From the May 2007 Idaho Observer:

The American Dream tree, upas americanus, is producing inedible fruit that does not sustain life

Antiaris toxicaria is a tree from the moraceae (mulberry) family native to SE Asia. Known as the "upas tree" (upas is the Javanese world for "poison") because it produces a highly toxic latex used to tip poisoned darts and arrows, antiaris toxicaria has been used metaphorically in western literature to illustrate societal ills since the mid-1700s.

We have adapted a vaccination upas tree (circa 1885) to illustrate the snakey roots, deceptive trunk, poisoned branches and inedible fruit that has become the great American experiment in self governance. Buried under "upas americanus" are the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution; may our Bill of Rights rest in peace.

Upas americanus is vigorous and has flourished in all climes for several decades now, poisoning the planet and spreading desolation, death and misery around the globe and into outer space.

The useful metaphor aside, we live in the information age. Unlike any time in history, we know enough about what has been happening to America to accomplish the following

1. Lay blame exactly where it belongs.

2. Avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

3. Work toward preparing one another to create something better.

It is our sincerest belief that the roots of our collective discontent—organized criminals (including "law enforcement"), international bankers, secret societies, organized religion, corruptable politicians and schools that prepare young people to fearfully (or ignorantly) accept the foregoing as "the way it is"—cannot grow in soil fertilized with faith, honor, wisdom and virtue. At that point, people will not be baited into dreaming of better lives; we will be living them.

Note: A drawing of upas Americanus was frontpaged on the hardcopy version of the May, 2007 edition of The IO.

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