Turning Point

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I have reached a personal turning point at the beginning of 2010, a year when I was young, I was certain I would meet George Jetson. I’ve been involved in political blogging for about two years now. Certainly not long compared to the impressive seven or so years some can claim, but enough to have brought me to my turning point. I’m a pretty quick study and in some ways this whole experience, among my life experiences, is similar to my dabbling with Christianity in my twenties. A couple years of that and I was also saying, “OK, I get it, what’s next?”

Why have I reached a turning point? I guess the number one reason would be effectiveness. I like to be effective in what I do and I don’t like to waste my time. I don’t need these blogs as a hobby or to feel part of a community. Life is too short. Reason number two is that I am just not into electoral politics. I’ve never campaigned for a candidate, donated money, or been involved in electoral politics in any way other than this brief interlude on the toobs. Since my anti-establishment days in the late sixties to early seventies, I just never bought into the system. Donating money in particular has always seemed sacreligious to me in a way, in how it acquiecses to that system. That isn’t going to change for me.

Life took over since those days and family and career prevented me from investing much time in politics. For those that denigrate the hippies for losing their mojo and joining the establishment, I can just say, the times were a changing after the Vietnam war. The pace of society and the machinations of the political propaganda system simply didn’t allow for another common rallying point after the war, other than the environment. As with many, I got married and had kids. What then were my choices? Go live in a commune and name my kids Moonbeam and Sunshine, or go ahead and get my piece of the American pie. I chose the pie, not that I don’t have regrets.

Then, American dream accomplished, kids grown and out of the house, I had time to check out politics on the internet. From Atari Pong to political blogging in the blink of an eye. Quite an interesting experience for sure, and certainly very educational. Not just from what I learned from other people, but how it instigated me to learn more on my own.

I guess I can credit George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, at least in some part, for my initial foray into internet political blogging. Their outrageous attempt at governance was certainly beyond the pale and worthy of fighting against. The political blogs, i.e., the democratic or progressive blogs, allowed me to join in the effort to eliminate from power the party that allowed a great American tragedy, the Bush family, perhaps the greatest political criminals in our history, to govern our land.

Mission accomplished, we got Obama. I fell for it hook, line, and almost sinker. Enough to have tears in my eyes when on inauguration night, Pete Seeger sang “This Land is Your Land” on the imperial stage set up for the occasion. In a way, I’m ashamed of myself for falling for all that. I should have known better. But I didn’t know then what I know now, and I know I’m not alone.

I have no faith in our political system. It is a tangled mess of corruption, deceit, and decay. No better illustrated than the well choreographed health care reform circle jerk our politicans have performed for all to see. Porn for the public. Maybe they did go too far this time, the public doesn’t seem particularly turned on by seeing our rich elite politicians masturbating in front of them.

The blogs continue on without having any substantive impact on the serious, systemic issues like the military industrial complex, big banks, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, the corporate plutocracy, and the think tank/lobby/corporate/politician revolving doors in the beltway. Railing against the two party system on the one hand, while still trying to work with it.

Many are wondering what the hell can we do about it all. How can we break the oligarchy and bring actual power to the people, the working and middle classes. It would appear no one has an answer. Then again, maybe we were given the answer over 48 years ago, by a guy named Dwight. Old Ike had his contradictions, but I’ve come to think he had as good a solution as any since our early founders.

“The very structure of our society.” That’s what is involved here. Not only our society, but every country on the earth that is controlled by the hegemonic agenda of the MIC. We can talk about banking reform, progressive taxation, election reform, lobby control, until we turn blue in the face. But nothing outshines the MIC, the keystone of the oligarchy. Bringing down the MIC will have significant impacts on those other issues and is the only way to cut the oligarchy down to size.

The final reason for my turning point came courtesy of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the 23 year old Nigerian “terrorist”.  The blind, seemingly programmed responses on most democratic and progressive blogs indicated to me a disgusting belief that we ARE in a “war on terror”. A belief that indicates it is just fine to have 1000 military bases around the world, just fine to spend $1 trillion per year on national security, because our safety is number one.  Discussions and comments revolved around how best to fight it, or who was better at fighting it among the two major parties.   Obama actually used the incident to say “make no mistake, we are under attack”.  We are at war, the terrorists are still trying to kill us.  We need to find Osama bin Laden!  Based on an incident that has more holes in it than the eight bodies of the Afghan students killed recently by coalition forces.

