Friday, May 30, 2014
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Submission To Authority: Pro And Con
by Rev. Paul J. Bern
Here in the early 21st century, we live in a world where authority has gotten completely out of control. America was lied to back in the early 1960's so our government could start the Viet Nam war. We were lied to about President Kennedy's assassination by the Warren Commission, and we were lied to again five years later concerning the Robert Kennedy assassination. We were lied to about Rev. Dr. King's assassination that same violent year of 1968. President Nixon lied to us about Watergate. We were lied to in 2003 as a pretext for invading Iraq the second time. And we were lied to by president Obama when he won the 2008 election while telling us all that he would bring us “change we can believe in”. We got some serious changes all right, resulting in the largest spy and unmanned drone network the world had ever seen. On the home front, the police have become thoroughly militarized, and they are having lots of fun on the job thanks to all their new toys and gadgets, not to mention fully automatic weapons, and even tanks! They can stop you and search you without cause and without the Constitutionally mandated search warrant. They are breaking our doors down in the middle of the night and murdering unarmed citizens. A 92-year-old woman was shot 19 times and killed by the police several years ago right here in Atlanta where I live and work, and people of color as well as the poor are being killed by the police on the flimsiest of pretexts. Last year when I tried to renew my drivers license, I was turned away due to a speeding ticket I got back in 1995 even though I paid the fine nearly two decades ago. So now I no longer own a car, but I'm saving a lot of money by relying on public transportation and “going green”. Still, the state of Georgia's refusal to renew my drivers license makes me feel resentful and disenfranchised by the very system that is sworn to protect me and to serve us all.
Speaking as a minister of the Gospel and as an ambassador for Jesus Christ, I have done a little research as to what the Bible says about governmental authority and the abuse of power. It turns out that there is ample argument that can be minted for both sides of this same coin. The first part has to do with submission to authority in the context of being a law-abiding citizen as the apostle Paul saw it when he wrote the Book of Romans approximately 1,950 years ago. At the time that this was written, all of what is now modern-day Israel was under the military occupation of the Roman empire. Similarly, much of the world today is occupied by the American Empire. Paul wrote these words in that context, so I will begin with the book of Romans, chapter 13 and verses 1-5.
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” (Romans 13: 1-5 NIV)
At the time that Paul wrote this, the death penalty was commonplace. Capital punishment existed as a means of intimidation and absolute control, and that punishment was carried out with utter ruthlessness and without mercy. Furthermore, unlike the Jewish religious establishment of that era, Paul was a Roman citizen and as such he was given rights and privileges that were not shared equally with other non-citizens. But how does this compare with life in the early 21st century? Although the death penalty is still administered for capital crimes such as murder, it is carried out with relative infrequency compared to the days of the Roman empire. There were also debtors prisons in Paul's day. People who ran into financial trouble back in those days were routinely imprisoned until their debts were paid. In contrast, today if one gets into financial difficulty, bankruptcy laws exist that are much more fair and equitable than prison. Compared to the times in which St. Paul lived, we get a complete picture of a much more fair, equitable and even lenient world in the present day. Let me now make some comparisons between Paul's world and ours using this passage of scripture as a backdrop to the picture that I will now paint for you with my words.
“The authorities that exist have been established by God”. Although Paul sincerely believed at the time that he wrote these words that he was absolutely correct, he was speaking more as a Roman citizen and a Hebrew religious scholar than he was as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In modern America, our rule of law is the Constitution of the United States and so I am writing today in this context as an American citizen. We have the right to free speech and freedom of religion today that did not exist in St. Paul's time. That right which is established under the first amendment to the US Constitution allows me to write these words without fear of punishment. As such I am within the law and I will remain so for as long as the law is fair. It's when it's unfair that things can get a bit dicey. But hold that thought as I continue.
