It is my 40th birthday, this July 04, 2013 (on America's 237's birthday.) It is curious to reflect on the past forty years. I was born in central Minnesota, in the summer of the first American oil shock, the OPEC oil embargo, America still reeling from cultural upheaval, the rise and fall of the flower children, the assassination of JFK, MLK, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, still mired in a useless, lie of a war (like all wars) in Vietnam. Newly embarked on a credit expansion, the full financialization of the economy. That was a summer America might have taken stock of the situation and said, we are pulling back, enough of this global empire business. But then the streets were flooded with cocaine and crack, disco became the favored music of the decade, and by 1980, the USSR in decline, we were full-on ready for Global Imperialism, Reagan's "Morning in America," i.e. dominion of the planet.
Here we are now, even the climate is in chaos, 7.2 billion people on the planet, 400ppm carbon in the atmosphere, Fukushima bubbling up-wind, Japan and the EU ready to implode, America 16.9 trillion dollars in debt exceeding GDP and climbing, the federal government has been capturing and holding every digital communication for the past 7 years, we are on the verge of war in Syria and Iran, against Russia, Brazil and China, Peak Oil is 8 years in the rear-view (and yet most people are convinced there is more oil than we could ever possibly exploit), the American Middle Class has been hollowed out, we don't build much of anything useful anymore, and if not for institutions state and corporate, and abundant cheap fossil fuels, America would not be able to feed, clothe or house itself. The Constitution has been eviscerated (while maybe 10% of America knows who wrote it or why.) It is LEGAL in America for the American Federal Government to detain anyone including Americans (including you), anywhere in the world, for the rest of your life, never telling anyone where you are or even that you have been taken - no trial, no court, no evidence - and the government can kill you, no trial, no court, no evidence, just the secret assertion that you are a threat to 'national security.' The infrastructure of TOTAL CONTROL is in place, the Dept of Homeland Security has purchased 2 billion bullets, many of them hollow points (for passing through steel and walls, and maximum shredding of the human body.) Meanwhile Red and Blue are a house fully divided, ready to war with each other, over who gets to control the TOTAL CONTROL surveillance state, Dems even more enthusiastic for total Gov oversight than even your average Republican bald-faced fascist. Oh and the economy collapsed in 2008, held together since by sheer chicanery, long enough to fully plunder what remains of the economy, militarize the Imperial Guard, consolidate power, refine data gathering practices, etc.
Meanwhile, the IRS and the State of Minnesota confiscated all of my tax returns in 2012, though I made less than the official poverty wage, and now the IRS is hounding me, that I did not pay taxes in 2011, when I made less than the poverty wage. I make $10/hr part time, down to about 19hrs/wk lately. I am @ the verge of homelessness.
This is not exactly what I expected the situation to look like, @ 40.
When I entered grade school in the late 70's, it was still a time when teachers could tell you in all earnestness, that by the time I was an adult no one would work more than about 15 hrs a week, everyone would have everything they needed, and computers and robots would do most of the work. For all I know, they still tell kids this in grade school. Most American adults continued to believe it - at least until recently. I suppose it would not do to say, computers and robots will take many of the jobs, corporations will ship many of the remainder to wherever they can treat people like indentured slaves, and if you are lucky enough to find work in the new "service" economy, you might have to work 60 hrs to barely get by economically. What is the point of a 40hr/wk law, btw, if more working people than not make less than a living wage, working 40hrs/wk?
So what is the solution to all of this, proffered forth here in America? Ever greater exploitation, of course. Fracking, ie polluting - that, or draining the last of the major aquifers - for bottled water, soda, paint, etc, and Corn, corn and more corn, beyond fence row to fence row. Oil pipelines bursting, off limits to inspection or media. Surface water unfit to drink increasingly anywhere, more and more of what is available going to fracking/mining/big ag. In northern Minnesota they are fixing to put a hard rock copper mining operation at the very edge of the Boundary Waters Wilderness; a combined Canadian/Chilean conglomerate. Hard rock mining being notorious for leeching sulphuric acid into the water supply, exploiters skipping out on the cleanup of course. Meanwhile our federal government conspires in secret, to write trade bills for both Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic "partnerships", by which no International Corporation would be accountable to any American court or law, for ecological devastation of American soil, air and water (which if true, the founders would have hung them for sure). And Americans, eager as they are for total surveillance/police statism, like serfs on the land of the lord of the manor, shout "jobs, jobs!" Meanwhile media tells America exactly what it is allowed to think, and Americans parrot the information as if to be a consumer were the leading edge of Homo sapien sapien evolution. Which then, in the spirit of divide and conquer, wedge issue-d, all America obsesses about, when it isn't shopping or otherwise consuming or war-making, is gay people, immigrants and abortion. Btw, haven't you heard, NUCLEAR IS THE FUTURE! LOL.
