Pirates Without Borders Will Use Technology To Obtain Freedom From Authoritarian Governments – Issue First Letter From Captain Marque
Up until now, Libertarians and those who seek Freedom from the Authoritarian States of the World have concentrated on building communities in cyberspace. But a new trend is emerging. Those trying to escape the financial and political slavery of the corrupt governments have started to migrate to real spaces. On land, cities and gatherings spring from unused property, like the flowering of Slab City. Events like Burning Man and freedom raves take place in the deserts. This trend has now taken a serious turn of events, with groups like Sea Steading creating ocean communities that are free from any governmental controls, and are planning to set up thousands of free-trade zones on the world’s oceans.
The most far sighted and far out groups, like Pirates Without Borders, aims to go into space, using present technology to launch huge ships that contain entire communities. They plan to live free, off-planet and possibly on the moon or Mars. These groups are forming now, the next step to escape the crumbling mess that the Elites have made. The never-ending wars have devastated entire countries, launching millions of homeless refugees who are trying to escape the violence that is put on them by the insane elites who are playing real war games here on earth. The trillions of dollars and the immense amount of wealth that is being poured into destructive operations instead of putting the resources to work to solve humanity’s problems of food, health, and shelter, has shown that the world’s rulers are mentally insane power-hungry madmen who will not rest until the entire planet is in absolute ruins.
Writers of science fiction have long explored this topic, which has now reached the edge of reality in many cases. A recent graphic novel, Red Eden, even explored the topic of Native Americans leveraging their gambling empires to buy the technology for a mass migration to the planet Mars where they set up their own version of paradise. This line of thought seems to be gaining a lot of credence, and the technological breakthroughs of the last 50 years are making this all possible. Folks can now buy a “printing press” and in their own home “print” the parts they need to make anything. This technology has come so far that the Chinese are “printing” houses, ten a day from one machine. How long before the Pirates begin to “print” hundreds of space ships every day? The possibilities are only limited by what imagination can conceive.
Here below is The First Letter From Captain Marque, from www.PiratesWithoutBorders.com. This is an interesting statement of principles from the Techno-Freedom front.
First Letter of Captain Marque
Humanity’s long pursuit of freedom is full of desperate complaints against the Crown. Rulers and subjects alike have penned countless flowery documents claiming to limit the Crown’s hostility with signed agreements. But today any observer can see that all these poetic social contracts have been impotent to prevent the Crown’s predation, or worse, they have authorized it. Those they propped up as our liberators are now subsisting on our bondage. Limited government is a lie they cultivated to keep us submissive.
Stripped of its grandiose rhetoric, the essence of the Crown has always been rule by force. Every euphemism has only enshrined the violence inherent in the system, embodied not only by the enforcers, but in every courthouse, school and post office. Everywhere the Crown tells you, “Obey, or else.” Well, I’ve had enough of centralized force.
I am no revolutionary. I have no desire to reform your system, or run it my way. If you want your servile life, keep it. But know that the Crown can never be trusted to abide by its founding charters, nor to keep its treaties, nor even to play by its own rules. Put simply, the Crown cannot be trusted. That’s why I raised my black banner, why I’m opting out.
The folly of revolutions is that they only reset the cycle of violence. My aim is to break that cycle, and abandon the madness of expecting different results. My aim is an evolved society of individuals, invisible to the Crown. And, evolution requires viable mutation, not a new hierarchy, but new modes of horizontal innovation.
Liberation requires collaboration between free thinkers without infringement or censorship. In another age, we could meet in public spaces. Today, avoiding the Crown’s surveillance requires we exchange encrypted communication.
Energy independence turns the gears of the visionary’s imagination, and grants us individual control of our modern lives. No meaningful alternative to the Crown’s system can be achieved without exploring decentralized energy production and storage to create heat, power and incredible new tools.
Flourishing in our new autonomy requires that we construct secure habitats in which to dwell. Cutting edge materials and methods provide unimaginable new options, allowing us greater mobility, and access to many previously uninhabitable environments.