The apostle Paul continues with this same theme as he writes further: “Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.” The same applies today. Take the patriot movement and so-called “preppers” of today. Organizing any armed revolt in modern-day America is an idea that I am against, preaching and teaching as a man of peace who tries his best to emulate Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Besides, the police have well-armed SWAT teams, and there is always the National Guard that exists within any given state, and so I think one would be foolhardy to try and take on authority in this manner. On the other hand, it is perfectly legal, and I would also say that it is even necessary, to engage in peaceful protests against laws and policies that we disagree with, particularly when they are unjust. The US Supreme Court's decision that money equals free speech is one good example. The counterproductive and sometimes downright stupid War on Drugs is another one. The first amendment gives us this right, something that did not exist during Paul's time all those centuries ago. In this regard, we can interpret this passage of scripture a little differently than what Paul wrote back then.
Paul then continues making his point, and so will I. “Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.” It is sad to say that this is not always true in the modern world. Trying as I do to do what is right, I often find myself looked down on by the many godless people who live in the world of today. I put up with the occasional ridicule because I am openly Christian, but I do so knowing that God is watching everything I do and He is listening to everything I say. But to get back to the topic at hand, it is wise to be “free from fear of the one in authority”. The best way to follow this principle is to obey the commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Just by doing this, we can keep ourselves out of much trouble. Besides, the Bible says in the Old Testament to “obey the laws of the land, that it may go well with you in the place you are abiding”. Those words were written at least three thousand years ago, and they are still just as true today as they were back then.
By the same token, there are things happening and situations unfolding within the US government that are completely contrary to God's laws. Take the ten commandments as an example. The eighth commandment says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”, which can be expanded to include this simple command: you shall not lie and gossip about people you dislike. Yet America found itself embroiled in a war in Iraq that was based on a lie. Specifically, that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was still in power. Of course, those WMD's turned out to be non-existent, and it took 4,400 US fatalities – and over 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, one third of which were children – to find that out. The same applies to Afghanistan. Our troops have been there for 13 years, first to find Osama Bin Laden even though everybody in Southern Asia and the Middle East knew he was in Pakistan. Now that he is deceased, and has been for a couple of years now, are our troops all back home yet? Absolutely not, effectively making Afghanistan a de facto US territory with an open ended US military presence. The US government has been spending $6 billion dollars a week on this occupation, a thoroughly obscene sum of money by any standard. Yet all the while, there is unemployment here in the USA that is officially around 7.5%, but that doesn't count all the millions of long-term unemployed who have stopped looking for work, as well as those who are working part-time when full-time work is what is needed. If these facts were figured into this equation, the true unemployment rate is hovering at around 21 percent. There is no money to create over a million badly needed jobs in our country, but there is an unlimited supply of cash for multiple illegal military occupations and drone strikes all around the globe. This is a moral outrage, and anybody with even a little bit of a conscience should be out in the streets protesting against the US military-industrial complex. That may not be in the words of the Bible, but it most certainly is in the Spirit thereof.
Paul then writes in verse 5, “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” This is just as true today as it was when it was first written. Being an outlaw will only get us into trouble, and jail is no place for anybody to be except for the worst criminals. For example, it is a bad idea to drive your car at 90 miles an hour because it is against the law, and because it is dangerous. By the same token, the ten commandments must be obeyed, and let's be sure to include the teachings of Christ while we're at it. We should not steal, lie or commit adultery, nor should we have any false gods in our lives. We are commanded to “love the Lord your God with all your strength, all your mind, all your soul and all your spirit”, and to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves”. We can and should worship the one true God and Him alone, who sent His only Son to die for our sins and then to rise from the dead on the third day after He was crucified. In the same way that we submit ourselves to God, we should, as far as it is possible, submit to authority here on earth. And we should do so not only “because of possible punishment but also because of conscience”. But here in the 21st century, we can and should oppose and protest against the government similarly because of matters of conscience. It is part of the laws of our land, and we should exercise this right because our rule of law says we can. This is also in keeping with God's commands, and I hope and pray that it always remains so.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
By Rev. Paul J. Bern
As I pause to take a look around me, I observe that my country is under attack both from without and within. It remains to be seen whether the outcome of these multiple attacks will amount to anything more than a temporary convenience, but I see ominous warning signs all around me. Externally, we have and will continue to come under attack here at home due to America's aggressive deployments of numerous US troops overseas while simultaneously being burdened with a crushing war debt that can never be repaid. Add to this the fact that the deadly drone strikes all over the Middle East and Africa are killing scores of innocent civilians, and America has enraged far more people than many of us realize by doing so. If America's Arab allies in the petroleum-producing countries were to suddenly turn on us, the US would find itself in a challenging situation, to say the least. Yet this glaring fact has not ceased to blind the eyes of those in power who see only the oil when they look at the Middle East. It will only be when the US converts from gas and diesel to much clear-burning natural gas for their cars and trucks, something America has in abundance, that America will be able to finally break her addiction to Mideast oil.
