88 -- when Ross starts catching on to it.

Hippies also were the predominant influence in the early days of the Back-to-the-Land Movement. The first Hippie rural commune evidently was Drop City in Iowa in '65. Peter Rabbit, now living in Taos, is widely regarded as one of the venerable mentors of that movement.

Perhaps the most helpful suggestion from the heyday of Hippie was Gary Snyder's about "the transfer of prime human attention from objects to states of mind." If applied today in the form of massive boycotts it could be an effective tool of resistance to the Bush Junta, which, after all, is impervious to moral appeals but fetishistic about profits. More attention on states of mind also can significantly improve average mood. Most important of all, such a transfer would greatly lessen the pressure on our fragile home-planet life-support systems.

More on this later.

Meanwhile, there obviously should be additional categories of lost history for high school students. I hope you have suggestions for how they should be labeled and organized.

I hope this has been more interesting for you than that Brand X State-of-the-Union Speech delivered today by that ignominious Fourth Reich puppet.

Yours for all species,
Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine
Transition Prez


Free Americans Reaching Out to Amerika's Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free

A local page on Keith Lampe and "Earth Readout" is located at:

Pondo Mantra, Keith Lampe, November 2012 + YouTube Video Channel

Assessing Potheads/Acidheads/Hippies

Free Americans Reaching Out to Amerika's Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free
Via <>
July 27, 2004

I'm delighted to have this from you because it allows me to deal with this enormously important topic without feeling I'm taking-a-side-trip.

Sure, there are too many potheads out-of-it politically--but the percentages of them who are with-it are significantly higher than those of tobacco smokers or coffee drinkers or beer drinkers or scotch drinkers or gin drinkers, etc. The Fourth Reich encourages alcohol while suppressing marijuana because alcohol's next-morning hangover assures there's no net gain for the user. People able to use marijuana (either smoke it or eat it)--especially in legal circumstances (e.g., medical)--gradually decondition themselves from the general fear-ridden propaganda and relatively frequently become confident activists. That potheads are ipso facto outlaws is helpful psychologically to them as activists. And pot keeps them relaxed enough to deal coolly with the police.

We started Yippie back in '68 as a corrective to what you cite. It also began because some of us noticed that at the '67 Pentagon demonstration the straight shorthair nonpsychedelic New Left controlled all the rhetoric with their bullhorns, then fled when the federal marshalls attacked, leaving the potheads/acidheads/hippies to take the skull bash, tear gas and jail time.

Also potheads/acidheads/hippies were predominant in the early days ('69-'71) of the eco-movement till straight shorthair nonpsychedelic David Brower slyly took control of it--mainly via Faustian Alliances with corporate media and corporate foundations. The movement then went swiftly downwards to bureaucracy. Gary Snyder had the best field theory for an eco-solution at that time: "Transfer of prime human attention from objects to states of mind." Well, you can imagine how much the corporations would loathe a suggestion like that: hardly anything threatens more deeply their relentless push for rabid consumption of "big-ticket" consumer items. (Snyder himself took no further chances with the corporate police and by the mid-'70s had bought into a safe effete literary role.)

Potheads/acidheads/hippies also were predominant in the back-to-the-land movement of that same period. If you knew anybody who at that time moved from a high-population-density place to a low one, chances are that he or she had dropped acid within a year or two before that. Meanwhile the culturebound left (and center and right) in general masochistically continued to inhabit the polluted paved-over cities. As a result, their average mood has been considerably lower than that of the back-to-the-land folks.

The biocentric transformational politics of potheads/acidheads/hippies is much more helpful for general home-planet survival than is the mere anthropocentric revolutionary politics of straight shorthair nonpsychedelic commentators like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn--both of whom remained totally silent throughout the USSP's (US Secret Police's) vicious wipe-out of the hippies' culture--especially its tremendously effective underground press--during the late '60s and early '70s (cf. the anthology UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES). The left's revolutionary politics was an element within the hippies' transformational one.

Much of my strategizing for the anti-Vietnam-War movement occurred with the late Robert M. Ockene, then executive editor of Bobbs-Merrill Publishing Company, while we were on about 300 mikes of clean acid. What a precious political/cultural/spiritual luxury to drop acid back when it was legal!

The most helpful archive imaginable for young people these days would be one devoted to lost pothead/acidhead/hippie history. Hardly any young people currently have an opportunity to learn, for example, that the hippies' underground press was more imaginative, wide-ranging, confident and liberated than any other journalistic community in US history. Since he has functioned as an historian, Howard Zinn must accept a large slice of the blame for this widespread youthful ignorance.

Most historians have preferred to pretend to themselves and others that there never were any hippies and that they never had a culture of their own. Other historians--even more perverse--allege that hippie culture was a product of "the agenda of elite Anglo-American social engineering," or a mind-control project of the CIA and/or British intelligence.

While the CIA did conduct early experiments with LSD as a possible mind-control tactic, they didn't have to become very bright to notice that they'd chosen the wrong substance, that young people in very large numbers were using LSD successfully as a way to decondition themselves from fascist/capitalist/bankster/consumer-goods propaganda. If the secret police hadn't noticed this, they wouldn't have bothered to pressure CBS Records to stop advertising in the underground press or to pressure a printer in New Jersey to stop publishing one of the underground periodicals.

And this above all: the potheads/acidheads/hippies of the late 60s and early 70s had more confidence in themselves than any other community of that size in US history. We all know that confidence today is such a precious and rare quality. I'll close with a story about my own confidence when it was at its peak. This is from something I wrote last year:

I can remember clearly when my confidence crested. (Fortunately, it fell very very gradually.) June '68. For more than two years I'd been doing LSD with my best friend, Bob Ockene. He was executive editor of Bobbs-Merrill and was the very most valuable player in the NYC activist scene of that time. For example, his relationship to Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin in terms of Yippie was almost identical to the distinction between Wisdom and Skillful Means in high Himalayan culture. Abbie and Jerry were the principal Media Character Actors of Bob's notion.

Anyway, we'd had the tremendous spiritual luxury of doing acid with each other and with our dear wives back when it was still legal. We had a few transfabulous trips together in Spring '66. By autumn of that year it was illegal. During these trips Bob and I had gotten accustomed to doing quite a bit of strategizing about what this or that movement or sub-movement might do next. So in May '68 we were tripping and also working on a good caper for Yippie. Just a few weeks earlier King had been murdered----leading to large-scale burning and looting in at least a dozen US Sector cities. So we got to talking about looting. "You know, all the lootings have been taking place at times so inconvenient for the general public that they're over before the public even knows about them." "Yeah, so why don't we do some sort of pre-scheduled looting at a time convenient for everybody?" "Yeah, but maybe it's better to refer to it as a loot-in." (We were so high that I can't remember which of us was which.) "Yeah. So where?" "What about Macy's?" "Okay."

So we put a flyer together. Though we were relatively confident, we nevertheless retreated from using the actual word "loot." Here's the language:

"MACY*S GIANT NEW-NATION CELEBRATION: To help free us from the property fetish, Macy's will become a liberated zone Saturday, June 8, from 1 to 3 p.m. Wear middle-class costumes and infiltrate. Ask straight shoppers not to enter. 'Property Is Theft.' Give away your clothing inside and demand replacements for leaving. Spontaneous sculpture in the aisles. Anti-property demonstration surrounding the store. Donate second-hand objects to Macy's. Start free stores at the entrances. NEW-NATION CELEBRATION SHEEP MEADOW 4 P.M. Caution: Cops love property & probably will be fierce. Youth International Party." So in effect we were planning a satire of private property, private ownership.