The privateers of the Crown have turned our food and water into subtle poisons, making us vulnerable in mind and body. Therefore it is essential to cultivate our own heirloom nutrition and healthful water to repair and improve our bodies.
The Crown has conspired with the medical industry to ensnare us in a web of control and dependency.
To avoid their notions and potions it is essential to take responsibility for our own health, and pursue sound medical science.
The Crown has claimed regulatory control of every means of conveyance, stifling the free travel of individuals and their property. This is an intolerable act. Superior transportation technologies already exist, but are suppressed by regulations.
Humanity’s labor has been greatly expanded by the use of machines. We must maintain decentralized automation for the future use of labor saving and humanity serving tools, or we will be victims of the Crown’s automatons.
Living in the information age has not insulated us from misinformation. When the Crown controls education it controls the very lens through which we see the world. Above all, we must teach truth to our young, to let them see the world as it is.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of all the tools at our disposal. The truths of the natural world work just as well for us as for any others. The road ahead requires vast and decentralized efforts and experimentation by diverse and disconnected parties. The strength of a network is not in it’s unity but in it’s decentralization, leaving no one point of failure, no centralized figure, no critical junction for the Crown to target.
So, bow down to your finely-dressed abusers, if you wish. Let them pat your heads as they slip their hands in your pockets. We won’t force you to live our way, but we will not submit to living your way. We are not your property. And, when you are ready to stop being their beast of burden, ready for adventure and opportunity, come join us on the high seas. We will not be hard to find.
California Department of Housing’s Shocking Report
On a single night in 2016, more than 118,000 people experienced homelessness in California — 22 percent of the entire nation’s homeless population. California also has the highest number of unaccompanied youth, veterans and chronically homeless in the United States, with nearly one-third of the nation’s youth, nearly one-fourth of the nation’s homeless veterans, and more than one-third of the nation’s chronically homeless residents. Most of California’s homeless population resides in major metropolitan areas; however, homelessness impacts communities of all sizes and people experience homelessness throughout all regions of the state.
The availability of affordable homes is an important part of addressing California’s housing needs, but many households bear additional challenges. For example, a person exiting homelessness may not have the credit or rental history required to rent an apartment, even if they have financial assistance, or they may need a variety of services to help them transition and stabilize.
Even with federal Housing Choice Vouchers that assist with rent, many households are still unable to find affordable homes. In many high-cost markets, the amount of rent a federal Housing Choice Vouchers will cover is capped based on the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Market Rent, which can fall significantly below the market rent. This, combined with too few available rentals and landlords who are unwilling to accept vouchers at all is exacerbating the problem
In addition to policy work on homelessness, HCD administers the following programs:
Following two-and-a half years of work, in 2016, HCD released a redesigned state Emergency Solutions Grant program (ESG). The updated program better aligns with the federal Homeless Emergency Assistance and Transition to Housing Act and increases coordination of state investment, federal investment, and local systems that address homelessness. HCD shared the redesigned program’s changes via roundtable meetings with regional bodies that coordinate homelessness efforts (continuums of care) and webinars. HCD prepared the 2016 ESG application and rating tool for scoring the applications. In May 2016, HCD released an ESG NOFA for approximately $20 million, and subsequently, made awards in September 2016 (FY 2016-17).
Michael McConnell Posts Videos of San Diego “Encampment Sweeps” Which Puts Homeless Tents and Belongings Into Garbage Trucks
Off to the Garbage Dump How Society Deals with a poor person.
In a stunning series of videos, Michael McConnell has documented the scores of “Encampment Sweeps” where San Diego cops, security guards, and sanitation workers raid various areas of the city and grab the private property of the city’s poor homeless folks and send it to the garbage dump. In video after video, these heartless raiders destroy what little is left for a poor homeless person living on the street in a tent or cardboard house. This, of course, does nothing at all to work towards a solution to homeless issues, it just further pounds these poor folks into further despair.
The so-called “sweeps” are the latest tool that cities across America are using to make poverty a criminal offense. Arresting homeless folks for sleeping in a tent and looting all their belongings is a reflection of the dissolving and breakdown of our civil society. It is the tip of the iceberg of the new class war that is pitting the rich against the poor. The massive shipment of jobs to China and the far east has led to the shuttering of thousands of factories across the country, pushing former middle class folks out of their homes and into the streets.
