Archive for August, 2014

Fuck ‘em…

August 18, 2014

Where we are right now in this country – in a space where Ferguson Mo seems expected and almost normal – is a reflection of elected leadership attitudes…and the attitudes of those who bought them. They could have decided differently.  But “Fuck ’em” is what we got. 

It’s too late…way to late, for white people to be bitching about race in America.  Being white in America is just being another color, just another religion, just another culture…just another minority. And if you think being white in America is so great, just wait a while.  Your ‘just another minority’ status doesn’t improve with age.  And while most white Americans know that, many aren’t real thrilled about being displaced from their supremacy position.  Going down sadly, if not hard.

Unless you’re rich of course. Then it makes no difference what so ever. Being rich means your white and don’t give a damn about classes, income disparity, and social stratification and ethnic differences…and the things done consciously and deliberately to “manage” things…and to “keep things the way they are”, and from things that threatening positions of superiority.

When you get right down to it, most of the social tension we are looking at today is between: the very rich white people who want to hold on to what they swept off the table over the past 20 years, and to keep things the way they are; the displaced whites who once were middle class and who are watching there social position, economic security and hopes for the future sliding through their hands forever; and the profoundly poor (primarily black) who are at the end of their rope — and who are collectively failing; and then everyone else (primarily recent immigrants – Asian, Mexican and Central America, Vietnamese, Russian and North African) who are thrilled to be here and not there anymore.

All of which can be reduced down to major problems for two primary groups. Blacks (with special emphasis on young black uneducated and unemployed males) who are hitting a point of un-sustainability with no help in sight…and once middle class whites who are failing out of middle class ‘privilege’ and all that once allowed people to be able to afford to do. And a possible third group: the ‘toothless’ still-needing-to-work 65 plus elders who had savings and retirement packages ground up in a succession to economic reversals — who have no way out of the game beyond dying with their spurs on. And maybe, in a while anyway, young people of all stripes who are unable to afford college and will be unable to secure jobs at a sustainable income levels who will becoming a ‘problem’ demographic here in the near future.

So that’s the brew we’re dealing with here. And it’s only going to get worse I’m afraid. At least I’m not seeing anything that I find very encouraging in the pipeline.

If anything, I’m seeing a rather deliberate “fuck ’em” attitude among the legislative powers that be – who, needless-to-say, echo the attitudes of the super wealthy hyper conservative elite who bought them and got them elected.

And that sort of bodes poorly for helping the failing middle class and the failing poor backs who are in deep trouble in this country.

“Fuck ’em.” That’s what needs to get changed.

Way down at its core, America’s elite “fuck ’em” attitude is about as nasty and harsh and immoral an expression of contempt for ones fellow man as humans are capable of expressing.

To get to the “fuck ’em” place in your heart and in your soul, you need to be damn near devoid of compassion and empathy, altruism and the milk of human kindness. You have to just not give a shit.  Sociopathic actually.

And while we like to believe it’s completely un-American as well…it isn’t.  It’s very American. In fact “fuck ’em” is rapidly becoming the “defining” American ethic.  Whole political platforms are formed around it.  It is present as one half of every political discussion. Hard hearted and mean spirited — and almost always devastating to the poor and failing and broken.  “Fuck ’em” has become institutionalized in America.

“Fuck ’em,” means that “unfairness” is perfectly ok in America. That the destruction of hope and opportunity to improve one’s lot in life is ok in America. That economic genocide is ok in America. “Fuck ’em,” means that allowing people to suffer and to fail is acceptable in America.

“Fuck ’em” has also translated into the “faster than a speeding bullet” development and institutionalization of a national secret police to spy on Americans (particularly the “problem” poor blacks and failing middle class groups) and to collect personal information on every aspect of every American’s life – and to track their personal movements, and to read and listen to their personal conversations…and to rig laws regarding unlawful arrest, unlawful search and seizure, and to maintain the Bush suspension of habeas corpus.  It also included the back door federal funding and “upgrading” and militarizing of local police forces — turning them into fully lethal extensions of the National Homeland Secret Police.

All of which gives those at the controls the ability to “totally control” the lives of individuals and groups, and whole segments of society like an implicit Thor’s hammer. Probably not so good for America or Americans.

Being a Police State is now as American as apple pie.

That’s what needs to get fixed in America. Our government is treating it’s citizens as terrorists.

I’m thinking this country of ours (?) needs to start calling it the way it is…and instead of just wishing’ and hoping’ and marching’ and singing’ for change — that hasn’t come yet in 50 years of trying — we need to put the pressure where it belongs directly.  On insisting that the “shame” of those who have gamed us and tricked us, and who engineered the collapse of America in their behalf — and who collapsed our businesses and gave away our jobs, and stole our riches and our retirement funds…and our ability to sustain lives — and who have rigged the deck to where they win and everyone else looses…are identified and appropriately vilified.

It’s time to start calling out those who think that “fuck ’em” is an acceptable living ethic…and to let them know that it’s unacceptable.

I’m thinking this would be a good role for this fine new Pope of ours, who seems to have his heart and soul in the right place. And who doesn’t appear to be timid or reticent about what right and what’s wrong. Or about what needs to be done. Perhaps we need every religious leader in the world to declare for right reason and just cause. And get them to  insist that the game be played in accordance with established ethics and values. And to mean it with the intensity of a great crusade against the world leadership who, it is clear, have long ago stopped working in our behalf.

