Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Times Call for Jedi Warriors
I know that things are bad. From Smirking Chimp, Brent Budowsky writes,
“Washington remains in denial about the skyrocketing misery index that plagues more than half the nation. Leaders in the capital do not get it.
The president and Congress should continue work to produce healthcare reform, but must understand that to most Americans, ignoring the economic crisis that threatens their daily lives while focusing obsessively on a healthcare bill that voters do not understand creates worry, outrage and political revolt.
Even after shocking jobless numbers, voters do not see any fierce "urgency of now" from Washington. To voters, Republicans are on Mars, Democrats on Venus, while they are suffering on Earth.
The president and congressional leaders should convene an emergency jobs summit to develop a major bipartisan plan to create jobs in America and call on business leaders to join with government.
In an upcoming column I will offer new proposals. For now my message is that Washington is dramatically out of touch with the economic pain, suffering, worry, fear, anger and concern of the people.
Consider the misery index that plagues more than half the nation in very dire and immediate ways:
1. The misery index begins with the real jobless rate of 17.5 percent. This includes the official unemployment rate of 10.2 percent plus those who are so depressed they have given up looking for work, plus those who cannot find full-time work and are forced to accept low-paying part-time jobs.
2. The misery index expands to the husbands, wives, sons and daughters of the 17.5 percent jobless in America and, for a growing number of families, the parents and grandparents who now live with them. Do the math. The "family misery index" is a giant swath of America suffering extreme, devastating and immediate hardship.
3. The misery index includes those who are employed and deeply worried about the future of their jobs. Today they are employed. Tomorrow they may not be, with the next major layoff announcement. They are deeply worried, and should be. Add them to the high end of the misery index.
4. The misery index includes wages that have been declining for almost 20 years, while the cost of living has been rising relentlessly. People work hard and play by the rules but year after year, for two decades, they fall further behind.
5. The misery index includes those holding most of the 700 million credit cards in America, who have had major increases in interest rates and fees, huge jumps in their minimum payments and major cuts in credit lines at their time of greatest need, even though they have always paid their bills.
6. The misery index includes those who are employed but are desperately making mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure. They could be forced from their homes to the streets; they frantically pay their bills and their mortgages, cutting back on food and medicine, even for their kids.
7. The misery index includes rising costs of healthcare and rising premiums for insurance that are punishing Americans. There is nothing in the healthcare bill that does anything for them anytime soon.”
And, then there is the H1N1 pandemic as well as the concerns regarding the vaccines for the flu, which may be worse than the disease. Now, it appears that a super flu or plague that leads to a hideous death by drowning in your own blood has hit the Ukraine. The lamestream is suppressing information about it, but there are several articles on rense.com and Steve Quail’s site, among others. Is it a disease or a bio-weapon? I don’t know, but it sure looks dangerous.
Peak Oil is suddenly hitting the news. A whistle blower from IEA admits that they have been suppressing statistics for years about the dwindling oil supplies in order not to create a panic. The movie, “Collapse” is opening in selected theaters today. It features an 80 minute interview with Mike Ruppert on the oil and financial crisis that will end the world as we know it. What is amazing is that the mainstream is calling it riveting and thoughtful, rather than denouncing it. Jeez, if the powers that be are suddenly going to admit that the world actually has a problem with oil production, I hardly know how to act …”duck and cover” comes to mind.
The government is handing over 11.5 trillion dollars of borrowed money to the mega-rich financiers, insurance pimps, and Big Pharma drug dealers at the expense of the rest of us. It is the most breathtaking siphoning off of wealth into the pockets of the richest 1% yet, and it’s being done by the Democrats! Of course, if it were planned by the Republicans, it would be even worse, if that is possible.
Returning veterans and people thrown out of work and into the streets are going nuts and killing people. Suicides in the military are at the highest levels since the statistics began. The mayhem may escalate as the conditions worsen.
We are truly on our own here. Maybe, at least today, that’s why I am actually feeling better. Lately, I have been feeling a sort of “preparation fatigue.” We have been preparing for this collapse for so long that I’ve about had it. I don’t want to talk about it, don’t want to think about it, don’t want to write about it. Stick a fork in me – I’m done with preparing. Systemic failure is not coming, it has arrived.
Now it’s about dealing with declining resources, the dysfunction of our institutions, and the collapse of the economy. Happily, today, I got a sort of “shot in the arm” (the good kind) by going to see the new movie, “Men Who Stare at Goats.” I’m not going to ruin the movie for you by telling the whole story. But, suffice it to say, that it portrayed the power of the hope and vision of the movement that inspired the hippies and changed many of us forever. It also presented the weaknesses and flaws that in retrospect were pretty funny.
I feel energized, liberated. Free from the illusion that the government will be any help, we can take it from here. And, we can re-discover and cultivate a sense of enthusiasm, joy, brother and sisterhood, love, fun, and creativity in the process. Why not:? We aren’t bureaucrats. We aren’t machines. We aren’t consumers. We are not that stupid herd that the overlords have tried to turn us into. We are human beings, with all the untapped powers and potential that real people have.
I want to catch the wave of energy that almost was forgotten. I want to be a Jedi. I want to use The Force to quell the Evil Empire. I want to sing and dance and give stuff away to my neighbors, learn how to feed and take care of each other. I don’t know how much time we have left. But, let’s bring the best of ourselves to it. Once again I tell you, we were born for this! The beautiful picture at the top is one that Montana Freeman took close to his home. I think it truly represents both the deterioration and the hope that is here for us.