What has become obvious is that the rich class is now in a frenzy of cruelty. These “sweeps”, now taking place in most cities, is but the first round of the harsh things to come. Some cities are even moving homeless folks out to the suburbs into “camps” and they are forbidden, under threat of arrest, to return to the city. These are the forerunners of Nazi-style concentration camps that murdered millions in Europe during World War 2. The irony is that many of the homeless men are themselves veterans of the various ongoing wars that the U.S. is waging around the world. Returning home from service, often with physical and mental disabilities, they end up on the streets. Now their paltry belongings are being seized, their tents thrown into garbage trucks. It is a sad end to the American dream.
Keep Up With Homeless Issues in San Diego at Michael McConnell’s Facebook Page
A surging homeless population in San Diego is the subject of Michael McConnell’s Facebook Page called Homelessness News San Diego. He keeps tab of City activities and the relentless drive to “clean up” and move out the hundreds of tent camps in the downtown area. Surging rents in San Diego, as in other big cities are driving out the working class and young folks who cannot pay the $1800. per month for an apartment while working jobs that are at minimum wage. This drives them to living in vehicles or worse, living in a tent on the street. Click Here to view Michael’s Facebook Page.
Here’s a List of the Grouchy Old Dinosaurs Who Are Having an Increasingly Hard Time Running The Planet Earth. They Should Retire, Give Their Money to Charity, and Spend Their Time Playing Miniature Golf
Note: If you have Windows 10 you can select all, right click and hit print, then choose to print “PDF” instead of printing it out, you can save it to a file on your computer”
George Soros 136 Cantitoe St., Katonah, NY geo:41.236832,-73.650559
Vatican City Rome, Italy geo:41.903333,12.45333
The Bilderberg Group/AFB, Inc. 477 Madison Ave., 6th Fl., New York, NY geo:40.758522,-73.974632
The Club of Rome Lagerhausstrasse 9, Winterthur, Switzerland geo:47.49745,8.72474
Council on Foreign Relations 58 E. 68th St., New York, NY geo:40.7689098,-73.9666893
Royal Institute for International Affairs 10 St. James Square, London, UK geo:51.5077623,-0.1360435
The Tavistock Institute 30 Tabernacle St., London, UK geo:51.5228348,-0.086419
The Trilateral Commission 1156 Fifteenth St. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.9053726,-77.0350494
Bank for International Settlements Basel, Switzerland geo:47.548056,7.591944
The City of London exact center of London, UK geo:51.5155,-0.0922
The Federal Reserve 20th& Constitution Ave., Washington, DC geo:38.892778,-77.045833
Internal Revenue Service 1111 Constitution Ave., Washington, DC geo:38.8928598,-77.0268686
International Monetary Fund 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.8999977,-77.0442657
“ “ “ 700 19th St. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.8989525,-77.0442047
TheWorld Bank 1818 H St. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.8989563,-77.0425568
BATF 99 New York Ave., NE, Washington, DC geo:38.907855,-77.004625
CIA 1000 Colonial Farm Road, McLean, VA geo:38.95180.-77.14659
DHS/TSA/FEMA 500 C Street, SW, Washington, DC geo:38.938056,-77.082222
DOD/The Pentagon 1400 Defense Pentagon, Arlington, VA geo:38.87099,-77.05596
DEA 600-700 Army-Navy Dr., Arlington, VA geo:38.86454,-77.057823
FBI 935 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.895197,-77024994
NSA Fort Meade, MD geo:39.108889,-76.771389
NSA Utah Data Center Camp Williams, Bluffdale, UT geo:40.43135,-111.933092
NSA Pine Gap Data Center Alice Springs, Australia geo:-23.799, 133.737
CBS Corporation 51 W. 52nd St., New York, NY geo:40.761106,-73.978811
Comcast 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, PA geo:39.9547,-75.1683
TimeWarner One Time Warner Center, New York, NY geo:40.7685526,-73.983187
21st Century Fox 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY geo:40.7585,-73.9823
Viacom One Astor Plaza, New York, NY geo:40.757778,-73.986389
