My intention this past week was to take a nice vacation to New Mexico (one of the four states the wife and I have never been), to shut off the political section of my brain, and to just enjoy the pleasure of being alive and living in a beautiful area of the world. The drive from Boulder to Moriarty was nice; the town was a little run down, but the views and the people made us both feel happy. The next morning we decided to wake up and head to Santa Fe because everyone told us what a great place it was to visit. Things started out pretty well; we got a great room for really cheap, we walked around looking at all the pretty crafts, ate some good food, and found a cool bar to hang out in. After a couple 1pm beers however, my attitude started to change. I looked at the Native Americans and (New?) Mexicans dressed shabbily, driving shitty cars (if they were driving at all), and looking out of place in their home. Then I saw the white tourists driving Lexus’s, Beamers, and Benz’s, wearing outfits that cost more than most of the native’s rents, and spending ridiculous amounts of money on things that most people would find unnecessary. It started to dawn on me that this was occupied territory; the land I was standing on used to be full of Native Americans and then (after they were slaughtered and raped by the Spanish) Mexicans who lived off the land. Now, they are being exploited; and people come from all over to enjoy the old historical buildings, native looking people, and buy all their ‘authentic’ crafts (mostly made by white people). Once in a while I would see a young Mexican or Native American boy driving a giant pick-up truck with $5,000 rims and a system that would make the entire block shake and it would make me even more depressed. After twenty minutes of watching this, I had to go back into the bar and drink away my sorrows. Luckily, we ran into a cool Peruvian/Incan man named Lorenzo who explained that he wasn’t angry about what was happening; all he can do is what he can do and he can’t control what the occupiers do. After that, we ended up spending a couple days in the pretty much untouched by white people, Las Vegas, New Mexico. We met a couple people (who were very poor, but happier than any of the Benz drivers that I saw a day earlier), spent a bunch of time with them, and left feeling in high spirits about the whole experience. Then I got home and decided it was time to jump back into real life; so I read all the papers this morning. The US is still doing everything in it’s power to control the Iraqi people, while building a bunch of permanent bases in the country, in order to eventually control the whole area. In Pakistan, an area that has been pretty much controlled by the US for the past 8 years, the new government is voicing its rebellion to US control. This – as evidenced by a recent visit by members of our government – is not acceptable to the hegemonic goals of our country. I turned the page to Israel/Palestine to see that Israel – on land that is not theirs – is banning Palestinians from certain roads; basically committing apartheid. That was the last article I read, although I know that if I want to I can spend the rest of the day reading articles and essays about all the lands that are currently occupied throughout the world. It’s a dog eat dog world where whoever has the bigger weapons and the more ruthless leaders, takes over land from the weak. It’s not even the taking over of the land that makes me want to scream; it’s the killing of the natives, it’s the brainwashing of whoever survives to become more like the occupier. Due to the massive amounts of marijuana and beer that have entered my system in the past six days, I cannot further develop these thoughts. However, I will be returning back to normal over the next few days and hope to write more about this.