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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 23

Location:
Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Page:
23
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig disaster sent a torrent of toxic oil into the Gulf of Mexico, there was at least one person sitting at the moment in a federal penitentiary in Colorado briskly told you Failures of technology get much bigger than this, and Theodore Kaczynski, whose murderous, 17- year revolution against technology as the Unabomber got him sentenced to life in prison, resist pointing out the calamitous collision between elaborate inventions and the natural world. long as modern technology continues to progress, there will be human- caused disasters of one kind or he said in a letter from prison. greater the powers unleashed by technology, the bigger the disasters what Adam Parfrey, who runs a small pub- lishing house in rural Washington state, thought when he got the letter in June: There is very little about that statement that true. Next question: Is Kaczynski not crazy after all? Or are lunatics in this case, Kaczynski, the iconic madman of the technological age our most fearless soothsayers, unchained by moral equivocation and doubt? More than 14 years after he was arrested at his cabin in western Montana and convicted of the wave of mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23, Kaczynski believes the time is ripe for his apocalyptic message no good can come from the converging paths of humanity, biotechnology, deforestation, chemical pollution, advanced computer intelligence, nuclear weapons and climate change. Parfrey agrees on the timing, if not on everything Kaczynski has to say, and has published a new edition of writings.

was really pretty remarkable material. a very opinionated, a very brilliant man, and a bit socio- pathic, as you Parfrey said. make people pay attention, he was willing to go beyond that dotted line. On the other hand, he got his work into the New York Times and Washington Post, The initial publication of the in those two newspapers in 1995 was the publishing equivalent of extortion: Print his long, rambling treatise on the evils of technology, the Unabomber offered, and the bombings would stop. brother recognized the style and the message and turned him in.

Since his incarceration, Kaczynski, 68, has carried on a wide-ranging correspondence with several people, the latest of themPar- frey at his offbeat publishing imprint, Feral House. For years Parfrey operated out of Los Silver Lake neighborhood, publishing intriguing titles on topics no one else wanted to touch: Satanism, serial killers, extreme Islam, a of NASA that reveals the purported discovery of architectural remnants on the moon. House worldview of a global post-punk intelligentsia trembling with premil- lennial wrote the LA Weekly, which also chronicled the eclectic, avant-gar- dish art salons hosted by Parfrey and his Wille. Parfrey and Wille three years ago decamped for the Pacific Northwest, a place where they could tap into the rainy artistic vibe of this picturesque port town and practice the survive-off-the- land skills they were touting in books like Parfrey was first contacted about the Kaczynski writings by David University of Michigan philosophy professor who had corresponded with the imprisoned Unabomber. Skrbina had persuaded Kaczynski to put together their correspondence, his new essays and a fully corrected version of the manifesto into a new book, much of which had been printed in Europe in 2008.

Parfrey agreed to publish it under the title Kaczynski nor Skrbina get any money from the book; Feral House has pledged to share part of its proceeds with the American Red Cross. From the beginning, Parfrey and Skrbina struggled with the moral dilemma of giving wider voice to a man who had committed murder and mayhem in the name of his beliefs.In the end, neither saw any need to rationalize crimes, which they view as reprehensible. you look at human history, there are criminals and murderers that have put out amazing works of art and writing that have assisted Parfrey said. victims, meanwhile, await an auction of the convicted personal property, including tens of thousands of pages of writings, journals and correspondence seized by federal agents from his cabin. Proceeds by court order will go to the victims.

can say that his book will soon be overtaken by the release of the auctioned papers, which will be a much fuller look that will allow people to judge whether his ideas had merit or said San Francisco attorney Steven is representing the victims. The new book, published in June, has met withlittle fanfare. read his manifesto in 1995, and after hearing about the book, I glanced at it again said Adam of the New Atlantis, a journal published by the Washington, D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy explores the implications of technological advancement. If the manifesto were submitted to aserious publisher, even have merited aformal rejection it would have been thrown he said. full of rubbish claims and the most juvenile kind of But Skrbina says those who have focused on the sometimes disjointed style have missed what he believes is a persuasive argument, that society has cost itself dearly by overvaluing technical ingenuity and ever-expanding consumption.