TheWalt Disney Company 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA geo:34.156207,-118.325189
AbengoaWater N°1, 41014 Seville, Spain geo:37.338611,-5.976389
Andre & Cie SA Ave. Antoine-Henri-Jomini 8, Lausanne, Switzerland geo:46.5196535,6.6322734
BP Amoco 1 St. James’s Square, London, UK geo:51.5076602,-0.1357116
Bechtel 50 Beale St., San Francisco, CA geo:37.7912557,-122.3963987
Bunge Limited 50 Main Street, 6th Floor, White Plains, NY geo:41.0314692,-73.7734135
Cargill Continental 15407 McGinty Road, Wayzata, MN geo:44.9521782,-93.477087
Chevron Texaco 6001 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA geo:37.7582505,-121.9580965
De Beers Société Anonyme 48 Rue de Bragance, L-1255 Luxembourg geo:49.6051272,6.113243
ExxonMobil 5959 Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, TX geo:32.8898862,-96.9499646
Louis Dreyfus Zuidplein 208, 1077 XV Amsterdam, The Netherlands geo:52.3401998,4.8726324
Monsanto 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO geo:38.6693344,-90.3997803
Royal Dutch/Shell Carel van Bylandtlaan 16, The Hague, Netherlands geo:52.0936601,4.3127177
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Known Windsor properties:
Anmer Hall Anmer, Norfolk, UK geo:52.83425,0.579722
Bagshot Park Counties Surrey & Berkshire, UK geo:51.370556,-0.696111
Balmoral Castle & Craigowan Lodge Aberdeenshire, Scotland geo:57.040833,-3.23
Barnwell Manor Barnwell, Northamptonshire, UK geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Birkhall Aberdeenshire, Scotland geo:57.0287,-3.074
Buckingham Palace City of Westminster, London, UK geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Clarence House City of Westminster, London, UK geo:51.504,-0.1385
Delnadamph Lodge Aberdeenshire, Scotland geo:57.16075,-3.28046
Dumfries House Ayrshire, Scotland geo:55.455,-4.3081
Gatcombe Park Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, UK geo:51.693333,-2.173611
Highgrove House Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK geo:51.623056,-2.178611
Hillsborough Castle County Down, Northern Ireland geo:54.46127,-6.08604
Holyrood House Edinburgh, Scotland geo:55.9525,-3.1725
Kensington Palace & Wren House City of Westminster, London, UK geo:51.505278,-0.188333
Llwynywermod Myddfai, Carmarthenshire, Wales geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Royal Lodge Windsor, Berkshire, UK geo:51.439,-0.6068
St. James Palace City of Westminster, London,UK geo:51.504722,-0.1375
Sandringham House Sandringham, Norfolk, UK geo:52.829722,0.513889
Tamarisk St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, UK geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Thatched House Lodge Richmond Park, London, UK geo:51.4275,-0.285278
Windsor Castle Windsor, Berkshire, UK geo:51.483333,-0.604167
Known Rothschild properties:
Ascott House Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.89545,0.706175
Aston Clinton House Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.7943,-0.719602
Château d’Armailhac Pauillac, France geo:45.1999,-0.7488
Château Clarke Bordeaux, France geo:44.84,-0.58
Château Duhart-Milon Pauillac, France geo:45.1999,-0.7488
Château Lafite Rothschild Médoc region, France geo:45.225,-0.773056
Château des Laurets 33570 Puisseguin, France geo:44.925099.-0.074307
Château Mouton Rothschild La Pigotte, 33250 Pauillac, France geo:45.2136792,-0.7690187
Château de Pregny Pregny-Chambesy, Switzerland geo:46.235268,6.141761
Château de Reux Reux, France geo:49.2753,0.1563
Exbury Gardens Hampshire, UK geo:50.7986,-1.4005
Eythrope Waddesdon, Buckingham,UK geo:51.846,-0.9215
Haras de Meautry Touques, France geo:49.341944,0.10444
Mentmore Towers Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.8677,-0.691375
Vaux-de-Cernay Abbey Cernay-la-Ville, France geo:48.683889,1.936111
Waddesdon Manor Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.846,-0.9215
Woodwalton Fen (wetland) Cambridgeshire, UK geo:52.45,-0.183
Known Rockefeller properties:
Kykuit/Pocantico 200 Lake Road, Pocantico Hills, NY geo:41.089722,-73.844444
apartment One Beekman Place, New York City, NY geo:40.7528844,-73.9648745
building 810 5thAvenue, New York City, NY geo:40.766139,-73.971223
building 10 East 40th St., New York City, NY geo:40.7516313,-73.9812655