It’s time now for that to happen. It’s time to hold people to ethical standards if they are going to lead.  It’s time to reverse laws and political practices that have allowed the purchased of political power from the Supreme Court…and allowed our political and legislative process — and our elected officials to be co-opted and bought off.

We need to reshuffle the deck.  To shut down the influence of corporate and special interest lobbyists in our governmental process…and for god’s sake, we need to shut down the influence of the military and gun manufacturers and of the entrenched pharmacy and medical and energy industries that are stripping America of it’s ability to pay it’s bills.

And we need to find a way to collect taxes for everything made and sold in this country. Period.

We need to redistribute everything in this country…that is translating into the eclipse of the middle class and the poor.  Capitalism is dead and what we have left is being maintained at the pleasure of those who have the most to gain from it. And they are gaming it and spinning it to maintain the appearance of viability. It needs to be replaced by something fair and sane — or else, the rolled up entities need to be broken up once again into more manageable parts that will expand the number of jobs geometrically and will replace natural price controls gained through competition, which has all but been eliminated these past 20 years.

Or we need to privatize the whole damn thing down into something that is controllable and fair and human centric.

I’m thinking, that unless God appears in the sky and lightening strikes righteousness into the hearts and souls of the manipulative creeps who have essentially trashed the place — about the only way this is going to happen is with the installation of a dictator for 10 or 20 years — who can nationalize corporations and break up entities that are too big and too greedy and too nasty and too uncaring into manageable pieces. And we need to find a way to redistribute some portion of of the accumulated wealth by the power elite to pay down the national debt and to elimination or reduce personal debt for individuals who have zero or negative net worth…and to provide a minimum income to people who have essentially nothing, so they can live acceptably for their lives…and to provide full paid socialize medicine for everyone in this country.

So that’s the scope of what I’m thinking will be necessary to create meaningful and desperately needed change anyway.  It all sort of goes together as a system it seems, just like it had to be thought of as a system when it was all put together in the first place.  The bad guys are real clear in the equation.  So are the key troublesome components that are killing people.

Things could be broken up into smaller pieces if anyone thought that moving quickly might be important to do (I sure think something needs to be done immediately).  I mean finishing the job of socializing medicine could be done right now.  So could forgiveness of debt for certain classes of people (school debt included) just to release some of the pressures that are crushing people.  So could reinstatement of food stamps and public housing supports (with lower eligibility requirements) for those who lost them and need them.  So could raising Social Security benefits for the aging poor who are struggling.  So could nationalizing big pharmacy immediately, to control rapidly escalating cost for meds that have launched into the stratus sphere. And so on.

It’s not that tough. All it requires is the will to be the ethical country we have always professed to be. And it’s time.

 

JMcDB — August 18, 2014

He could have just stopped eating…

August 13, 2014

I’ve known a number of people who have taken their own lives over the years. People whose will to live, gave way to a desire to stop being. Because staying alive was too tormenting…too painful. Too overwhelming.

Booze and drugs don’t help. They create an emotional cauldron where ending the torment and pain seems like the only sensible thing to do. Depression and mental illness is bad enough. Fogging the brain opens the other door wider. Makes it more inevitable, and makes it make more sense. And easier to decide without really deciding. A default decision.

A lot of elders decide that going on in profound isolation, loneliness, or pain, or dementia…or in complete incapacitation isn’t worth it also. They check out in their own deliberate ways, and somehow, that seems more understandable…because we know that in many situations their lives can never improve, and that there is nothing we can do to make things better or more tolerable for them. Or make life more worth living.

Truth is, many who live with elder parents who have reached that impasse where things are pretty bad right now, and that nothing will ever get better — secretly pray that death may release them when things get to that point. Some brave and determined ones just decide and get it done themselves. They stop eating. Not much different really.

But isn’t it? People like Robin have options. They are alive and physically capable…and have meds and therapists and treatment centers available to them. And families who love them – fiercely even, sometimes. And many have had truly productive lives…and are broadly esteemed and cherished. And they can get help. They can decide for Christ’s sake!

Well yes they can. And they do decide. Not always for life. Not when the thought of “release” from crushing angst and overwhelming anguish takes over. Not when ending a life of pain becomes a consuming thought. Not when it becomes the only sane option left. Not when it becomes a commitment. Then there is no thought of turning back. It’s a huge step to take, and it’s inexorable. But not unreasonable, when the pain of remaining alive is overwhelming and omnipresent.

It’s “release” as much as it is for an elder who decides it’s time. Checking out is just a little less understandable for younger more active people who are physically capable and able to interact and communicate. Shocking actually. Suicide is always more abrupt when someone fully alive before they abruptly do what they need to do to call the game. Older people who decide to end their own lives over a couple of days just seem more normal. “She stopped eating…and became weaker and weaker, and then she died. Very peaceful.”

But when you get right down to it, there’s not much difference really. Checking out is checking out. No getting around it.

Too bad about Robin. My heart goes out to him for his exquisite life and exquisite torment…and to his family for theirs. People shouldn’t have to bear so much gravity when they are so vitally alive. And too bad about my wonderful 88 year old dear pal Ava Dale also who decided enough was enough a couple of months ago. They both decided to get away from the pain of living any more.

Perfectly understandable. A lesson in compassion certainly. I hold them in the light.