Monday, November 21, 2011

It's not you, it's me

Don't fret-i haven't gone from activist to relationship consultant. Although I am going to give some harsh criticism - constructive, but harsh - to the splintered and dysfunctional relationship between our government and we, the people.
To be blunt, what the fuck happened?!
When did it go from well oiled machine to a oil greased, dream crushing, hope destroying, trust raping greed machine?
The answer to that is obviously not a simple one, nor is it immediate-it spans decades of bad decisions and bought legislation-but the clincher-the real catalyst for our trip down democracy death row, has been our own apathy.

Tough to hear? Well it doesn't get easier.

Jonathan Turley in a recent article in the Washington Post, commented on a new initiative set forth by President Obama that would no longer require a warrant to affix a GPS tracker to your car.
The argument being that if you have nothing to hide, why do you care-and of course, the fear factory's favorite catch phrase: it'll make you safer.
If you, like me, are tempted to scream bullshit at an obnoxiously loud volume-save it, and consider this.
Since 9/11, our right to privacy has diminished by extreme leaps and bounds. In fact, it is now completely legal for the government to spy on you of you exhibit "hyper-critical" or "extreme" viewpoints agains the government. Furthermore, if they feel your comments are threatening, they are legally allowed to throw you in jail without due course. Evidence? Nah-we're makin us safer!
Feels good doesn't it?

As I'm sure you've noticed, a good portion of the country is "hyper-critical"
of the government right now. In fact, in a recent poll, approval of Congress is at 9% whilst approval for a Communist government here in the US of A is at 11%. Glad I got my festive red dress ready.

So red herrings aside, the real issue here is that, if approval of Congress is so low-mostly due to their inability to get dick doodle done-why are we not making a stink about the cow patties they are passing as law?
And why are we not making smarter choices and more distinct plans on how to gain those rights and equalities we so eagerly spray paint on signs.
Really-what gives?
It's so childishly simple to march around blaming government for its trespasses against us-throwing stones at corporate goons in the halls of the mighty. But we're standing in a glass house.
The fact of the matter is that no government has ever listened to a people unless they demand it. Its not in the makeup of human nature to use power wisely-that's why the people's job is to work those checks and balances, to ensure our rights, freedoms and safety.
As of yet, we haven't pushed government, much less their corporate puppet masters, to give two shits about our disenfranchised 99%.
Our movements are too splintered and disorganized and our message is too vague.
Until we put enough effort into looking out for the 99%, we can't be surprised by our governments unwillingness to do so.
Money talks. We gotta talk louder-louder and coherently-else we're doomed to the same downward spiral sucking our country towards total meltdown, courtesy, ironically of the 99%.

Think. React. Do Something.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The tangled deficit web

While the 99% continues to camp out, speak out and stand up, the powers-that-be are busy doing what they do best: bantering back and forth.
It seems a sad red thread for many movements and governing forces in this country: little to no organization and in-fighting that effectively neuters progress.
Now, I have to hand it to Congress, they have made in-fighting into a sick, twisted art form. This super committee in charge of cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade is coming up on the November 23rd deadline. What's the update? Nothing here, back to you.
Last week, the Democrats proposed an over-achieving plan that would cut $3.2 trillion from the deficit by cutting $500 billion from entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security and adding $1.3 trillion in tax revenues. The Republicans, led by Boehner, predictably retorted with the stone cold blocking of any and all new taxes. His plan rebuttal? A $2.2 trillion plan that would source largely from entitlement cuts and a few tax code revisions. Democrats scoffed at that plan due to its complete negation of new incoming revenue.
Let me start off by saying this: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, let me continue by saying that the naming of these revenue sources is way off point. They are not entitlement programs, they are already bought and paid for social services. You pay out of your check for social security - where does that go? Well, fuck me, it's supposed to go into the social security bank account...guess that's been dipped into before the golden years even got a subtle sheen. You don't get a bill when you call the cops, do you? Oh holy shit - how socialist of us!
And unless Republicans are marking corporate loopholes for the chop block (which of course they aren't), any tax code revision is totally superfluous. You don't raise a country up from the trenches by slicing and dicing the only thing standing between them and poverty, sickness, hunger and homelessness. You raise a country up by offering job opportunities (cough - new deal - cough, cough), taxing people based on their income, not how much they effect your political outcome, and putting money towards what the PEOPLE need and want, not what the Koch brothers and friends lobby for.
Sound too simple? Well in reality - it is.
I stand by the first motto this blog ever had: move forward, not left or right.
Republicans will never forsake big business or their ideological tenet of no new taxes. Democrats will wildly fling exorbitant numbers around and arbitrary new taxes. Neither party will address the fundamental issue: economic reform.
Why? Because the source of that fundamental issue is also the source of their private jet ride, their family vacay to Cancun and their sweet corner office once they finish with politics: corporations.
So, what happens if this supposed fix-it super committee doesn't do dick?
Sounds like a warm up at a horse show, but what it means is this: if no plan is reached by November 23rd, it would trigger $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts to the federal budget from 2013 onwards. This would include about $454 billion from defense and $123 billion from Medicare. Sound scary? Not really. Some argue that that's probably our best option, since genuine reform is unlikely at this point.
Others say it would be disastrous, particularly for troops still in overseas conflicts, already struggling with aging hardware and gear.
I hate to sound like the BIGGEST cynic but I don't think it matters either way. The fact of the matter is, that the way our government is set up, laws like this sequestration rarely move forward untouched. Congress has a rich (pun intended) of fiddling and revising federal budget amendments long before they go into effect. So, although this across-the-board threat sounds scary, it's really just the nightmare equivalent of seeing a coat hanging on the door and thinking it's Freddie Kreuger. The real Freddie is as always, the total lack of organization and reform happening here.
Whether this goes through in a few weeks doesn't matter. Either way, the decision or lack thereof will meet with changes, waivers, cuts and amendments - like putting band aids on cancer.
All we're doing is wasting more time - more precious time that continuously moves us closer and closer to all out economic failure.
And the worst part about that? The ones responsible, won't feel a thing.
We, the people will.
That's fucked up.
Let's not let that happen - please. Look beyond this toddler like tiffs to the source, and let's fight that source - this corporate rule.
Think. React. Do Something.