Sunday, July 29, 2012

The End of Greed May Be on the Horizon

Those Who Do Not Remember History
Are Doomed to Represent the Rightist Elite

We have arrived at a point in our history now where the nation that’s still clinging to its former status as a superpower and refusing to move on is appealing to one of military history’s most colossal mistakes, basking in the glory of the act, while forgetting the political and financial consequences for doing so. The 1% elites want glory today, tomorrow, and forever. They want credit for being the heroes, for saving civilization. The irony is that their narrow-mindedness, their embedded lack of perspective, and their superficial view on world events dooms them to be a curse upon their land. Nothing is getting done because of Congress and the President. And what are Congress and the President fighting to defend? One of the worst situations this country has been in for a long time, the triple combination of crises in unemployment, foreclosure, and student loans. The first of these three is an economic issue, while the remaining two are issues of excessive debt due to predatory lending practices. All three exist with the active participation of the US government.

America has spent itself into oblivion, and this series of events – of which the crisis of 2008 was only a part – was engineered by the crooks on Wall Street, the “banksters”, and the multinational corporations. Clearly some serious measures must be taken, there must be criminal prosecution of those responsible, and a total overhaul of America's financial and monetary systems is overdue. So what should be done? That's the problem, progress in this regard has been nearly nonexistent on the part of those who are charged with the task of overseeing it. Want reform of the financial markets? Screw you, we're filibustering. Want Healthcare Reform? Screw you, forty thousand people a year can die so the rest can be charged twice as much as the rest of the world for inferior care. Want jobs? You might as well forget about that, too, they have all been shipped overseas for pennies on the dollar. Ready to retire? Not! Wall St. gambled your retirement away on derivatives and Ponzi schemes, and so far nobody has served one single day. The balances on your 401K and your IRA are hovering at or near zero.

Of course, resisting all this is painted as resisting big government and the military-industrial complex. People like myself, who dare to openly express dissenting views, can be arbitrarily labeled as “domestic terrorists”. When that happens people get locked up without being charged with a crime, and they can be held indefinitely in flagrant violation of the US Constitution. Never mind that America's leaders conduct speaks poorly to their skills as fiscal guardians. The US political establishment needs their dark enemies to highlight their glorious crusades. The problem with that is, the whole darn world is sick and tired of wars, wars that we never wanted to begin with. On the other hand, single payer healthcare – which would essentially be putting everyone on Medicare and eliminating Medicaid – has to be this great evil, socialistic healthcare reform purported to be government taking decisions out of your doctor's hands. All I can say about that is to quote Thomas Jefferson, who said, “The first and primary purpose of any good government should be the safety and the general welfare of its people”.

Never mind the facts. They did this all along during the latter Bush Administration. Everything was about defending what Bush and his Congress were doing, everything was about justifying colossal mistakes. Whether turning a soldier's request for more armor into another chapter in the epic of the mainstream media, lying about the death of Pat Tillman, using Jessica Lynch as a PR stunt, or blaming hurricane Katrina's death toll and the subsequent humanitarian disaster on the victims themselves, or coming up with a million different justifications for outing former CIA asset Valerie Wilson, the Republicans devoted themselves to the task of rationalizing failure on a massive scale.

If I seem angry here, it is a righteous anger, and it reflects the anger of the American public. This is what I've fought against and wrote about for the last several years. I don't want to live in a country where the government exists in an alternate universe, where the politicians are so oblivious to reality. I refuse to live in a country where 99% of the wealth is in the hands of 1% of the population. And I'm not freaking done, not by a long shot! Since I don't have plans to leave this country that I love, I am an unofficial part of the Occupy and 99% Movements, and I write and publish nonfiction books about these movements, US civil rights, human rights worldwide, about economic inequality and how to combat it, and about ending the wars overseas and the drug war here at home. Whether it's me by myself, or millions answering the call around my nation, our goal must be to make the government that runs this country a part of the reality-based community. I'm in favor of a government that is lean, agile and flexible, and it's also time to make government Web-based and paperless, which would result in a tremendous reduction in costs and overhead.

I'm in favor of the current government finally coming to grips with the fact that their policies don't work, and they haven't for many years. They can keep their party affiliation, keep on favoring conservative ideas that trample the poor underfoot, keep on using the US Constitution for a doormat (at least until November's elections) but damn it, what gives them the right to let the whole country go straight to hell just to prove ideological points, or for political jockeying for position? These jokers are more out of touch with America than they've been in years, in no small part due to their failure to put politics aside and deal with a financial emergency with the fortunes of the nation, rather than the fortunes of their party first and foremost, followed by the needs of their political donors and their accompanying armies of lobbyists.

Failure is not an option for me. America's future, and that of its children and grandchildren, is at stake. A government that lets things fail to prove political points is guilty of willful dereliction of duty. A government that justifies failure by making political points is guilty of gross malfeasance in the course of their duties, a potentially impeachable offense, and is not worthy of governing this country. For the last decade, America has been the victim of unwise policies, policies that naively presupposed a willingness for restraint from the financial sector, policies that assumed that perseverance in military campaigns whose very legality is dubious would somehow lead to success. These were people who looked at our economy in the summer of 2008 and said the economy was fundamentally sound, right up until the point where the economic and real estate crashes made the obvious truth unavoidable.

I don't want more government by people who are simply persisting in their policies until events overtake them and make it impossible for them to maintain the status quo. I want people who are adapting to our problems in advance, and allowing the government that flexibility. On the other hand, if the government continues to do nothing but public bickering while engaging in private deal-making in smoke filled rooms, the American populace will be forced to take matters into their own hands. How this situation turns out could depend on the reaction of authorities. The folks in charge need to know that our intentions are peaceful, and that we only wish to take up where Rev. Dr. King left off in April of '68. We intend to maintain that peace even in the face of difficult odds or outside interference. The only exception would be if we were to be attacked by anyone, uniformed or otherwise. In that event we would be forced to fight back. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. We do not seek trouble, only justice.

The last thing this country needs is another decade, or decades, worth of governance from political parties that cannot tell the difference between a defeat and a victory, and who resists all efforts to bring its attentions to the American people's problems. There is at least a recognition among the rank and file that the current situation is not to be tolerated, or cannot be continued. The Charge of the Conservative Light Brigade should end, and this country should be allowed to get back to deciding what the wise thing is for America's 99%, not what is politically convenient and economically profitable to an undignified, money-and-power worshiping 1% minority.

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