The action was too heavy for Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. They both came up with fancy excuses for not helping me. The only help I had was from one or two teen-agers. We'd decided Bob shouldn't relate to it publicly because he might jeopardize his helpful gig at Bobbs-Merrill where he was bringing out important books like LSD AND PSYCHOTHERAPY, THE MARIJUANA PAPERS, a volume of A. J. Muste's writings plus I'm sure I'm forgetting a few other major titles. My memory is dim on this but I'm pretty sure he was arranging for a book from Garrison (that New Orleans DA) just before Garrison got taken out.

Anyway, I did an extensive press mailing with the flyer and sent it also a few other places. Couple days later I got a call from a friend at the ACLU who'd represented me earlier in a couple civil-disobedience busts. "Well, we just got your flyer and we had a meeting right away and we sure wish you'd have talked to us before sending it out because we figure you can get twenty-two-and-a-half years." Then he enumerated four five-year felonies plus some small change. Wow! Can you feel my confidence cresting, Bonnie? I had a nine-week-old daughter, Issa, whom I was already madly in love with. Did I not want to be with her again till she was twenty-two? I yearned for an excuse to "postpone" it but knew I'd be unwilling to settle for anything less than a genuinely respectable excuse and knew also that the chances of figuring one out were nearly nil.

Then: can you believe it? Shall we call it deus-ex-machina? Or is it more appropriate to see it in terms of Allies in the Castaneda/Huichol sense? In any case, I was able to phone the press a couple days prior to it and say: We have decided to postpone this event out of respect for the memory of the late Senator Robert Kennedy. Can you believe it? I GENUINELY didn't want to be capering in a department store simultaneously with the funeral procession just a few hundred meters away of the latest murdered liberal. Wowww!

The press was so less closed in those days that I was able---despite such short notice---to get word of the "postponement" out to almost everybody planning to attend. But as a back-up, I covered the main entrance of Macy's starting a half-hour before the scheduled start of it. Not many people showed up for it. My favorite moment of the whole episode happened when a beautiful young hippie couple arrived for it from the far end of Long Island. They were broken-hearted! They stood there for a long time saying nothing, their bodies drooping. Finally he said: "Well, do you want to go on in anyway?" She was silent again a long time, then said with a resonant sigh I'll never forget: "Oh. . . all right."

Meanwhile, let's hope that Amerika's huddled masses get a grip on themselves and develop enough confidence to walk into better department stores everywhere, take off their clothes and demand free replacements. I'm sure they'd enjoy the surprised looks on the sales-clerks' faces.

Yours for all species,
Keith Lampe, Pondo Pine

Keith Lampe

by keith lampe

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Today's installment from my issue number two of Earth Read-Out (ERO) at the end of May '69 gives us an opportunity to understand how much more confidence people had in themselves then than now. For example, do AFT locals talk now the way they talked then? Or do high-ranking U-C officials talk now the way Robert Greenway (all honor to his name) talked then? Or does the despicable Washington Post ever play a positive role at rallies as it did at this one?

And this information is critically important today--especially for our last hope, the campus generation. It helps all of us grok that in fact we've been enormously dumbed-down and intimidated.

Given the intense uncompromising integrity of this teach-in, it's quite easy to understand why the MIAC (Military-Industrial-Academic Complex) thought it necessary a year later to murder four peaceful students at Kent State, then make a point of not punishing the murderers. They needed strong writing on the wall:

We'll kill you whenever we wish
and nobody's gonna stop us.

Please note that you can learn hardly anything about this immensely important stuff in the twerpy-hustler Limited Hangout "alternate" histories of Howard Zinn and Carolyn Baker.

I must confess that I hadn't read my material for many years and--though I expected to find it quite significant for our current times--I am blown by just how significant it in fact is. I almost wish I'd let Herder & Herder publish it back in '70. But as you can see from the spirit of the times--so many people (mainly hippies and hardly any leftists) gallantly taking-it-to-the-limit over and over again!--my role as a socalled environmental leader (ERO quickly became the central info vehicle for the movement and remained so till autumn '70) was to try to force the sleazy corporate publishing world to start being transparent about their various immensely negative eco impacts. Today it is even more important that they start doing so.

Now that you understand how much was happening environmentally in the late '60s aren't you at least a bit exasperated when the pimps and whores of CNN, etc, act like they invented TEC (True Environmental Concern) a few years ago? Or when Bill McKibben acts like he invented it twenty years ago?

Yours for waking to the quantum ether,
Keith Lampe aka Pondo
Volunteer and Complete Unknown


May 29, 1969
by keith lampe

About 2000 persons attended--off and on--a six-hour teach-in on "Ecology and Politics in America" May 28 on the U-C Berkeley campus.

Idea was to relate the People's Park issue to broader questions of planetary survival.

A lot of language under a hot sun--but hopefully the thing will get made into a book to help people past the old politics and into a root politics of ecology.

Sponsors were American Federation of Teachers locals 1474 and 1795. Their leaflet for the occasion put it succinctly where it's at:

"The battle for a people's park in Berkeley has raised questions that go far beyond the immediate objects of public attention. They are questions about the quality of our lives, about the deterioration of the environment and about the propriety and legitimacy of the uses to which we put our land. The questions raised by this issue reach into two worlds at once: the world of power, politics and the institutional shape of American society on the one hand, and the world of ecology, conservation and the biological shape of our environment on the other.

"The People's Park is a mirror in which our society may see itself. A country which destroys Vietnam in order to liberate it sees no paradox in building fences around parks so that people may enjoy them. It is not at all ironic that officers of the law uproot shrubbery in order to preserve the peace. It is the way of the world! Trees are anarchic; concrete and asphalt are orderly and tractable. Defoliation is Civilization!

"Our cities are increasingly unlivable. The ghettos are anathema to any form of human existence. Our back country is no retreat; today's forest is tomorrow's Disneyland. Our rivers are industrial sewers; our lakes are all future resorts; our wildlife are commercial resources.

"The history of America is a history of hostility and conquest. We have constituted ourselves socially and politically to conquer and transform nature. We measure 'progress' in casualties, human and environmental, in bodies of men or board-feet of lumber.

"Ecology and politics are no longer separate or separable issues. . ."

Biggest mindblow of the day came from Robert Greenway, vice president for academic planning at U-C Santa Cruz. Greenway's contract isn't to be renewed because he's acting up--and the U-C regents got a court order forbidding him to make speeches because he's "inflammmatory".

Greenway told his audience "we have to go down to People's Park Friday with our women, children and neighbors and we have to say we're going to pull up the fence--gently--and then say to the National Guard 'Go ahead and shoot'".

Greenway said the fight for People's Park is part of a larger fight for physical and psychic space: "We must take every shred of university land that's not already built and make it a park."

He invited everybody down to Santa Cruz "where we have 3000 acres for dancing and singing and holding each other--and it would take them a year to fence it".

Prof. Sim van der Ryn, a member of the U-C Berkeley Chancellor's Committee on Environment, explained why we often have heavily polluted air in the Bay Area even during early morning hours: the air-pollution surveillance bureaucrats do only a 9-to-5 thing, so most of the biggest industries release their poisons after dark or in early morning.

Van der Ryn reminded everybody that DDT is killing enormous numbers of crabs on the West Coast, that high concentrations of DDT have been found even in High Sierra lakes--and that lots of people get busted for LSD, but nobody for DDT.

Dr. Tom Bodenheimer warned that DDT may get banned but be replaced by something even worse--that there are certain pesticides in use now (e.g., Parathion) which originally were developed as nerve gases. He said pesticides are the direct cause of about 150 deaths annually in the U.S. He said the nerve-gas leak which killed 6000 sheep in Utah last year might well have wiped out much of Salt Lake City also if it hadn't been for a shift in the wind.