Meanwhile the High Court Final Arbiter, says the state can take your DNA for just about any reason, before or after they strip search you. Drones will be cruising these skies, but the government says it will never use them for any nefarious purpose, ever. If on the other hand, you know that ANY government will bomb ANYONE on ANY soil with drones, if the government decides those ANYONES are a threat to the government (when the government and imperial guard isn't shooting ANYONE with .40 cal hollow point - and "depleted" uranium bullets), you might be prescient, but 'that can't happen here' is all you are ever likely to hear from your average consumer, FKA average American.
I've noticed something of a collapse in the readership of this blog, since word of NSA capabilities became public knowledge. That's what's so amazing about this, that they are setting up a total surveillance 24/7 infrastructure, with but very few bubbles of dissent rising from the fermenting masses. Some "narcissistic drop-out" contractor has access to some of the most cherished secrets of the state, which he plundered without any seeming difficulty, yet just about everyone seems to say without blinking, more or less, that this government would never, ever do anything bad with the power they claim. LOL. Read, this government (or their contractors) will never do anything particularly good with this power, this government (and their contractors) can and will do bad things with it - but who am I to burst your Hollywood derived fantasies about how life actually works. What is most revealing about the NSA, is not that they have done what they have done, but that Americans have given them a BLANK CHECK to do whatever they will. America has said, LOUD AND CLEAR, we trust you, NSA. Which translates in the language of tyrants galore as, "I can do whatever is necessary to protect America's interests." I.E. protect America's banks and corporations and military in the ongoing plunder and rape and destruction of the planet, exploitation of most peoples, dissent of any kind depicted prominently, no matter how free of violent intent, as TERRORISM.
Can you be certain anymore, that someone isn't listening? Anywhere? I was in a newer car the other day, talking about this stuff to the driver, and I was like, "How do we know they aren't listening right now?" He got a pained look on his face, so I changed the subject. Every public place is wired up, or being wired up, or in the plans. Your computer is, inherently. Your new car is likely too. What is the moral/takeaway of the death of journalist Michael Hastings? If you speak truth about the powerful, best not drive a hackable car? See, everybody should be talking about this stuff, everywhere, but hardly anyone is. (Hardly any American knows what country this country declared freedom from!) Which is the same as leaving everyone who does, out to hang. I wonder if Americans will go on blissfully shopping, while people are quietly railroaded into oblivion, some excuse or another found, to shut them up, lock them away, break their spirit, disappear us? People like me, who call out their truth relentlessly, to the deaf ears of masses dedicated to a conspiracy of consumer silence, while their leaders perpetrate atrocities.
Whatever. Hey Blue. Hey Red. Here is all the ideology you will ever hear out of me: get drunk, get high, grow stuff, build stuff, sing, dance. Take your surveillance state/consumer insatiable military empire, and shove it up your collectivist/hyper individualist ass. LOL
Meanwhile, however my circumstances may appear dire, I'm doing just fine. My garden is an Oasis. See, while all you Imperialists have been investing in consumerism, corporate farming, oil and gas exploitation, 401K/IRA, Social Security, State Health Care, Military globalism, Total surveillance global mind, I've been busy growing and building. Learning about wild edible and medicinal plants. Being at ease with myself and other people. Cultivating a care and concern for ecological processes. Learning the language of the earth. Learning to trust my intuition, learning to listen to my body, learning to listen to my mind.
So I'm fine with where I'm @. ;)
Happy Birthday, America. :)