There is no end game for the MIC.  It is what controls this country.  So that is my only goal now. Nothing matters to me anymore, because, well, nothing else matters.  If we allow the MIC to continue on it’s merry way, there is no hope.

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    • Underdog on January 7, 2010 at 6:35 am
      Author
  1. wow, underdog, I really like the way you capsulized it, as we are about the same age. My take is very similar, in terms of timing… peace activist in the late 60’s early 70’s, followed by a 30 year hiatus, and up to now. Well done.

    The whole thing with MIC, seems to me, ooh, ahhh, well… our “dependence on foreign oil” and oil, period, is what drives it, to a degree. Energy.

    I had this great Prof in college I wish I could write about sometime… I had to take Archeology for my major and I dreaded it. Ya know, arrowheads and stone axes did not fascinate me at all!! Turned out the Prof was awesome and he probably shaped my views in many many ways. Because of the whole way he framed it. Throughout millenia, its the control of literal Power (energy), the ability to generate, that is key. Who ever controls THAT has the world in the palm of their hand. yikes. (terribly oversimplified but I got shit to do! lol)

    thanks for this essay, very thought provoking.

    • banger on January 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    They dwarf in comparison to the media spectacle. Our problem is cultural not political and it’s heart is in the “entertainment”/propaganda/PR industry (they are all the same). This is where the poison lives and how it allows the MIC to continue by giving false information to the American people about almost everything. But worse is the underlying ethic — one that encourages people to be passive spectators and let the “experts” run our lives.

    We have lost contact with the natural world and each other. The quality of discourse or personal interaction among people friends or otherwise has been degraded, I believe, for all of us with the pace and focus of our lives.

    Underdog, you will understand this, but we could have done something with the force that came out of the 60’s. I tried to keep it going but there was no-one around that wanted to do anything but get back to “normal” in the 70’s — which, in fact, was the culture of narcissism that we live in today with obvious consequences. We chose to live on “Pleasure Island” and now we are turning into donkeys — in a sense, we have no reason to complain.

    I don’t mean that we ought not to have pleasure — in fact, I think most of the “pleasures” we indulge in are rather joyless. I’ve seen a lot more happiness in third world countries than I see here — much more. Because they take great pleasure in depth. We like the shiny surfaces that we throw away when they get dull polluting “our fair sister” ad Morrison put it.

    What have they done to the Earth?

    What have they done to our fair sister?

    Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her

    Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn

    And tied her with fences

    And dragged her down

  2. are related.  We can’t go after the MIC, without a basic change in American values for instance–such as getting the fucking military out of American schools.  And, you also can’t go after them without election reform.  

  3. …to wilfberforce’s.  These ‘individual’ systems—MIC, election funding reform, Banks & Corps, etc.–are just so intertwined, interdependent, and mutually supportive that I can’t see a way to focus on just one of them.  They need to be seen as the interconnected web they have wrapped in stranglehold around the body politic.

    I can see acting primarily against one part, ie: MIC, but I think we need to keep our eyes upon the whole while doing so.

  4. http://www.examiner.com/x-1842

  5. mafia.  Maybe Americans can charge a clue to what’s left on the credit cards.

  6. I’m 61, and I totally agree with your analysis.

    Eisenhower knew what he was talking about. His worst nightmare came true, and now it’s our reality.

    A Democracy is simply not compatible with a military empire, just as a fragile experiment in a glass room is not compatible with a jackhammer pounding away.

    My formal background is in history and law. I am thankfully now retired. For me, I look at everything in historical context. A hundred years is a blink of an eye.

    I think in geological time, and see man still in his infancy.

    Mankind, represented by the United States (since it was/is our turn on the big stage) created a solar explosion which, before that time, only belonged to the sun. Hiroshima vanished in a second.

    Our great chance at spiritual transformation passed silently into the night. I’m afraid that the politics of today cannot be our salvation. If the prophets of the Old Testament were here today, they would sadly be shaking their heads.

    Only in peace, and without fear, can a people tackle the difficulties of perfecting a Democratic State. Militarism is always around to hijack the noblest plans. The United States has passed from a lofty idea at its founding, struggling to improve itself from the prejudices of history, to a very complex and disjointed polity lost in its own mythology. That’s when the military becomes more and more influential.

    The Pax Romana, Pax Britannica, the Pax Americana. Why we still go there is beyond me.