Bodenheimer said the concentrations of CS gas on the Berkeley campus are probably still so great that "next time it rains it'll be like a gas attack." [Ed. Note: he refers here to the spraying of gaseous toxins onto innocent students by the infamous U.S. military.] He said the regime possibly soon may try to control demonstrations entirely from the air. He said the regime considers students, like insects, to be pests.

Cliff Humphrey of (Berkeley) Ecology Action said he plans to turn his auto into a piece of sculpture so it can't continue poisoning the air. "My Rambler is a pig," Humphrey said. "There are all kinds of pigs."

Dennis Maynis, a mountain climber, told the audience he's been watching Yosemite being destroyed. "They've paved trails, ripped out trees and flowers--but we're watched by telescope to make sure we don't break any rules."

Barry Weisberg, of the Bay Area institute, said 95% of all fresh water on the planet is being used faster than it's being replaced. He said Amerika constitutes only 7% of the world's population--but is presently consuming about 70% of the world's resources.

Landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, who was busted several weeks ago trying to stop Army engineers from wrecking Tamalpais Creek in the name of flood control, equated the creek with People's Park: 'each little blade of grass is important."

Wolf von Eckhart, architectural critic of the Washington Post, sent a wire saying "the city belongs to the people".

Folk singer Malvina Reynolds sang "God Bless the Grass."

Paul Goodman sent a wire from New York expressing outrage at "the vandalism committed by the authorities".

Jane Jacobs sent a wire from New York saying universities traditionally have used parks as a cover-story for land grabs in order to "lull lazy liberals". To those battling for People's Park she said "be brave but be careful: against armor and sadism your weapon must be ingenuity".

Among many other speakers was Stanley Smart, a Paiute who recently was busted for--dig--hunting without a license. "We don't believe in the white man's law," he said.

Forester Don Harkins urged street people to spend some time in the wilderness. He said he knew that some street people thought the wilderness was counterrevolutionary--"but they'll pull a lot of power into themselves by getting out there." He offered to teach street people how to move through snow and storms in mountains.

Poet Gary Snyder said we must "recover gut knowledge of our relationship to nature" through which "nature becomes the supernatural". He called for establishment of an "Earth People's Park because nations and corporations are not going to do anything because it calls for renunciation instead of profit and growth".

He said the Soviet Union, China, Amerika and Europe all are equally culpable.

Of the Amerikan scene he said "the materialistic, exploitative, white-western mentality swept across the continent east to west, destroying the passenger pigeon, the bison, the indian and the topsoil till finally it came right up to the Pacific and polluted the offshore waters there.

"Now it is time for us symbolically to become indians--people of this land--and take Amerika back from west to east. People's Park is the first little piece of liberated territory in Amerika and I hope we keep going and take the whole thing."

Poet Lew Welch said: "My goddess is Mt. Tamalpais and I sit on the rocks of her slopes and ask her questions and she gives me answers. . . the last cliff on the continent. . . This is the Last Place. . . There is Nowhere Else to Go. . . There is Nowhere Else We Need to Go."

Subject: SENTINEL URGENT: What an Obamanable Speech!
Date: June 16, 2010 8:37:14 AM PDT

Prez to Prez: Now or Never

Dear US President Barack Obama,

I recently saw what was evidently your Kenyan birth certificate, so at the start of this I want to assure you that as a bioregionalist, I have so little interest in nation-states that it makes no difference to me where you were born.

In fact the US is probably better off with leaders born outside it. Certainly Americans born inside haven't worked out very well. I think especially of the great majority of the US adult population which has provided financial support during the past several years for the murders of more than a million utterly innocent civilians--mainly in Iraq, but also in quite a few other distant locations.

Doing autobio is a paradox for me because I'm proud to be arriving into your life as a Complete Unknown. It seems necessary, though, if I'm to stand even a slender chance of getting my suggestion to you accepted.

Though we find ourselves presidents of the US simultaneously, I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that I arrived into my Double Helix Office here in the Global South White House by a path quite different from yours.

My real education began at age 18 in 1950 when by nepotism I had a summer job as a reporter for the Detroit Free Press. My first three weeks (filling in for chaps on vacation) were at Detroit's notorious police headquarters. The moment of truth occurred after just two or three days: the police commissioner--the top cop--provided me with a fraudulent police press pass which said I was 22 so I could drink alcohol illegally in his bars.

So I started wondering if I really wanted to be part of a society so corrupt--even when the corruption benefited me. I had to work through a few layers of ego before deciding in Paris--where again by nepotism in '57 I had a job accredited to NATO as a Paris-based correspondent for Hearst's infamous International News Service--that, no, I didn't.

More real education in Paris as I gradually understood that I was being bribed--not with money but with increments of fame: every time my "by-line" appeared in a newspaper anywhere on the planet, a clipping of it was rushed to me by diplomatic pouch in order to feed my ego and keep me obedient to their right-wing corporate values.

Thus I saw fame as an ignominious fate and since then, I've used three names so whenever one of them started showing up in corporate media too frequently, I could always slip into something more comfortable.

This flexibility has allowed me to found or co-found more movements or sub-movements than anyone else in home-planet history.

My activism began in summer '64 when somewhere in Scandinavia during my third around-the-world trip I learned about the murders of civil-rights workers Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner in Mississippi. When I got to NYC I went to the group--SNCC--they'd been working with and volunteered for the job--voter registration--they'd been doing.

I was sent to Mississippi where I was re-interviewed and when I mentioned my corporate media background I was sent to Atlanta where for a few weeks the late Francis "Mitch" Mitchell and I filled in for Julian Bond on press relations.

Yeah, we early- and mid-Sixties civil rights workers loosened US racism just barely enough for you to get elected president.

I've been following carefully what gets called Global Warming (chemtrails have a temperature-lowering effect, so Climate Destabilization is a much more accurate label) since '67 when my friend Allen Ginsberg (whom I'd met in Kolkata in '62) relayed part of what Gregory Bateson had just said at the Dialectics of Liberation conference in London: in a few decades the polar caps would melt and the continents would be inundated.

I was one of the founders of the US environmental movement in spring '69. I did a fortnightly environmental news service which appeared in 15 or 20 newspapers. My work remains historically obscure because Herder & Herder--though eager to publish my news service in book form--was unable or unwilling to meet my requirement: an estimate of how many sentient brother/sister trees would be sacrificed for the first printing.

Your speech last night was so ludicrous that I must assume that a couple days ago some inner-circle Secret Service agent whispered in your ear that if you put anything of your own into it, you and your family will get what the late Senator Paul Wellstone and his family got.

This (or something analogous) is the only way to explain how breathtakingly irresponsible you were!

Among the critically important "talking points" that you suppressed are:

1--The psi (pounds of pressure per square inch) at the emissions sites is so enormous that the only home-planet technology capable of sealing the fractures is a nuclear device, which if attempted risks a doomsday event.

2--The Corexit dispersant--banned in England but still being used by BP in huge quantities in defiance of an USG order to stop--is in the estimate of at least one scientist a hundred times worse than the oil itself and is likely to have severe impacts on human health and agriculture when it evaporates from water surfaces and falls with rain this summer.

3--With the oil rising from the fractured gulf seabed are highly toxic gases which probably will have devastating long-term consequences--for example, leukemia and birth defects.

4--BP's demotion yesterday from AA to BBB at Fitch Ratings implies that soon it will clandestinely transfer almost all its wealth into dummy corporations so it can declare bankruptcy and thus "legally" default on almost all its obligations to the people it has so atrociously victimized.