Internally, our country is under attack from rampant corruption that overshadows most other countries in size and scope, and it is a systemic corruption that goes all the way to the top. But there is something else going on here, something underneath the surface, that is far greater than either of these other two threats I have mentioned. I am writing about what now-deceased TBN host Grant Jeffery once called a “shadow government”. This shadow government is a cabal of unelected, shadowy private interests that control the multinational corporations, the World Bank, the IMF and the US military-industrial complex, among other things. This “shadow government” is made up of members of the global top 1% income bracket, and their activities are directed against the rest of us in the form of an enforced inequality, as you know all too well by now. I have compiled the following list that proves “we the people” are under just such an attack.
1) The inequality of wealth in the United States and abroad has soared to an unprecedented level. The U.S. already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the 2008 financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the middle class and poor much harder than the top 1 percent, the gap between the top 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent of the U.S. population is greater than ever.
2) The three big banks that took taxpayer money and benefited the most from the government bailout have just set a new global economic record by issuing $30 billion in annual bonuses this year, “up 60 percent from last year.”
3) The profits of the economic elite are now underwritten by taxpayers with $23.7 trillion worth of national wealth. As the looting is occurring at the top, the U.S. middle class is just beginning to collapse.
4) Workers between the ages of 55 to 60, who have worked for 20 to 29 years, have lost an average of 25 percent off their 401k. During the same time period, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans went up by $30 billion, bringing their total combined wealth to $1.57 trillion.
5) Home foreclosure filings hit a record high in the third quarter of 2010 and continues into 2014. Over 3.4 million homes entered foreclosure by the end of 2010, and this year will top 4 million.
6) 25 million people are unemployed or underemployed. That's nearly 1 in 6 Americans.
7) There have been 123 U.S. bank failures thus far this year (as of 2012 - PB).
8) 10 U.S. states are on the verge of bankruptcy, with several ready to declare a financial state of emergency, such as California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
9) “U.S. public debt has topped $14 trillion for the first time in history”… This prediction, first written in the spring of 2011 when the final draft of my first book was completed, has since topped $16 trillion.
10) The U.S. poverty rate is the highest in the industrialized world. Predictably, homelessness is rising at an increased rate as well. The U.S. government does not tally the numbers but interested organizations say that more than 3 million people were homeless at some point over the past year. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children.
11) 50 percent of U.S. children will need to use food stamps to eat at some point in their childhood. In the African-American community, it is a shocking 90%. (As to why the black community isn't protesting in the streets over this, I have no idea. Dear brothers and sisters, the time has come for all of us to stand up and fight for our kids!) This is a national disgrace, a social injustice and a cause for outrage and protest if ever there was one. We are all in awful shape when we can't even feed our own children.
12) In 2010, according to the Census Bureau, the number of U.S. citizens without health care grew to a record 50 million. Furthermore, this statistic is on track to exceed 56 million by the end of this year (prior to Obamacare - PB).
13) Lack of health insurance caused 45,000 preventable U.S. citizen deaths in 2010. The American Journal of Medicine recently released a study that stated, “Nearly two out of three bankruptcies stem from medical bills, and even people with health insurance face financial disaster if they experience a serious illness.”
14) A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study reported that 17,000 US children have died due to lack of health care. You can also add in a recent report that revealed that 2,266 U.S. veterans have died in 2008 due to lack of access to health care.
15) The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States has over 200 companies producing billions of dollars in annual revenues. This huge manufacturing base cannot fulfill demand quickly enough. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders. Americans are arming themselves to the teeth! In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed across the US as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “up-tick in militia activities." One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark.”
