There is No Bad Experience for a Writer: The Reality of the Times

I must credit the title of this short essay to a friend of mine whose health I am currently deeply concerned about. In fact, he is a man who is not unlike a mentor to me. I should also explain clearly that he cannot be accused of implanting any of the thoughts beyond the title in my grey matter. This is me just grabbing a ball that was thrown my way and running with it; or perhaps it is more akin to sauntering vaguely Westward like an owl with a broken wing and a dead mouse in one claw. Perhaps I should be skipping happily Eastward instead, merely being happy to be alive. But that could be explored in the future, assuming my mortal coil and the remains of the dead rodent I bear retain enough nutrients and calories to repair my broken wing. Yeah, the wing will likely heal.

As you may have guessed by now, the meat of the subject at hand is politics, economics, life, death, pain, suffering, and finally hope. It is surely the job of a gifted wordsmith to describe their understanding of their perceptions of the times as well as they are able for the posterity of history and progression of human thought and action; or at the very least to assess the current health of society at large. Unfortunately, I could not find a gifted wordsmith, so I feel compelled to write this rather trivial piece of literature myself instead.

We are currently living in an illusory global financial emergency and an actual, yet not fully acknowledged global environmental melt-down. Even first world countries are currently being cannibalized by regional and world powers through finance or war. There is general material instability among the vast majority of the world’s populace and total lawlessness in some places; Somalia is a good example of this. Then there is also the ever-present vexation of actual starvation for far too many.

Probably more importantly, there is a proliferation of conventional and nuclear weapons; which may actually make our species susceptible to near catastrophic global annihilation. The threat of nearly global nuclear destruction has surely been perceived to be more likely in the past. Yet this threat remains, and has become a part of everyday life that is nearly a joke for the simple reason that there is nothing anyone thinks they can do about it. A wise man once said to me: “Sometimes [Impartial Juror], you’ve got the choice of either laughing or crying.” He always laughed after repeating this anti-platitude. So perhaps it is healthy that we can laugh about it; but it doesn’t mean we should merely brush off the danger as if it doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, I will always be grateful for this wisdom that was passed on to me, and laughing.

Americans live in a society where a nearly half of the population simply lives from one paycheck to another, and a third are near bankrupt. Under such circumstances there is surely going to be some inordinately common and serious social turmoil in essentially all of our lives. Only the most well-to-do are able to avert such serious situations as possible evictions, divorces, addictions, physical illness, mental illness, or even actual starvation.

It is during these times of turmoil that many of our elected officials find the audacity, excuses, and audience that will support their policies of regressive tax policies and cuts in social welfare programs despite the clear evidence that such policies are actually counterproductive. How do they do it? The short answer is that they divide and conquer through manipulation using fear and intimidation. The long answer is a different article entirely.

Should it be any surprise that it seems like everyone knows somebody who is absolutely in complete crisis? Somebody  who has had or is having part if not all of their world shaken so violently that the magma at the center of their planet is in danger of exploding out of the globe and destroying an overwhelming amount of their health, security, and happiness? And who is benefiting from all this misery? Is the answer not most assuredly that the global elite are the only ones profiting from this suffering?

With that in mind, I admit that I too am a part of this shared, sustained, national trauma.  It has become an accepted part of life in our society that, not out of callousness, but out of sheer necessity, nearly everyone is jumping from crisis to crisis trying to manage situations that are often inevitably unmanageable, forcing us to leave some behind.

This sort of lifestyle takes a toll on people. The effects have become evident in every community in this nation. We must bring this to an end. We have to make this rock bottom and rise again. If we don’t take action soon, I fear we will not have the resources or freedom to act at all. In fact, we need to take action yesterday ladies and gentlemen. I have some ideas, and they will be forthcoming in future posts.

All that said, I must admit that it’s good to have something to write about. There is no bad experience for a writer, just material. I think my pal is right about that. Though I wish the material at hand was more positive.

So, let’s inject some positivity into this post in the form of a song about a woman, a single brave woman who made a difference. Let us not forget that we all can. Furthermore, alone we can make waves, and together we can move oceans.

This woman had the determination we have lacked, the passion we should be adhering to, and the kind of courage we need, Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones. Her story always gives me strength and resolve, and Ani Difranco has paired up with Utah Phillips to write an inspiring song about her. It encourages me and gives me a sense of hope for humanity whenever I listen to it. It reminds me that if she alone could make so much of a difference, together, we can make all the difference in the world. So, without further ado, let’s listen to a song about the most dangerous woman in the world! May Day is coming!

Department of Homeland Security and Fusion Centers Focused on Monitoring Americans to Uphold the Status Quo

If you thought that the age of covert operations against legal domestic organizations ended with COINTELPRO in the 1970’s you would be wrong.  This article cites information from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that prove that the Department of Homeland Security was focused on suppressing media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests to stifle dissent.

To quote Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the Executive Director of The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), “The federal agencies’ actions were not because Occupy represented a ‘terrorist threat’ or a ‘criminal threat’ but rather because it posed a significant grassroots political challenge to the status quo.”