The Anchorage and The Eyrie Mount Desert Island, ME geo:44.342827,-68.307138
FourWinds Livingston, NY geo:42.128056,-73.792222
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE PAVEMENT MAGAZINE (LONDON)
“We are always happy to get a call from The Pavement – it’s one way of telling that something we are doing is having a real impact on the lives of homeless people. Plus we rely on The Pavement to help us get news and information about services and issues out to the people most affected.” Alison Gelder, CEO, Housing Justice.
“I have seen The Pavement a couple of times now and am really impressed with the content of it. It contains helpful information for our clients regarding what services are available in the city.” Programme Coordinator, The Salvation Army
“I think The Pavement is brilliant. To people that don’t know it, I’d describe it as like a mix of Private Eye and the Yellow Pages for homeless people. It’s certainly something that I relied on many times.
“I remember the last time I was homeless, I went to a Day Centre and said it’d been a while since I’d slept rough in the city and needed some information about soup runs. They gave me a copy of The Pavement and that sorted me out.
“I knew where I could go to get food, where I could find day centres and get the help I needed. With a copy of The Pavement in your hand, you can survive.
“Homeless people need The Pavement. It gives us a voice and we don’t have a voice. You don’t hear these stories in the mainstream media. They tell you about Katie Price’s wedding but not about the homeless guy who was stabbed in Blackfriars last night. That’s what The Pavement is for.” Christopher Ubsdell, former rough sleeper
OUR MISSION AND AIMS
The Pavement is committed to publishing independent advice as well as hard-hitting and entertaining reportage, tailored to a homeless readership within the UK via our regional magazines and UK-wide website. We aim to provide and publicise appropriate information that is objective, timely and relevant on a range of advisory and practical services available to homeless people, as well as news on the issues impacting the homeless and dispossessed from across the UK. Our ultimate goal is to help reduce short-term hardship amongst our readers and longer term to provide them with information to enable them to guide their own futures.
The Pavement exists because there was nothing like it, but it fulfils a need.
The Pavement is a small charity, founded in the spring of 2005. We distribute The Pavement in London, Scotland and the West Midlands, and we plan to launch in other regions. In London alone, we deliver 4,000+ copies of The Pavement to over 70 hostels, day centres, homeless surgeries, soup-runs and libraries. By using volunteer journalists and homelessness sector professionals, as well as work from the country’s best cartoonists (many of them Private Eye contributors), we’ve achieved a balance of news, features, humour and service listings unlike other publications.
Our journalists cover the news from the streets or news affecting the streets, and we often deal with topics ignored by the mainstream press. Alongside this, other professionals provide features on health, foot care, legal advice and life in hostels, with the back pages given over to The List, a regularly updated directory of homeless services.
The Pavement’s Word on the Street project aimed to empower homeless volunteers to contribute as fully as possible to the magazine. For three months, volunteers with direct experience of homelessness attended workshops, run by media professionals, to help them develop skills in reporting and photojournalism. They were given training in everything from interviewing to computer skills. The team pulled together a very special November 2014 issue of The Pavement, which featured a brand new cartoon strip (1, 2), Heartbreak Hotel, based on their experiences in hostels, as well as a host of first personal pieces. The group will continue to contribute to the magazine, drawing on a growing bank of ideas for articles, and creating podcasts for the website. A short film about the project is in development.