16) Between January 1996 and September 2006, there were 253 confirmed incursions into the United States by Mexican government personnel. There is documentation of shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling and actual confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol agents and armed members of the Mexican military. All it will take is one violent cross-border incident to start a US-Mexican war. What is such a shame about all this is that if the US government would just call off the stupid, idiotic and pointless “war on drugs”, all the cartel-related violence that is now occurring on and below our southern border would disappear almost overnight. As it stands right now, American law enforcement and the CIA have Mexican blood on their hands.
Exacerbating all 16 of these facts – all of whom were sourced directly off the Web – is the fact that America can't even print its own money. This critical national responsibility has been undertaken – hijacked would be more life it – by none other than the Federal Reserve. As many of you know, the Fed isn't even a part of the US government. It's a privately held corporation that operates in the utmost secrecy. Makes you wonder why they think they need to do that, now doesn't it? As to how badly the Federal Reserve System (which many call the World’s largest counterfeiter) has destroyed the American economy is evidenced in their destruction of the US Dollar which has lost over a quarter of its value in the past 8 years, and what a single Dollar could buy in 1913, when this secret banking cabal began to strangle these people, would cost $21.67 today, and which comes out to a shocking inflation rate of 2067%! And, as hard as it is to believe it is nevertheless true that Americans pay more on overdraft fees to their banker masters than they spend on fresh vegetables! Russian Finance Ministry calculations dating back to 2012 show that should the American people stop paying their money to banks (mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, etc.) and all declare bankruptcy, the entire debt load carried by the US Government would be paid or written off in less than 2 years and the United States would have over $85 trillion available to them over the next 10 years to pay for the complete rebuilding of their Nation and society. What we have instead is America being driven right into the ground by an evil and oftentimes crazy group of people who answer only to the top 1%, to the detriment of the remaining 99%. The worst part is that it is in their best interest to run the country into the ground because they will make a lot of money from the collapse of the USA, and that is exactly what they are trying to do.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said over 200 years ago, "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." In the meantime, it is now official. A majority of Americans are willing to give up liberty in order to be safer from so-called “terrorism”. Never mind that the chief perpetrator of this “terrorism” is the US federal government and the military-industrial-intelligence complex it controls. A stunning new McClatchy-Ipsos poll has found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: "It is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism." Only 36 percent of those polled agreed with this statement: "Some of the government's proposals will go too far in restricting the publics civil liberties." Have they really been brainwashed into willingly giving up their essential liberties just so they can feel a little safer? Maybe some have, but I sure haven't. So almost 4 out of 5 Americans are perfectly fine with letting airport security officials gawk at their naked bodies just so they can feel a bit safer from terrorists? How crazy is that? The truth is that when Americans allow themselves to become so wimpy and so fearful that they are willing to throw many of their most important freedoms out the window, those “terrorists” have already won.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Furious America and the Reasons Why
by Rev. Paul J. Bern
(excerpt from chapter 6 of, "Occupying America: We Shall Overcome")
It seems like every time we turn around, somebody else snaps and goes off and shoots any number of people, many just before killing themselves. People are all up in arms everywhere, asking each other, “But why is this happening?” Is it any wonder that it seems like people are exploding in frustration all over the place? Since there are no doubt more than a few who are asking such things, maybe we should stop and explore a few basic facts. A record-high 85% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, adding to negativity that has been building over the past 10 years. According to a Gallup's annual Governance survey from last year, record criticism of Congress, elected officials, government handling of domestic problems, the scope of government power, and government waste of tax dollars has been feeding back from working Americans in increasing volume. Here are a few examples:
 85% of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.
 69% say they have little or no confidence in the legislative branch of government, an all-time high and up from 63% in 2010.
 57% have little or no confidence in the federal government to solve domestic problems, exceeding the previous high of 53% recorded in 2010 and well exceeding the 43% who have little or no confidence in the government to solve international problems.
 53% have little or no confidence in the men and women who seek or hold elected office.
