Actually, I read his posts there, and he mine, and yesterday he emailed me, out of the blue. More on that in a minute.
Bill and I go way back. Old friends. I mean we’re both old, and we’ve been friends for a long time, since our 30s, back in the 1970s. Ye gods! At one point he was married to the former wife of my brother Mark, and one of her daughters, Corrine, is still also forever his.
Bill lives in a teepee and tiny house, with hot tub (natural hot springs water) and goats, all in a sagebrush desert draw in southern Idaho near Hagerman. A fabulous place. Almost a dream land, really. At one point he was a firefighter with FEMA, until Washington bureaucrats started trying to direct his decisions on fires rather than letting him use his long experience and intuition to assess conditions on the ground. So he does handyman work, when needed. Not much money needed.
In the ’70s, he bought an old VW and put a bunch of batteries in it, drove that beater electric car around for years. Back then he was thought of as a sort of kook. Radical. Way out there.
Bill grew up in small town Idaho, and has been an activist probably all his life. As I recall, he laid his body on the tracks once, when a nuclear train came through, and even ran for state office, can’t remember which one, several times, using his campaigns to educate. At this point, I sense that he’s considered a local icon. That people listen to him now. I’m proud to know a man so consistent in his values, goals, and simple lifestyle.
So, here’s the email thread.
Declaration of Equality, Rights and Responsibilities
(The Declaration of Independence as amended by Bill Chisholm)
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men, women and children of all races, of all nations, of all beliefs, of all social and economic circumstances are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator, with certain, sure, and inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Consciousness and Contentment. That inherent in these rights are also undeniable responsibilities, that among these are Good Neighborliness, Respectful Environmental Stewardship, Personal Accountability and Accountability to Future Generations.
To insure these Rights and foster these Responsibilities, government was instituted among humankind and derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. That the surest way to insure one’s Rights, is to embrace one’s Responsibilities. When any form of Government becomes destructive of those Ends, it is the right, it is the duty of the People to alter or abolish it, preferably at the ballot box or peacefully in the streets.
It is further acknowledged as a self evident truth that humankind is a part of Nature. That Nature is made up of interconnected and interdependent systems and species, and that all species and ecological systems should be accorded respect, for they too have come from the same Creator. To best insure our inalienable rights, we must embrace our responsibilities toward Nature.
How can we NOT agree with this amended declaration?
I’m including here three pics of Bill from his facebook page. The first, above, his activist self. The second, in conversation with a young man. (Geez Bill, your hair’s turned grey since I saw you last!)
was accompanied by this:
Bill Chisholm’s thoughts
Just about to finish Louis Herman’s Future Primal..at the start of the
epilogue title A TAO OF POLITICS was this. it sent chills through me.
The Way that can be named is not the unchanging Way,
The names that can be named are not the unchanging names
It was from the nameless that the Heavens and the Earth sprang…
In harmony with the Tao,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creatures flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,