The UK Common Rights Project allowed homeless people to speak about the lack of those common rights – water, sanitation, food and shelter – the rest of us take for granted. We worked with Housing Justice and Open Cinema to create a hard-hitting report and website, which were launched at the House of Commons. One of the project films won the Best Short Documentary category at the 2014 Moondance International Film Festival in the US. The project was a follow-up to 2010’s Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers, which we worked on with Housing Justice and Liberty.
Over 100 charities, big and small, are members of the high-profile campaign that aims to show the reality of the help that benefits provide, why they need it and the difference it makes. Almost a third of homeless people on Jobseekers Allowance have had their benefits sanctioned (cut off), for instance, compared to just three per cent of housed claimants, leading to destitution and desperation among some of the country’s most vulnerable people.
JUST FAIR CONSORTIUM
The Just Fair Consortium monitors the fundamental human rights to food, housing, social security, education, equality, employment and health. Members, who include Oxfam, the Trussell Trust, the Trade Union Congress and Unicef UK, endorsed a common statement of recommendations from the Going Hungry? The Human Right to Food in the UK report. In 2015, the United Nations will review the UK’s human rights record, and the consortium will be part of the reporting process.
American readers can go online to www.thePavement.org.uk to read the current and past issues for free. Be sure to check out their comic strip. Below are some photos from some of their issues.
He Wrote “Occupy Your Car”, the Classic Song About Homeless Folks and the Economic Meltdown
Duane Thorin, Los Angeles’ own Troubadour. Photo by Uncle Paulie
Duane Thorin had music in his heart from birth. He loved to sing, play the guitar, entertain. But the path to that musical life was paved with obstructions and suffering. It was only when he was crushed by the 2008 meltdown like millions of other folks that he somehow rose from the ashes of despair to be able to live his dream of music, storytelling and song and make his mark on the Southern California cultural scene.
I first met Duane in the 1990’s when he was a frequent visitor to my bookshop in Burbank. At the time that I met him, he was installing swimming pools in middle class areas of San Bernardino and Riverside. Those were the years of the housing boom. The government and the banksters were pushing everybody who was breathing, and some that were possibly not even existing in this dimension, to buy a house. Out in the hinterlands of San Berdoo, there was a huge housing boom. They were springing up in every desert plot and sandy hill that was available. Mortgages were rubber-stamped, and the middle class, eager to participate in the great American dream, poured into the area.
The families that bought these new digs got settled in, but then they got a taste of summer. It’s not Death Valley, but it is boiling hot out that way. The moms and pops had to hear their kids whining about it every damn day. The summer boil. No school with air conditioning. No nice grassy back yards like in the Westside of L.A. Just sand dunes. What to do? Paying the mortgage was tough enough, no way for a real swimming pool like in Beverly Hills. So how about an above-ground pool? They are just big enough and deep enough to keep the kids wet, a place to play in the yard at least part of the brutal summer days. Once the parents bought the pool, they would be given a referral to a guy like Duane who would come out to your place with a crew and actually install the thing on your sandlot.
Duane was a big sturdy guy. Although he had worked in the entertainment world part of his life, several years booking acts into the Ice House in Pasadena, he still had to make a living. I don’t remember how he ever go into that business, but he did. Part of the lure of it was work like a dog all summer and make enough to live the rest of the year. The reward during Fall and Winter was to do the things that he really loved to do, singing, music, reading. But installing pools out in San Bernardino in the middle of summer is brutal work. The area had to be leveled, the rocks, snakes and lizards moved out, and then the pool put together so that when it was filled the water would stay inside.
He always had a tough time keeping a crew, the work was hell, long days when 100 degrees was the lowest it ever got, burning your skin off. Take your salt pills and drink gallons of water ’cause you’re going to sweat until you end up looking like a prune. Duane would come into my shop and occasionally dragoon some unemployed book – lover to work for him in the pool biz. If those guys lasted a week it was a miracle. Most were skinny and pale, night owls with an aversion to sunlight. I used to joke about it with him, telling him he was killing my customers. He said he was just trying to put some money in their pocket for an honest day’s work. Usually they were done in one or two days, and after a couple weeks of recuperation they looked forward to something a little less physical, like working at a Starbucks. Anything other than the sheer brutality of that scalding sun.
