Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When the lights go out in the city

Alturas, CA. Never heard of it? Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
The site Alturas now occupies was inititally an Achumawi (Pit River) village known as Kosealekte. The city was initially known as Dorris Bridge, named after Jim Dorris, the first white settler in the area who settled in 1869. In 1876, the town was renamed Alturas, which means "The Heights" in Spanish. Settlement continued over the next few decades, until the city was officially incorporated on September 16, 1901. Alturas is the seat, and only incorporated city, in Modoc County.

Today it's one of the most important towns in America. Why?
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 2,892 people, 1,181 households, and 753 families residing in the city.

People, households, families.

Lives, loves, futures, and pasts.

In a beautiful part of the state, with abundant opportunities for hunting, fishing, and communing with nature, Alturas is too remote for tourism. But it is the area's center for agriculture, timber, and cattle and sheep ranching.

Still don't see the importance? A reasonable guess would be that by today, the population of Alturas might be 3000 souls.

From CNN:
The death toll for coalition military forces in Iraq hit 3,000 Monday, according to a CNN tally. The combined death toll includes 2,759 U.S. troops and seven American civilian contractors of the military.

It's not 3000 soldiers in a distant unfamiliar country anymore. It's a small town in the far North-Eastern corner of California.

It's not men and women you don't know. It's your neighbors, the guy across the street with the 3 dogs, the folks next door with the great kids. It's the really nice woman at the local small supermarket, and the Vietnamese immigrant who cuts your hair at the local barber shop.

In Alturas, it's all those folks. All of them, every last one, dead, gone.

George W. Bush has killed every resident of the town of Alturas.