 Americans believe, on average, that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every tax dollar, similar to a year ago, but up significantly from 46 cents a decade ago and from an average 43 cents three decades ago.
 49% of Americans believe the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. In 2003, less than a third (30%) believed this.
 At 43%, fewer Americans today than at any time in the past four decades say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the federal government to handle domestic problems. That is significantly lower than the 58% average level of confidence Gallup has found on this since 1972, including a 77% reading shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Along with Americans' record-low confidence in the federal government on domestic policy, Gallup finds record skepticism about government waste. As previously reported, Americans, on average, think the federal government in Washington wastes 51 cents of every tax dollar, the highest estimated proportion of waste Gallup has found on this measure in trends dating to 1979.
Americans' sense that the federal government poses an immediate threat to individuals' rights and freedoms is also at a new high, 49%, since Gallup began asking the question using this wording in 2003. This view is much more pronounced among Republicans (61%) and independents (57%) than among Democrats (28%). But there are more fundamental reasons – reasons that hit way too close to home – why many Americans today feel threatened by their government, by the possible loss of jobs or homes, and most of all they fear getting sick or injured, which for many people would mean personal bankruptcy. But the most visceral fear that people have in these very tough times is the loss of their ability to sustain themselves, and especially their kids. I have first-hand experience in this regard, as do millions of others.
Psychological oppression – manifested by widespread apathy and resignation in the face of major corporate and government attacks on working Americans – is at an all time high in the US. Historically, it's often a strong and sustained youth rebellion that enables a society to throw off severe psychological oppression. The following is a breakdown of the forces I see favoring and countering the formation of an uprising in the US that will be led by its youth:
 35% of the US population is under 25.
 Total unemployment among age 16-25: 24-25%, with many facing permanent unemployment.
 Percent of non-white unemployed youth: 46%
 Unemployment among African Americans under 25: 40.7%
 Unemployment among Hispanic Americans under 25: 35%
 Highest rate of imprisonment (which disproportionately targets youth and minorities) in the industrialized world.
 Widespread availability of illicit drugs to dampen youth resentment and anger, especially in minority communities. Ever since the opium wars in China, addictive drugs have been a favorite weapon of the British and American elite to suppress resistance movements. The late Gary Webb and others who have studied CIA involvement in narcotics trafficking have documented disproportionate targeting of minority neighborhoods with both heroin and crack cocaine. This is no accident.
Clinical psychologist and social commentator Dr Bruce Levine recently published an article on the Web about American societal institutions that tend to crush young people's natural spirit of resistance. The institutions Levine highlights as inducing compliance, as opposed to rebellion, include student-loan debt, the uniquely American tendency to medicate non-compliant and rebellious children and teens, American schools that educate for compliance rather than democracy, normalization and fear of surveillance, the "three screens" (TV, computers and cellphones), and so-called "fundamentalist" consumerism (the completely ridiculous belief that all human needs can be met by buying something).
No one disputes that teen homelessness is both the strongest and most alarming symptom of the disintegration of US society. Homeless children and teenagers under 18 represent one-third of the US homeless population. 2.8 million American children have at least one episode of homelessness every year, while 1.35 million American children are permanently homeless. Approximately ten percent of homeless teens had access to state and city-run shelters prior to the 2008 economic collapse. However, owing to extreme state and city budgetary difficulties, most have been forced to close. In third world countries, homeless children are called "street kids." The US government prefers to call them "unaccompanied minors." Giving it a fancy name doesn't hide the fact that the rate of homeless American children per capita is worse than in some third world countries. Today's homeless kids will grow up to be America's infuriated adults. Infuriated adults invariably strike back at that which enrages them. It happens 200% of the time.
Among countries who keep a count of homeless children under 18, India has the highest rate of street children per capita, with 1 homeless child per 61 residents. Egypt is next with 1 per 110, then Pakistan (1 per 120), Kenya (1 per 133), Russia (1 per 141), and Congo (1 per 148). The per capita rate of child homelessness in the US is 1 per 245 residents. This is worse than the Philippines (1 per 360), Honduras (1 per 370), Jamaica (1 per 419), Uruguay (1 per 1,000), and Morocco (1 per 1066). Germany, in contrast, has 1 homeless child per 4,100 residents.