This should be no surprise to anyone who is aware of the domestic spying against Don't WorryAmericans done at the “fusion centers” that are now all across the US.  The 72 fusion centers were created in the wake of 9-11 as a supposed center for law enforcement agencies to share information about “terrorist threats.”  Instead, they have been spending their time violating Americans’ first amendment rights and monitoring people who have the temerity to do things like put political stickers in public bathrooms or participate in movements against the death penalty.  According to a bipartisan Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report finished in 2012 and this article, “somewhere between $289 million and $1.4 billion was spent to produce “crap” while violating the civil right [sic] of citizens with no accountability.”

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom?

Video

This is a broad reaching 3 part BBC documentary about inequality, class, privilege, game theory, human nature, freedom, democracy, authoritarianism, and terrorism, in Britain and the United States.  The documentary examines economic theories, the psychiatric community, the financial industry, the revolution of statistical analysis as a means of increasing efficiency, and even capitalism itself.  I can’t tell you how much this documentary made me think.  No matter which lens you look through our world at, you’ll have a greater understanding of our societies after watching this.  It’s well worth the time.

NSFW (a few f words)

Comparing the Elite to a Mafia Boss

To illustrate the power the economic thugs in control wield over us I’ve written (perhaps traced) a comparison of the power dynamics in the leadership of a fictional "Tony Soprano"mafia boss (Tony Soprano) in his community with the leadership of the elite, the bankers (banksters), the capitalists, and/or the old rich in the international community.

I used this page as my template.  You may want to read it first or after.  It is a description of the role of a “Crime Boss” in the TV show “The Sopranos” on the sopranos.wikia.com page.  My changes are in bold.

The Elite Capitalists

The elite capitalists are at the top position in the pyramidal organization of the central banks, world corporations, states, and citizens. They are occasionally referred to as the elite, the bourgeoisie, the old rich, or the elite families. The elite capitalists have the job of keeping their banks and corporations running at maximum profitability for the elite. The extremely complex duties of elite capitalists include influencing elections within states, settling disputes by rigging elections and buying off or pressuring politicians, dealing with outside interests (adding unsubdued states into the their financial free trade, privatization, foreign ownership, and banking paradigm), initiating new business ventures (increasing elite wealth via bank, state, and corporate wealth mechanisms such as the recent reckless banking behaviors resulting in bailouts from citizens of various states, which socialized debt onto citizens), and developing schemes via the media to avoid interference from the public. It is also the elite capitalists’ job to sanction executions of regressive tax systems and other wealth generating mechanisms at the cost of the citizens of aligned states and perform hits on other unaligned states (killing anyone anti-regime after denouncing them as terrorists or dominating unaligned states diplomatically, economically, or militarily). For their troubles, the elite are rewarded with a percentage of the earnings of every state and company under them. To quote Tony Soprano, “Money flows uphill, shit flows downhill.”

Maintaining a banking neocolonialism can be tricky: the submission of states and citizens is ideally maintained through propaganda and economic warfare between the lower and middle classes among the competing states, even through war if necessary, by using the state(s) with the most powerThe elite always include a sponsor state (empire).  The United States moved into the top position when the old empire (The United Kingdom) retired (lost hegemony).

Ideal situations, are frequent and there is almost always an amount of disharmony allowing the elite to continue making money following the manufactured or natural disasters in a state or of a corporation. In the case of the current ruling elite families’, Great Britain lost its hegemony and shortly arrangements were set in stone for a succession (the United States), resulting in a 45 year struggle for power between the United States and the USSR (very profitable). The rest of the states assumed the roles of pawns as the elite made/make money through wars, labor cost imbalances, and resource (actual value) extraction.  In the end the elite support the United Sates in its hegemony, albeit mostly to provide them with a “lightning rod” to take the major hits from the people while states and corporations make most of the day-to-day business decisions. The plan has worked brilliantly, as the United States has become a thriving plutocracy and military state (to say the least) allowing the elite to continue to run things as they see fit even if the citizens United States do not benefit.

Let the banks die. “Cyprus Head Tries to Rally Support” (WSG)

More fear-mongering from the wall-street journal:
“Cyprus is in a very difficult position right now, both the government and the financial sector,” said John Dimakis, at STR, a political consultancy in Athens. “I can’t even imagine the consequences if parliament doesn’t back the bailout.”

The politicians want a bailout of the banks.  Big surprise.  From 6-10 % of the money each person (foreigners too) holds in any bank in Cyprus will be taxed to prevent their banks from going insolvent.  Furthermore, they are considering deals with the IMF in the near term.  Great, more debt and more austerity measures for the people and the bankers get away scott free or with golden parachutes.

I recommend courses similar to those taken by Iceland and Argentina.  They are doing significantly better than most (if not all) of the countries that accepted IMF loans, World Bank loans, forced privatization, free trade requirements, and austerity measures that came with the loans.  Heck, maybe Cyprus could start a new national banking system that is based on a 1 to 5 ratio of fiat currency instead of a 1 to 10 ratio.  Nah, we don’t want to introduce any added stability to the “business cycle.”  The boom and bust (and the size thereof) are what makes the real money, not for the people, but for the elite; and we all know who really matters here.

Good luck to the resistors.