On the Banks

Seeking out civilization in a world of statism.


January 08
"Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks." -- Will Durant ======================= I am a former journalist turned filmmaker, creative writer and mom. I am also a reluctant yogini and avid -- though not professional -- ballet dancer. ======================= You can see my films, books, and some of my journalistic writing clips here: http://www.bretigne.com.


Bretigne's Links


PD - occupy-158891_640


I've written an open letter to Russell Brand in response to his calls for revolution. It appears today on EconomicPolicyJournal.com:


Dear Mr. Brand,

Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan. I haven’t seen your live show yet, but I’ve been really imp… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 7, 2013 12:49PM

And a Gut-Wrenching Christmas to You Too

I received in my Inbox this morning, an e-mail from Zipporah Films, announcing their "Holiday Season Special" wherein you can create your own boxed set of Frederick Wiseman films for a discount.  

"There are 37 films to choose from!" The e-mail announces gleefully:

Choose any 3 DVDs, get 10Read full post »

OCTOBER 9, 2013 5:30PM

"Non-Essential" to Whom?


My dad writes this morning:

"I just received a frantic e-mail from the MoveOn organization, informing me that “The Tea Party and the GOP actually took us over the cliff – and shut down the federal government.” Such a calamity must be analogous to parents running awa… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 7:35PM

I Am Chelsea Manning


(Credit: AP/Patrick Semansky/U.S. Army)

I’m not, of course. I am a wife and mother, I’ve never served in the US or any other military. I’ve never even listened to Lady Gaga, and I’ve never risked my life, liberty and personal well-being in order to expose government wRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 1:49PM

Marijuana Stops Child's Severe Seizures

Charlotte seizures 2


As a parent of a child who has had seizures, it enrages me that there is a gang of people who believe they have the right to deprive other people of potential treatments for their children's debilitating afflictions. It has always made me angry that this gang believes it… Read full post »

Walled City dentists 2

I've uploaded a collection of photos I took of Hong Kong's infamous Walled City, on HistoryPin. I am really kicking myself for not having paid more attention to the Walled City while I was there. I lived in Hong Kong for seven years and while I knew about the Walled City,/… Read full post »

AUGUST 15, 2013 5:24PM

Children of God

I went to observe a special-needs exercise class today. I’m working on setting up some special-needs classes for children in our area, and I wanted to get an idea of what was already out there. This was a class for adults, and they started out seated in chairs in a circle.… Read full post »

AUGUST 9, 2013 12:55PM

Get Your Very Own Super Villain!

By helping to create the world's first nonviolent superhero! Check out the pitch below.


Urban Yogini


To donate to the campaign, click here.

AUGUST 7, 2013 11:53AM

A Sorry Anniversary


An infographic demonstrating the human impact of the bombing of Hiroshima sixty eight years ago today.

And for all of the morally decrepit commenters who are happy to swallow the government's lies about the "necessity" of the bombing (and are happy to believe that the murder of inno… Read full post »

AUGUST 1, 2013 2:39PM

Mythical Creatures



There's a poster up at the front of the room with a cartoon mouse painting at an easel, and the words "Express Yourself!"  But every time the little boy in glasses starts to ask questions that stray too far from where the teacher is taking the class, his "aide"… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2013 9:10PM

Apple's "Suicide Factories"

Heavy lifting


So I'm looking up more information related to the short story I'm working on and I come across this interesting fact.  It's something you'd expect any journalist writing about the infamous "suicide factories" in China where Apple's iPads and iPhones are made to mention, but surpri… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2013 9:09PM

Not So Obvious

I'm re-reading "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth" for a short story I'm working on, and a couple of things strike me:

1.  As I'm reading it, I keep thinking that this translation just doesn't seem to be as good as the translation of "Human Action", which I remember as be/… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2013 2:38PM

Iran and Iranians



I found myself embroiled in an argument with someone this morning who believes, essentially, that because Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah, it is the most dangerous threat to peace in the world and must be prevented at all costs from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Never mind that the US

Read full post »

(Posted on Oct. 3, 2012)



Last week, a group of lawyers, plaintiffs and activists involved in the lawsuit against the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) and its indefinite detention provisions held a live chat on Reddit.  This group included ChrisRead full post »

JULY 1, 2013 2:30PM

Speaking Truth to the Powerless



A while ago, I went against my better judgement and spoke up at some local City Council meetings about my opposition to the digital Smart Meters the city was going to force everyone to have on their homes.  I may post more about that here at some point, including… Read full post »

This short video, from Scott Swain, does a great job of demonstrating existence bias - or "status quo bias":  The "irrational preference for the current state of affairs".  

You can see more of Scott's stuff here. Read full post »

Stefan Molyneux interviews me about Ron Paul, RNC corruption and political education, here.

 One of the viewers points out "There are perfectly legal things we can do? They will just change the rules. You just said that's what they do."

Yes, they will.  But we kRead full post »


 I’ve seen many posts like this one today, from Antonia Litsinger:

“Well, I'm not going to get into the classic insanity mode - doing things over and over and expecting different results. I'm done with this whole political shit. It was fun for a while and I met a whole… Read full post »

  UY p1

A superhero who can't use violence - check out the first episode of my new comic "The Adventures of Urban Yogini"!   Read full post »
JULY 7, 2012 4:26PM

On the Day I Became a Terrorist

The Online Terrorist Keywords Poetry Contest has a winner!  

Here's why I couldn't vote for my own entry:


On the Day I Became a Terrorist
by benjamin haas

On the day I became a terrorist there wasn’t a nuclear meltdown or pipe bomb

There was a radioactive and… Read full post »

JULY 7, 2012 4:25PM

Mister Rogers Remix

When I was four, I started teaching myself to walk on my hands because of a guy I saw on MisteRogers who could walk on his hands.  When Mister Rogers asked him how he learned to do it, he said he practiced and practiced.  So that's what I did, and by… Read full post »

In recognition of the "Top 347 keywords the U.S. government monitors", Meg McLain has launched the "Online Terrorist Keywords" poetry contest.  The contest is over now, but it's worth checking out some of the great submissions.  Here's my entry:


Hazmat Porky


‘T… Read full post »

In recognition of the "Top 347 keywords the U.S. government monitors", Meg McLain has launched the "Online Terrorist Keywords" poetry contest.  The contest is over now, but it's worth checking out some of the great submissions.  Here's my entry:


Hazmat Porky


‘T… Read full post »

To listen to many of the Occupy protestors interviewed on the street, you'd think they were just a bunch of statists at heart, unhappy with the direction the state is currently taking (i.e., not serving their personal interests at this time), but not at all opposed to the institution of the/… Read full post »

JULY 7, 2012 2:30PM

Balloons for Daniel


 This is the video I put together in honor of Daniel Rafferty, who died on January 10 at the age of seven.  Daniel had the same chromosomal anomaly our daughter has: IDIC(15), which can cause developmental and physical problems.  On Valentine's Day, members of DaRead full post »