  7. entities blocking our way to resolving any solutions and eating our democracy. the Spooks and the company formerly know as Blackwater (MIA) and Goldman Sachs and friends (the squid on humanities face). So I would vote for both gone. We do have a remedy it is the Law but they seem to have taken it off the table and it’s now considered quaint. So were back to square one.    

  8. For myself, biggest issues:

    –environment, the coming disasters caused by global warming

    thus

    –change from the ground up, not top down.

    You don’t build a house from the roof down, you build it from the bottom up.

    Thus, if enough of us have our gardens, our solar electricity, trading with people we know for much of the services we need… the MIC becomes irrelevant to us. Not that they evaporate over night.

    But for danged sure if I ask them to quit doing what they’re doing, they’re going to ignore me. That strikes me as pointless.

    So what I can do is change me, change my little space, interweave myself more with good people who cooperate with each other. And perhaps support things like Greg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea, who’s building schools, primarily for girls, in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    http://www.threecupsoftea.com/

    Building, not protesting.

    https://www.ikat.org/

     

    • Underdog on January 8, 2010 at 10:21 am
      Author

    of President Eisenhower a number of times.  Ike was a five star general, then President, who made these statements at the end of his presidency.  I think what he said is astounding.  Quite possibly, no President has spoken the truth like that since then.  The other astounding aspect of this speech is how pervasive he characterized the MIC over 48 years ago.  What has happened since 1961 relative to his statements is an almost unbelievable testimony to his words.  This was a military General turned President who warned us.        

  9. to the war machine.

    As Keynes stated: The art of war finance is how to borrow on the best possible terms without imposing an excessive burden on the post-war generation.

    We are unequivocally imposing an excessive burden on future generations by excessive spending and financing it through the sale of bonds. Massive inflationary pressures are a certainty at some point in the not to distant future. Many don’t realize China is no longer wanting to fund the war machine and our other sordid affairs:

    Our fiscal 2009 deficit totaled nearly 12% of GDP and required over $1.5 trillion of new debt to finance it. The Chinese bought a little ($100 billion) of that, other sovereign wealth funds bought some more, but as shown in Chart 2, foreign investors as a group bought only 20% of the total – perhaps $300 billion or so. The balance over the past 12 months was substantially purchased by the Federal Reserve. Of course they purchased more 30-year Agency mortgages than Treasuries, but PIMCO and others sold them those mortgages and bought – you guessed it – Treasuries with the proceeds. The conclusion of this fairytale is that the government got to run up a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit, didn’t have to sell much of it to private investors, and lived happily ever – ever – well, not ever after, but certainly in 2009. Now, however, the Fed tells us that they’re “fed up,” or that they think the economy is strong enough for them to gracefully “exit,” or that they’re confident that private investors are capable of absorbing the balance. Not likely. Various studies by the IMF, the Fed itself, and one in particular by Thomas Laubach, a former Fed economist, suggest that increases in budget deficits ultimately have interest rate consequences and that those countries with the highest current and projected deficits as a percentage of GDP will suffer the highest increases – perhaps as much as 25 basis points per 1% increase in projected deficits five years forward.

    http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/F

    As the climate crisis deepens and peak oil inevitably seeps into the mainstream with increasing oil, food and commodity prices, the machine itself, the consumer of vast swaths of industrial output and energy will slowly start to consume itself or implode in upon itself. It is an unsustainable entity. Neoliberalism is an unsustainable paradigm.

    I want the hastening of its demise but I am also aware the aftermath may be fearfully destructive in its collapse…

    • rossl on January 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    It looks like docudharma might be leading the way (hopefully)… just check out that upper right hand corner.

    • rossl on January 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    There’s at least one country that isn’t in the grips of the MIC…

    Hmmm. You think it’s a coincidence? Costa Rica is one of the very few countries to have abolished its army, and it’s also arguably the happiest nation on earth.

    There are several ways of measuring happiness in countries, all inexact, but this pearl of Central America does stunningly well by whatever system is used. For example, the World Database of Happiness, compiled by a Dutch sociologist on the basis of answers to surveys by Gallup and others, lists Costa Rica in the top spot out of 148 nations.

    That’s because Costa Ricans, asked to rate their own happiness on a 10-point scale, average 8.5. Denmark is next at 8.3, the United States ranks 20th at 7.4 and Togo and Tanzania bring up the caboose at 2.6.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01

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