The understandable rage that many of these kids are harboring is exactly what happens when all hope of any economic opportunity is taken away from any nation's youth. This is precisely what happened in Britain in the summer of 2011. Speculations circle as to why the 2011 London riots became so big, but the answer was quite obvious as the disorder spread to Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham. Politicians and police officers who one day were making stony-faced statements about criminality are now simply begging the young people of Britain's inner cities to go home. The violence on the streets was being dismissed as "pure criminality", as the work of a "violent minority", as "opportunism". This is insanely insufficient. It is no way to talk about viral civil unrest that has been a long time coming. Angry young people with nothing to do and nothing to lose are turning on their own communities, and they cannot be stopped, and they know it. It will happen in America next. It's already started with the mobilization of the Anonymous, Occupy and 99% Movements.
Violence is rarely mindless. The politics of a burning building, a smashed-in shop or a young man shot by police may be obscured even to those who lit the rags or fired the gun, but the politics are there. Most of the people who will be writing, speaking and pontificating about US civil unrest have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up in a community where there are no jobs, no space to live or move, and the police are on the streets stopping-and-searching you as you come home from school and work. The people who do will be waking up this week in the sure and certain knowledge that after decades of being ignored and marginalized and harassed by the police, after years of not seeing any conceivable hope of a better future buried under a pile of student loan debt, they are finally on the news. In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything: "Yes," said the young man. "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you”?
Riots are about power, and they are about catharsis. They are not about poor parenting, or youth services being cut, or any of the other snap explanations that media pundits have been trotting out. Structural inequalities are not solved by a few pool tables or basketball courts. People riot because it makes them feel powerful, even if only for a night. People riot because they have spent their whole lives being told that they are good for nothing, and they realize that together they can do anything – literally, anything at all. People to whom respect has never been shown riot because they feel they have little reason to show respect themselves, and it spreads like wildfire after a lightning strike.
Here in the US, we have so far had the advent of the Occupy Wall St. and the “We Are The 99%” movements on the American political scene since the fall of 2011. The primary difference between the protest movement in the US and those overseas – such as North Africa, Syria, Yemen and Nigeria as of this writing – is that the American protests have all been peaceful and nonviolent. However, I have observed a growing groundswell and a developing cultural backlash here in America regarding the choices American voters will have in 2014 and particularly 2016. This could wind up being little more than having to pick the most necessary evil as opposed to nothing at all, and that could enrage the American people enough for an explosion of civil disobedience that could easily result in massive rioting. Either that, or a sudden surge in the price of fuel to, say, $5.00 - $7.00 per gallon for whatever reason, would likely turn the American people into a raging inferno that would burn the capitalist, profit-driven and intentionally rigged economic system to the ground.
Although up until now the American people have shown admirable restraint during these difficult times in which we live, this time the public anger will not be deflected. Confessions, not false, will be extracted from the guilty parties. Occupy Wall Street has set the snowball rolling. In so doing it has made America aware of a sinister, usurious process by which wealth has systematically been funneled into fewer and fewer hands, and it is a process in which Washington is playing a useful supporting role.
Over the next 2 years, I expect the “what” will give way to the “how” in the broad electorate’s comprehension of the financial situation. The 99 percent must learn to differentiate the bloodsuckers and rent-extractors from those in the 1 percent who make the world a better, more just place to live. Once people realize how Wall Street made its huge pile of cash, understand how financiers get rich, and what it is that they actually do, the time will become ripe for someone to gather the spreading ripples of anger and perplexity into a focused tsunami of retribution, and to make the Wall Street criminals pay, properly, for the grief and woe they have caused. The truth that is written throughout this book is a part of that same tsunami, focusing the rage and frustration of the US middle and working classes, and particularly that of the poor, into an expression of how we feel, what we need (not our wants, just mainly our needs), what our hopes and dreams are, and above all recognition of our value as dynamic and sovereign individuals, all of whom can contribute to the greater good, and to our belief in the sacredness of life.