5--Within the broad field of clean energy solar and wind are peddled vociferously by the corporatocracy precisely because they're not effective enough to disturb King Cong's (coal/oil/nuclear/gas) profits.

Okay. My 43 consecutive years of assessing Climate Destabilization lead me to suggest that at this late hour you must convene a free-energy conference so that the nearly seven billion humans on this planet can start enjoying the benefits available from zero point (tapping the ether for energy) and advanced hydrogen/water.

Nothing less than this is adequate for our current cataclysmic circumstances.

I'm sure you'll agree with me once you've done your homework: Joel Garbon's and Jeane Manning's Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World and Brian O'Leary's The Energy Solution Revolution. I'll be pleased to get a complimentary copy of each to you.

If that Secret Service agent says you're not allowed to convene such a conference, I suggest that you go public with her/his threats to you by relaying them "spontaneously" within your next prime-time speech. This way, it's no longer likely that they'll murder you and your family because too many people will be expecting it.

Your speech last night was so despicable that more folks will cease their support for the US federal concept and start supporting their local bioregion. But this is the only silver lining within the immense dark cloud you've instigated.

In one of the March '70 issues of my eco news service I'd said: "Imperialist human civilization expansion brings planet death. Central human governments terrorize the planet and speed this death. It is wise quietly to go our own ways. Wise also to isolate the governments at Ottawa, Washington DC, Mexico City and elsewhere. Help them wither. No more nations. Nations are fantasies. Our own ways lead to realities. Topo realities. Watershed and airshed realities. Regions."

So be it. The conclusively discredited United Nations must be replaced swiftly with a United Bioregions.

Yours for waking to the quantum ether,

Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine, Transition Prez

Transferring Prime Human Attention from Objects to States of Mind
And Helping "Left" and "Right" Come Together Within Solution Energies
Via <prez>
December 3, 2010

An Open Letter to Chris Hedges - 2

Dear Chris Hedges,

I'd already been thinking of you as my analog in the middle generation because we'd both been theology students and also foreign correspondents for US pimp/whore corporate media outlets.

Now your step into civil disobedience--especially in association with veterans--much strengthens this impression.

I'd been an army officer (artillery forward observer) in the Korean war and in late '65 was one of maybe twenty founders in NYC of Veterans and Reservists to End the War in Vietnam. For a year or two we were the cutting-edge of the much broader anti-war movement because the pimp/whore corporate media had so glamorized veterans that--for a while, anyway--they were compelled to take our voices relatively seriously.

Early in '66 we burned our discharge papers, medals and campaign ribbons and our action was displayed prominently on all the evening TV news shows. My first bust was later that year at the NYC offices of Dow protesting its obscene manufacture of napalm. My other Manhattan busts in '67-'68 were on a destroyer in the Hudson River as we tried to prevent it from departing to Vietnam, then twice during Stop the Draft Week and once at the induction center.

I used to quip that DC was a nice place to get busted but I wooden wanna live there. In September of '67 I was busted with several others dropping leaflets from the US Senate gallery onto the ignominiously bribed politicians below. The leaflet's contents were reproduced en toto twice in next day's pimp/whore NY Times--once as a news story and once in somebody's column.

We got the banner headline in the evening DC pimp/whore daily: WAR PROTESTERS DISRUPT SENATE. Gradually over the years this has assumed an interesting ambiguity for me: had we scored a major publicity triumph or were we being used to frighten people into financing even more enormous police budgets the following year?

My second DC bust was about six weeks later with a few hundred others--for example, Daniel Berrigan, Noam Chomsky, Norman Mailer, Terry Southern--at the Pentagon. Then in '87 I was busted at the World Bank protesting mainly its financing of highways into the already decimated Amazon. Finally, in '00 I was busted at the Rotunda with the late great Granny D, the notorious Bill McKibben (devious climate agent of the Rockefellers) and thirty others--in the ever-more-cogent matter of campaign finance reform.

The thirty- or forty-page NYC police report on me to the Chicago police just prior to the '68 "Democratic" convention there said I was "an especially dangerous leader" because I told people to do whatever they wanted--which in my circles, the authors explained, was called do your own thing.

The same sinister players within the US Government who murdered JFK in '63 (global research reference) and who would go on to murder nearly 3000 others at the World Trade Center in '01 had decided to do a major Theater-of-Fear event in Chicago--cf., David Lewis Stein's LIVING THE REVOLUTION: The Yippies in Chicago. It was the first of a one-two punch culminating with the US military murders of four peaceful students at Kent State in '70.

Since no one ever was prosecuted for these murders, their message was clear: we'll kill you whenever we want and there ain't nothing you can do about it. Thus except for the first few years of Earth First!, US activism has been feeble ever since.

At the end of '68 my (then) wife Judy, my daughter Issa and I moved from Manhattan to Berkeley where a few months later I was busted with several others for blocking a truck carrying redwood corpses from a nearby tree-slaughter site. This in fact was the start of the US environmental movement.

Between then and the early 90s I was busted several other times on behalf of trees.

In San Francisco in '91 during the bombing of Baghdad I founded the US Pro-Democracy Movement. (At about that same time I was paid to dance for a wedding to the music of my own vocal muscles.)

I've been following climate change intently ever since '67 when my friend Allen Ginsberg (whom I'd met in Kolkata in '62) returned from the Dialectics of Liberation conference in London with Gregory Bateson's warning of melting polar caps and subsequent inundation of continents.

My activism had begun back in '64 when somewhere in Scandinavia during my third around-the-world trip I learned of the murders of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner in Mississippi. So when I got back to NYC I went to the group they'd been working for--SNCC--and volunteered for the job they'd been doing--voter registration.

My education had begun back in '50 at age 18 when the Detroit police commissioner gave me a press card saying I was 22 so I could drink alcohol illegally.

I type all this up for you, Chris, so you'll know that my current sense of hope is at least quite a seasoned one.

My current sense of hope is that those of you so earnestly gathered at the White House December 16 will compare notes and conclude that the action is majorly flawed because it's

(1)--pre-announced rather than occurring as a surprise,

(2)--located where there's no power rather than where there's a lot--for example, one or more of the Rockefeller Brothers' residences and

(3)--enacted out of sequence in that there's no sense trying to stop wars until we first outlaw all private financial contributions to electoral candidates.

Anyone familiar with your writings would have to say pretty much the same thing. You've repeatedly pointed out that the US is not a democracy, which thus renders pre-announced actions futile. Between ten and fifteen million people took to the streets in pre-announced actions all around the planet shortly before the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq--and they didn't alter anyone's foreign policy even slightly.

And you've also pointed out that US foreign policy is controlled by those who've paid the campaign expenses for the incumbent US prez.

To stop wars we must level the playing field that's so steeply tilted now in favor of transnational corporations. Perhaps outlawing all private political-campaign contributions will be adequate. But probably we'll have to go farther and shift from centralized currencies into local ones, replace network radio with neighborhood broadcasters plus reduce use of TV sets to DVDs and videocassettes.

Possibly we'll even have to free ourselves from centralized electric grid systems so our newly-won energy independence--our homes and vehicles now powered with hand-held devices--will increase our self-respect to the point where finally we care enough about our futures to be willing to go through the lifestyle changes necessary now to have those futures at all.

Yours for all our relations,
Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine

PS: I'll paste at bottom my earlier open missive to you for any readers who haven't seen it.