At times, even Duane had to back off for a few days. The pressure from the pool companies was intense. They would sell scores of pools and they depended on Duane to put them up. He had all his equipment loaded into a trailer, which he would pull out to the customer’s property. A difficult pool installation might take more than one day, sometimes several days. He would get a cheap motel and the crew would have to crash there until the job was done. Just before the economic crash, an omen had popped up: his main guy, a really hard working Latino, was arrested and sent to prison for something. Duane was upset about that because he depended on him. It meant hiring 2 guys to replace him. The work load was intense, the phone always ringing, more jobs than he could ever handle. But it all came to a dead stop with the 2008 crash.
The big Meltdown hit everyone. The middle class was devastated. The poor class swelled with new members. Millions lost their houses, their savings, their way of life. San Bernardino looked like a big ghost town. Within a couple years, the City was sending guys out to the neighborhoods to spray paint green lawns on the abandoned properties so they would look lived in. The pools were a big problem. The happy days of children splashing in the pools became the nightmare of the City, as the thousands of abandoned pools, now with stagnant algae packed water, became a breeding ground for billions of mosquitoes. City crews spent months draining the pools that Duane had built. We joked that maybe the thieving bankers visiting their now empty houses would get a well deserved dose of malaria in the process.
Back in the bookstore, I saw Duane on almost a daily basis. We became fast friends. He was talented, intelligent, funny and literate. His business had collapsed but he lasted a couple years on his savings. I had to close the book store about the same time, and move into my van. At some point, he ran out of money totally. There was no work in L.A. The homeless population was swelling, thousands of families living in cars and vans. He lost his apartment, but I found him an RV which he got parked on a friend’s property, a lovely couple living in the mountains of Altadena. Through this crushing defeat, Duane Thorin was reborn. It wasn’t easy, he and I were often together at food banks. We hung out at coffee houses. The weird thing was that he was free. Free to change. Free to pursue his dreams.
He now had time to devote to his music. He sang at coffee houses, ran open mic nights, sharpened his skills with his guitar, hustled some music jobs, wrote songs. He was killer at it. His creativity exploded.
He also had time to do something that he wanted to do for years. His dad had been in the Korean war. He was captured by the North Koreans and thrown into a jail with other G.I.s. He managed to escape and was free for some time, trying to make it back to friendly lines, but was recaptured due to another G.I. making a stupid mistake. Duane’s dad was one of the only Americans to ever escape from the North Koreans. His recapture meant that torture and punishment would now be his life, and the North Koreans turned him over to the Red Chinese.
Duane had made a recording of his dad telling his story before his death, and wanted to get it out, so I helped him to produce a CD of the original recording. It’s an exciting story, although agonizing to re-live the captivity. Duane, was very patriotic, and wanted folks to remember what those who served for us had to go through. Listen to Duane singing the National Anthem. It will floor you.
Duane’s career soared in the last few years. He was in demand as a singing coach and manager, he arranged and ran the musical entertainment for private celebrity parties, he sang at venues around the southland and wrote songs. We were blessed at Gypsy Cool to have Duane’s music video, Occupy Your Car, and his original song about Walmart moving into a small town.
The songs are so powerful because Duane lived through it. He knew what it was to live in a car. He could write his songs from his heart, drawing on his own personal experiences. His good friend Donna Barnes-Roberts has filmed and recorded Duane for years, and we are blessed with her preservation of his music.
His sudden death last week was a shock. He seemed healthy, in good humor, and leading the life he always dreamed about, the musical life. He had created a character called Chef Duanio, an Italian Chef who sang opera. Duane had so much fun with that, and Chef Duanio was a hilarious musical show that played around town.
L.A. has lost another great voice, a bard, a troubadour.
Duane Thorin joins some other noted musicians who have passed recently. I can’t help thinking that Heaven’s gotta be rockin’ right now.