high material standard of living consists not in cars, television sets, computers or fancy houses, but in open spaces, forests, wild plants and animals and clear flowing streams. As measured by that criterion, our material standard of living is falling Kaczynski writes. see a big groundswell of any kind around Kaczynski, Skrbina concedes. the problems have only grown since he first wrote about kim.murphy@latimes.com Elaine Thompson Associated Press PLENTY TO SAY: Since his arrest and conviction for deadly mail bombings, Theodore Kaczynski has kept writing letters. Now a book of his works, right, including a corrected version of his original Unabomber still writing after 14 years in prison One small publisher, at least, thinks his apocalyptic messages are worth pondering.

Kim Murphy reporting from port townsend, wash. you look at human history, there are criminals and murderers that have put out amazing works of art and Parfrey, Feral House publishing A24 LATIMES.COM Call888.697.8780fordetails|www.ojairesort.com EscapeLA Letloveruleallyear-roundwithourromance Yourultimateexperienceinromanceincludes: Welcomegiftawaitingyouuponarrival EMBARRASSED EMBARRASSED AsSeenOn GOODMORNINGAMERICA! LASERNAILCENTERS 1.888.89.NAILS www.LaserNailCenters.com NEW! Drugfree lasertreatment that VAPORIZES THEFUNGUS! that sIngredientsforlife. Tha ur pro is VP VonsCluband ValuePlus Specials THECLUBTHATWORKSSOYOUCANSAVE Alwaysgreat Alwaysgreat Lookinside forsavings! EXTREME PACK VALUE NoArtificialIngredients. MinimallyProcessed. natural pork President Obama used his weekly radio address Saturday to rip the recently unveiled to manifesto, while a House Republican leader hit back in his own radio remarks.

Obama accused Republicans of wanting put special interests back in the seat in arguing that the latest GOP prescriptions are in the same worn-out philosophy: Cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, chief deputy whipand an author of the 21-page manifesto the GOP rolled out last week, responded by blaming Obama for the economic malaise gripping the nation. a result of the economically disastrous policies of the current administration, millions of Americans are out of work today, and our children will be saddled with a deficit and debt that is, by every definition, out of McCarthy said. land of opportunity has become the land of shrinking he said. across the country are outraged, and so are Our government has failed The president noted that on Monday economists declared that the recession officially ended in June 2009, meaning the U.S.

economy is now growing, albeit modestly. we have to keep pushing to promote growth that will generate the jobs we need and repair the terrible damage the recession has Obama said. why proposed a series of additional steps: accelerated tax breaks for businesses who buy equipment now; a permanent research and development tax break to promote innovation by American companies; and a new initiative to rebuild roads, rails and runways that will put folks to work and make our country more unclear how many of those measures will pass in the remaining few weeks before Congress adjourns in advance of the midterm elections, which could result in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives next year and a changed political landscape for Oba- ma. In their to unveiled at a Virginia hardware store, Republican lawmakers promised to keep the Bush administration tax cuts in place and to repeal the healthcare plan that Obama and the Democrats passed this year. They also promised a to a balanced but their plan did not include many specific spending cuts to offset the $700 billion it would cost to extendthe Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthiest earners.

Obama, who once touted bipartisan compromise, blasted the blueprint by Republican lawmakers who have sought to block his agenda at almost every turn. Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other he said. were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed Obama noted that the Republicans drew some of their ideas from a website called Speaking and he pointed out that one popular idea on the website, tax breaks for companies that ship jobs was opposed by most GOP House members when it came up for a vote recently. America may be speaking out, but Republicans in Congress sure the president said. for all their talk about reining in spending and getting our deficits under control, they want to borrow another $700 billion and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

On average, a tax cut of about $100,000 for millionaires. way for us to remain the greatest country on Earth to turn back the clock and put the special interests in charge. to make sure all our people are getting a fair ken.dilanian@latimes.com pledge is a Obama asserts Republicans counter by blaming current policy for the economic malaise. Ken Dilanian reporting from washington latimes.com/ nation.

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