Hope, Real Hope, Is About Doing Something

By Chris Hedges

November 29, 2010 "TruthDig" --On Dec. 16 I will join Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern and several military veteran activists outside the White House to protest the futile and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of us will, after our rally in Lafayette Park, attempt to chain ourselves to the fence outside the White House. It is a pretty good bet we will all spend a night in jail. Hope, from now on, will look like this.

Hope is not trusting in the ultimate goodness of Barack Obama, who, like Herod of old, sold out his people. It is not having a positive attitude or pretending that happy thoughts and false optimism will make the world better. Hope is not about chanting packaged campaign slogans or trusting in the better nature of the Democratic Party. Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil or the government.

Hope does not mean we will halt the firing in Afghanistan of the next Hellfire missile, whose explosive blast sucks the oxygen out of the air and leaves the dead, including children, scattered like limp rag dolls on the ground. Hope does not mean we will reform Wall Street swindlers and speculators, or halt the pillaging of our economy as we print $600 billion in new money with the desperation of all collapsing states. Hope does not mean that the nation's ministers and rabbis, who know the words of the great Hebrew prophets, will leave their houses of worship to practice the religious beliefs they preach. Most clerics like fine, abstract words about justice and full collection plates, but know little of real hope.

Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy become enemies of hope. They become, in their passivity, agents of injustice. If the enemies of hope are finally victorious, the poison of violence will become not only the language of power but the language of opposition. And those who resist with nonviolence are in times like these the thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration.

Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and the more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope's power and it is why it can never finally be defeated. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.

Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don't resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey.

W.H. Auden wrote:

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The powerful do not understand hope. Hope is not part of their vocabulary. They speak in the cold, dead words of national security, global markets, electoral strategy, staying on message, image and money. The powerful protect their own. They divide the world into the damned and the blessed, the patriots and the enemy, the rich and the poor. They insist that extinguishing lives in foreign wars or in our prison complexes is a form of human progress. They cannot see that the suffering of a child in Gaza or a child in the blighted pockets of Washington, D.C., diminishes and impoverishes us all. They are deaf, dumb and blind to hope. Those addicted to power, blinded by self-exaltation, cannot decipher the words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics. Hope to Wall Street bankers and politicians, to the masters of war and commerce, is not practical. It is gibberish. It means nothing.

I cannot promise you fine weather or an easy time. I cannot assure you that thousands will converge on Lafayette Park in solidarity. I cannot pretend that being handcuffed is pleasant. I cannot say that anyone in Congress or the White House, anyone in the boardrooms of the corporations that cannibalize our nation, will be moved by pity to act for the common good. I cannot tell you these wars will end or the hungry will be fed. I cannot say that justice will roll down like a mighty wave and restore our nation to sanity. But I can say this: If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished. If all we accomplish is to assure a grieving mother in Baghdad or Afghanistan, a young man or woman crippled physically and emotionally by the hammer blows of war, that he or she is not alone, our resistance will be successful. Hope cannot be sustained if it cannot be seen.

Any act of rebellion, any physical defiance of those who make war, of those who perpetuate corporate greed and are responsible for state crimes, anything that seeks to draw the good to the good, nourishes our souls and holds out the possibility that we can touch and transform the souls of others. Hope affirms that which we must affirm. And every act that imparts hope is a victory in itself.

Also from Auden:

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Appeal to Youth
+ It's Up to You +
Via <prez>
March 31, 2010

An Open Letter to Chris Hedges

Dear Chris Hedges,

Maybe I read your stuff so intently because almost certainly you and I are the only two former US corporate-media "foreign" correspondents who also were grad students of theology.

In any case, what I find most appealing below is your total disdain for "Democrats and their liberal apologists". Yeah! I would, however, broaden this disdain to include not just liberals but also progressives, greens and leftists.

In fact, your reference here to "the boutique activism of political correctness" should be broadened to include, say, Danny Schechter's slick anti-Wall-Street boutique activism. His definition of Wall Street's plunder is such a slender slice of its total that his effect is that of a gatekeeper (or Limited Hangout) for all the felonious financiers.

Most folks within the four-ply left/liberal/green/progressive community discern significant differences between each label and the three others--but actually all four sets of their goals are so culturebound as to be hugely inadequate to a nearly equal degree. Meanwhile, the eco-clock keeps ticking, so each year the distance widens between their sets of goals and what's minimally necessary--and at an increasing pace.

Thus we should begin somewhere else--and so I suggest we start with youth rather than with leftists or liberals or progressives or greens or libertarians or conservatives. I think this is also the best place for Cynthia McKinney to start in her effort to overcome the phony left/right distinction. Much more on this later--but now I wanna get back to your piece here rather than just trip out on it. (Meanwhile, though, I'd be pleased to email you what I've done so far in a new series called "A US Youth Resurgence?".)

Yes, it certainly appears that Americans are "yearning for fascism" and certainly some of them are. But I suspect that most of them merely appear to be while actually what's defining them is an average mood too low for them to care much whether fascism arrives or not.

So we must first enhance their average mood to the point where they start abhorring the possibility of fascism because it would bum them back down to where they'd just risen from.

For millenia controllers have been aware of the need to keep their captive populations relatively bummed out so they don't have enough confidence to rebel.

After just a few Christian centuries, the widespread belief in reincarnation was outlawed in favor of reducing confidence by inducing fear via the notion of a single all-or-nothing incarnation wherein there's always a major risk of a maximally fearful outcome: eternal damnation in fire.

But of course sexual repression is the main vehicle for controlling mood. Vatican attitudes are a good example: sex is dirty, so don't be guilty of experiencing it--except when the focus is strictly procreational.

Approximately a millenium ago a sexual yoga quite beneficial to the nervous system was practiced in parts of northern India in both Hindu and Buddhist circles. Today one finds only trace elements of these practices there, which can only mean that they were stomped out in order to secure a control system.

The contemporary control system in the US and many other places outlaws marijuana use because it isn't followed by a hangover and thus provides a net mood enhancement. Alcohol is legal because it is followed by a hangover frequently enough to prevent any sustained mood gains.

I learned of a monumentally outrageous practice of mood control when living in a rather remote Bolivian village four years ago. I was told by a quite seasoned observer there that "when you tell a story to a four-year-old in this village he or she will understand it, but when you tell the same story to a twelve-year-old he or she won't understand it". She said this was because the Vatican is not content to meddle merely on a verbal level with superstition and related propaganda in its school system (so tightly controlled that it can even get away with referring to its schools as "public")--but in fact goes deeper to sabotage the students' ability to concentrate so the resulting low level of self-esteem will prevent any rebellion against their control system there.

But today the main vehicle for mood control is television. So the best way to reduce the chances of fascism is to reduce the use of television sets to those DVDs (and videocassettes) which don't contain ads. No more live shows! This way, the playing field finally is leveled between the controllers' centralized corporate network TV fake news and the resisters' local independent truthful news.

Have you noticed that the controllers' TV feed never depicts people who are elated? That's because their market researchers tell them that people who are usually in very good moods consume much less than those in merely fair-to-middling moods who'll buy lots of stuff in their chase for the very good mood. Thus the controllers don't want you to know that sustaining a very good mood is even possible--and thus it's nearly impossible to find yoga courses on TV.

This also explains why they peddle competition so obsessively. In competitions there are at least as many bummed losers as elated winners--but in cooperative activities everybody wins.

Another way to get a significant and sustained mood improvement is to pull off at an anthropological level a "transfer of prime human attention from objects to states of mind". This notion was offered by Gary Snyder back in '69 as a field theory for dealing with climate destabilization. It would lead to a more mature planet in other ways too.

And a shift from households with only two adults to ones with at least four would greatly help average mood. In today's collapsed economic circumstances the nuclear family is usually bummed out because of all the pressures on it. And it's nonfunctional because it's so pinned down with short-term concerns like groceries and lodging that it can't represent its long-term concern of sustaining climate patterns supportive of outdoor agriculture. But with four or more adults (plus whatever dear children, of course) the household becomes viable enough to support one of them as a full-time volunteer activist on behalf of its favorite cause.

Inadequate mood levels also explain a phenomenon which might be seen as a yearning for ecocide/omnicide/biocide/oblivion/entropy. At least this is how we've behaved during these first four decades of the climate emergency.

If as activists we switch our principal efforts to mood enhancement, we increase the importance to us of musicians and yoga instructors. Fortunately, there are simple daily practices available free of charge which enhance mood in a manner more reminiscent of Occidental science than Oriental religion. Some of these involve using the vocal muscles nonverbally to massage the nervous system by concentrating sound inside the body at certain specific frequencies.

Yours for waking to the quantum ether,
Keith Lampe aka Pondo

Is America ‘Yearning for Fascism?’

By Chris Hedges

March 29, 2010 "TruthDig" -- The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.

"We are ruled not by two parties but one party," Cynthia McKinney, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, told me. "It is the party of money and war. Our country has been hijacked. And we have to take the country away from those who have hijacked it. The only question now is whose revolution gets funded."

The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and war is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite. Our government does not work. And the longer we stand by and do nothing, the longer we refuse to embrace and recognize the legitimate rage of the working class, the faster we will see our anemic democracy die.

The unraveling of America mirrors the unraveling of Yugoslavia. The Balkan war was not caused by ancient ethnic hatreds. It was caused by the economic collapse of Yugoslavia. The petty criminals and goons who took power harnessed the anger and despair of the unemployed and the desperate. They singled out convenient scapegoats from ethnic Croats to Muslims to Albanians to Gypsies. They set in motion movements that unleashed a feeding frenzy leading to war and self-immolation. There is little difference between the ludicrous would-be poet Radovan Karadzic, who was a figure of ridicule in Sarajevo before the war, and the moronic Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. There is little difference between the Oath Keepers and the Serbian militias. We can laugh at these people, but they are not the fools. We are.

The longer we appeal to the Democrats, who are servants of corporate interests, the more stupid and ineffectual we become. Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the country is in decline, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, and they are right. Only 25 percent of those polled said the government can be trusted to protect the interests of the American people. If we do not embrace this outrage and distrust as our own it will be expressed through a terrifying right-wing backlash.

"It is time for us to stop talking about right and left," McKinney told me. "The old political paradigm that serves the interests of the people who put us in this predicament will not be the paradigm that gets us out of this. I am a child of the South. Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists. I am concerned about my own government. The Patriot Act did not come from the white supremacists, it came from the White House and Congress. Citizens United did not come from white supremacists, it came from the Supreme Court. Our problem is a problem of governance. I am willing to reach across traditional barriers that have been skillfully constructed by people who benefit from the way the system is organized."

We are bound to a party that has betrayed every principle we claim to espouse, from universal health care to an end to our permanent war economy, to a demand for quality and affordable public education, to a concern for the jobs of the working class. And the hatred expressed within right-wing movements for the college-educated elite, who created or at least did nothing to halt the financial debacle, is not misplaced. Our educated elite, wallowing in self-righteousness, wasted its time in the boutique activism of political correctness as tens of millions of workers lost their jobs. The shouting of racist and bigoted words at black and gay members of Congress, the spitting on a black member of the House, the tossing of bricks through the windows of legislators' offices, are part of the language of rebellion. It is as much a revolt against the educated elite as it is against the government. The blame lies with us. We created the monster.

When someone like Palin posts a map with cross hairs on the districts of Democrats, when she says "Don't Retreat, Instead-RELOAD!" there are desperate people cleaning their weapons who listen. When Christian fascists stand in the pulpits of megachurches and denounce Barack Obama as the Antichrist, there are messianic believers who listen. When a Republican lawmaker shouts "baby killer" at Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, there are violent extremists who see the mission of saving the unborn as a sacred duty. They have little left to lose. We made sure of that. And the violence they inflict is an expression of the violence they endure.

These movements are not yet full-blown fascist movements. They do not openly call for the extermination of ethnic or religious groups. They do not openly advocate violence. But, as I was told by Fritz Stern, a scholar of fascism who has written about the origins of Nazism, "In Germany there was a yearning for fascism before fascism was invented." It is the yearning that we now see, and it is dangerous. If we do not immediately reincorporate the unemployed and the poor back into the economy, giving them jobs and relief from crippling debt, then the nascent racism and violence that are leaping up around the edges of American society will become a full-blown conflagration.

Left unchecked, the hatred for radical Islam will transform itself into a hatred for Muslims. The hatred for undocumented workers will become a hatred for Mexicans and Central Americans. The hatred for those not defined by this largely white movement as American patriots will become a hatred for African-Americans. The hatred for liberals will morph into a hatred for all democratic institutions, from universities to government agencies to the press. Our continued impotence and cowardice, our refusal to articulate this anger and stand up in open defiance to the Democrats and the Republicans, will see us swept aside for an age of terror and blood.


Listen to Keith Lampe at the
United State Cafe
Tuesday Night Class
July 29, 1975:



Pondorosa Pine, Keith Lampe:
¡Presente! Marking the Passing
of an Environmental Pioneer

by Gar Smith

Saturday November 15, 2014 - 07:12:00 PM

Dear Friends of Ponderosa Pine,

(November 11, 2014)—I regret to say that our good friend and activist Pondo was laid to final rest November 10 @ 5am in Loja, Ecuador. He died from kidney failure among a few other complications. His health had been failing in the recent months and it came to its peaceful final closure.

Myself and a few other close friends were with him in his final hours to send him off with love and support. He died very peacefully with no pain and no painkillers. His last moments were very peaceful with many smiles from us and from him. He was not afraid and was sent away from this body easily.

Please let us share a moment and send him our blessings to wherever he has been sent to for his next mission. All the best to all his friends and family who cared much for our friend Pondo. This will be the last message from this address.

Kind regards,


Remembering a Memorable Environmental Activist

By Gar Smith / Friends of the Earth; Editor Emeritus, Earth Island Journal

The message from Ponderosa Pine's "Double Helix Office in the Global South White House" [link went to this page] was not unexpected but it still hit with the force of a majestic redwood falling in the forest.

I had heard of Keith Lampe (aka Ponderosa Pine, aka Ro-Non-So-Te, aka Transition President of the Government of the USA in Exile) long before I had the pleasure of getting to know him as a friend and a colleague.

It was in 1969, as a staffer at the Berkeley Barb, that I first began reading Keith's unique self-syndicated fortnightly column, Earth Read-Out. It was the first "environmental column" to appear in the so-called Underground Press (or anywhere else, for that matter).

I eventually encountered Keith as few years later—appropriately enough, during an All Species Day Parade in San Francisco.

Spotting a fellow who stood out from the rest of the crowd, I was moved to ask: "Might you be Ponderosa Pine?" It was an easy guess on my part. The fellow I was talking to seemed to be the only marcher who was barefoot. He was certainly the only one dressed in an outfit fashioned entirely from tree bark. With a beaming smile and mischievous eyes peeking out between strips of tree-gleanings, he looked like a walking elm, both deciduous and impish.

Keith Lampe had a one-of-a-kind career arc—from reporter to soldier to activist to media mentor to social critic, philosopher, eco-guru, musical pioneer and much more.

From Randolph Hearst to Allen Ginsberg

In 1950, at the young age of 18, Keith scored a job as reporter for the Detroit Free Press. By 1957, he was based in Paris covering NATO as a correspondent for the Hearst empire's International News Service (INS). As he once recalled, "every time my byline appeared in the newspaper anywhere on the planet, a clipping of it was rushed to me by diplomatic pouch in order to feed my ego and keep me obedient to [Hearst's] right-wing corporate values."

Recognizing early that fame was an "ignominious" trap, Keith left INS and began freelancing. He devised the habit of writing under a number of pseudonyms so that "whenever one of them started showing up in corporate media too frequently, I could always slip into something more comfortable."

In 1964, while hiking through Scandinavia on his third globe-hopping journey, Keith learned of the murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi. Grabbing a flight back to the States, he showed up at the door of the Student Nonviolent Organizing Committee in New York. He signed on to register voters in Mississippi and wound up working with Francis "Mitch" Mitchell, who was filling in for Julian Bond handling SNCC's press relations.

Keith became aware of global warming early, when Allen Ginsberg (whom he had met in Kolkata in 1962) passed along Gregory Bateson's warning that, within a few decades, the polar icecaps would begin to melt and continents would be flooded.

In late '65, during the Vietnam War, Keith co-founded Veterans and Reservists to End the War in Vietnam. (He had served as an Army officer during the Korean War, acting as an artillery forward observer.) In 1966, he was part of a team of anti-war veterans who lit up America's TV screens by publically setting fire to their discharge papers, service metals and campaign ribbons.

An Arresting Presence

Keith was no slouch when it came to activism. He regularly scolded Berkeley's Dave Brower (the legendary founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute) for never having gone to jail as part of a pro-Earth protest.

Pondo's first arrest came in the Sixties when he was busted in front of Dow Chemical's New York Office for protesting the company's "obscene manufacture of napalm."

Over the next two years, he was arrested twice during Stop the Draft Week demonstrationss, jailed following a protest at an Army Induction Center and handcuffed for attempting to delay the departure of a Vietnam-bound Navy destroyer berthed in the Hudson River.

In September 1967, Keith was part of a group arrested in the Senate Gallery for tossing antiwar leaflets onto a chamber full of Washington politicians. A month later, Pondo was busted for protesting the war at the Pentagon—along with Norman Mailer, Noam Chomsky, Terry Southern and fellow Yippies, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman and Stew Albert.

In 1987, Pondo was tossed into jail for protesting the World Bank's plans to subsidize the construction of a large highway through the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

Naturally, Keith was on the ground in Chicago for the 1968 demonstrations in the streets outside the Democratic Party's nominating convention. He subsequently learned the New York City police had compiled a 40-page dossier on his activist history and provided it to the Chicago cops. The report identified him as "an especially dangerous leader" because he encouraged the rabble to disobey convention. Actually, Pondo pointed out, all he was saying was: "Do your own thing."

In 2000, Pondo, Bill McKibben, Granny D, and 30 others were arrested in the White House Rotunda for demanding campaign-finance reform.

Coasting West

It was in 1968 that Keith, along with wife Judy and daughter Issa, left Manhattan and relocated to Berkeley. It was only a matter of months before he joined with poet/activist Gary Snyder and others to risk arrest for taking a principled stand in defense of Nature. This time it was a matter of throwing his body "upon the gears and upon the wheels . . . upon the levers" to blockade a logging truck—or, in Pondo's more evocative translation, blocking "a truck carrying redwood corpses from a nearby tree-slaughter site." This radical act, many argue, marked the beginning of the modern US environmental movement.

In 1969, Keith gravitated to Woodstock, a transformative Counter Cultural event where, as Paul Krasner recalls, "Hippies became freaks. Negros became blacks. Girls became women. Richard Alpert became Baba Ram Dass. Hugh Romney became Wavy Gravy. . . . Yippie organizer Keith Lampe became Pondorosa Pine, and his girlfriend became Olive Tree."

Over the next decade-plus, Pondo was arrested numerous times for putting his body between the bulldozers and the redwoods. In 1991, Pondo responded to the bombing of Baghdad by founding the US Pro-Democracy Movement. He turned down an offer to have his collected environmental essays turned into a book when his publisher refused to pay extra to print the book on tree-free paper.

Looking back upon his long history of activism, it is easy to believe Pondo's estimation that he was likely responsible for "co-founding more movements and sub-movements than anyone else in Home Planet history."

A frequent resident of Chang Mai, Thailand, during the 80's, Pondo eventually settled in a beautiful mountain retreat in southern Ecuador. From his "Double Helix Office in the Global South White House," Pondo kept in touch by sending out daily dispatches of environmental news and opinion under the banner "A Day in the Life." These daily compendiums of global news regularly ran anywhere from a half-megabyte to 1.5 megabytes or more.

In September 2012, health problems compelled Pondo to dial back a bit. He revised his publishing schedule to one humongous dispatch every other day. His last edition of Day in the Life weighed in at a modest 238 kilobytes but it still managed to include more than 180 articles, ranging from reflections on the ebola virus, to climate engineering, attacks on free speech, labor protests in Rome, the militarizing of America's police, America's human rights abuses, the demonstration of a "self-running free energy device" and the threat of Artificial Intelligence.

Pondo lead off this final dispatch with his traditional introduction—a spontaneous exposition of his current concerns, observations, criticisms and prescriptions, by turns humorous and cranky.

But this one was different. Pondo knew he was dying and he wanted to share the moment with his many friends, fellow activists and readers around the globe.

Here is the introduction to Pondo's final dispatch:

Volunteers for Planetary Climate Action (VPCA)

Resolving the Atmospheric Emergency

October 31, 2014

Dear Sentinel Friends and Colleagues,

. . . I've been severely ill for more than four weeks now. Especially difficult have been frequent episodes of convulsive/spasmatic coughing shaking the inside of my body quite painfully. My main problem has been my lungs, which constantly fill with phlegm and when added to severe emphysema and asthma cause quite a problem.

I've had two mainstream doctors up here to my mountain retreat but they've been unable to improve my condition. So Tuesday I asked for a visit from a local shaman whom I've known for a few years now and for whom I have great respect. What he said is quite interesting.

Here's one of his most memorable lines: "Too much compassion for plants and animals causes a lung problem."

He said his father had been like this—and had died a month ago at age 72. Then he said quite recently he'd also had a lung problem and just a couple days ago he'd gone to the local hospital for a chest X-ray—and it showed his lungs were clean. He even pulled out the X-ray and showed it to me.

So what I think we should take from this is that a much higher percentage of our current illnesses than we think are psychosomatic (or neurosomatic) rather than simply somatic. For example, we may think we're sick from toxic chemtrails residues when actually we're sick from these plus the neural stress resulting from having to absorb the info that those controlling us are so evil that they perpetrate chemtrails.

Certainly the news of these past four weeks has been more horrendous than that of any similar period I can remember. One of my most aware readers commented a few days ago that "Hell has come to earth".

I've had information sickness several times before but always mildly: two or three days of deep fatigue, then back to okay again.

In any case, yesterday morning my housemate came up to my second-floor room just as I was waking and said: "I'm scared. I think you are dying."

That same thought had occurred to me just the day before as I wondered how I was going to make it through this at 83 if my friend's father had been taken out by the same malaise at 72.

On the positive side, it's certainly a respectable cause of death: Natural World Hyperconcern (NWH).

And I've already arranged for my death to instigate at least one more really good party. Forty-nine days following it, there'll be a Bardo Party for me at the Bolinas (CA) Community Center with excellent live music and excellent potluck food. Yeah, at least my death will have some value.

In recent years I've several times pointed out that there are a variety of daily practices which can gradually strengthen the nervous system so that gradually folks can absorb more bummer info before being sickened by it. I'll paste one of these directly below. You can get into it by yourself merely by imitating what you hear in the accompanying audios and/or videos. I've been practicing it for nearly forty-four years now. It's not a panacea but it's quite helpful and also it enhances average mood.

Power to the Flora,

Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine


PS: NYC graffiti a few decades ago:

"Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down."

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Pondo on The Rights of Mother Earth

(April 20, 2010)—Info and commentary on the auspicious World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, by Keith Lampe aka Ponderosa Pine, a founder of the US environmental movement in 1969.

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Some Offerings Selected from Pondo's Website

Sing along with Pondo as he riffs on Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tamborine Man."

Pondo's Innovative Eastern/Western-Music-Mix

With Peter Rowan's "Break My Heart Again"

(November 12, 2012)—It's a new musical genre combining the intense pleasure of a great Occidental tune and the neural benefit of a well-practiced Oriental mantra. The current singer—selected randomly from a line-up of DLBHs (Dirty Little Barefoot Hippies) busted for being elated without a permit—is so-called Pondo.

If you've enjoyed what you've heard so far, please help us spread the word about this new music. In most regions of our planet these days, there are quite a few folks adept at one or more mantras. We urgently hope they'll start getting it together with local musicians able to appreciate how much can be added to the presentation of Western tunes by Eastern background vocalists. Indeed, let ten thousand E&W bands bloom.

Vocal Energy Health (VEH)

Keith Lampe (Ponderosa Pine), Vocals and Doug Adamz, Tibetan Bell
With VEH, after a few sessions of imitating these sounds, one can start doing them alone or—even better—with others creating an effective practice that requires no gear.

Part One:

Part Two:

The Yippie Movie Page

Here is a direct link to 1968 movie, Yippie for Pigasus, produced by Ed Sanders and Narrated by Keith Lampe:

Note: In 1968, the Yippies nominated a pig (named "Pigasus") as their presidential candidate. During the Yippies' 1972 campaign, a Rock ran for President and Roll ran for Vice President. Dinner rolls were brought to the rallies. The Yippies followed up with the Birthday Party's "Nobody for President" campaign. Started in 1975, it continues today. "Out of all choices for President, Nobody is perfect!"

[If the above link does not work, here is a duplicate titled: Yippie! Party Video from 1968 via Stuart Levine]

Narrated by Keith Lampe

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Live from Vilcabamba:

Pondo in Ecuador

VilcabambaTV, Ecuador

(October 24, 2009) – Pondo, aka Keith Lampe, venerable hippie activist and yogin. He has a famous daily newsletter about world news. One of the main characters of Vilcabamba. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Event Horizon Chronicle

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Passing Of An Age:
Great Men I Have Known

Keith Lampe died earlier this week, in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, at the age of 83. Keith was also known as Ro-Non-So-Te, and affectionately as Pondo, short for ponderosa pine. And indeed he was strong and sturdy like a stout, towering pine tree.

I came to know Pondo only in the last months of his life, through the agency of a mutual friend, and then only by e-mail, though we both lived in Ecuador and had a number of friends and acquaintances in common.

Pondo was a Korean War veteran who subsequently took a radical turn towards peace, and spent the last 60 years as a radical advocate for peace and environmentalism. His commitment even extended to multiple acts of peaceful civil disobedience that resulted in his arrest and incarceration. Pondo was well known for his widely circulated, e-mail newsletter that dealt with a wide variety of environmental and political issues.

Though he had been in declining health for some time, I cannot help but feel that his transition somehow presages great changes that lie just ahead.

He was far more plugged in than most to what is going down on this planet. It occurs to me to think that he was perhaps called away to do important work on our behalf from a different vantage point, as we draw ever closer to a self-evident Great Change of the Ages, whether for better or for worse.

So God speed Pondo on his great transmutation, as he takes leave of this physical plane and makes his way to the next dimension(s).

Note that Dr. Brian O'Leary appears in the video at Pondo's side. Brian O'Leary was a former member of the NASA astronaut corps, training to go to Mars. Brian also lived and died in Vilcabamba in late July of 2011, the year after my arrival in Ecuador. He was a brilliant man, an intellectual and visionary thinker, who held multiple university degrees in astronomy and physics, and was a serious spiritual seeker. Brian and I also had a number of friends and acquaintances in common, though our paths never crossed in Ecuador. We did, however, meet in 1997 at the Leeds UFO Conference, in Leeds, England, where we both were speakers. I had a high regard for Dr. O'Leary and was saddened to hear of his death.

Four weeks after the death of Brian O'Leary, Chris Lenz died, which also was a big shock for me, as I assumed he would always just go on and on. But not so. Chris worked for many years for the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California, which was co-founded by Edgar Mitchell, the well-known Apollo astronaut. Edgar Mitchell and Brian O'Leary unquestionably must have known one another, since they were both in the Apollo astronaut corps and shared many common personal and professional interests, in space science and in their spiritual orientations. I presume that Chris Lenz probably also knew Brian O'Leary; he certainly knew and worked with and for Edgar Mitchell.

I knew Chris Lenz from his days as a trainer at the Monroe Institute, in Virginia, when I attended a training session for which he was co-facilitator. He was an unforgettable character, endowed with a superior intellect, a quick mind, phenomenal, machine-gun-like typing speed, and a very direct, self-assured, penetrating, personal affect. His eyes and voice were distinctive, I think from having spent so much time in profoundly altered states of deeply consciousness awareness. That changes a man; it's inevitable.

One of the stories that impressed me most about him was how he earned his degree from the University of Michigan: he took so many courses in so many different academic disciplines that he racked up enough credits for multiple degrees; and though he never applied for a diploma, the university simply mailed him a degree in psychology one day, along with a letter informing him that he had just graduated.

And now Chris Lenz is dead at the tender age of 69. I still can't wrap my head around his death at such a young age. I can only presume that he, like Pondo, was called upon to render extraordinary assistance to the Earth and humanity in a nearby, non-physical dimension.

I also want to mention the death of Larry Dodge, the following year, in 2012. Larry was trained as a social scientist, with a PhD in sociology, and was very active in American politics, though he was never widely-known nationally by the masses of the American people. I came to know him as I was completing my own PhD in political science, through his work with the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA).

Larry Dodge was a great help and inspiration to me, in many ways. His visits and advice were a tremendous solace, the perfect human gift from the big brother I always wished that I had had, and which Larry provided in his own inimitable way, at just the time when I most needed it. You cannot imagine the debt of gratitude I'll always owe him for that.

Those were the years when he and his wife, Honey, were plotting their departure from the USSA. They initially visited Albania and really liked it, but the Balkan wars of the Clinton years put the kibosh on that plan. They then decided to move to Panama, where Larry spent most of his remaining years. They were delighted there, and Larry invited me to visit. Though I very much wanted to, I never had the money to make the trip, even after I relocated to Ecuador.

And now Larry Dodge is dead, and Pondo, and Brian O'Leary and Chris Lenz.

You always think that things will go on and on, and you will meet again somewhere down the line, to reminisce about old times and people whom you know and used to know, places you've been together and experiences you've shared.

But it's just not so. It isn't like that. To everything there is a season, and this too, shall pass.


49th Day of Bardo

Sukhavati. (bde ba can). ‘Blissful Realm.’ The pure realm of Buddha Amitabha.

Click to view

The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering) ~

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[Above Website Is No Longer Available]

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